Juliet Campbell Retires

Anthony Foster, Freelance Writer

Juliet Campbell … waving goodbye to track and field after 21 years. Campbell announced her retirement after personal best times of 11.15 in 100 metres, 22.50 in 200m and 50.11 over 400m. - FILE

WORLD CHAMPION-SHIPS sprint relay bronze medallist Juliet Campbell has announced her retirement from athletics after spending 21 years on the track.

“I have had a wonderful career,” Campbell said. "I ran for 21 years, I made my first team and represented my country and St. Jago at 16.

“I have had a very long and happy career. I have no regrets at all. I did well and still am a huge fan of the sport,” said Campbell who held the National Stadium 400m record of 50.11 before Jamaican-born American Sanya Richards ran 49.96 last year, then lowered it again to 49.87 this year.


“I’ve been to three Olympic Games, World Championships … I was blessed. There are a lot of athletes who trained for years and have not accomplished a percentage of what I have,” she said.

“I went in and did my best and left the sport with a clean and respectable slate,” said the 1998 Commonwealth Games 200m (22.79) silver medallist.

Campbell started her track and field career at Harbour View Primary before moving on to then Donald Quarrie Secondary and St. Jago.

“It’s always a part of my life and still is, although I am not competing anymore,” said Campbell who started out as a jumper.

Campbell remembered her switch from the jumps to the quarter mile, which she said came about when Carl Marsh, the coach at St. Jago, wanted someone to run a leg of the 4x400m relay at a meet.

“Throughout the years, I got comfortable with it … and especially when I went away to college. That was what they wanted me to do and I realised it was a means to an end. You run the 400m, you get an education so that’s what I did,” explained the former Barton County College student.


Campbell, who left Barton for Auburn University, said running the 400m wasn’t something she had a passion for but “did it and I did very, very well at it, but my first love was the long jump.”

However, her major successes came in the half-lap event at which she won the World Indoor title in 2001, the Central American and Caribbean Games (silver - 1998 and 2002) and Goodwill Games (bronze - 2001), among others.


At age 36, Campbell believes she was forced to call it a day.

"Actually, I had planned on running for two more years but in 1993 I had a huge injury in which I ripped the quadricep muscle out of my hip.

“I never recuperated from that injury … I have one quadricep muscle extremely strong and the other I constantly have problems with,” explained Campbell who opted at the time to stay in bed for eight weeks rather than have surgery.

"I know I could have gone on the circuit and run and finished fifth and sixth and even fourth, but in terms of winning a race against these young women, my body would not allow me to do that.

“I figure that all the work I have put in over the years, of doing well, I did not want to go back and have that all go to waste by getting my butt popped all over the track.”

Don’t miss Campbell’s plans for the future in The Sunday Gleaner.