Ottey fails in Olympic bid
Jamaican sprinting legend Merlene Ottey failed in her last attempt to make a record eighth Olympic Games.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 22/07/08 8:16pm
Jamaican sprinting legend Merlene Ottey failed in her last remaining attempt to make the Olympics for an eighth time in Beijing as she failed to make the 100m qualifying time in Slovenia.
Ottey was bidding to become the first athlete to compete in the Olympic Games eight times, but she failed to run fast enough in a meeting in Slovenia.
48-year-old Ottey, who now represents Slovenia, finished second at the meeting in Maribor and just missed out on making the Games by the narrowest of margins.
"Conditions were bad, she had wind in her chest and she missed the qualifying time by 28 hundredths of a second," said Robert Rudelic of the Athletic Club Poljane which organised the meeting.
Ottey has been at every Olympics since 1980 in Moscow, and has nine medals in total - more than any other woman in track and field history.
After taking part in six Olympics for Jamaica, Ottey competed at the Athens Games in 2004 for her adopted country of Slovenia, where she became a citizen in 2002.
Ottey also won two World Championship titles and 14 medals overall, and became the oldest Olympic medallist in athletics history when winning a silver as part of the Jamaican relay team in Sydney.
Ottey also now has an Olympic bronze from 2000 in the 100m after Marion Jones returned her medals after admitting to taking steroids.
An Olympic gold has always evaded Ottey though, with a record six bronzes in her trophy cabinet, the first won on her Olympic debut in Moscow 28 years ago.
Her Slovenian coach Srdjan Djordjevic insists that Ottey will stay in training and look to take part in big athletic events across the globe.