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February 16, 2013
Star Sport


Fraser-Pryce believes more male clashes will be good for track

'I think it would get a lot more excitement, as opposed to just the one athlete competing with himself, basically.'

File - Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (right) powers ahead to win gold in the women's 100-metre final in 10.75 seconds at the London Olympic Games.

Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has challenged her male compatriots to face each other more on the circuit, arguing it would do wonders for the sport of track and field.

The diminutive Jamaican, one of a handful of athlete's to defend the women's 100m title, will face World Champion Carmelita Jeter over 60 metres in Birmingham this afternoon. Fraser-Pryce and the American are no strangers to facing each other, developing a rivalry over the years that have seen them clash at several meets, including a race for the Diamond League 100m title, won by Fraser-Pryce, last season. However, whereas clashes between the sports top female sprinters are commonplace, clashes between their male counterparts are few and far between and are mainly reserved for major championships. Fraser-Pryce is of the belief, how-ever, that the sport would be more exciting were meetings more regular.

"I definitely think there should be a lot more clashes," the sprinter told UK-based publication The Guardian.

"I think it would get a lot more excitement, as opposed to just the one athlete competing with himself, basically. If he's No.1 or No.2 or No.3 [in the world] and he's competing against people who are 21, 22 or 23 down the list, there's not much there they can expect. You know what will happen."

Of course, money, while not the only obstacle, is perhaps the biggest obstacle to top male athletes facing off more often. Whereas Fraser-Pryce and Jeter are believed to command somewhere in the region of US$85,000 in appearance fees, Bolt and Blake would be a different matter entirely. The back-to-back Olympic Champion is believed to command somewhere in the region of US$350,000, while Blake, the World Champion, fetches an estimated US$250,000, a possibly combined prohibitive sum for many organisers. Fraser-Pryce is aware of the monetary constraints.

"Yes, I think that's pretty much the problem," said Fraser-Pryce. "Who wants to pay for three of the top sprinters when they can all pay for one and have the headline?"

There are, however, occasions when the top male sprinters are present at a meet and choose to avoid each other, sparking speculations that it could be a case of simply not wanting to risk defeat at the hands of the other competitor.

"I don't want to say it's an ego thing," Fraser-Pryce said, "but I definitely think we should have more clashes for male athletes. I think it would do wonders for the sport as well."

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