Jamaican former track and field sprint legend Merlene Ottey is set to receive Jamaica’s fourth highest honour at the National Heroes Day Awards ceremony in October.
For her contributions to track and field, Ottey will be honoured with the Order of Jamaica. She will now be given the official title of Honourable Merlene Ottey.
The 60-year-old, who represented Jamaica from 1978 to 2000 before switching to Slovenia, is described as the “Bronze Queen.”
The winner of nine Olympic medals for Jamaica, among them six bronze, she also won 14 World Championships medals, among them back-to-back 200m titles in Stuttgart 1993 and Gothenburg 1995.
Ottey had the longest career as a top-level international sprinter appearing at the Pan Am games in 1979 as a 19-year-old fresh from U20 and Junior competitions and concluding her career at age 52 when she anchored the Slovene 4x100m relay team at the 2012 European Championships.
She is the 7th ranked 100m sprinter with 10.74, and 4th ranked for 200m with 21.64. Ottey is the current world indoor record holder for 200m at 21.87 seconds, set in 1993. She is fourth-ranked on the all-time 60m list.
Ottey was named Ambassador of Jamaica after her gold medal win in the 1993 world championships.
She has also been named Jamaican Sportswoman of the year 13 times between 1979 and 1995.