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Ottey still breaking records at 46

14 August 2006

Merlene Ottey Merlene Ottey
By Gary Smith

Even at age 46, legendary sprinter Merlene Ottey is still buzzing as she entered the record books again when she sped to victory in the women's 100-metres at the Sunday Mail Scottish Athletics Championships in Glasgow Saturday.

Ottey, who only failed by three hundredth of a second to make it into the women's dash finals at the European Athletics Championships last week, clocked an impressive 11.34 seconds to take the victory 72 hours after her impressive debut outing at the Euro Champs. Her time lowered her own world best mark for the age group.

"It's my first time here, I think," Ottey said. "I was competing somewhere and a Scottish athlete asked me: 'Why don't you come to Scotland?' I thought, why not? That is why I thought I would give it a go. The idea appealed to me."

"There was a lot of pressure to win here. I like to give 100%. Put maximum effort into it. That's my third title of the year, I've won in Jamaica, Slovenia and now Scotland," she added.

The Jamaican-born sprinter, who now competes for Slovenia, improved her seasonal best from 11.41, also achieved in Gothenburg and she's looking forward to running in her next race, in which again she's hoping for another good performance.

She skipped the 200-metre dash in Gothenburg because of what she described as lack of preparation fitness, but her run in Glasgow suggested that she's still on the verge of another remarkable achievement in a sport in which she has earned the respect of many of her fellow competitors regardless of age group differences.

Ottey, a legend of eight Olympic medals, steps on the track again at Thursday's Celtic Cup international at Grangemouth.

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