Thursday, Aug 22, 2019
HomeSportsDebbie still going strong as one of world’s best Part II

Debbie still going strong as one of world’s best Part II

Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie is the ideal role model for aspiring athletes.

She is defiantly opposed to any use of enhancement chemicals to aid performances. She speaks out about doping in sports passionately. She is dedicated to a tough training schedule. She never gives up and always believes she can win a race, even when seemingly eliminated from top contention.

She has been highly successful in an era when many of her peers have been found guilty of illegal drug charges. There have been many questions about others. Debbie’s reputation though, is not tainted at all.

From the United States, several of her contemporaries have been suspended. The same is the case for a number of her foes who hail from Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. Debbie has gone up against them and beaten them at times, despite the circumstances. She is not the only Bahamian who is thus respected. There are certainly others, but today, I salute this fine daughter of the soil. Add humility to that package.

A pleasant individual, quick to smile, Debbie is also very willing to help. Although a superstar she is polite and totally opposite to the top-flight aloof athletes. Although she is indeed very special, Debbie is modest and easy to be around.

Searching for the perfect athletic package?

That’s Debbie. It would be a big surprise if she shifts at any point in the last portion of her career outside of what we know to be her character.

As early as 1993 as a 17-year-old she began winning regional medals, the(Central American and Caribbean(CAC)Championships 200 meters silver). In 1997 she won her first gold medal at the senior world level, during the CAC Championships.

Other gold medals at regional and world events, inclusive of the Olympic Games and World Championships, would follow in good numbers. There was the 2002 season. She had the kind of success in that one year that many athletes dream of having over an entire career.

She won the 100 meters gold(10.91 a personal best), the 200 meters gold(22.20), and the 4X100m relay gold(at the Commonwealth Games with Sevatheda Fynes, Chandra Sturrup and Timicka Clarke)in Manchester, England.

In Madrid, Spain, she won the IAAF World Cup final 200 meters in 22.49 seconds. In Paris, France that same year, it was the IAAF Grand Prix final 100 meters gold in 10.97. No Bahamian has ran faster over 200 meters than Debbie’s 22.19. Only Chandra Sturrup(10.84)is better than Debbie(10.91), over 100 meters.

Hats off to the incredible Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie!

(End of two-part series. To respond to this column, kindly contact frobertsturrup@gmail.com)

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