Don Quarrie

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Don Quarrie
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  Jamaica
Olympic Games
Gold 1976 Montreal 200 metres
Silver 1976 Montreal 100 metres
Silver 1984 Los Angeles 4x100 m relay
Bronze 1980 Moscow 200 metres
Pan American Games
Gold 1971 Cali 100 metres
Gold 1971 Cali 200 metres
Gold 1971 Cali 4 x 100 metres
Commonwealth Games
Gold 1970 Edinburgh 100 metres
Gold 1970 Edinburgh 200 metres
Gold 1970 Edinburgh 4 x 100 metres
Gold 1974 Christchurch 100 metres
Gold 1974 Christchurch 200 metres
Gold 1978 Edmonton 100 metres

Donald O'Riley Quarrie CD (born 25 February 1951) is a former Jamaican track and field athlete, one of the world's top sprinters during the 1970s. At the 1976 Summer Olympics he was the gold medallist in the Olympic 200 metres and silver medallist in the Olympic 100 metres. In all, he competed in five Olympic Games and won four Olympic medals during his career.

He equalled the 200 metres world record in 1971 and equalled the 100 metres world record in 1976. He has lifetime bests of 10.07 seconds and 19.86 seconds for the events.

He completed 100 metres/200 metres sprint doubles at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, 1971 Pan American Games, and 1974 Commonwealth Games. He was the first person to defend either the 100 m or 200 m title at the Commonwealth Games and a 100 m win at the 1978 Commonwealth Games makes him the only person to have won that title three times. He won nine gold medals in the sprints at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Athletics from 1971 to 1981.

He has received recognition both on and off the field. He was a five-time winner at the Jamaican Sportsperson of the Year and a statue of him is positioned at the entrance to Jamaica's National Stadium. There is also a school (Donald Quarrie High School) that bears his name in Eastern Kingston. Reggae artists have paid respect to his achievements with songs including "Tribute to Donald Quarrie", one by Joe Gibbs and The Guerillas and one by Bongo Herman.

Active career[edit]

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Quarrie made the Jamaican 100 m team for the 1968 Summer Olympics as a 17-year-old, but he injured himself in training, and couldn't take part. He moved to the United States and attended the University of Southern California, graduating with a degree in Business and Public Administration.[1][2] There, his sprinting capabilities gradually increased. At the 1970 Commonwealth Games, Quarrie won the gold medal in both the 100 and 200 m, surprising his more experienced competitors. Anchoring the Jamaican 4 x 100 m relay team, he pocketed a third Commonwealth title.

Quarrie repeated his sprint double the following year, at the Pan American Games in Cali and his time in the 200 meters was a hand-timed 19.8. One of the favourites for the upcoming Munich Olympics, Quarrie again suffered from injuries at the Olympic Games. He did compete in the 200 m, but had to abandon his 200 m semi-final after pulling a muscle.

In 1974, Quarrie repeated his 1970 performance by grabbing the 100 and 200 m titles at the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, becoming the first athlete to retain the title in either event. The next season, he again tied the 200 m world record, 19.8. He also tied the 100 m record with a hand-timed mark (9.9) in 1976 at the California Relays at Modesto Junior College,[3] one of only a few athletes to have held these records simultaneously. This time was actually 10.07 seconds.

In 1976 after winning the AAA's 100/200 titles, Quarrie could finally compete at the Olympics without injuries. He first made the 100 m final, which he led until overtaken by Trinidadian Hasely Crawford. In the 200 m, Quarrie led the pack coming out of the turn, and held off all challenges to take the title in 20.22.

At the 1978 Commonwealth Games, he won his third consecutive 100 m title, but was eliminated in the 200 m after a cramp attack. Quarrie's fourth Olympics, in Moscow saw him being eliminated in the 100 m semi-finals. His title defense also failed in the 200m, but he did make the final, and finished third, adding a bronze medal to his collection.

By 1984, Quarrie was no longer among the world's best in the individual sprint events, and it was therefore no surprise he was eliminated in the heats of the 200 m event at the Los Angeles Olympics. However, he won a fourth Olympic medal with the Jamaican relay team, which finished second behind the United States.

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References[edit]

External links[edit]


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Paul Nash
Lawrence Rowe
Jamaica Sportsman of the Year
19701971
19751977
Succeeded by
Lawrence Rowe
Mike McCallum
Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Carlos
Steve Williams
Men's 200 m world leading performance
1971
19741975
Succeeded by
Valeriy Borzov
Millard Hampton