- Published on Sunday, 13 January 2013 07:27
- Written by Jamaica Gleaner
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Sprint darling Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce walked away as the toast of Jamaica's crop of sportswomen, after Friday night's RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
For some, the recognition was a few years late.
In 2009, she conquered Berlin's IAAF World Championships in Athletics, winning gold and becoming only the second woman to hold Olympic and World titles simultaneously, before helping Jamaica to a 4x100m victory at the same championships.
However, it wasn't the 100m star that walked across the Jamaica Pegasus ballroom to collect the nation's top sporting accolade on that 2009 evening and, while the recipient was equally deserving, Fraser-Pryce remembers very well.
It's something she laughs about now, as she gracefully expressed her relief to The Sunday Gleaner shortly after being named Sportswoman of the Year for the first time in her relatively short, but illustrious career.
"Thank you so much to the RJR Foundation for selecting me as the Sportswoman of the Year, I am truly honoured," said Fraser-Pryce.
"I jokingly said in 2009 after the Sportswoman award and all the others that year, that in order for me to get this award, I would have to break the world record, so I'm glad I didn't have to do that in order to win," she added with a bright smile and a tight grip on the coveted prize.
The MVP athlete's 2012 catalogue was loaded: Olympic gold in the 100m, Olympic silver in the 200m and 4x100m, 100m IAAF/Samsung Diamond League title, 10.70 national 100m record, sprint double at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/Supreme Ventures Ltd National Senior Championships.
"2012 was an excellent year, I worked really hard and I give God thanks for everything that I was able to accomplish, and I really look forward to 2013," Fraser-Pryce stated.
"It was a difficult year, it had its challenges; after I won at the National Championships you would have thought that it would be easier, but I was really nervous and I just thank God for keeping me calm throughout."
Fraser-Pryce, who has also been shortlisted for the Laureus Award, did well to bounce back from a difficult 2011, which saw her finishing outside the individual medals for the first time at a major since she burst on the scene at the 2008 Olympic Games.
"2012 was never going to be easy and, coming from 2011, where I came fourth at the World Championships, I was a little disappointed, but being the champion that I am, I bounced back," said Fraser-Pryce.