Gail Devers was successful in both sprinting and hurdling, and she was selected for the 1988 Olympics after winning the 100 m at the 1987 Pan American Games. But her performance in Korea was affected by health problems. Devers was later diagnosed with Graves's disease, an autoimmine disease that affects the thyroid. Her condition was dire, but Devers recovered and marked her return to the track as runner-up in the 100 m hurdles final at the 1991 World Championships. At the 1992 Olympics, Devers won her first major title, winning the 100 m in a photo finish decision. That would become a common occurrence for Devers, who would win the 100 m at the 1993 World Championships and 1996 Olympics after analysis of the finish photo, both times narrowly defeating Jamaican runner Merlene Ottey. Devers was less lucky in Olympic hurdles events. In Barcelona, she stumbled over the last hurdle while leading the pack, and fell over the line in 5th, while in Atlanta she disappointingly placed 4th. In 2000 and 2004, Devers had to pull out of the hurdles race with an injury. She fared better in World Championships, winning the high hurdles title in 1993, 1995 and 1999. Devers was recognisable for her long nails, forcing her to use her fists at the starting line, rather than her fingers. Presently, she owns a resort in Guyana with her husband and runs her own charity foundation.
Personal Bests: 100 – 10.82 (1992); 100H – 12.33 (2000).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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