Merlene Ottey News 2001

2 January 2002: Leave the lady alone
Read the remarkable article by Tony Becca on Merlene's decision to seek Slovenia citizenship in todays Jamaica Gleaner: "Leave the lady alone".

Quote: " [Ottey is] free to live wherever she so desires. Once she decides to do that, she should protect herself - particularly if she is in business, and that involves becoming a part of that society and becoming a citizen. It is as simple as that".

29 December 2001: Merlene will have dual citizenship
It has now be confirmed that Merlene Ottey seeks Slovenian citizenship. According to Merlene's manager Daniel Zimmermann, she is not seeking to relinquish her Jamaican citizenship. "Merlene has always been proud to be a Jamaican. Under Slovenian rules and I think this is also true in Jamaica, she can hold two passports. It's important for Jamaicans to know that she has had many opportunities to switch in the past and she has not done that. While living in Monaco and Italy I know she got offers. Now it's a personal choice of being a citizen of the country where she chooses to live".
     Merlene Ottey has been living and training in Ljubljana for the past three years claiming that she likes the "calm lifestyle". In that city she has been training with Slovenia's leading athletics coach, Srdjan Djordjevic.
        Ottey has futhermore invested in a Slovenian company which has interests in Tensiomiography, (TMG) a simple and non-invasive measuring method for the detection of the major muscle properties and their functional profile. Ottey, her Slovenian coach Srdjan Djordjevic and several investors formed a company called TMG d.o.o. that is further enhancing and marketing this patented technology. Clients include the Slovenian Olympic Committee, a Slovenian football club, the Ministry of Education and several professional athletes. The products and services will also be marketed outside of Slovenia in 2002.

Merlene Ottey with her manager Daniel Zimmermann


28 December 2001: Merlene seeks Slovenian citizenship
An Associated Press (AP) report from Ljubljana, Slovenia today states that the country's Olympic committee has recommended that the government grant citizenship to Merlene Ottey. Committee official Boris Mikuz told AP that his organisation was asking for citizenship on her request.


1 December 2001: Merlene Ottey Fanclub Birthday
It has now been two years since the Merlene Ottey Fanclub was founded. Since 1 December 1999 no less than 392 people have joined the fanclub to enjoy the fanclub newsletters, the fancub competitions and just sharing on the admiration for the queen of sprint. The Fanclub members list can be found here.

1 November 2001: Statistical update
Counting towards 500 races won - that is what can be done on this updated page with gives you statistics on Merlene's victories and special records through her career. More information on Merlene Ottey's races over the years can be found be clicking the years under the headline "Performances of" on this page

17 September 2001: Merlene Ottey considers what to do next year
Asked by the Fanclub Merlene's manager Daniel Zimmermann states that Merlene Ottey has made no definitive decision yet on what to do on or off track next season. 

15 September 2001: 2001 season comes to an end
An athletics season that witnessed an overturn of Marion Jones' reign in the womens sprint as Zhanna Pintusevich became World 100 metre Champion, has now come to an end. For the first time in her career Merlene Ottey was not able to compete on the european circuit at all. During the indoor season she suffered an injury that proved so severe that she was not fully fit to run more than once outdoors (in South Africa in March). The table below shows a summary of her short 2001 season.

World Ranking Seasons bests (outdoors) Seasons bests (indoors)
100 metres: not ranked 
Overall: not ranked 
11.31 sec. (#44)
*due to injury the only outdoor race of the season
11.21 sec. (#1)
  7.12 sec. (#9)

1 September 2001: Merlene Ottey records fitness video
Merlene Ottey has been in Budapest (Hungary) to record a fitness video with the Hungarian fitness icon, Norbi. She has had a lot of fun doing this. The exercise tapes are designed for everybody interested in being and looking fit. Their theme is based on the successful movie "Gladiator", so you will soon be able to see Merlene among Roman warriors and soldiers. The tapes will be released throughout Europe later this year. Promotion is supposed to start at the end of September. The video should be ready for release in November. The Merlene Ottey Fanclub will keep you up to date on the issue.

20 August 2001: Merlene Ottey autograph
Today the Merlene Ottey Website publishes a signed photo of Merlene taken in New York in 1999. See it on the following page

13 August 2001: Release of Fanclub Newsletter 28
Newsletter 28 brings you the following stories:
- Merlene out for the rest of the season
- Merlene as businesswoman
- Merlene as fitness star
- Updates of the Merlene Ottey Website

6 August: Pintusevich upsets Jones - Ottey missed at the World Championships 
Very surprisingly Marion Jones was beaten into second place by Ukrainian Zhanna Pintusevich-Block in tonight's 100 metre final at the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. Marion Jones came to Edmonton as unbeaten in 43 100 metre finals. The last time she lost was to Merlene Ottey in Tokyo (September 1997). The 100 metre result (see below) means that Merlene Ottey keeps her astonishing record as unbeaten in 57 100 metre finals, which she achieved between 9 September 1987 and 27 August 1991. What is more (and sad!) is that the womens sprints totally lacks profiles, personality and grace at the moment. Therefore Merlene Ottey was truly mised in the 100 metre final. She would have been able to bring some star quality to the event and had she decided to run, she would have had no problems qualifying for the final.

1. Zhanna Pintusevich-Block 10.82 sec. WL/PB
2. Marion Jones 10.85 sec.
3. Ekaterini Thanou 10.91 sec. SB
4. Chandra Sturrup 11.02 sec.
5. Chryste Gaines 11.06 sec.
6. Debbie Ferguson 11.12 sec.
7. Kelli White 11.15 sec.
8. Mercy Nku 11.17 sec.

5 August: Comprehensive statistics on Merlene's unbeaten period
Thanks to a lot of help finding statistics from Pierre-Jean Vazel ( I have been able to add a new page to the website, namely a page on the period in Merlene's career where she was absolutely unbeatable. The new page gives you all the details on the following amazing winning series:
- the 57 consecutive wins in 100 metre finals (from 9 September 1987 to 27 August 1991)
- the 36 consecutive wins in 200 metre finals (from 20 May 1989 to 30 August 1991)
- the 77 races (including heats) being unbeaten from 20 May 1989 to 8 March 1991

You find it all at http//

31 July 2001: World Ranking update
Going into the week of the 8th World Championships in athletics Merlene Ottey is ranked 8th (down 1 place) on the 100 metre list and 75th (down 3 places) overall on the IAAF World Rankings. On the outdoor performance list of 2001 Merlene is the 44th fastest woman of the year over 100 metre with 11.31 sec. 

24 July 2001: New page on Merlene's Jamaican Honours
The Merlene Ottey Website now features a page dedicated to the honours Merlene have been given by Jamaica and by people in the country. This new page also brings you photos of Merlene Ottey from the 2000 Jamaican Trials in Kingston. You can find it here

10 July 2001: Release of Fanclub Newsletter 27
The release of newsletter 27 brought the sad news that Merlene Ottey will not run at the Golden League Meeting in Oslo on Friday 13 July. Recovering from injury she does not yet feel fully prepared to run fast at competitions and will therefore wait until August before racing at the Grand Prix circuit.

25 June 2001: Merlene Ottey will open season in July
Today it was announced by Merlene's manager Daniel Zimmermann that Merlene Ottey will not be running in Luzern on Wednesday or at the Golden League Meeting in Paris at 6 July. At the earliest Merlene will kick off her 20th season on the European Grand Prix circuit on 13 July at the Golden League Meeting in Oslo (Norway). Merlene Ottey has overcome her problems with the heel injury but she wants to be fully prepared before she starts her season.

11 June 2001: New location for the Merlene Ottey Tribute website
From today the Merlene Ottey Tribute will be moving location to this new web address:

As website and fanclub administrator I excuse for the problems that you have experienced with the website in the last four months. 

Jakob Nielsen

8 June 2001: Merlene postpones season opening
Due to some minor injury problems Merlene Ottey has decided to postpone her season debut on the European circuit. Therefore she will not run at the small meet in Poznan (Poland) on 8 June or at the Grand Prix in Helsinki (Finland) on 14 June as published earlier on this web site.

22 May 2001: Release of Fanclub Newsletter 26
The newsletter features the latest updates on Merlene Ottey as well as news on her newly established firm.

10 May 2001: Happy birthday to Merlene
Today Merlene can celebrate her 41st birthday, which she will do with some of her close friends in Ljubliana. The last year has been one of stress, relief and great experiences. In a month's time she will start her 22nd season on the European Grand Prix circuit. That is truly unique!

A big cheer for the greatest female athlete of all time and 
best wishes for the 2001 season from the Merlene Ottey Fanclub

5 May 2001: Merlene to open outdoor season in Poland
It has been confirmed by Merlene's manager Daniel Zimmermann that Merlene will open her 2001 outdoor season at a small athletics meeting in the Polish town of Poznan on 8 June. A little less than a week after that she will go to Helsinki to run in the Grand Prix Meeting on 14 June. At the moment Merlene is training at her base in Ljubliana, Slovenia.

April 2001: Training in Spain and Slovenia
During this month Merlene has spend her time training - first a couple of weeks in Spain but she has now returned to her base in Ljubliana in Slovenia. She has fully recovered from the injury that she got back in March.

30 March 2001: Merlene withdraws from South African meeting
After the problems she experienced at the Engen Grand Prix II Meeting in Pretoria a week ago Merlene Ottey decided to withdraw from the athletics meeting in Stellenbosch, South Africa. 

23 March 2001: Merlene finished second in Pretoria
At the Engen Grand Prix II Meeting in Pretoria Merlene Ottey was surprisely beaten by Russia's Marina Kislova. After the race Ottey went to the see a doctor. "It appears I have not fully recovered from the hamstring injury I suffered in Madrid two weeks ago. At 60 metres I felt a twinge in my hamstring. I decided not to abandon the race but solider on to the finish. I am glad I have not pulled a muscle. Lets see how I feel in a day or two before I decide whether I will compete next Friday", said Ottey.
100 metre result (wind: 0.0):
1. Marina Kislova (RUS) 11.29 sec.
2. Merlene Ottey (JAM) 11.31 sec.
3. Dikeledi Moropane (RSA) 11.43 sec. 

22 March 2001: Newsletter 24 - declaration of the fanclub competition winner
The 24th newsletter in fanclub history is sent out to the 338 fanclub members. In the fanclub competition that has been running throughout the 2001 indoor season and where the fanclub members were supposed to guess Merlene’s best 60 metres time, the right guess was the 7.12 sec. that Merlene ran in Madrid on 14th March. Only member no. 28 guessed right and will receive a signed pair of Merlene’s running spikes.

19 March 2001: End of the indoor season
The 2001 indoor season has ended and Merlene finished top of the indoor 100 metre list (11.21 sec.) and 9th on the 60 metres list (7.12 sec.), which is topped by Natalia Safronnikova (BLR) and Petya Pendareva (BUL) – both ran 7.04 sec. Sadly Merlene suffered a slight injury at the end of February and was therefore not able to participate and improve herself at the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon from 9th to 11th March.

14 March 2001: Merlene runs seasons best in Madrid
Merlene proved that her injury was no serious problem as she won the 60 metre race at the IAAF Permit Meeting in Madrid (Memorial José Ma Cagigal) ahead of Olympic relay champion Sevatheda Fynes (BAH). This means that Merlene during the 2001 indoor season has beaten some of the best competing sprinters (Fynes, Gaines, Safronnikova and World Champion Sturrup). Merlene's winning time makes her the 9th fastest female sprinter this season.
Race result:
1. Merlene Ottey 7.12 sec. (7.22 sec. in heat)
2. Sevatheda Fynes 7.15 sec.
3. Muriel Hurtis 7.32 sec.

9-11 March 2001: World Indoor Championships
Start of the World Indoor Championships without an injured Merlene Ottey. 
Result of the women's 60 metre final:
1. Chandra Sturrup (BAH) 7.05 sec.
2. Angela Williams (USA) 7.09 sec.
3. Chryste Gaines (USA) 7.12 sec.
4. Sevatheda Fynes (BAH) 7.15 sec.
5. Mercy Nku (NIG) 7.15 sec.
6. Petya Pendareva (BUL) 7.16 sec.
7. Li Xuemei (CHN) 7.20 sec.
8. Endurance Ojokolo (NIG) 7.23 sec.

23 February 2001: Merlene injured
Merlene Ottey was not able to compete at the Flanders Indoor meet in Ghent (Belgium) as she suffered a heel injury during her warm-up. The injury is not serious and she may still be able to compete at the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon (Portugal) from 9-11 March. In Merlene's absence the 60 metre race was won by Petya Pendareva in 7.12 sec. More on the Energizer Euroseries.

12 February 2001: Two wins for Merlene in Tampere

On this Monday night in the Finnish city of Tampere Merlene Ottey showed that she still lacks some acceleration at the short 60 metre distance, but that her competitive spirit and her speed on the last metres promises a good outdoor season. In Tampere she won both the 60 and the 100 metres. 
     Ottey equalled her best time of the year in the 60 metres (7.20 sec.) and is still the 10th fastest in the world indoors this season. At 100 metres, Ottey was only 0.06 seconds off the world record of 11.15 seconds, set by Marita Koch of the former East Germany in 1980, and 0.03 seconds off Frenchwoman Christine Arron's meet record. At 40 years of age this was Merlene's best ever indoor 100 metres and the third best race of all time.
     "The 100 was better than the 60 today,'' Ottey said. "With shorter reaction times at the start, the times would have been better. I was still in the blocks when the rest were on their way". "When you can run the hundred during the indoor season you always see how you feel during the important last metres. That is important knowledge preparing for the outdoor events''.
     Merlene is trying to get a hint of her shape with her mind on the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon (Portugal), March 9-11. She said that she will decide competing at the Champs after another event in France late this month.

Merlene Ottey winning in Tampere (Finland) ahead of Natalia Safronnikova 

Result of the 60 metre race Result of the 100 metre race
1. Merlene Ottey (JAM) 7.20 sec.
2. Natalia Safronnikova (BLR) 7.31 sec.
3. Johanna Manninen (FIN) 7.33 sec.
4. Heidi Hannula (FIN) 7.35 sec.
1. Merlene Ottey (JAM) 11.21 sec.
2. Natalia Safronnikova (BLR) 11.34 sec.
3. Johanna Manninen (FIN) 11.54 sec. NR
4. Natalia Sologub (BLR) 11.75 sec.
5. Donna Fraser (GBR) 12.12 sec.

2 February 2001: Merlene victorious at the Millrose Games
Merlene Ottey made her indoor season debut at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden (New York) - her first appearearance at the meet since 1986, where she finished third. Merlene Ottey showed great competitive form by winning the 60 metre race well ahead of a star-packed field of Olympic relay medalists.

1. Merlene Ottey (JAM) 7.20 sec.
2. Chryste Gaines (USA) 7.31 sec.
3. Chandra Sturrup (BAH) 7.34 sec.
4. Tanya Lawrence (JAM) 7.36 sec.
5. Passion Richardson (USA) 7.37 sec.
6. Torri Edwards (USA) 7.38 sec.

Here are some statements made by Merlene after the race:
"I have not raced in New York in ages, so I had to win." 
"My start and acceleration were not good - I need to work on it."
"I got off to a bad start, then I broke loose." 

Second-finisher Chryste Gaines was impressed by the Jamaican veteran and said: "After last year, what reason does she have to retire?" "As you can see, age is not a factor."
Merlene Ottey agreed:
"It's never too late," she said, referring to her age. "I love what I'm doing". "How do I feel about beating youngsters?" "It makes me feel good, actually." 

More news on the Millrose Games at Also see IAAF News.

31 January 2001: Confirmation of race in Gent
Merlene Ottey has confirmed that she will run at the indoor meet in Gent (Belgium) on 23 February. It is still an open question if she will compete at the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon in March.

24 January 2001: Fanclub Competition
For the upcoming indoor athletics season the Merlene Ottey Fanclub launch a competition with the following question: 

What will be Merlene's best 60 metre time during the 2001 indoor season?

Your guess has to be e-mailed to the fanclub ( before 2 Februay 2001 when Merlene kicks off her season. All competition entries can later be found here. The winner will receive a signed pair of Merlene's running spikes.
        The announcement of the fanclub competition was made in the 22nd fanclub newsletter, which was send out today.

15 January 2001: Merlene to run in New York
It has been confirmed by Merlene's manager that she will open her indoor season at the Millrose Games in New York on February 2nd. Participation in other meetings are being arranged at the moment.

5 January 2001: Merlene begins training for the indoor season
After celebrating the coming of yet another year where she will run the sprint, Merlene today starts training again for the upcoming indoor season. The training will take place in Florida. There are no news yet on where Merlene will make her indoor season debut.
        Today the 21st newsletter from the Merlene Ottey Fanclub was send out to our 311 fanclub members.

1 January 2001: New location for the Merlene Ottey Tribute website
From today the Merlene Ottey will be moving location to this new web address: We excuse if all the pages on the website are not fully operative and updated. We can assure you though that you will always be updated with the latest news by e-mail if you are a fanclub member. Join the fanclub by sending an e-mail to
The old links will be functioning until 1 February 2001.
The redirect link still works.

News from the year 2000 can be read at this page:



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