Merlene Ottey will be competing in the 2007 Osaka World Champs! At the age of 46,
Merlene will set a record for the oldest elite competitor at at World Championships. She is breaking the record of Joyce Smith, who was 43 when she competed in a World Champs. The most amazing thing about Merlene-she competed in the first World Champs in 1983!
Merlene Ottey is one of the most bemedaled sprinters in athletics history. Ottey is now the toast of Slovenia and she will be on the way to Osaka in the next few days! Ottey shows that the normal rules on aging are changing, as she competes at an age when most former athletes are competing in master’s competitions. In 2007, Merlene has run 11.34!
In the article by Bob Ramsak for Track Profile, http://www.american-trackandfield.com/news/trackprofilereportAug07ottey.htmlit is evident that Ottey’s rounds in Osaka will be setting history!
There have been grand old men and women of our sport. In the 1970’s, it was the late Kiwi Jack Foster, who ran a 2:11.03 at the 1974 Commonwealth Games, a record not broken until the late 1990’s by New Zealander John Campbell.
Eamonn Coglan broke four minutes for the mile indoor at the age of 40. This year, Jim Sorenson has run 4:04.98 for the mile and 1:50.82 for the 800 meters, new American masters records and world masters records at the age of 40.
Merlene is six years older and she is still running the sprints! In Slovenia, she is a rock star, and next week in Osaka, she will be one of the stories that could catch millions of sports fans’ eyes around the world!