At age 20, Merlene Ottey won her first Olympic medal for Jamaica at the 1980 Moscow Games. Now, 30 years later, nicknamed ‘The Queen of the Track’ and running for the Slovenian 4x100 metres relay team, Ottey became the oldest woman ever to compete in a major athletics championship at the age of 50.
With the crowd going wild, she crossed the finishing line last but one, having raced down the home straight upon which she had won an Olympic bronze medal 18 years earlier.
Throughout her distinguished career on the track, Ottey has held many records. She was the first woman to run 60 metres in under seven seconds and the first to run the 200 metres under 22 seconds.
Reflecting on competing at international level at the age of 50, Ottey says: “It was right up there with all the medals I have won. It never crossed my mind at 40 that I would still be running now. I thought I’d be retired. But, at the moment, I don’t see an end.”