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Ottey misses out on eighth Games

22 July 2008
bbc.co.uk

Merlene Ottey has failed in her final attempt to achieve the 100m qualifying time that would have taken her to an unprecedented eighth Olympic Games.

The Jamaican-born sprinter, 48, who now competes for Slovenia, missed out on the mark needed by just 0.28 seconds.

Ottey has taken part in every Olympics since Moscow 1980, and her tally of nine medals is more than any other woman in track and field.

She ran for Slovenia at Athens 2004 after six Olympics in Jamaican colours.

Her Slovenian coach Srdjan Djordjevic said Ottey was determined not to give up trying to compete at the highest level.

"She will still train simply because she can still run very fast," he said.

Ottey, who became a Slovenian citizen in 2002, has also won 14 world championship medals, including two titles.

At the 2000 Olympics, she won a relay silver for Jamaica to become the oldest female track and field Olympic medallist.

She also has a 100m bronze from the same Games after her US rival Marion Jones last year admitted taking steroids and returned all her medals from the Sydney Games.

Ottey won her first medal - one of a record six bronzes - in Moscow 28 years ago. She never won an Olympic gold.



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