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Kaliese Spencer

Kaliese Spencer
Spencer at the 2010 Hanžeković Memorial
Personal information
Born (1987-05-06) 6 May 1987
Height 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 75 kg (165 lb)
Country  Jamaica
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 400 m hurdles

Kaliese Spencer (born 6 May 1987) is a Jamaican track and field athlete who specialises in the 400 metres hurdles. She has finished fourth at both the 2009 World Championships in Athletics and the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. She was the 2006 World Junior champion.


Born in the parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica, her mother, Merfelin Spencer was a 400m runner in college and her father Joshua Spencer was a middle-distance runner and she followed their footsteps into the sport of athletics.[1] She attended the University of Technology in Jamaica and began focusing on her running under the tutelage of Stephen Francis as part of his Maximising Velocity and Power Track Club.[2] She had her first hurdles success at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Athletics, where she won the junior 400 m hurdles title with a personal best run of 55.11 seconds. Her debut at the senior level came the following year and she reached the semi-finals of her event at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka.[3]

Spencer made a strong start to the 2008 outdoor season by running a world-leading time in the 400 metres at the Azuza Pacific Invitational, winning in a personal best time of 50.55 seconds.[2] However, she suffered a hip injury and only trained sporadically in the rest of the year, missing out on the Jamaican Olympic team for the 2008 Beijing Games as a result.[4]

She began competing in the IAAF Golden League in 2009, performing at the Reebok Grand Prix, Golden Gala and Herculis meetings, although she failed to reach the podium on those occasions.[5] At the 2009 World Championships, Spencer reached the final of the women's 400 m hurdles and finished fourth with a personal best run of 53.56 seconds – her club team mate Melaine Walker won the gold in a championship record.[6] She was also the substitute runner in the 4×400 metres relay at the championships and helped her team progress to the final where they won the silver medal. She took a victory over Walker shortly afterwards at the IAAF Zagreb Grand Prix.[7] Spencer ended her season by winning a silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final, running 53.99 seconds to finish behind Walker.[3]

The 2010 IAAF Diamond League became Spencer's principal target the following year and she was sixth at first meeting, the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in May.[5] She won at the Meeting International Mohammed VI d'Athlétisme de Rabat, defeating Perri Shakes-Drayton,[8] and was third in the 400 m at the Jamaican Championships that month. She began making an impact on the Diamond League, finishing as runner-up behind Lashinda Demus at the Prefontaine Classic and the Golden Gala, recording a personal best 53.48 seconds. She had her first win on the major circuit at the British Grand Prix.[9] She won at the Herculis meeting soon after and also set a meet record of 53.72 seconds at the Spitzenleichtathletik competition in Switzerland.[10] She set a personal best in the 400m hurdles of 52.79 at the Aviva Grand Prix in Crystal Palace on 5 August 2011. As a result she was heavy favourite to win the Gold medal at 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea.

Personal bests

Event Time (sec) Venue Date
400 metres hurdles 52.79 Crystal Palace, London, United Kingdom 5 August 2011
400 metres 50.19 Rieti, Italy 2013
800 metres 2:05.84 Kingston, Jamaica 22 March 2008
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.

Major competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Jamaica
2006 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Les Abymes, Guadeloupe 2nd 400 m 51.99
1st 4x400 m relay 3:31.90 CR
World Junior Championships Beijing, China 1st 400 m hurdles
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 8th (semis) 400 m hurdles
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 4th 400 m hurdles
2nd 4×400 m relay Ran in heats
World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 2nd 400 m hurdles
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 4th 400 m hurdles


  1. ^ Pochert, Alexander (2008-05-08). Kaliese Spencer – Die Talentierteste (German). Leichtathletik. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  2. ^ a b Graham, Raymond (2008-04-21). Spencer hits top form in California. The Jamaica Star. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  3. ^ a b Spencer Kaliese Biography. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  4. ^ Tucker, Eton. Asafa may have to step up pace, says Francis ». Sports Caribe. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  5. ^ a b Kaliese SPENCER. The-Sports.Org. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  6. ^ Jalava, Mirko (2009-08-20). Event Report – Women's 400m Hurdles – Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-08-24.
  7. ^ Ramsak, Bob (2009-08-31). Vlasic tops 2.08m in Zagreb – IAAF World Athletics Tour. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  8. ^ Meeting International Mohammed VI d'Athlétisme de Rabat – Rabat (MAR) – Sunday, 6 June 2010. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  9. ^ Martin, David. Overview Disciplines – 10.07.2010 400m Hurdles – Women. IAAF Diamond League. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  10. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2010-08-09). Blazing 100m in Nottwil – Carter edges Dix 9.86 to 9.88. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-08-09.

External links

  • Kaliese Spencer profile at IAAF
  • Audio interview in 2009
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