You would not have to go far to go for Michael Frater’s favourite World Athletics Championship memory.
That happy moment would be his only individual medal at a major global championship, earning silver in the 100 metres final, 17 years ago in Helsinki, Finland, a moment that he says is his finest hour.
Frater and Dwight Thomas were the two Jamaicans in the final in a field that included World champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis and Justin Gatlin of the United States who would claim his first World title in the distance.
Frater who was a member of the MVP Track Club with Asafa Powell at the time said while there was the notion that he did not have a chance to medal, he credited the coaching staff for keeping the confidence high and the belief in their game plan.
“I was competing on the circuit. Not a lot of people believed that I could have gotten the silver but the people around me, we pretty much knew what we were doing,” Frater told STAR Sports. That confidence exuded out of Frater in the final and he powered through the final part of his race to get silver finishing in front of Collins who came third. Both were awarded the same time, 10.05 seconds, behind Gatlin who won in 9.88. Thomas finished fifth in 10.09.
Frater says he owed that success to Stephen Francis, then head coach of the programme. According to Frater, Francis’ place in the coaching history of Jamaican track and field is secure.
“He is hands down one of the greatest coaches of all time. I was prepared and went in there with confidence and just did the job I went there to do,” Frater said.
Even though he has won gold as part of 4x100m relay teams in 2009 and 2011, Frater says that he always looks back at that moment with great pride.
“That always stood out for me and it is maybe the greatest accomplishment of my career,” Frater said.