She had her first major successes with the Bahamian 4×100 metres relay team, winning gold at the Pan American Games and World Championships in Athletics in 1999, and taking another gold at the Olympic Games the following year. She won her first individual gold medal at the 2001 World Championships – having initially won silver, gold medallist Marion Jones was later disqualified.
The 2002 season was a career high for Ferguson-McKenzie: she won five gold medals, with victories at the IAAF World Cup and Grand Prix Final, and a 100 m, 200 m and relay gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Her performance in the 100 m remains a personal best, and her time in the 200 m was a commonwealth games record and fastest by any athlete that year. She won her only individual Olympic medal in 2004, taking bronze in the 200 m. Injury ruled her out for the whole of 2005. She failed to reach the finals at the 2007 World Championships, unable to compete with the new generation of American and Jamaican sprinters. However, she managed to reach the 100 and 200 metres finals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
She was the previous 200 m national record holder with a best of 22.19 seconds. Her record was broken by Shaunae Miller-Uibo (22.05 seconds) at the 2016 Jamaica Grand Prix. Her 100 m best (10.91) is the second fastest time by a Bahamian after Chandra Sturrup.
Ferguson attended St Andrew's School in Nassau, Bahamas and graduated in 1994.
Ferguson graduated from University of Georgia from where she launched her senior athletics career since which she has gained medals at the Summer Olympics, IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games.
In 2002, she was appointed as an ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, she set the championship record in the 100 metres and in the 4×100 m relay with the Bahamian team, recording a personal best of 10.91 seconds in the individual event.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing she competed at the 100 metres sprint. In her first round heat she placed second behind Oludamola Osayomi in a time of 11.17 to advance to the second round. There she won her series to qualify for the semi finals in a time of 11.21, this time finishing in front of Osayomi. Despite fellow Bahamian Chandra Sturrup being unable to qualify for the final with a time of 11.22 in the first semi final, Ferguson managed to qualify with the same time as she finished fourth in her race, while Sturrup finished fifth in hers. In the final Ferguson came to 11.19 seconds, which was the 7th position.
She competed at the 2009 Manchester City Games, winning the 150 metres final in 16.54 seconds. She followed this up with a win in the 200 m at the Meeting Mohammed VI d' Athlétisme in Rabat. At the 25th Vardinoyiannia in Rethymno, Greece, she ran a world-leading time of 22.32 seconds to win the 200 m and set a meeting record. Now trains in Clermont, Florida at the NTC.
Major competition record
|Representing the Bahamas|
|1990||Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U-17)||Havana, Cuba||3rd||Pentathlon||3015pts|
|3rd||4 × 100 m relay||47.66|
|1st||4 × 400 m relay||3:47.22|
|1991||CARIFTA Games (U-17)||Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||1st||100 m||11.89 w (2.4 m/s)|
|1992||CARIFTA Games (U-17)||Nassau, Bahamas||1st||100 m||11.79|
|2nd||200 m||23.97 w|
|CARIFTA Games (U-20)||2nd||4 × 100 m relay||45.61|
|2nd||4 × 400 m relay||3:42.37|
|Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U-17)||Tegucigalpa, Honduras||1st||100 m||12.0 (0.0 m/s)|
|1st||200 m||24.2 (-0.1 m/s)|
|World Junior Championships||Seoul, South Korea||21st (qf)||100 m||11.92 (wind: +1.9 m/s)|
|23rd (sf)||200 m||24.74 (wind: +0.7 m/s)|
|1993||CARIFTA Games (U-20)||Fort-de-France, Martinique||3rd||100 m||11.79 (0.3 m/s)|
|4th||200 m||24.09 (-1.2 m/s)|
|2nd||4 × 100 m relay||45.53|
|2nd||4 × 400 m relay||3:39.32|
|CAC Championships||Cali, Colombia||2nd||200 m||23.32 w|
|1994||CARIFTA Games (U-20)||Bridgetown, Barbados||1st||100 m||11.58|
|2nd||4 × 100 m relay||45.66|
|2nd||4 × 400 m relay||3:36.53|
|Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U-20)||Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||1st||100 m||11.1 (-1.8 m/s)|
|2nd||200 m||23.8 (-1.8 m/s)|
|World Junior Championships||Lisbon, Portugal||5th||100m||11.48 (wind: +2.0 m/s)|
|4th||200m||23.59 w (wind: +2.2 m/s)|
|12th (h)||4 × 400 m relay||3:44.67|
|Commonwealth Games||Victoria, Canada||12th (sf)||200 m||23.68|
|5th||4×100 m relay||44.89|
|1995||CARIFTA Games (U-20)||George Town, Cayman Islands||1st||100 m||11.35|
|1st||4 × 100 m relay||45.00|
|2nd||4 × 400 m relay||3:39.46|
|World Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||276th (h)||200 m||23.33 (0.0 m/s)|
|4th||4 × 100 m relay||43.14|
|1996||Olympic Games||Atlanta, United States||13th (sf)||100 m||11.28 (0.4 m/s)|
|2nd||4 × 100 m relay||43.14 (h)|
|1997||CAC Championships||San Juan, Puerto Rico||1st||100 m||11.29|
|World Championships||Athens, Greece||7th (sf)||100 m||11.39 (-0.1 m/s)|
|6th||4 × 100 m relay||42.77|
|1999||World Championships||Seville, Spain||9th (sf)||100 m||11.12 (-0.1 m/s)|
|5th||200 m||22.28 (0.6 m/s)|
|1st||4×100 m relay||41.92 WL|
|Pan American Games||Winnipeg, Canada||1st||200 m||22.83 (0.7 m/s)|
|2000||Olympic Games||Sydney, Australia||8th||100 m||11.29 (-0.4 m/s)|
|4th||200 m||22.37 (0.7 m/s)|
|1st||4×100 m relay||41.95 SB|
|2001||World Championships||Edmonton, Canada||5th||100 m||11.13 (-0.3 m/s)|
|IAAF Grand Prix Final||Melbourne, Australia||2nd||200 m||23.00|
|2002||Commonwealth Games||Manchester, England||1st||100 m||10.91 GR|
|1st||200 m||22.20 GR|
|1st||4×100 m relay||42.44 GR|
|IAAF World Cup||Madrid, Spain||1st||200 m||22.49|
|IAAF Grand Prix Final||Paris, France||1st||100 m||10.97|
|2003||Central American and Caribbean Championships||St. George's, Grenada||1st||4×100 m relay||43.06|
|World Championships||Paris, France||10th (sf)||100 m||11.27 (0.4 m/s)|
|12th (qf)||200 m||22.98 (-0.2 m/s)|
|8th (h)||4 × 100 m relay||43.64|
|2004||Olympic Games||Athens, Greece||7th||100 m||11.16 (-0.1 m/s)|
|4th||4 × 100 m relay||42.69|
|World Athletics Final||Monaco||2nd||200 m||22.66|
|2007||World Championships||Osaka, Japan||14th (sf)||100 m||11.25 (-0.1 m/s)|
|14th (sf)||200 m||23.27 (-0.4 m/s)|
|World Athletics Final||Stuttgart, Germany||2nd||200 m||22.74|
|2008||Central American and Caribbean Championships||Cali, Colombia||1st||200 m||22.78|
|3rd||4 × 100 m relay||44.03|
|Olympic Games||Beijing, China||7th||100 m||11.19|
|2009||World Championships||Berlin, Germany||6th||100 m||11.05 (0.1 m/s)|
|3rd||200 m||22.41 (-0.1 m/s)|
|2nd||4 × 100 m relay||42.29 SB|
|2011||World Championships||Daegu, South Korea||6th||200 m||22.96 (-1.0 m/s)|
|17th (h)||4 × 100 m relay||50.62|
|2012||Olympic Games||London, United Kingdom||24th (h)||100 m||11.32|
|38th (h)||200 m||22.61|
|2013||Central American and Caribbean Championships||Morelia, Mexico||7th||100 m||11.85|
|3rd||4 × 100 m relay||44.08|
- "Athlete biography: Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie". Beijing2008.cn. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
- "Five-Time Olympian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie Loves Being Part Of Kentucky Track". WLEX. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
- Carifta Games Magazine, Part 2 (PDF), Carifta Games 2011, archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012, retrieved 12 October 2011
- Carifta Games Magazine, Part 3 (PDF), Carifta Games 2011, archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012, retrieved 12 October 2011
- 200 Metres 2002. IAAF (2004-10-14). Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
- Saunders, Gerrino (2006-07-13). BAAA Lists Surprising ‘Times’. The Bahama Journal. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
- 100 Metres 2007. IAAF (2008-04-04). Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
- Cougars Welcome Track and Field Great Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie. Houston Cougars Track & Field, 31 Jul 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- Superb Bolt storms to 150m record. BBC Sport (2009-05-17). Retrieved on 2009-05-17.
- Benchrif, Mohammed (2009-05-24). Lishchynska and Cheshari set world season leads but Jelimo is way below par in Rabat. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-05-24.
- Nikitaridis, Michalis (2009-07-21). Ferguson (22.32) and Jones (12.47) set world season leads in Rethymno. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
- LIVE RESULTS OF 25th VARDINOYANNIA Archived 2009-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. EAR. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
- Representing the Americas
| Women's 200m Best Year Performance
2001 – 2002
| Flagbearer for Bahamas