#London2017 – Meet Carmelita Jeter; The Fastest Woman in the World Turned Coach
Carmelita Jeter is the fastest woman alive over the 100m, she currently hold 3 Olympic Medals and was part of the USA 4 X 100m phenomenal relay at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Born and raised in Southern California, Carmelita got her athletic start in basketball. Although she excelled in the sport shared by her family, it wasn’t until high school that she found her love for speed. During her freshman year, Carmelita’s basketball coach suggested she try out for track to help her keep in shape in the off-season. Although Carmelita showed up to that track practice wearing basketball high-top sneakers and basketballs shorts, her natural talent for sprinting was evident. She went on to run an 11.7 during that track season.
Upon graduating high school, Carmelita signed with California State University, Dominguez Hills’ track team and became the University’s first U.S. Olympic trials qualifier. Carmelita went on to become the most decorated track & field athlete in the history of the school all while achieving her degree in physical education.
2007 marked Carmelita’s first year on the professional track and field circuit. She cemented her place in history by taking home her first medal in the 100m at the 2007 World Championships, setting a personal best record of 11.05 that same season, and also winning a silver medal at the 2007 USA Track and Field Indoor Championships with a time of 7.17 seconds.
During the 2008 season, Carmelita changed her coach, deciding to work with John Smith who had previously coached Olympic champion, Maurice Greene. Carmelita’s new coach began to completely remodel her running style, thus preparing her for greater success.
The 2009 season cemented Carmelita into the sprinting history books. After winning a disappointing bronze in the World Championship final with a time of 10.90, she went on to compete in the IAAF World Athletics Series, setting a time of 10.67, followed not long after with a win in the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix with a new personal best with a time of 10.64, making her the second fastest woman ever and earning the title of the “Fastest Woman Alive.”
Carmelita went on to win a bag full of medals throughout the World and Olympic Games and at her last Games in 2012, took away a silver and bronze in the 10m and 200m respectively and was the anchor leg for the greatest 4 x 100m in history as the USA stormed home for a World Record breaking Gold.
After tearing her quaracep in 2013, Carmelita worked hard to get back to fitness for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, until the injury reared its head again soon before the US Trials. Devastated, she took time away from the track to support causes close to her heart including ‘Pretty Girls Sweat’ and ‘Move with Hart’.
In late 2016 Carmelita took on the role of Assistant Track Coach at Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros Track Club and has been hosting speed clinic, fitness events and working hard to encourage communities to take part in sport. She has also been coaching and mentoring and offering her world class skills to fellow athletes.
Warren Edmunson, Head Coach at Toros Track Club comments:
“It’s great for the girls being able to identify with an Olympic Champion, and world record holder, as well as a CSUDH alum. She knows what it takes to be a champion, how to fight, and how to prepare both physically and mentally to become a champion, and the girls are delighted to have her on the track.
Personally, it’s one of the highlights of my coaching career because I had Carmelita when she first came out of high school and I was able to mold her thinking and her training. And now she’s successful as a world champion, a public speaker and a coach. It’s great for me.”
During this years World Championships in London, Carmelita has been coaching and mentoring Ivory Coast Sprinter Murielle Ahoure. Once rival competitors who fought over the 60m indoors and 100m outdoor distances, now mentor and mentee. Murielle who lost her father 2 months ago to cancer, is currently ranked 3rd fastest time this year with 10.83 and was one of the favourites for medalling in the 100m final after a fantastic season on the Diamond League circuit.
Results of the 100m: