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Carmelita Jeter ( ; born November 24, 1979) is an Americanmarker sprinter who specializes in the 100 meters. After a successful collegiate track career, a hamstring injury hampered much of Jeter's early professional career. She came to prominence in 2007, winning the 100 m bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics and a gold at the World Athletics Final. She failed to make the American squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and began training with John Smith to improve her performance. The following year she won a second World Championship bronze. However, greater performances followed, winning her second gold of the World Athletics Final in 10.67 seconds and winning the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in 10.64 seconds after that. This made her the second fastest woman ever in the 100 m, beating Marion Jones's best and bringing her closer to Florence Griffith-Joyner's long standing world record.

Early life

Jeter attended Bishop Montgomery High Schoolmarker. Initially, basketball was the preferred sport in her family, and her brother (Pooh Jeter) later joined the Sacramento Kings. Her basketball coach suggested that she try out track, and a 11.7 second run confirmed her natural talent for sprinting. Jeter set the record for most NCAA medals by a California State University, Dominguez Hillsmarker track athlete and became the University's first U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier. A recurring hamstring problem kept her out of competition for much of 2003–05, and it wasn't until 2007 that she made her first impact in senior track and field athletics, having undergone treatment with deep tissue massage.

International success

In 2007, Jeter became the US Indoor silver medallist in the 60 meters with a personal best of 7.17 seconds, and she remained in good form, improving her 100 m best to 11.04 seconds to take fourth place in the 100 m at the Adidas Track Classic. Building upon this, she qualified for her first major competition by finishing third at the national championships behind Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams. She went on to win the bronze medal at the World Championships in a personal best time of 11.02 seconds, as well as taking the 100 m gold at the 2007 World Athletics Final. The following year, she competed at the 100 and 200 m U.S. Olympic trials. Although she set a 100 m best of 10.97 seconds in the quarter-finals, she did not progress beyond the semifinals, finishing just two hundredths out of the qualifying positions. A sixth place finish in the 200 m meant she had not made the 2008 Summer Olympics team, despite being one of the favourites for selection. She qualified for the 100 and 200 m races at the 2008 World Athletics Final but only managed fourth and fifth place, respectively. She changed coach in November, deciding to work with John Smith, who had previously coached athletes such as Maurice Greene. Smith began completely remodelling Jeter's running style.

In her 2009 season, she showed strong performances going into the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. She ran 7.11 seconds in the 60 meters in the indoor season, the fastest by any athlete that year and a personal best. She remained in-form in her outdoor season, recording a fast 10.96 seconds at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays, winning gold at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic, and taking her first national title at the 2009 U.S. Outdoor Championships. At the 2009 London Grand Prix, she placed first in the 100 m, clocking a personal best of 10.92; it was the third fastest time at that point of the season, only slower than Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser and Kerron Stewart. A week prior to the start of the World Championships, Jeter was part of a United States 4 x 100 m relay team that ran the fastest women's sprint relay in twelve years. Lauryn Williams, Allyson Felix, Muna Lee and Jeter finished with a time of 41.58 seconds, bringing them to eighth on the all time list.

At the 2009 World Athletics Championships, in Berlinmarker, Jeter was one of the favourites for the gold medal as a 10.83 seconds personal best in the semis made her the fastest qualifier for the final. She ended up with her second World Championship bronze medal in the 100 m, however, finishing a tenth of a second behind Fraser and Stewart. The races after the championships proved more successful: she beat strong opposition in the IAAF Golden League meets in Zurich and Brussels with two sub-10.90 runs. She entered the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final having won her last three races by a significant margin. Even taking this into account, Jeter surprised with one of the highlights of the final edition of the IAAF World Athletics Final. She won the 100 m race in Thessalonikimarker, Greecemarker with a time of 10.67, to become the third fastest woman in history and set a championship record. This was the fastest run in twelve years; a time which had only been bettered by Marion Jones and Florence Griffith-Joyner, and 0.16 seconds faster than Jeter had ever run before. She ran even faster a week later at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, winning in 10.64 seconds (the fourth fastest time ever) to become the second fastest woman outright.

Personal bests

Event Time (s) Venue Date
55 meters 6.84 Fresno, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker January 21, 2008
60 meters 7.11 Birminghammarker, Englandmarker February 21, 2009
100 meters 10.64 Shanghai, Chinamarker September 20, 2009
200 meters 22.47 Carson, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker May 18, 2008
  • All information from IAAF profile.


References

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