As a track athlete at Florida State University from 1981 through 1984, Barbados-born Marita Payne earned 21 All-American honors and competed internationally for Canada. Alongside Angela Bailey, Molly Killingbeck, and Angella Taylor-Issajenko she won a silver medal in the 4x100 metre relay at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. The following year she was a silver medalist in the 200 metres and the 4x100 and 4x400 metre relays at the Summer Universiade, placed fourth, fifth, and fifth in the 4x400 m relay, the 4x100 m relay, and the 400 m at the World Championships, and earned another silver medal in the 4x400 m relay at the 1983 Pan American Games. She was then selected to represent Canada at the 1984 Summer Olympics, where she took home silver medals in the 4x100 and 4x400 m relays (with Bailey, Taylor, and France Gareau and Killingbeck, Charmaine Crooks, Jill Richardson-Briscoe, and Dana Wright respectively) and finished fourth in the 400 m.
Her next stop was the 1986 Commonwealth Games, where she won gold in the 4x400 m relay alongside Crooks, Killingbeck, and Richardson. They were unable to repeat this performance at the 1987 World Championships, finishing fourth while Payne was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 400 m, but the quartet did earn silver at that year’s Pan American Games. With the assistance of Esmie Lawrence, they moved on to the 1988 Summer Olympics and reached the final, but Killingbeck dropped the baton on the second leg after being bumped and the Canadians were unable to complete the race. Individually, Payne Wiggins was eliminated in the semifinals of the 400 m. She retired from athletics shortly after the Games and was inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 1991. She is married to Mitch Wiggins, a former National Basketball Association player and silver medalist at the 1982 FIBA World Championships. Their son, Andrew Wiggins, played basketball for the University of Kansas in 2013-14 and was then the #1 overall draft choice in the 2014 NBA Draft, chosen by the Cleveland Cavaliers, although he was traded soon thereafter to the Minnesota Timberwolves, with whom he has played in 2014-19, being named NBA Rookie-of-the-Year in 2015.
Personal Bests: 100 – 11.43 (1983); 400 – 49.91 (1984).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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