Latest News on Merlene Ottey

Become member of the Merlene Ottey Fanclub and get the latest news by e-mail!
Send an e-mail to: otteyfanclub@hotmail.com. Fanclub membership is totally free!

Fanclub Members' List Click here!

100 metre seasons best = 10.99 seconds 
no. 10 on the 2000 world list
(wind-aided 10.91 seconds)

On 6 November Merlene was ranked 10th on the IAAF world rankings (100 metres)

1 December 2000: Fanclub birthday
It has now been a year since the founding of the Merlene Ottey Fanclub. Since 1 December 1999 we have welcomed more than 300 members to the club and we want more! So make everyone you know aware of the fanclub and this website (http://www.go.to/ottey). To join just e-mail us at otteyfanclub@hotmail.com. The fanclub membership is totally free and the Fanclub Members' List can be found here
        Scroll through this page to see what ups and downs we all have experienced together with Merlene during the last year. 

26 November 2000: Athletics Gala
The IAAF named Marion Jones female athlete of the year at the Athletics Gala in Monaco. Merlene Ottey was not among the 10 nominees for the award.

October 2000: New discussion forum for athletics fans
The IAAF has opened it's own discussion forum for athletics fans. You are able to make your voice heard in several different forums - so the Merlene Ottey Fanclub encourage you to go to the following address and contribute to our tribute to the greatest female athlete ever: 

http://www.iaaf.org/Community/index.html

20 October 2000: Official JAAA report
An interim report from the Sydney Olympic Management Team on the events that took place surrounding the selection for the women's 100 metres has been made available to the public. This preliminary and partial report is in response to two questions asked by the JAAA Executive:
1. How did the JAAA arrive at the decision to exclude Peta Gay Dowdie and include 
    Merlene Ottey in the 100 metres?
2. How was this decision communicated to the athletes?

Go to homeviewjamaica.com for the details.

13 October 2000: Merlene thanks her numerous fans for their greetings
Merlene has had the time to read most of the many encouraging and nice email greetings. She finds it great to know that there are so many fans from around the world appreciating her efforts and presence in track and field during the last 20 years.
        Merlene will spend the next three weeks in Italy, Monaco and Los Angeles where she will visit friends and relatives. She has no public appearances planned and has not yet made up her mind about running next season. 

9 October 2000: Merlene ranked 10th
After the Grand Prix Final in Doha (Qatar) on 5 October Merlene has moved down one place to number 10 on the IAAF world rankings (100 metres). In the women's overall standing Merlene is ranked 63rd - Marion Jones is ranked on top.

5 October 2000: Merlene enjoying Sydney
After a few days enjoying the city of Sydney, Merlene will go back to Slovenia. Here she will first of all try to recover from a long trip and then give herself some rest as the track and field season has come to an end. 

1 October 2000: Send greetings to Merlene
The Merlene Ottey Fanclub has established a special e-mail address for you to express support for Merlene and greet her on her last Olympic performance. Send your greetings to otteygreetings@hotmail.com. Please respect that this e-mail address is reserved only for greetings to Merlene. All other fan related mail (fanclub member sign-ups, questions and comments on the website etc.) is to be sent to otteyfanclub@hotmail.com.

30 September 2000: Silver medal for Merlene
In her last Olympic race Merlene managed to bring home a silver medal to Jamaica. McDonald handed Ottey the batton in second position behind the Bahamas and Ottey held on to the silver in spite of a strong finish by Marion Jones (USA), who's dream of a third Olympic gold medal was changed into yet another bronze medal (after the longjump yesterday). Had the Jamaican hand-overs functioned as well as that of the Bahamian girls the gold medal might be hanging around the neck of Merlene Ottey and the three other Jamaican girls. That was also the impression one would get after watching the victory ceremony, where the Jamaicans looked a bit disappointed with the silver medal - but satisfaction with the performance will surely come later - great job girls!
        After 20 years of Olympic competitions Merlene Ottey now alone holds the medal record for female athletes with 8 medals (3 silver and 5 bronze). What awaits Merlene Ottey now will be published shortly on this website - on the question of retirement she has not yet made up her mind.

4 x 100 metre result

Team (Lane) Team Members (running order) Time
1. Bahamas (5) Fynes, Sturrup, Davis-Thompson, Ferguson (+ Clarke) 41.95 sec.
2. Jamaica (3) Lawrence, V. Campbell, McDonald, Ottey (+ Frazer) 42.13 sec.
3. USA (6) Gaines, Edwards, Perry, Jones (+ Richardson) 42.20 sec.
4. France (4) Citte, Dia, Hurtis, Arron 42.42 sec.
5. Russia (8) Ignatova, Trandenkova, Kislova, Voronova 43.02 sec.
6. Germany (1) G. Rockmeier, Mulrain, Philipp, Wagner 43.11 sec.
7. Nigeria (7) Alozie, Ajudua, Nku, Onyali-Omagbemi 44.05 sec.
8. China (2) Xiujun, Xiaomei, Wangping, Xuemei 44.87 sec.

No individual splits has been available yet.

Olympic debate on Caribbean athletes at the Caribbean Track & Field Forum.

29 September 2000: Begin of the relay races
The Jamaican 4 x 100 metre team with Tanya Lawrence, Veronica Campbell, Beverly McDonald and Merlene Frazer impressed in both their races on Friday. They won their preliminary heat in 42.46 sec. and amazed with a time of 42.15 sec. in the second semifinal (fastest time in the world this season). This was by far the fastest time of all finalists - with France and Bahamas having equal second-best times of 42.42 sec. A mediocre US-team without Marion Jones only ran 42.82 sec. to finish a joined second with Nigeria in the first semifinal.
        Merlene Frazer will be replaced by Merlene Ottey on the anchor leg in the final on Saturday - this promises an even stronger finish by the Jamaican girls. The national record of 41.94 sec. and most importantly the Olympic gold medal is within reach!

28 September 2000: Announcing the Fanclub Competition Winner
Fanclub member no. 19, Clyde from Jamaica, has won the Olympic Fanclub Competition. He rightly guessed that Merlene would finish 4th in the 100 metre final and on the tiebreaker question he was the one who came closest to Merlene best Sydney time (11.08 sec.) by guessing she would run 10.96 sec. Clyde will receive a signed pair of Merlene Ottey's running spikes.

26 September 2000: Dowdie withdraws from relay team
According to reports today at homeviewjamaica.com Peta-Gaye Dowdie withdrew from the sprint relay squad yesterday, citing the lack of psychological preparation and the fact that she would not want to risk success to the team. Those training in the sprint relay squad now are Merlene Ottey, Merlene Frazer, Astia Walker, Veronica Campbell, Beverly McDonald and Tayna Lawrence.

24 September 2000: Hopes for a relay medal for Jamaica - Merlene's last Olympic race
A sad but understandable decision by Merlene Ottey made public on Saturday "I will run the relay and that will be my last race". Merlene said she would have a couple days rest, "which I really, really need, and then I will try for a medal in the relay. Tayna will be starting. She has a rocket start, and I think we can pick up a medal there. On paper, Jamaica, the United States and the Bahamas are the best teams", she opined.
        Lawrence stated after her bronze medal at the individual 100 metres: "I think we have a good chance of getting the gold in the relay. We have a good team and all we have to do is put our heads together, communicate well and get the stick around".
        Lawrence will be starting the relay and Ottey anchoring it. The two other girls on the team will probably be Beverly McDonald and Veronica Campell. Astia Walker might run the heats instead of Merlene Ottey.

23 September 2000: Merlene finished 4th in the Olympic 100 metre final
A 4th place in an Olympic sprint final is a great achievement. Considering her age (40), the stress she has been under fighting the IAAF and much more Merlene's 4th place in tonight's 100 metre final in Sydney is simply unique and will be never be repeated!!!
        Merlene herself said after the race: "One or two races are enough for me. Doing four rounds is definitely a killer. I tried. I was really going forward. I would have loved to have moved up one or two spots. It just didn't happen. But to finish fourth in the Olympics is a fantastic result considering everything. I missed one year of competition, and coming back here and running against these people, much faster than I am, for me it was a challenge. I did my very best". She continued "Two-and-a-half months ago, I didn't think I would race in these Olympics. I didn't think I would race again. So I was glad I had the opportunity to come back out here. At one point I thought 'Wow, to get into the final would be nearly impossible'".
        On her selection to run the 100 metres Ottey said "I'm sure by now they (her critics) realize they are wrong. It was the right selection. In the end, Jamaica saw the three best run". As for Marion Jones, Ottey said she is in a class by herself: "Unfortunately there's nobody to challenge her". "That (the 200 metres) will be a piece of cake for her too", Ottey said.

Read fanclub delegate Jocelyn's "Lifetime Experience at Stadium Australia" right here!

100 metre results

Name Final (wind:-0.4) Semifinals Quarterfinals Heats
1. Marion Jones (USA) 10.75 sec.  11.01 sec. (1s2) 10.83 sec. (1q2) 11.20 sec. (1h6)
2. Ekaterini Thanou (GRE) 11.12 sec.  11.10 sec. (2s2) 10.99 sec. (2q2) 11.10 sec. (1h5)
3. Tanya Lawrence (JAM) 11.18 sec.  11.12 sec. (3s2) 11.11 sec. (3q2) 11.14 sec. (2h10)
4. Merlene Ottey (JAM) 11.19 sec.  11.22 sec. (1s1) 11.08 sec. (1q1) 11.24 sec. (1h9)
5. Zhanna Pintusevich (UKR) 11.20 sec.  11.32 sec. (3s1) 11.08 sec. (1q3) 11.27 sec. (1h3)
6. Chandra Sturrup (BAH) 11.21 sec.  11.31 sec. (2s1) 11.22 sec. (3q3) 11.31 sec. (1h7)
7. Sevatheda Fynes (BAH) 11.22 sec.  11.16 sec. (4s2) 11.10 sec. (1q4) 11.18 sec. (1h1)
8. Debbie Ferguson (BAH) 11.29 sec.  11.34 sec. (4s1) 11.18 sec. (2q1) 11.10 sec. (1h8)

Report from the final: 
Lawrence was the first to react to the starter's gun. She was eventually passed by Jones and Thanou, but held on to third place (11.18 sec.) 0.01 sec. ahead of Ottey. Marion Jones cruised to victory in an impressive 10.75 sec. ahead of Ekaterini Thanou of Greece (11.12 sec.). The first to congratulate Lawrence was Ottey. "She came over, shook my hands and said good job", said the beaming Lawrence.

Sources: IAAF Website, Homeviewjamaica & Jamaica Gleaner.

22 September 2000: Two victories for Merlene Ottey
Merlene had a great beginning to her 6th Olympic Games by winning her preliminary heat in 11.24 sec. Her start was somewhat mediocre, but the last 50 metres was impressive and midway through the race she had the time to look around to see that she was a sure winner.
        In the quarterfinal she was up against three other medal contenders: Ferguson, Arron & Edwards. Merlene showed them her speed a finished 1/10 sec. ahead of Ferguson - Nku and Arron finished 3rd and 4th. Torri Edwards disappointed with a 5th place and is out.

Name Quarterfinals Wind reading Preliminary heats
1. Marion Jones 10.83 sec. (1q2) +1.0 11.20 sec. (1h6)
2. Ekaterini Thanou 10.99 sec. (2q2) +1.0 11.10 sec. (1h5)
3. Merlene Ottey 11.08 sec. (1q1) +0.3 11.24 sec. (1h9)
3. Zhanna Pintusevich 11.08 sec. (1q3) +0.3 11.27 sec. (1h3)
5. Sevatheda Fynes 11.10 sec. (1q4) +0.7 11.18 sec. (1h1)
6. Tanya Lawrence 11.11 sec. (3q2) +1.0 11.14 sec. (2h10)
7. Debbie Ferguson 11.18 sec. (2q1) +0.3 11.10 sec. (1h8)
8. Vida Nsiah 11.19 sec. (2q4) +0.7 11.18 sec. (3h10)
9. Chryste Gaines 11.21 sec. (2q3) +0.3 11.06 sec. (1h10)
10. Chandra Sturrup 11.22 sec. (3q3) +0.3 11.31 sec. (1h7)
11. M. Leonie Mani 11.23 sec. (3q4) +0.7 11.24 sec. (2h1)
11. S. Jayesinghe 11.23 sec. (4q4) +0.7 11.15 sec. (1h4)
13. M. Gainsford-Taylor 11.24 sec. (4q2) +1.0 11.34 sec. (4q2)
14. Mercy Nku 11.26 sec. (3q1) +0.3 11.41 sec. (2h7)
14. Christine Arron 11.26 sec. (4q1) +0.3 11.42 sec. (1h2)
14. Beverly McDonald 11.26 sec. (4q3) +0.3 11.36 sec. (2h3)

22 September 2000: Fanclub Competition Statistics
34 of the now 225 fanclub members have entered the Olympic Fanclub Competition and below you can see a statistic of their guesses - showing that 50% think Merlene will win a medal in Sydney. All entries can be seen here.

Merlene's 100 metre result Number of guesses 2000 photo of Merlene
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Semifinalist
Quarterfinalist
Preliminary heat
2
8
7
7
3
3
0
2
2
0
0

Average guess of Merlene's best 100 metre time = 10.916 sec.

Estimation of Merlene's Olympic chances: Click here!

21 September 2000: Interview with Merlene Ottey
The following is some quotes from Earl Bailey's interview with Merlene Ottey at Homeviewjamaica from Tuesday 19 September.

Merlene on her preparations despite the negatives that have surrounded her in the last days:
"I have been training well coming here, and I figure that if I can get this far it would take a truck or something to run over me to stop me now. God has helped me to get this far and I am just going out there to run. So far I have been able to stay focused, and when the race starts, I would just like to keep this mental energy high and keep the focus in the right place".

Merlene on what can be expected from her in Sydney:
"I have a lot of experience, but this is a challenge for me. For the first time I am going into a major championship with limited races, and I only had two months to prepare for such a big event. I started training at 100 percent after the national championships, so this will be a challenge also. I have no idea".

Merlene's message:
"I want to thank everybody that stood by me throughout the year and during the selection (process). I am going into these Olympics to do my utmost best. I hope it will be good enough so I will be able to get a medal somewhere along the line. I want to say a big thank you. But it is unfortunate that all these things have happened. With all the negatives, I hope that I can leave here with something positive for Jamaica to smile about once again".

20 September 2000: Peace restored in Jamaican camp
The Jamaica Gleaner reported today that all is calm in the Jamaican camp after the protest and disturbance surrounding the decision to name Merlene Ottey instead of Peta-Gaye Dowdie to represent Jamaica in the 100 metres. The protest led to a threat from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to throw Jamaica out of the Games if the athletes did not cease demonstrating and return immediately to their living quarters. Head of the delegation Don Anderson said the athletes who protested on Monday had given the undertaking they would perform "to the best of their abilities" when competition begins in track and field on Friday. 
        Merlene Ottey, who is living with the other athletes in the Olympic Village, said "I can handle this situation, the biggest fight is in the past - fighting the IAAF and its doping committee. That was fighting for my innocence and that was much harder. To be wrongfully accused, there is nothing on Earth that can compare. But, to come here and have all of this going on, I think is negative for Jamaica and its unfortunate that it happened". She added: "I am sure when the Games start we will forget about it and the athletes can focus on what they came here to do and that is to compete and to compete well for Jamaica".
        On the rules on how Merlene was selected for the 100 metres, Merlene stated: "The JAAA showed me a rule that you must come back in the shape that you ran in at the National Championships (then) you can go. So if Peta-Gaye Dowdie had run 11.2 definitely she would get on. They did apply this rule; nothing illegal was done. It (the new rule) was a bit of a surprise for me because usually you just have to come back (if you have qualified at nationals) and maintain fitness".

17 September 2000: Merlene named to run 100 metres
The Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), through manager Winston Ulett, today named Merlene Ottey to represent Jamaica in the 100 metres at the Olympic Games. 40-year old Merlene Ottey will be accompanied in the event by Beverly McDonald and Tayna Lawrence who finished second and third at the national championhips in July. Merlene Ottey will replace national champion Peta-Gay Dowdie, who has not retained the form that she showed in July, according to the JAAA. The announcement was made in a meeting of the entire management and athletes on Sunday morning (Sydney time), but the decision was taken at a management meeting involving 13 members on Saturday night.
        Sources in the Jamaican camp have said that many athletes were very upset with the announcement - though not blaming Merlene Ottey personally. Threats have been given not to run for Jamaica in the relays. More on this issue at Homeviewjamaica.
        Merlene has gotten a lot of unnecessary attention and stress on this issue, but she is well prepared to compete at the highest level when the 100 metres starts on Friday. "I am very happy to represent Jamaica in the 100 meters and the 4x100 relay and I am looking forward for some exciting competitions", Merlene said.
        In an interview for the IAAF Website Merlene was asked if Marion Jones isn't a sure thing for the Olympic 100 metres and said: "She's a very ambitious person, and she has dominated the sprints for several years. But she has to do four races like everybody else. I know she'll be tough to beat. But this is the Olympics, and you always have surprises. You never know".

10 September 2000: Merlene runs away at Runaway Bay
In a meeting 90 kilometres south of Brisbane, one breezy day before Olympic athletics entries close, Merlene Ottey showed the JAAA that she is more than ready to participate for Jamaica individually over 100 metres (she is already selected for the 4x100 metre team).
        Merlene Ottey speeded away to a wind-aided (+2.4 m/s) 10.91 sec. win more than three metres ahead of American Olympian Nanceen Perry's 11.24 sec. Earlier Ottey won an eased-up 100 metre heat in 11.16 sec three meters ahead of Australia's no.1 Lauren Hewitt. The temperatures were very similar to what can be expected in Sydney with a cool 17 degrees Celsius. 
        After the race Merlene said "now I just have to wait to see if Jamaica will let me run" and she added "I've represented Jamaica for 20 years and never before finished out of the top three in qualifying. In the past they have made room for others to prove their fitness and I was just hoping for the same treatment".
(Sources: Manager Daniel Zimmermann, IAAF Website and Homeview Jamaica)

Check the Caribbean T&F Forum for debate on Caribbean athletes and the Olympic Games.

6 September 2000: Merlene arrives in Australia
Merlene arrived in Brisbane on 6 September and is training together with her coach and a group of Slovenian athletes at Sunshine Coast University north of Brisbane. Merlene's coach Srdjan Djordjevic said that Merlene has good memories of Brisbane as it was here at the 1982 Commonwealth Games she won her first gold medal (200 metres). "She came back to Queensland to prepare for the Olympics because the climate is better than in Sydney and there is much less pressure here".
(Source: http://www.homeviewjamaica.com

4 September 2000: Launch of a new Fanclub Competition
For the Olympic Games we launch another fanclub competition - hoping that someone would get it right this time.

MAIN QUESTION:
How will Merlene do at the Olympic Games over 100 metres?
Will she reach the final (state her place no. 1-8), the semifinal, the quarterfinal or the preliminary heat?

TIEBREAKER QUESTION:
What will be Merlene's best 100 metre time during the Olympic Games?
(This question will only be used to decide a winner if more people answer the main question correct).

Send your competition entry to otteyfanclub@hotmail.com 
Entries no later than 21 Sepember as the 100 metres are scheduled to begin the day after.
All
entries to the competition will be posted here.

2 September 2000: Merlene is the fastest Jamaican
Merlene has stated that she "will be the fastest Jamaican around by the time the Olympics arrive" and that she therefore should be selected for the Jamaican 100 metre squad. With the 10.99 sec. race on Wednesday 30 August she is the fastest Jamaican this season. The only other Jamaican that have really showed good form recently is Tanya Lawrence as she ran a season and personal best (11.07 sec.) in Berlin. It seems that McDonald should concentrate on the 200 metres as her 100 metre races since the trials have been less impressive and Jamaican champion Dowdie has not shown anything at all!

Jamaican 100 metre Top 5 2000

Place & Name (Age) Season best (Date of race) Place & Time at the Trials
1. Merlene Ottey (40) 10.99 sec. (30 August) 4. 11.27 sec.
2. Tanya Lawrence (24) 11.07 sec. (1 September) PB 3. 11.21 sec.
3. Beverly McDonald (30) 11.11 sec. (21 July) 2. 11.20 sec.
4. Peta Gaye-Dowdie (23) 11.13 sec. (21 July) 1. 11.19 sec.
5. Veronica Campbell (18) 11.16 sec. (21 July) PB 5. 11.31 sec.

1 September 2000: No winner of the Summer Competition
No one guesed exactly the right time to the question: "What will be Merlene Ottey's best 100 metres time prior to the Olympic Games?". The correct answer was 10.99 seconds, which Merlene ran just prior to her departure for Australia in Thessaloniki (Greece) on 30 August.

30 August 2000: Merlene ran in 10.99 sec. in Thessaloniki
At an IAAF Permit Meeting in Thessaloniki (Greece) Merlene won the 100 metre race and set a new season best with a time of 10.99 sec. Merlene took two great scalps in winning ahead of Sevatheda Fynes (11.03 sec. SB) and Chryste Gaines (11.21 sec.).  

29 August 2000: Merlene ranked 14th
On today's brand new IAAF world ranking (women's 100 metres) Merlene moves up an amazing 7 places to number 14.

25 August 2000: Meeting Merlene in Brussels
I (Jakob Nielsen, Fanclub Administrator) travelled to Brussels to see Merlene Ottey in action and meet her after her 100 metre race. I will write an article on the subject that can be read here on the Merlene Ottey website shortly. 
        Before I found Merlene Ottey an outstanding athlete; now I can truly say that she is also an extraordinary and warm person.

25 August 2000: Merlene 6th in Brussels
Merlene Ottey finished 6th (11.18 sec.) at the Memorial van Damme Meeting in Brussels - part 6 of the IAAF Golden League Series. Merlene was very disappointed after the race and knew that she could have done much better, but the gun went off very fast and only the winner Marion Jones seemed really prepared for that - winning in 10.83 sec. more than two metres ahead of Sevatheda Fynes (11.08 sec.).

Place & Name (Lane) A-Final (wind: -1.3) B-Final (wind: )
1. Marion Jones (4) 10.83 sec. 1. M.L. Mani 11.22 sec.
2. Sevatheda Fynes (7) 11.08 sec. 2. L. Allen 11.27 sec.
3. Debbie Ferguson (3) 11.11 sec. 3. P. Pendareva 11.37 sec.
4. Tanya Lawrence (1) 11.15 sec. 4. sec.
5. Inger Miller (6) 11.17 sec. 5. sec.
6. Merlene Ottey (5) 11.18 sec. 6. sec.
7. Chryste Gaines (2) 11.20 sec 7. sec.
8. Pauline Davis (9) 11.22 sec. -
9. Beverly McDonald (8) 11.29 sec. -

News and results at: http://www.memorialvandamme.be.

23 August 2000: Confirmation of Thessaloniki race
Through Daniel Zimmermann it has today been confirmed that Merlene Ottey will run the 100 metres at a meet in Thessaloniki, Greece on Wednesday 30 August.

17 August 2000: Confirmation of Brussels race
Speaking with manager Daniel Zimmermann, he confirmed that Merlene will be running at the Golden League Meeting in Brussels next Friday, 25 August. Ottey continues to train in Ljubliana and will possibly run in one or two more international competitions later this month.

14 August 2000: Merlene runs 100 metres in 11.00 seconds
Merlene Ottey continues to improve on her times in preparation for the Olympic Games. As part of a regular training session she ran 11.00 seconds (wind +1.3) at a small meeting in Ljubliana, Slovenia. In a heat she ran 11.25 seconds.
        I
n an official press release from her manager Daniel Zimmermann after the meeting, Merlene Ottey stated: "After my good race in Zurich last Friday, I wanted to test my form and fitness at this small meeting here at my training base in Ljubliana. I am happy with my progress and I am looking forward to faster times against world class competition later this month and in Sydney." More on the race at Edo's Newsservice on Merlene Ottey.
     
In the fanclub competition four members have guessed a time of 11.00 sec. as Merlene's best prior to the Olympics. 

14 August 2000: The debate on Merlene's Olympic participation

The debate continues as Merlene Ottey has declared she will not compete at the Sydney Olympics unless she is entered in the 100 meters. "I know I will be the fastest Jamaican around by the time the Olympics arrive. If I can only run in the relays, I will not compete ... I will retire", said Merlene Ottey, who had planned to make the Olympics her swansong after a glittering career.
        Despite finishing fourth at the Jamaican trials, Ottey has been training for the 100 meters and is adamant that she will run the event. Earlier this season Jamaica's Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) officials have hinted they will enter the former double 200 meters champion, but it remains unclear who she would bump from the lineup.

        Ottey's bid to run the 100 metres at the Sydney Olympics will fail without problems befalling a qualified athlete and she will receive no special consideration from the JAAA. Adrian Wallace, president of the JAAA, said today that the former Jamaican sprint queen will not achieve her dream of running in Sydney unless a qualified athlete withdraws, is injured or does not maintain competitive shape. 
        The JAAA has an out with a judgement call rule about maintaining form, as outlined in a letter given to every Jamaican Olympic athletics qualifier. "The reason for this is that in previous years, athletes have come on run at national championship and have done reasonably well, but by time they reach a designated games or championship, indications show that their standards have fallen off significantly," Wallace said. "But we have pretty much have a month to wait on see what happens, if anything." 

After finishing fourth in the 100 meter B-final in Zürich on August 11 Jamaican 200 meter champion Beverly McDonald stated: "I wish I could have run faster but it was only my second race since the Jamaican trials so it is o.k. I want to make it clear I never said I will give my place for Sydney over 100 meters to Merlene Ottey. It is my final decision that I want to run also the 100 meters at the Olympic Games."
   
     Entries for this years Olympics close 11 September but the final confirmation of 100 meters competitors will not come until 20 September.

The article has been written using various sources on the internet (IAAF, Sportserver, Weltklasse). Follow the debate at the Caribbean Track & Field Forum.

12 August 2000: Ottey slams inconsistency of IAAF
Article from http://www.sportserver.com
Jamaican sprinting legend Merlene Ottey slammed world athletics' governing body on Friday, saying it didn't even know its own rules. The 40-year-old, the most decorated athlete of her era, was upset that she had to suffer the indignity of having to go all the way to the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) arbitration commission after testing positive for nandrolone last year.
        Ottey, whose glittering career amazingly stretches back to the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was angered that while she was cleared by that body on the basis of there not being enough proof, high jump world record holder Javier Sotomayor saw his ban reduced from two years to one for taking cocaine. She hit out at the inconsistency which saw IAAF president Lamine Diack criticize her reprieve but then colluding with his fellow directors on the IAAF Council in pardoning Sotomayor.
        "I am very disappointed by the IAAF as they don't seem to know their own rules," she fumed. "They don't even seem to know them themselves and are constantly changing them and then apparently don't realize they have." "In any case their rules are very inconsistent and confusing and have really hurt me and me alone."
   
     Ottey, who finished a highly creditable third here behind Marion Jones and Inger Miller in the 100 metres at Zürich, said that because of the IAAF she would go into the Olympics having had barely any race practice and had only been training at around 60 percent. "I wasn't able to get many invites to meetings because, of course, by the time I was cleared they had already booked their athletes," she said. 

11 August 2000: Weltklasse Golden League Meeting
Not having the best of lanes (lane 1) Merlene got a good start and finished an amazing third in the Weltklasse 100 metre final at Letzigrund in Zürich. The race really boosted optimism before the Olympics - except the not present Ekaterini Thanou, Merlene finished ahead of all the girls she also need to beat to get a record-breaking 8th Olympic medal in Sydney in five weeks. Running into a strong headwind of 1.2 mps, Merlene ran her seasons best with a time of 11.06 seconds - only 1/10 of a second behind Marion Jones and Inger Miller. Had the race been with a following wind, Merlene would have produced a time way under 11 seconds.

In the fanclub competition five people have guessed that Merlene Ottey would produce a time of 11.06 seconds prior to the Olympics. 

More news and results at the Weltklasse Web Site, the IAAF Web Site or sportserver.com

Place & Name (Lane) A-Final (wind: -1.2) B-Final (wind: 0.1)
1. Marion Jones (4) 10.95 sec. (one false start) 1. D. Ferguson 11.03 sec.
2. Inger Miller (5) 10.96 sec. 2. T. Edwards 11.07 sec.
3. Merlene Ottey (1) 11.06 sec. 3. M.L. Mani 11.11 sec.
4. Zhanna Pintusevich (3) 11.11 sec. 4. B. McDonald 11.14 sec.
5. Christine Arron (2) 11.16 sec. 5. A. Phillipp 11.37 sec.
6. Sevatheda Fynes (8) 11.18 sec. 6. M. Donders 11.56 sec.
7. Chandra Sturrup (6) 11.21 sec. 7. M. Feusi 11.69 sec.
8. Chryste Gaines (7) 11.32 sec 8. N. Riesen 11.96 sec.

Report from CBS Sportsline:
Marion Jones, who is aiming for a record five gold medals at Sydney, eked out two victories. She edged Inger Miller in the women's 100 by 0.01 seconds, then beat a strong field in the long jump by only half an inch. Jones, who posted the fastest time of the season with 10.78 at London last weekend, was timed at 10.95 to Miller's 10.96. Merlene Ottey, competing in her first major international meet since being cleared of drug charges last month, showed the hiatus had not overly affected her form, finishing third at 11.06.
        Jones had looked unbeatable until now. Miller's close second changed that. "I was lucky to win", said Jones, who also won here last year. "It was a little harder after the false start, but I put it back together. Neither part was the best". Jones and Zhanna Pintusevich of Ukraine are tied with two Golden League wins each this season.
        Ottey, who has a record seven Olympic medals, was satisfied by her third-place finish. "I put a lot of pressure on myself", said Ottey, who tested positive for nandrolone last year and subsequently pulled out of the World Championships. "I knew I had to run well". Ottey, 40, made her first return to the track two weeks ago, winning the 100 in a modest 11.42 at a low-key meet in Nuoro, Sardinia.
(AP NEWS: The Associated Press News Service)

6 August 2000: Merlene to compete in Zürich on Friday 11 August
Today it has been confirmed by manager Daniel Zimmermann that Merlene Ottey in preparation for her sixth Olympic Games in Sydney will compete in the 100 meters at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich (Switzerland) on Friday 11 August.
        Merlene said: "I am very happy to return to the most prestigious meet on the Grand Prix circuit and test my fitness after an intense three week training period.  I am looking forward to run against the best in the world at the Letzigrund stadium and would like to thank Res Bruegger and his crew for welcoming me there.  It will be a great thrill to say goodbye to all my Swiss fans that have supported me during the last two decades".

27 July 2000: Merlene training in Slovenia
Merlene has returned from Jamaica and is now training in Slovenia until she will start competing in August's Grand Prix meetings.

25 July 2000: Merlene going to Sydney
On today's official list of Jamaican athletes going to Sydney you could also find Merlene Ottey - though it is still uncertain if she is going to compete in the 100 metres, but she is part of the Jamaican 4 x 100 metre team.

24 July 2000: Result at other national Olympic Trials - 100 metres

USA 15 July (wind -1.0) Bahamas 21 July (wind 1.1) Russia 23 July (wind 0.9)
1. Marion Jones 10.88 sec.
2. Inger Miller 11.05 sec.
3. Chryste Gaines 11.13 sec.
4. Torri Edwards 11.15 sec.
5. Gail Devers 11.15 sec.
1. Chandra Sturrup 10.86 sec.
2. Debbie Ferguson 10.96 sec.
3. Pauline Davis 10.97 sec.
4. Sevatheda Fynes 11.01 sec.
5. Eldece Clarke 11.11 sec.
1. Natalya Ignatova 11.12 sec.
2. Marina Trandenkova 11.17 sec.
3. Natalia Voronova 11.17 sec.
4. Oksana Dyachenko-Ekk 11.?? s.
5. Irina Khabarova 11.32 sec.

22 July 2000: Jamaican Olympic Trials - day 3
On the last day of the trials Beverly McDonald won the 200 metres final and qualified herself for the Olympics over this her favourite distance too. This makes it most likely that Merlene Ottey will take Beverly's place in the 100 metres - IN OTHER WORDS MERLENE OTTEY WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE IN AN INDIVIDUAL EVENT FOR A 6th OLYMPIC GAMES IN A ROW.

Place & Name 200 metre final (wind -2.0) 200 metre semifinals
1. Beverly McDonald 22.70 sec. Qualified Sydney 23.38 (1s1) (wind: -3.7)
2. Juliet Campbell  22.86 sec. Qualified Sydney 23.91 (3s1) (wind: -3.7)
3. Astia Walker 22.96 sec. Qualified Sydney 23.26 (1s2) (wind: -1.5)

4. Merlene Frazer 

23.05 sec. 23.28 (2s2) (wind: -1.5)
5. Peta-Gaye Dowdie  23.19 sec. 23.81 (2s1) (wind: -3.7)
6 Aileen Bailey 23.45 sec.  23.50 (3s2) (wind: -1.5)
7. Cydonie Mothersill 24.21 sec. 23.56 (4s2) (wind: -1.5)

8. Maria Brown

24.57 sec. 24.94 (4s1) (wind: -3.7)

Want to know more go to: Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association Website 1 or Website 2.

Click to see photos and full results from the Trials. More photos.

21 July 2000: Jamaican Olympic Trials - day 2
Merlene Ottey finished 4th in the 100 metre final at the Jamaican Trials. Normally only the first three qualify (though the final decision is made by the coaches and the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), but Merlene may still have the chance to run the 100 metres in Sydney because Beverly McDonald has indicated that she has a preference for the 200 metres and may decide only to run this distance at the Olympic Games. This opens up a place on the team for Merlene. Follow how this story develops at the Caribbean Track & Field Forum.
Anyway Merlene is a sure selection for the Jamaican relay team (4 x 100 metres).

Merlene Ottey stated after the final: "I am very proud with what I have achieved in these two days. It was just for me one race too many with such a short training but I would have prepared better with a couple weeks more training and I would have finished better" (quoted from Caribbean Track & Field Forum).

Click to see photos and full results from the Trials. 

Place & Name 100 metre final (wind -0.1) 100 metre semifinals
1. Peta-Gaye Dowdie  11.19 sec. Qualified Sydney 11.13 sec. (1s2) SB
2. Beverly McDonald 11.20 sec. Qualified Sydney 11.11 sec. (1s1) SB
3. Tanya Lawrence 11.21 sec. Qualified Sydney 11.34 sec. (4s1)
4. Merlene Ottey 11.27 sec.  11.15 sec. (2s1)
5. Veronica Campbell  11.31 sec. 11.16 sec. (2s2) PB
6. Astia Walker 11.35 sec. 11.33 sec. (3s1) SB

7. Merlene Frazer 

11.51 sec. 11.43 sec. (4s2)

8. Elva Goulbourne

11.56 sec. 11.42 sec. (3s2)

Note: Placings at the trials, especially for the sprints, do not mean that much. Top 6 in the 100 metres make the team (for relay purposes) and the individual entrants are seleced by the coaches closer to the Games themselves. The decision is made according to assessed form level and health status.

20 July 2000: Jamaican Olympic Trials - day 1
Merlene won her 100 metre heat on the first day of the Jamaican Olympic Trials and qualified for the semifinal with a time of 11.09 (season best). She had a slow start but made up ground on second-placed Tanya Lawrence before easing up at the line for the win. "With thirty meters to go I was in a daze, but I got going and it was easy after that'', Merlene said after the race. Regarding her form, Merlene was optimistic: "My shape is not so good. Today (Thursday) my biggest problem was the starting blocks. But I can get back to running 11.00 seconds in about six weeks".
Go to the Caribbean Track & Field Forum to learn more about the Trials.

Heat 1 (wind 1.1) Heat 2 (wind -0.5) Heat 3 (wind 0.3)
1. Merlene Ottey               11.09 SB
2. Tanya Lawrence           11.18
3. Astia Walker                 11.34 SB
4. Cydonie Mothersill      11.59
5. Donnette Brown           12.02
6  Shereefa Lloyd              12.23
1. Veronica Campbell        11.30 
2. Merlene Frazer               11.46
3. Aleen Bailey                  11.52
4. Nadine Palmer               11.65
5. Gillian Russell                11.69
6. Latoyia Hinds                12.24
1. Peta Gaye Dowdie          11.21
2. Beverly McDonald         11.23 SB
3. Elva Goulbourne             11.30 PB
4. Maria Brown                    11.85
5. Stacian Brown                 11.87
- Ameerah Bello                  No Time

Click to see photos and full results from the Trials. 

16 July 2000: Merlene back in Jamaica
Merlene has travelled back home to Jamaica to participate in the 100 metres at the national Olympic Trials in Kingston. Among the participating 23 women sprinters Merlene's fiercest competitors for the three places on the Jamaican team at the Olympic Games in Sydney will be Tanya Lawrence (fastest Jamaican so far this season with 11.13 sec.), Veronica Campbell (11.18 sec.), Peta-Gaye Dowdie (11.20 sec.), Beverly McDonald (11.25 sec.) and Merlene Frazer (11.42 sec.). These girls will together with Merlene Ottey be a strong challenge to the American girls' reign in the Olympic short relay (4 x 100 metres).
Go to the Caribbean Track & Field Forum to learn more.

15 July 2000: Fanclub Competition
After the acquittal of Merlene it is time to announce a new fanclub competition. The question is:

"What will be Merlene Ottey's best 100 metres time prior to the Olympic Games?"

Send your guess to otteyfanclub@hotmail.com (eventually also with your home address). Entries please before 20 July 2000. For new fans of Merlene Ottey this is a great chance to join the fanclub.
The winner of the fanclub competition will be announced just prior to the Olympic Games and will receive a signed pair of Merlene's running spikes.

12 July 2000: Merlene Ottey making comeback in Italy
After a lot of stress due to the now finished IAAF arbitration Merlene Ottey finally made her comeback to the track and field scene. It happened in Nuoro on Sardegna in Italy where she ran the 100 metres in 11.42 sec. The time was a world age record for women at the age of 40.
After the race, which was run in a cold 13 degrees celsius, Merlene Ottey stated: "I was looking forward to run in good conditions but unfortunately the weather was simply terrible.  However, for me the most important thing was to run and feel the excitement of competition.  I am pleased to be back on the track and confident that I will improve in every race and be at the top of my form for the Olympics".

10 July 2000: Documentation for the acquittal of Merlene Ottey
Go to the newsindex at IAAF Webpage to see the documentation from the Arbitration Panel. One of the fanclub members send us an article on the nandrolone case - read it here.

7 July 2000: People joining the Merlene Ottey Fanclub in great numbers
During the last couple of weeks several people have joined the Merlene Ottey Fanclub. We thank you all for your support. Fanclub members - old and new - can be seen at: 

http://www.angelfire.com/ri/filmklub/ottey/jmno_fanlist.htm

5 July 2000: Merlene's press conference after the acquittal
After her acquittal Merlene Ottey held a press conference at Grand Hotel Union in Ljubliana, Slovenia. Joining Merlene Ottey was also her manager Daniel Zimmermann and her coach Sryidian Djordevic. Get all the information from Merlene's press conference at this web address: http://sport.si21.com/atletika/ottey.

Furthermore we can tell you that Merlene is planning to participate in a live chat - keep yourself informed of the event at http://sport.si21.com/atletika/ottey 

3 July 2000: Merlene Ottey acquitted of all doping charges
Tonight at around 10 p.m. the Fanclub received the wonderful message from Merlene's manager Daniel Zimmermann that the IAAF Arbitration Panel had decided to acquit Merlene Ottey of all doping charges (quote: "there were not the grounds to maintain her suspension from competition"). The IAAF said in a statement that the aribitraton panel "considered that the testing laboratory had not taken into sufficient account factors regarding the specific gravity of the sample which as a result did not exceed the IOC recommended reporting threshold".

Below you will find a copy of the official press statement released by manager Daniel Zimmermann on Monday night.

Press Statement
Merlene Ottey acquitted by the IAAF Arbitration Panel

The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) Arbitration Panel consisting of chairman Prof. Christoph Vedder from Germany, Judge Kevin Murphy from the United States and Monty Hacker from South Africa found Ms. Merlene Ottey not guilty of a doping offense and dismissed all charges against her.

Ms. Ottey is eligible to compete worldwide with immediate effect and all her results from 1999 and 2000 become official.

This decision confirms an earlier decision made on November 13, 1999 by an independent Jamaican Tribunal appointed by the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Federation (JAAA).

Merlene Ottey:

"I am very relieved and happy about this ruling. It confirms my innocence once again. It has been a difficult and emotionally draining time for me. However, I have been training well in preparation for the Olympic Games in Sydney and I am looking forward to my first competition. I would like to thank my defense team and all the people around the world and at home in Jamaica who have supported me during this difficult time."

Merlene Ottey will hold a press conference on Wednesday, July 5, 2000 at 4 pm at the Grand Hotel Union in Ljubliana, Slovenia. A video tape recording of this press conference will be available by 7 pm on the World Wide Web at:

http://sport.si21.com/atletika/ottey

Questions via email can be addressed to: merleneotteypressconference@yahoo.com

For further information you can contact via email or phone:

Daniel Zimmermann

Phone: + 41 1 715 2930

Mobile: + 41 79 400 5700

Email:     danielpzimmermann@yahoo.com

16-17 June 2000: Arbitration hearing
Over these two days a three-member panel chaired by Germany's Christoph Vedder heard Merlene Ottey's nandrolone doping case at the IAAF Headquarters in Monaco. It was the first arbitration hearing involving nandrolone for a track and field athlete and Merlene Ottey attended the entire  hearing. "The debate (in the hearing) focused on some scientific data, the ability of the body to produce nandrolone and some legal arguments", IAAF spokesman Giorgio Reineri said after the closed-door hearing.
The IAAF arbitration panel decision is ecpected within the next two weeks. Soon after the publication of the panel's decision you can read all about it here on the Merlene Ottey Tribute Page.
For now we all just can be hopeful that justice will prevail and that Merlene will be acquitted of all charges.

9 June 2000: Date set for Merlene's arbitration hearing (Fanclub Newsletter VIII)
Today it was finally officially confirmed by IAAF secretary general Istvan Gyulai that the doping case against Merlene Ottey will be heard by the International Amateur Athletic Federation's (IAAF) arbitration panel next Thursday and Friday (15-16 June) at the IAAF headquarters in Monaco. Merlene Ottey herself is expected to attend the hearing.
Read more about it under the Track & Field section at http://www.sportserver.com 

3 June 2000: Photos of Merlene training
Go to http://sport.si21.com/atletika to see the photos of Merlene training today with her Slovenian coach Sryidian Djordevic in Ljubliana (Slovenia). The photos have been taken by fanclub member Edo Bogataj.

June 2000: "Latest News on Merlene Ottey" moves to new location for the summer
During the summer the latest news on Merlene Ottey can be found at this new web site: 

http://www.angelfire.com/ri/filmklub/ottey/otteylatest.htm

31 May 2000: Fanclub Newsletter VII
Read about Merlene's birthday, the results of "Project Boost Membership" and Merlene's continued training in Slovenia - with news in Slovene to be found at: http://sport.si21.com/atletika
To get the news by e-mail, join the fanclub by sending an e-mail to otteyfanclub@hotmail.com.

10 May 2000

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MERLENE OTTEY

8 May 2000: Fanclub Newsletter VI
Newsletter sent to the fanclub members with news on Merlene's latest appearances, her training schedule and a new site added to the Merlene Ottey Tribute Page.

3 May 2000: Merlene Ottey interviewed on BBC One
Merlene Ottey was one of three guests on the BBC One TV show "Onside" and among other things she talked about her preparations for Sydney: "I am going to keep on training and hoping I will have the opportunity to be in Sydney". "I have decided that this year will be my last year and hopefully I will get the chance to have this dream come true to run in Sydney and then retire".
On the fact that IAAF has not yet set a date for the hearing of her case at the IAAF Arbitration Panel, Merlene stated: "I think if they really want to hurt me they could wait until the (Olympic) 100 metres is finished. But they could give me a date as early as next week. I am hoping I will get one soon and my attorney is pushing for an early date".
Different Merlene Ottey quotes can always be found here.

29-30 April 2000: Merlene celebrated at University of Nebraska
Merlene Ottey returned to University of Nebraska in Lincoln (USA) to be honored during Nebraska's Women of Distinction banquet at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Ottey was named the most valuable female athlete of all time running for the Husker track and field team. The connection between Merlene Ottey and the banquet organisers was established earlier this year through the Merlene Ottey Fanclub. 
Read the article on the banquet from Lincoln Journal Star.

 

News from earlier this year can be read at this page:

http://www.hum.auc.dk/~kmni97/jmno-latest.htm

 

Search for News on Merlene Ottey at the IAAF Homepage

      Full Text

___

Back to Merlene Ottey Tribute Page