Vonette Dixon

Athlete Profile

    Jamaica Jamaica
    26 NOV 1975
Jamaican sprint hurdler Vonette Dixon (Getty Images)

Personal Best - Outdoor

Performance Wind Place Date
100 Metres 11.47 0.0 Tempe, AZ 15 APR 2000
100 Metres Hurdles 12.64 -0.1 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 29 AUG 2007

Personal Best - Indoor

Performance Wind Place Date
55 Metres 6.79 Gainesville, FL 22 JAN 2000
60 Metres 7.33 Fayetteville, AR 27 FEB 2000
200 Metres 23.71 Fayetteville, AR 26 FEB 2000
50 Metres Hurdles 6.85 Liévin 24 FEB 2002
55 Metres Hurdles 7.55 Gainesville, FL 06 FEB 2000
60 Metres Hurdles 7.92 Liévin 24 FEB 2002
60 Metres Hurdles 7.92 Stuttgart 03 FEB 2002

Progression - Outdoor

100 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2005 12.19 +0.5 Roma (Stadio Olimpico) 08 JUL
2002 11.75 +1.7 Stockholm 16 JUL
2000 11.47 0.0 Tempe, AZ 15 APR

100 Metres Hurdles

Performance Wind Place Date
2013 13.10 +0.2 Atlanta, GA 17 MAY
2012 12.90 +1.3 Kingston (NS), JAM 01 JUL
2011 12.77 +0.9 Mayagüez 17 JUL
2010 12.75 +2.0 New York City (Icahn), NY 12 JUN
2009 12.80 +0.6 Kingston (NS), JAM 02 MAY
2008 12.69 -0.1 Beijing (National Stadium) 17 AUG
2007 12.64 -0.1 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 29 AUG
2006 12.82 -0.2 Heusden-Zolder 22 JUL
2006 12.82 +0.4 Liège 19 JUL
2005 12.67 +1.1 Kingston (NS), JAM 26 JUN
2004 12.76 +0.9 Kingston, JAM 07 MAY
2003 12.72 -0.5 Zürich 15 AUG
2002 12.83 +0.6 Manchester 31 JUL
2002 12.83 +0.9 Manchester 29 JUL
2001 12.83 +1.3 Kingston, JAM 23 JUN
2000 12.90 +0.4 Durham, NC 01 JUN

Progression - Indoor

55 Metres

Performance Place Date
2000 6.79 Gainesville, FL 22 JAN

60 Metres

Performance Place Date
2008 7.43 Linz 31 JAN
2007 7.42 Göteborg 31 JAN
2005 7.34 Birmingham (NIA), GBR 18 FEB
2000 7.33 Fayetteville, AR 27 FEB

200 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2000 23.71 Fayetteville, AR 26 FEB

50 Metres Hurdles

Performance Place Date
2010 6.90 Liévin 05 MAR
2005 6.88 Liévin 26 FEB
2002 6.85 Liévin 24 FEB
2001 6.87 Liévin 25 FEB

55 Metres Hurdles

Performance Place Date
2008 7.59 Fresno, CA 21 JAN
2000 7.55 Gainesville, FL 06 FEB
1999 7.65 San Diego, CA 24 JAN

60 Metres Hurdles

Performance Place Date
2012 8.11 Clemson, SC 29 JAN
2011 7.96 Düsseldorf 11 FEB
2010 7.94 Doha (Aspire Dome) 13 MAR
2009 8.06 New York (MSG), NY 30 JAN
2008 7.94 Stuttgart (Schleyer Halle) 02 FEB
2007 7.98 Stuttgart (Schleyer Halle) 03 FEB
2006 7.95 Stuttgart (Schleyer Halle) 04 FEB
2005 7.97 Liévin 26 FEB
2004 8.01 Boston (Reggie Lewis), MA 31 JAN
2003 8.05 New York (MSG), NY 07 FEB
2002 7.92 Liévin 24 FEB
2002 7.92 Stuttgart 03 FEB
2001 8.00 Liévin 25 FEB
2000 7.94 Fayetteville, AR 10 MAR
1999 8.16 Indianapolis (Hoosier Dome), IN 05 MAR
1998 8.32 Johnson City (Walker Track), TN 24 JAN

Honours - 60 Metres Hurdles

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
IAAF World Indoor Championships 2012 h2 DNF Istanbul (Ataköy Arena) 09 MAR 2012
13th IAAF World Indoor Championships 6 7.99 Doha (Aspire Dome) 13 MAR 2010

Honours - 100 Metres Hurdles

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 5sf1 13.00 -0.1 Daegu (DS) 03 SEP 2011
The XXIX Olympic Games 5sf2 12.86 +0.2 Beijing (National Stadium) 18 AUG 2008
5th IAAF World Athletics Final 5 12.90 -0.3 Stuttgart (Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion) 22 SEP 2007
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 7 12.64 -0.1 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 29 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 5sf3 13.08 -3.3 Helsinki (Olympic Stadium) 10 AUG 2005
9th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 9 12.87 -0.2 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 27 AUG 2003
8th IAAF World Championships 8 13.02 +2.0 Edmonton (Commonwealth Stadium) 11 AUG 2001

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Updated 9 August 2008

Vonette DIXON, Jamaica (100m Hurdles)

Born 26 November 1975, Lucea, Hanover
1.65m / 59kg
Coach: Nat Page
Manager: Tony Campbell

Vonette Dixon has had the dream. A 100m hurdler with a consistent history of World Championships appearances – she has raced in the last four – Dixon has, by contrast, yet to make her Olympic debut. If the dream comes true in Beijing, it will be an explosive entrance for the 32-year-old US-based Jamaican.

“I really want to be on the medal stand,” Dixon said. “I have had a dream about it. It was so real that I really believed it. I dreamt I won. I had the Jamaican flag around me. I don’t remember the stadium but I remember winning and I was on the podium crying. I ran and hugged my coach, it was just that real.”

And then she woke up. Wasn’t it disappointing for Dixon to open her eyes and realise that she was not Olympic champion after all? “No, no, it wasn’t,” she insisted. “It was a good dream. Now I have to make it a reality. The same day I went to practice and told my coach (Nat Page) about it and he just laughed.”

It would be the natural reaction of most people to laugh at Dixon’s dream, which she had in December 2007 and which has since gone unrepeated. As solid a career as she has enjoyed, her only major championships medal has come from the 2002 Commonwealth Games, in Manchester, when she finished runner-up (12.83) behind compatriot Lacena Golding-Clarke (12.77).

In the three World Championships Finals she has reached, Dixon has finished seventh (2007), eighth (2001) and ninth (2003). There has been little to suggest in her form of 2008 that a medal is in prospect in Beijing but recent Olympic history is in her favour.

Not since Bulgaria’s Yordanka Donkova won in 1988 has the 100m Hurdles gold medal been won by the pre-Games favourite and many of the minor medals have gone to unexpected sources. However, Dixon will need to improve on her form this season which, at its best, has produced only a fourth place in the Golden League, in Berlin, and third in the Jamaican Olympic trials. In both races she clocked 12.71.

In her first year (2000) as a sub 13sec hurdler, Dixon failed to qualify for the team for Sydney. “I finished college in 2000 and went home for the Olympic trials,” she recalled.  “That was my first experience on that level and I was doing pretty well until I hit a hurdle. But it was OK because it was my first year out of college. Then, the following year, I made the team for Edmonton (World Championships). I’ve been making all the World Championship teams but, when it comes to the Olympics, something happens. For the 2004 Olympics, I hurt my hamstring and didn’t go to the trials.

“I am always making teams and I am always in the Finals of the major championships. I’m waiting on my moment to come. I’m thankful for those moments in the Finals but I want to medal. Last year I ran my personal best twice, in the Semi-Final (12.65) and Final (12.64). I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve been so close in those Finals.”

Dixon, like legendary Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey, was born in the parish of Hanover. She attended Manning’s High School, Westmoreland, and was brought up by her grandmother and adoptive mother. “I lived with my grandmother (Claris Parkins) from a baby until I was 13 or 14,” Dixon recalled.

After her grandmother died, Vonette lived with her adoptive mother (Audrey Thompson). “I recently started talking to my (biological) mum (Lurline Daley),” Dixon said. “She was never really there but I contacted her because I wanted to get to know her. She said she was 13 when she had me and she had no choice but to leave me with grandmother, so it is understandable. My dad (Ernest Dixon) died when he was 22.”

One of four children – “I have two brothers and a sister, so not really a bit family” – Vonette was the only who showed athletic potential. “I used to get in a lot of trouble with my grandma,” she recalled. “There were three guys I was raised with – my brother and two cousins – and they used to have to chase me when I did wrong to get a whippin’. So I guess that is where some of the speed comes from.

“I was getting chased probably three times a week and I was leaving them. I was really stubborn and disobedient and I guess my grandmother was a disciplinarian. She couldn’t catch me so they (her brother and two cousins) had to. Then, at primary school, they would have sports days and I would outrun some of the guys. That’s where it started and I never stopped.

“In my last year in high school I saw the hurdles on television and I told my coach ‘I like that, I want to try it’. I was about 18. I don’t know what major championship it was but it was Gillian Russell – I was watching the sport news at home in Jamaica and she was running. It was probably the 1993 World Championships (Russell was eliminated in the Semi-Finals). I just said ‘I like that, I want to try it.’

“At first I kept falling, and not finishing my race, but I liked it and never quit. I probably started out at 15sec. I got better, got recruited, and went to Meridian Mississippi College and I ran the 100, 200 and hurdles there. I was running all three events but I was getting hurt. When I was sprinting the 100, I was having hamstring problems, but I could continue doing the hurdles so I just chose that one.”

A graduate of Auburn University, where she was coached by Henry Rolle, Dixon has been training under Page since just before the 2007 World Championships “I changed like a month before the World Championships,” Dixon recalled. “I went to work with him and I started running even better so, at the end of the season, I just packed up my stuff and moved to Atlanta.”

Unmarried, and without children, Dixon had only herself to consider. “It was just me and it was best for my career,” she said. “It has helped my confidence. There is stuff I know that I could correct, and as an athlete I couldn’t, and he is correcting those things. He believes in my potential and what I can do. I like him as a coach – everything is just coming together.”


Personal Bests

100m Hurdles: 12.64 (2007)
100m: 11.47/11.40w (2000) 
60m Hurdles(i): 7.92 (2002)
60m(i): 7.33 (2000)

Yearly Progression

100m Hurdles: 1994: 15.13; 1995: 14.29; 1996: 13.52/13.30w; 1997: 13.26; 1998: 13.52; 1999: 13.40; 2000: 12.90; 2001: 12.83; 2002: 12.83/12.82w; 2003: 12.72; 2004: 12.76; 2005: 12.67w; 2006: 12.82/12.80w; 2007: 12.64; 2008:12.71

Career Highlights

2001 8th World Championships
2002 2nd Commonwealth Games
2003 3rd Central America and Caribbean Championships
2003 9th World Championships
2005 SF World Championships
2007 4th Pan American Games
2007 7th World Championships
2007 5th World Athletics Final

Prepared by David Powell for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008.

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