Kaliese Spencer

KaleiseSpencer_mugCountry: Jamaica
DOB: 5/6/1987
Club: Maximising Velocity and Power (MVP)
Events: 400m Hurdles
Height: 5 ft 11 in
Weight: 165 lb
Personal Best(s): 52.79 (London, 2011)

The tall, lanky, powerhouse hurdler won the World Junior 400m hurdles title in 2006 with a personal best of 55.11 secs. The following year, Spencer made her debut at the senior level, reaching the semi-finals of her event at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. A year later, she suffered a hip injury that kept her out of the 2008 Beijing Games. Steadily improving, she finished fourth at the 2009 World Championships and ended that season by winning a silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final.

In 2010, she began making waves on the Diamond League circuit and had her first victory at the British Grand Prix. In August 2011, she recorded a personal best of 52.79 to take the Aviva Grand Prix atCrystal Palace, making her the number-three Jamaican woman in the event, behind current champion Melaine Walker and past champion Deon Hemmings McCatty. She also became the heavy favorite to take gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. However, she was only fourth.

Despite Spencer’s dubious distinction of finishing fourth in two Worlds, she was once again among the heavily favored to win in 2013. But victory was not in the stars for her; after crossing the line first in her heat, she was charged with the infraction of having carried her trail leg around the second hurdle instead of over it. An appeal by Jamaica was rejected by the jury of appeals.

The versatile Spencer has best times of 50.19 secs. in the flat 400m, and 2:03.01 in the 800m, which she runs to build endurance in the early season.

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