Martin Manley, 24, quits track and fieldSunday, May 23, 2021
ONE of Jamaica's most promising athletes, Martin Manley, has sadly retired from the sport at age 24.
Manley, who at age 16 won the Youth Olympic 400m title in 2013 and followed that up with the World Under-18 crown in 2014, said persistent injuries forced his hand.
“Today [Thursday] is a difficult day for me but it is also a day of reflection and gratitude,” said Manley on his Instagram account.
“I say this with heavy heart…I am retiring from track and field. This decision was very tough and although I know this will not bring me happiness, I believe it is the right action to take at this time in my life,” he said.
Manley, who turned 24 years old in March 2021, was one of Jamaica's most promising runners, stopping the clock at 45.89 to win gold at the World Under-18 Championship as a then 16-year-old.
That 45.89 done eight years ago remained his personal best over the 400m in a short career beset with injuries.
Although he represented Jamaica at the senior level by being a part of the 4x400m relay team that won bronze at the World relays in 2017, injuries robbed the nation of one of its most talented athletes.
Manley, formerly of St Jago High, was training with the Puma MVP International group in Florida alongside the likes of Akeem Bloomfield and Nathon Allen.
He has a personal best of 20.57 over the 200m established in 2014 as a 17-year-old and appeared then destined for greatness. But that promise, as has been the case for many before him, didn't materialse.
“Representing my country, Jamaica, has been a tremendous honour. During my nine years as a track and field athlete I've always pursued success while preparing and training with the highest standards of competition, perseverance and passion,” said Manley.
“With such sadness but without regrets, I realise that due to reccurring injuries I am no longer able to train and perform at the level track and field demands,” Manley said.
“I cherish every moment of my track and field career, and it has been such a blessing to represent my country. I anxiously look forward to the next chapter of my life, but this time with the sole focus of developing a new career path,” he added.
— Howard Walker
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