VETERAN Jamaican hurdler Delloreen Ennis has quit her athletics career after failing to make the team to the World Championships in Moscow, Russia next month.
Ennis, 38, finished fourth at the Jamaican trials in May in a respectable 12.94 seconds and would not have got the chance to better her silver and two bronze medals won at previous World Championships.
In 2005, Ennis won silver in the 100 hurdles and followed that up with bronze in 2007 and 2009. In an interview with journalist Laurie Foster, Ennis revealed that having not automatically qualified for the World Championships means she would not have "one more chance at the top".
The St Jago past student, having twice won gold at the Carifta Junior Games in 1992 and 1994, also struck gold at the Pan Am Games in 2007.
Here is Delloreen Ennis' farewell interview with Laurie Foster.
LF: Fourteen (14) years as world class but trailing off close to the end, there must have been some special moments, tell us about the most special?
DE: The most special moment for me during my years competing would have to be the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, because it was my first major medal and the way how I competed in the rain and cold was, for me, just wonderful.
LF: The real low one is special too, albeit in a negative way, we need to hear that story, too. Tell it.
DE: The lowest point in my career would have to be 2008 Olympics when I was in second place and twisted my shoulder at the line and ended up fifth because, apart from Dawn Harper, all six of us were rushing to the line. That was my hardest, all my years, and keep getting fourth and not an Olympic medal.
LF: If you had to do your career over again from St Jago to Abilene Christian University to the professional ranks under different agents and sponsored by different shoe companies, would there be any major alterations?
DE: I think everyone has their destiny cut out before we know it, so honestly, I don't think I would have changed anything. All the situations that happened in my life looking back, I take the good and the bad and learn from them and they make me a better person today.
LF: Where and from whom, did the support, the motivation, the guidance come, again going back to school days when it was most needed right up to the present time?
DE: Well my parents/ Ennis family, Mr Ellis (Eccleston Primary coach), Mr Carl March (St Jago), Mr Levy, Mr Gillie Russell, Mr Laurie Foster, Mr Hugh Scott, Mrs Marlene Lewin- Hawthrone (Head PE Dept, St Jago), Mr KC Graham. And at my college level and pro the list is very long but these are the people who really stand out. All the coaches at ACU, my chiropractor Dr Mitchell, and Lincoln London, my coach -- the one who made all my achievements possible, and, of course, my biggest fan/supporter is my daughter Zarina. Pace Sports Management, my best friends Ven Messam and Damian Levy, Lisa Aris, my teammate, Trecia Smith.
LF: What are your plans for your next career journey? I heard you will be kissing Abilene goodbye.
DE: Well, I would like to give back, so I'm trying to find a coaching job and go from there. Abilene is a small town and after volunteering for two years there, I didn't get a job. So I will be moving away, not sure where as yet, but will see by now and before the year ends.
LF: What kept you going over the last three years when things started to fall apart, several injuries, no contract, no steady coaching arrangement and not making the major teams?
DE: I just love hurdling, and I wanted to let my daughter know that when you love something you stick with it through good and bad times. And also, I just wanted to push onwards despite the odds.