Latest News on Merlene Ottey

2011 Season

23 January 2011: Merlene Ottey winning lifetime achievement award
Friday evening saw Merlene Ottey presented with a lifetime achievement award at RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

"This feels wonderful and I'm very grateful for the attention that you all have been showing me," said a clearly moved Ottey, the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic medal.


"I have been in Jamaica for just two days and it has been an amazing feeling and thank you very much, I feel very special. I am very honoured to be in the presence of the most wonderful and supportive people in the world," said the athlete who, in a distinguished career, won nine Olympic and 14 IAAF World Championships (outdoor) medals.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

21 January 2011: Merlene Ottey appears on TV Jamaica
Today Merlene Ottey appeared on the morning show on TV Jamaica. Merlene Ottey speaks about how she started running and the inspiration she got at the 1976 Olympics from watching Donald Quarrie winning Olympic gold. Then she speaks about her career of more than 30 years in track and field – her determination as well as the ups and downs.

See Simon Crosskill interview with Merlene Ottey.

Sprint legend Merlene Ottey, sprint star Veronica Campbell-Brown and boxer Mike McCallum at the RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony


2010 Season

8 September 2010: Final of the Slovenian Grand Prix International
After the final meeting in the Slovenian athletics league also known as the Slovenian Grand Prix International, Merlene Ottey finds herself placed 7th in the womens overall competition. The winner was Slovenia's best female athlete of 2010, javelin thrower Martina Ratej. 

Source: AZS

Final standings of Slovenian Grand Prix International (women)
1. Martina Ratej (javelin): 60 points
2. Sabina Veit (100 / 200 metres): 40 points  
3. Marina Tomic (100 metre hurdles): 40 points
4. Tina Jures (100 / 200 metres): 36 points  
5. Anita Banovic (200 / 400 metres): 34 points
6. Kristina Zumer (100 / 200 metres): 32 points
7. Merlene Ottey (100 metres): 30 points
2 September 2010: Ottey 2nd at Slovenian athletics league in Celje
Merlene Ottey continued her tour of the Slovenian athletics league running in Celje on Thursday. Ottey took part in the best of the women's heats and came 2nd behind Serbian Tatjana Mitic.

Source: AZS

Result from the women’s 100 metres heat2 (wind: -1.0)
1. Tatjana Mitic (SRB): 11.81 sec. 
2. Merlene Ottey (SLO): 11.99 sec.
3. Tina Murn (SLO): 12.05 sec.  
4. Sara Strajnar (SLO): 12.29 sec. 
5. Tina Jures (SLO): 12.30 sec.

8 August 2010: Ottey wins windsprint in Sweden
Norrvidden Sundsvall Wind Sprint is the only sprint event in the world where only the 100 and metres as well as the two short hurdles are contested. Today Merlene Ottey showed poetry in motion and won the B-final at the event in a wind-aided time of 11.78 sec. Carrie Russell of Jamaica won the A-final in 11.23 sec.

Result from the women’s 100 B-final (wind: 2.2)
1. Merlene Ottey (SLO): 11.78w sec.
2. Moa Hjelmer (SWE): 11.86w sec.
3. Helene Bourdin (SWE): 12.02w sec.



3 August 2010: Pictures of Merlene Ottey in Barcelona

Look at the pictures at

1 August 2010: Fantastic at fifty – quotes form Ottey
Merlene Ottey spend almost an hour after the relay heat giving interviews to different media. Below you will find some link to articles and quotes from Merlene Ottey after her record-breaking participation at the European Championships. Among other things Ottey speaks about her career, her health, her longevity in the sport; her company TMG and a possible appearance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Daily Telegraph 
The Guardian

Video of interview with BBC: YouTube 


Merlene Ottey in Barcelona

31 July 2010: At 50 Ottey takes part in European Champs
Fifty-year-old Merlene Ottey became the oldest athlete to compete at the European Championships after anchoring Slovenia ’s 4x100 women’s relay team on Saturday. It was 30 years and three days since she ran at her first major Championship – the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Slovenia failed to reach Sunday’s final at Barcelona ’s Olympic stadium after it finished seventh with a time of 44.30 seconds (13th overall). “My leg was difficult because I had the anchor leg. Normally I catch people, but this time I couldn’t catch anybody so it was difficult”, Ottey said.


Ottey said competing at 50 meant as much as any of the many medals she has won at major competitions since her debut in 1979. “It’s right up there with all the medals I have won. I don’t know if there’s any athlete over 40 competing out here in sprinting, so to be competing at 50 is great.” Teammate Tina Murn hopes her illustrious colleague keeps running: “It’s an honour of course for all of us—(it’s) something special.”

Result from the women’s 5 x 100 metre relay (heat 1)
1. Ukraine: 43.24 sec. 
Belarus: 43.69 sec.
Spain: 43.88 sec.
Ireland: 43.93 sec.
Lithuania: 44.13 sec.
Italy: 44.15 sec.
Slovenia: 44.30 sec.
Netherlands: 44.70 sec.






21 July 2010: Ottey on Slovenian Team for Barcelona
The Athletic Federation of Slovenia has confirmed its national team for the European Championships in Barcelona (from 27 July to 1 August). Among the 33 athletes 50-year old Merlene Ottey is also to be found. Though Ottey has not been selected for any of the individual sprint events, but as part of the Slovenian 4 x 100 metre relay team, which has a season best time of 45.34 sec. set in Nove Mesto on 13 July with Ottey running anchor. The women’s sprint team is as follows:
* 100 m: Tina Murn (SB = 11.84)
* 200 m: Sabina Veit (SB = 23.34) & Tina Jureš (SB = 24.08)
* 4 x 100 m: Sabina Veit (11.52), Tina Murn (11.84), Kristina Žumer (11.76), Merlene Ottey (11.67), Maja Mihalinec (11.81)

The AZS website has information on the full 33 athlete team as well as the list of season best times.


Merlene Ottey & Sabina Veit (photo from 2008)


18 July 2010: Ottey breaks W50 200 metre record by over a second
On the second day of the Slovenian Championships Merlene Ottey cut a massive 1.22 sec. of the master’s world record for women over the age of 50. Running from lane 2 in the heats of the 200 metres Ottey ran 24.33 sec. and improved the former W50 world record set by Marie Lande Mathieu (25.65 sec.). A short while later Ottey was not able to follow-up the performance when she ran in the final and placed 5th with a time of 24.38 sec.

Source: AZS

Final (wind: +1.1):
1. Sabina Veit: 23.34 sec.
2. Kristina Žumer: 23.80 sec.
3. Tina Jures: 24.15 sec.
4. Maja Mihalinec: 24.37 sec.
5. Merlene Ottey: 24.38 sec.
6. Dasa Bajec: 24.66 sec.
7. Tamara Zupanic: 24.90 sec.
8. Nika Barundic: 25.11 sec.

Heat (wind: +0.9):
1. Tina Jures: 24.31 sec.
2. Merlene Ottey: 24.33 sec.
2. Sara Strajnar: 12.01 sec.
3. Maja Mihalinec: 24.88 sec.
4. Tamara Zupanic: 24.90 sec.
5. Klara Hribar: 26.14 sec.
6. Urska Jelenovec: 26.30 sec.
-. Pia Tajnikar: DNS

17 July 2010: Ottey takes silver at Slovenian Championships
Merlene Ottey won yet another medal to her already enormous collection of medals when she got silver over 100 metres at the Slovenian Championships, which is held in Velenje. Ottey was fastest of all in the beats with a time of 11.81 sec. But in the final Ottey was beaten by the best Slovenian sprinter of the season, Sabina Veit. Ottey ran 11.77 sec. to Veit’s 11.63 sec. Merlene Ottey is also entered in the 200 metres on Sunday.

Source: AZS

Final (wind: +0.3):
1. Sabina Veit: 11.63 sec.
2. Merlene Ottey: 11.77 sec.
3. Kristina Žumer: 11.79 sec.
4. Tina Murn: 11.84 sec.
5. Maja Mihalinec: 12.01 sec.
6. Sara Strajnar: 12.04 sec.
7. Nina Kovacic: 12.10 sec.
8. Pia Tajnikar: 12.14 sec.

Heat (wind: -0.1):
1. Merlene Ottey: 11.81 sec.
2. Sara Strajnar: 12.01 sec.
3. Maja Mihalinec: 12.15 sec.
4. Teja Zupan: 12.51 sec.
5. Klara Hribar: 12.96 sec.
6. Sasa Babsek: 13.23 sec.
7. Anja Vihtelic: 13.32 sec.


13 July 2010: Ottey breaks W50 WR for the 3rd race in a row
Merlene Ottey has made it a habbit to break the W50 world record every time she enters a track this season. Taking part in the Slovenian Athletics League in Novo Mesto (KRKA 2010), Merlene Ottey improved her time from previous races almost another 2/10 of second to 11.67 sec. She was second in her heat with that time behind Sabina Veit and also finished second to Veit in the final running 11.71 sec. Ottey was also entered in the 200 metres, but did not take part. reports that on the 2010 Age-Graded Tables, Ottey’s 11.67 sec. corresponds to an open (ages 20-30) mark of 10.32 sec.

Sources: AZS + Slovenian Athletics League (results)

Final (wind: +0.4):
1. Sabina Veit: 11.67 sec.
2. Merlene Ottey: 11.71 sec.
3. Kristina Žumer: 11.82 sec.
4. Tina Jures: 11.85 sec.
5. Tina Murn: 11.86 sec.
6. Sandra Parlov: 11.91 sec.
7. Pia Tajnikar: 12.24 sec.
8. Monika Gacevska: 12.27 sec.

Heat (wind: +0.9):
1. Sabina Veit: 11.56 sec.
2. Merlene Ottey: 11.67 sec.
3. Kristina Žumer: 11.76 sec.
4. Tina Jures: 11.88 sec.
5. Nika Barundic: 12.36 sec.
6. Teja Zupan: 12.41 sec.
7. Marina Banovic: 12.45


26 June 2010: Ottey improves W50 world record in her second race of 2010
Merlene Ottey continued her quest on tearing the women’s master world record into pieces today at a meeting in Maribor, Slovenia. Having already set a W50 world record in her season opener a few weeks ago, Ottey improved her time today by more than 1/10 of a second to 11.84 sec. The time was run into a head-wind – promising even better times from Ottey if conditions are better in her upcoming races.

Source: AZS [ ]

Final (wind: -0.9)
1. Sabina Veit: 11.72 sec.
2. Merlene Ottey: 11.84 sec.
3. Kristina Žumer: 11.89 sec.

6 June 2010: Ottey breaks W50 world record in season opener
Merlene Ottey simply smashed the world age record (W50) at her season opener at the Slovenian Grand Prix meeting in Postojna. Ottey only ran the heats and won in a time of 11.95 sec.
The former W50 world record was 12.50 sec. set by American Phil Raschker in 1997. Merlene Ottey turned 50 in May is getting set for the European Championships in Barcelona in August.

After the race Ottey stated that she was not satisfied with the race as it was not technically perfect. She only wanted to run once (in the heat) as she has not contested outdoors for more than a year. Merlene Ottey announced that she has to train a lot the coming weeks and she will start at some smaller Slovenian athletic meetings.

Source: DPA

TV clip:

Heat 3 (wind: 0.9)
1. Merlene Ottey: 11.95 sec.
2. Nina Kovacic: 11.98 sec.
3. Sara Strajnar: 12.03 sec.
4. Francesca Velentinuzzi: 12.52 sec.
5. Klara Hribar: 12.70 sec.
6. Candy Matagliano: 13.23 sec.


Merlene Ottey at the meeting in Postojna, Slovenia


12 May 2010: Ottey spent her birthday in an airport
Merlene Ottey told this website that she spent her birthday crossing the
Atlantic and having to wait in an airport due to problems with volcano ashes. She will celebrate her birthday later in the week. At the moment she is keeping fit and are also still involved in the TMG company. TMG offers complete muscle diagnostic service solutions as well as training optimization support. TMG has successfully cooperated with ACF Fiorentina in the field of muscle diagnostics and detection / prediction of muscle injuries.  

10 May 2010: Ottey turns 50 and still going strong
Merlene Ottey can celebrate her 50th birthday today and she does looking ahead to the outdoor season.
Her coach Srdjan Djordjevic has confirmed Ottey ' s intentions to run at the European Athletics Championships to be held in Barcelona between 26 July and 1 August. With Ottey ' s enthusiasm not waning at all in the last three decades, the Slovenian athlete with Jamaican origin is aiming for a better performance in Barcelona than four years ago in Göteborg when she reached the semi-finals of the women ' s 100m.

Read the full article on Merlene Ottey at European Athletics website.


13 February 2010: Ottey pulls out of indoor race in Celje
At the Slovenian indoor meeting today in Celje Merlene Ottey figured on the start list of the women’s 60 metres, but she had to pull out of the race. Ottey also dropped a race in Ljubljana 5 days ago.


6 February 2010: Ottey opens 5th decade of running
With 2010 a new decade has begun – that is also the case with regard to the career of Merlene Ottey. The tens (2010’s) mark the 5th decade of running in Merlene’s career as she began running in the 1970’s.

Merlene Ottey, who was injured in 2009 with cartilage in the knee, opened her 2010 campaign at an indoor meeting today in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. She clocked two times 7.66 sec. for the heat and final of the 60 metre’s race.

1. Alja Sitar: 7.57 sec. (q)
2. Merlene Ottey: 7.66 sec. (q)
3. Sara Strajnar: 7.69 sec. (q)
4. Marina Tomic: 7.76 sec. (q)
5. Teja Zupan: 7.97 sec. (q)
6. Tina Murn: DNS  

1. Alja Sitar: 7.58 sec.
2. Sara Strajnar: 7.63 sec.
3. Merlene Ottey: 7.66 sec.
4. Marina Tomic: 7.79 sec.
5. Teja Zupan: 7.92 sec.
6. Klara Hribar: 8.01 sec. 


2009 Season

December 2009: Ottey gets 9th Olympic medal
Merlene Ottey has added another medal to her record tally of eight Olympic medals thanks to the fall from grace of U.S. rival Marion Jones. Jones has admitted to taking steroids and has returned her medals to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Her individual sprint and long jump medals will be redistributed this week but the Greek sprinter Ekaterini Thanou will miss out due to her own involvement in doping. 

Mark Adams, IOC director of communications, said: “The IOC feels that we have a strong moral and legal case to withhold the gold due to the circumstances surrounding Thanou in 2004. She disgraced herself and the Olympic Movement by avoiding three doping tests. The rankings depend on the IAAF and they have changed. But the actual awarding of the medal is a privilege but not a right and this is an IOC decision. Therefore in this case the IOC has decided not to award the gold medal.”

The Sydney medals will be re-distributed as shown on the right.

100m, where Jones placed 1st:
Gold: Not awarded
Silver: Ekatirini Thanou (Greece)
Silver: Tanya Lawrence (Jamaica)
Bronze: Merlene Ottey (Jamaica)

200m, where Jones placed 1st:
Gold: Pauline Davis-Thompson (Bahamas)
Silver: Susanthika Jayasinghe (Sri Lanka)
Bronze: Beverly McDonald (Jamaica)

Long Jump, where Jones placed 3rd:
Bronze: Tatyana Kotova (Russia)

The reallocation of the medals for the 4 x 400m relay and 4 x 100m relay, where Jones’ teams placed first and third respectively, is still pending the outcome of an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

April-May 2009: Ottey training in Florida
Merlene Ottey has been doing some of her winter training in Florida. She has among others been working alongside Britain's Olympic 100 metre finalist, Jeanette Kwakye. A generation separates the two. Ottey is 49 now, but she still trains like a 20-year-old. “It was an absolute honour to meet her and train with her,” says Kwakye. “At the time I had a few niggles and she just told me to be patient, that I was still young so not to rush it. To hear that from her meant a lot.” 

On 10 May Merlene Ottey could celebrate her own 49th birthday. While in Orlando, Merlene Ottey also had time to celebrate the birthday of Jamaica's no. 1 sprinter, Veronica Campbell. 

Sources: IAAF Online Diaries (VCB) & Sunday Times

March 2009: No indoor races for Merlene
There will be no indoor races from Merlene Ottey in 2009. 




Slovenian Athletics Federation (AZS)

Merlene Ottey (Slovenian fansite)


News from the 2007 & 2008 season can be read here


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