20 DEC 2006 General News USA's Gail Devers, the two

World and Olympic champion Devers – athlete, charity worker, coach and agent

Gail Devers (USA) wins the 60m final in Budapest (Getty Images)Gail Devers (USA) wins the 60m final in Budapest (Getty Images) © Copyright

time Olympic women's 100m champion and three-time World 100m Hurdles gold medallist, is now a coach and an athlete representative agent in addition to competing as an athlete and looking after her charitable foundation.

Devers, the fastest ever combination sprinter – hurdler, became the agent and coach for sprint hurdler Danielle Carruthers earlier this autumn, confirmed USATF last week.
 
Carruthers, 26, this year’s World Indoor championships 60m Hurdles fourth place finisher in a personal best of 7.88 seconds was also the 2005 USA Indoor champion for the sprint hurdles. Carruthers, who has a personal best of 12.56 for the 100m Hurdles (2004), lives and trains in the Atlanta area where Devers also makes her home.

"I never planned to become a coach," Devers told USATF, "but this is something I am doing by an athlete, for an athlete. How can I help their lives?"

Devers, who turned 40 on 19 November, last competed on the 3 February this year when coming fourth over 60m Hurdles in 8.13 at New York’s world famous Millrose Games. She continues to train and plans to race occasionally this year.

In addition to coaching Carruthers, Devers often jumps into the workouts herself. "Most coaches are standing with a stopwatch, but I can actually get in there and participate in it. I'm very hands-on," confirmed Devers, to the USATF.

Devers' last major title was the 60m sprint gold at the 2004 World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, which was the 12th global gold of her career so far. At the same championships she came close to a remarkable sprint-hurdle double with a silver medal in the 60m Hurdles, three hundredths of a second behind Canada’s Perdita Felicien, who was then the reigning outdoor champion.

Devers, was a surprise winner of the 1992 Olympic 100m title, but crashed out of the final of the 100m Hurdles when tripping off the last hurdle (ended up fifth). Four years later, she became only the second woman in history to retain the Olympic sprint crown but again missed out on the sprint hurdle gold (fourth).

Three-time World 100m Hurdles champion and once World Indoor 60m Hurdles winner, Devers shared in the Golden League Jackpot in 2000 just a few days after a hamstring injury had ruined her fourth attempt at the Olympic 100m Hurdles title. She had been a semi-finalist in 1988.

In 2004, injury also hanuted Devers' Olympic ambitions, with a 'DNF' left next to her name in the preliminary heat results in Athens, after she pulled up with a calf injury.

In her early career a serious thyroid disorder had nearly led her to have a foot amputated, and it was a miracle that she was able to get back into competition in 1991 after two years away from the sport, to take the World 100m Hurdles silver medal in Tokyo.

Since 1999, Devers has been busy running and promoting the Gail Devers Foundation, a non profit organization that offers help and assistance to people in need click here for previous article .

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Click here to go to the Gail Devers Foundation website