Thursday, May 10, 2012


- Gleaner photo

Merlene Ottey
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Merlene Joyce Ottey (born May 10, 1960), is a Jamaican-born Slovenian track athlete. Ottey began her career representing Jamaica, but since 2002, has represented Slovenia, where she now resides. She is ranked fourth on the all-time list over 60 metres (indoor), sixth on the all-time list over 100 metres and third on the all-time list over 200 metres.

Ottey has had the longest career as a top level international sprinter, which apparently has not yet concluded as she anchored the Slovenian 4x100 relay at the 2010 European Athletics Championships at the age of 50.[1][2] She holds the record for the most Olympic appearances (seven) of any track and field athlete, and for winning the largest number of World Championships medals (fourteen).[3] Her career achievements and longevity have led to her being called the "Queen of the Track". Her proclivity for earning bronze medals in major championships also earned her the title of "Bronze Queen" in track circles.[4]
In 1998 Ottey moved to Slovenia, and began training with Slovene coach Srđan Đorđević. There she was still representing Jamaica. However, in May 2002, she became a Slovenian citizen, and now resides in Ljubljana, where she represents her new country in international events.

Ottey competed for Slovenia in the 100 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, where she reached the semifinals. At age 46, she competed in the 2006 European Championships in Athletics. She finished fourth in the semi-finals of the 100 metres but did not qualify for the final, which was won by Belgium's Kim Gevaert.

Ottey failed by 0.28 seconds to reach her eighth Olympic Games, aged 48 in 2008.

In spite of this, two years later she qualified for the Slovenian 4 x 100 metre relay squad at the 2010 European Athletics Championships where she became the oldest athlete ever to participate in the history of the European championships.


  1. I found this article quite by accident, but happy I did.

    She has been my favourite female athlete since I was a boy living in Jamaica.

    Many thanks,
    Omar Chin-Keow

  2. Merlene, you are an inspiration to women and atheletes everywhere. As "they" say..youth is wasted on the young and being is a state of mine. You may be in you fifties but girl your body is saying 24!