News24 Nov 2003

Deon Hemmings announces retirement


Deon Hemmings of Jamaica (© Getty Images)

Kingston, JamaicaDeon Hemmings who won the 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medal for the women’s 400m Hurdles to become Jamaica’s first female Olympic champion has announced her retirement, after persistent injury in the last few years.

”I've been struggling since the latter part of 2000 and still haven't fully recovered. It's time for me to retire,” she confirmed on Saturday, said Agency reports.

Hemmings also took the World Championships bronze medal in both 1995 (Gothenburg) and 1999 (Seville) and the silver in 1997 (Athens), and made a gallant defence of her Olympic title in 2000 when coming second to Russia’s Irina Privalova.

35 year-old Hemmings, made her Jamaican debut at the Pan American Games (silver) and the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1991 (gold), and competed for Jamaica at three Olympics and four World Championships.

She was also a very useful member of the national relay side taking 4x400m medals at the 2000 Olympics (silver), and the 1997 World Championships (bronze). As a reserve runner she took gold at the distance in the 2001 Worlds having run in the first round, and was a member of the team which took the 1993 World Indoor Relay title, on that occasion running the final race.