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1 January 2003: Happy New Year
The Merlene Ottey Fanclub wishes everyone a happy new year! News on Merlene's plans for 2003 are awaited. We all hope to see her back on the circuit for a full season and the eventual participation in the World Championships for Slovenia. 

2002 Season

100 metre seasons best (September 2002)

200 metre seasons best (September 2002)

11.28 sec. (no. 41 on the world ranking) 23.93 sec. (outside top 50 on the world ranking)


1 December 2002: Merlene Ottey Fanclub Birthday
On 1 December The Merlene Ottey Fanclub can celebrate yet another birthday. The Fanclub was founded on 1 December 1999 and has since then brought fanclub members news on Merlene Ottey (via newsletters and website updates) as well as competitions, exchange of information and general sharing of the admiration for the queen of sprint. At the moment the club has more than 450 members and they can all be found here.  

23 September 2002: End of the 2002 athletics season
With the World Cup in athletics now over the 2002 athletics season has now come to a close. Due to injury problems Merlene only had three races this season and won two. Her best time in the 100 metres, 11.28 sec., makes her the 41st fastest woman in the world this season (see Among the European 100 metre sprinters she finishes the season in 15th position. See the European Top 15. More at:

17 September 2002:  
The old hyperlink from the first days of the Merlene Ottey Tribute is now operating again. The "easy-to-remember" link is

15 September 2002: 440 members of the Merlene Ottey Fanclub
The Fanclub Members list has been updated. As of today the fanclub has no less than 440 members that have all joined since the initation of the fanclub in December 1999.

25 August 2002: Ottey in comeback race
Merlene Ottey today made a comeback to the track and field circuit after her knee surgery in June. She ran in a small meet in Avezzano, Italy and finished second in the 100 metre race. The race was won by Italy's bronze medalist from the European Championships, Manuela Levorato, in 11.41 sec. Merlene Ottey led the race from the start, but was passed by Levorato at the line. Merlene ran 11.43 sec. for her second place.

30 July 2002: Ottey not at the European Championships
Merlene's manager states that she will not compete at the European Championships due to start in one week in Munich, Germany. Instead she hopes to be able to run at some athletics meets at the end of August. 

13 July 2002: Ottey might miss the European Championships
Merlene's coach Srdjan Djordjevic yesterday told Slovene daily newspaper Delo that Merlene Ottey was not likely to participate in next month's European Championship in Munich. Following an operation in the left knee in June Merlene Ottey is not yet at 100% of her capability. However she hopes to be able to slowly return to the track - eventually at the athletic meetings later in August.

11 July 2002: Merlene Ottey cleared to compete for Slovenia
As of today Merlene Ottey has been cleared to compete for Slovenia instead of her native Jamaica. IAAF General Secretary Istvan Gyulai said today: "I can confirm that the IAAF has just received the official letter of clearance from the Jamaican Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA). Under IAAF rules, an athlete who changes nationality must wait 3 years before competing for a new country, or just 1 year if both parties agree".

The last time Merlene Ottey competed for Jamaica was at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She has been living in the Slovenian capital of Ljubliana since 1998 and was granted Slovenian citizenship on 7 May 2002. Showing a great deal of fair play the JAAA have agreed to allow Merlene Ottey to compete for her new country with immediate effect. 

25 June 2002: European 100 metre rankings
The European 100 metre ranking has been updated with the latest results - among these the European Cup held this past weekend. Unfortunately Merlene Ottey was not able to participate due to her knee surgery a couple of weeks ago and because she has not yet received the permission from the JAAA to run for Slovenia.

See the European 100 metre Top 20. Full details at: 
Interested in the website for the upcoming European Championships go to:

11 June 2002: Surgery for Merlene
Merlene had a small arthroscopic knee screening today to remove some damaged cartilage tissues. However, she hopes to start competing at the end of July.

10 June 2002: Merlene 7th on European 100 metre ranking
With her 11.28 sec. performance two weeks ago Merlene Ottey is ranked 7th among the European 100 metre women this season. The fastest European so far is 100 metre World Champion Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, who by the way has stated that she will concentrate on the Grand Prix circuit this year and therefore not participate in the European Championships in Munich. See the European Top 15. More at: 

31 May 2002: Merlene hopes to run for Slovenia at the European Cup
Merlene's manager Daniel Zimmermann states to the fanclub that Merlene will probably run again at the European Cup in Seville (Spain) - that is if Merlene is allowed to run for Slovenia.

25-26 May 2002: Two wins for Merlene in season debut
At a small meet in Velenje, Slovenia, Merlene opened her 2002 season with two wins. On Saturday she ran the 100 metres in 11.28 sec. and Sunday she finished the 200 metres in 23.93 sec. The Slovenian records for 100 and 200 metres held by Alenka Bikar are 11.21 sec. and 22.76 sec. respectively - both set in 2001.

100 metres (wind = 1.1): 200 metres (wind = ?):
1. Merlene Ottey (ŽAK) 11.28 sec. 1. Merlene Ottey (ŽAK) 23.93 sec.
2. Saša Prokofjev (Kro) 11.73 sec. 2. Radmila Vukmirovič (Gor) 24.74 sec.
3. Kristina Žumer (ŽAK) 11.76 sec. 3. Saša Prokofjev (Kro) 24.74 sec.

See the Slovenian report from day 1 and day 2

12 May 2002: JAAA President on Merlene's dual citizenship: No problem
When the news broke in December 2001 that Merlene Ottey was seeking Slovenian citizenship, Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) president, Patrick Anderson, expressed disappointment. The Jamaica Observer interviewed him again on Saturday 11 May 2002 to hear his opinion on the sprint queen's dual citizenship.

"I don't see it as anything negative. We need to understand that people want to go on with their life. Merlene has expressed her continued love for Jamaica and that she hopes to be able to help us in our sports journalism. We have no problem (with Merlene's decision). After 22 years of honoured service what more could we ask. I'm glad for her that her business is doing well and I wish her long life and we all love her. She is doing well in her business, she loves her country, she has no problem with us", Anderson declared. Anderson furthermore said he would not have a problem with Ottey running for Slovenia as "she is in Europe and maybe it would be more convenient".

Go to for the full story (Jamaica Observer 12 May 2002).

Merlene training in Australia 
(9 September 2000)


11 May 2002: Release of Fanclub Newsletter 29
Newsletter 29 brings you the following stories:
- 2002 season
- The Slovenian citizenship
- Merlene's new company
- Updates of the Merlene Ottey 

10 May 2002: Merlene's birthday
Today Merlene Ottey turns 42 and all fans are eagerly awaiting her season debut due for the beginning of June. 

9 May 2002: Merlene to open season in June
Merlene Ottey’s coach Srdjan Djordjevic today stated the following to Reuters: "Merlene could appear for the Slovenian team already at some meetings in June as we don't expect the Jamaican Athletic Federation to put a veto over her transfer. However things turn out, Merlene will start her season on June 2 or maybe a few days later on June 5."


8 May 2002: Merlene Ottey receives Slovenian citizenship
Merlene Ottey who has lived in the Slovenian capital of Ljubliana since 1998 was granted Slovenian citizenship on May 7, 2002. She established a successful Slovenian company called TMG – BMC Ltd. and has used Ljubliana as her training base since 1998.

Her immediate plans are to compete on the European athletics circuit beginning in June of this year. She also plans to contribute to the future growth of her business venture.

Merlene Ottey: "I am very happy to have found a new home in Europe. I have been living in Europe for more than 10 years and decided that Slovenia is the right place for me in the future. This is a small place like Jamaica and I like the lifestyle here. I am honored to be a citizen of this country but will never forget my Jamaican origin. The complete procedure of acquiring citizenship was done with lots of good will, recommendation and help from several organizations and individuals."

(Official press release)

President Roman Jakic of the Slovene Athletics Association said: "The government authorized Ottey's naturalization under a special law which enables foreigners to become Slovene citizens if they possess outstanding skills". Jakic declined to elaborate, saying Ottey would discuss her plans in the coming days.


23 April 2002: Merlene in training
Merlene Ottey's manager Daniel Zimmermann confirms that Merlene Ottey is training at the moment. She will decide in May whether to run or not in the 2002 season.


27 January 2002: Ottey head-to-head against the best sprinters
A new feature to the Merlene Ottey Website is a statement of Merlene's greatness. You will find out how Merlene has done in head-to-head battles against the best female sprinters around for the last 25 years. Click: Merlene Ottey: Head-to-head against other sprinters


5 January 2002: Ottey to decide on athletics future by April
At the moment Merlene Ottey is on holiday in Florida, but her Slovenian coach, Srdjan Djordjevic, said Wednesday that Merlene Ottey is to decide on her athletics future by April. "If she can do 11 seconds or less (over 100 meters) then she can continue running. If she cannot do below 11 seconds, then she should retire. She has an injury now, as she recently (had an operation on) her hamstring in mid-October", Djordjevic said. Merlene Ottey will return to Slovenia in the second week of January and at that time she will work out a training schedule with her coach. 

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".

Merlene Ottey with her coach Srdjan Djordjevic


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.

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.

Merlene Ottey with her manager Daniel Zimmermann


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.

News from the year 2001 can be read at this page:



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