Sunday 7 June, 2020

PM says Olympian Michael Fray represented Jamaica with distinction

Michael Fray (right) seen here with fellow Olympian Dennis Johnson (extreme left) was found dead in Kingston on Wednesday morning.

Michael Fray (right) seen here with fellow Olympian Dennis Johnson (extreme left) was found dead in Kingston on Wednesday morning.

Jamaican Olympian Michael Fray who was found dead on Wednesday in a suspected suicide, has been hailed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness as an athlete who represented Jamaica with distinction.

Holness has extended condolences to Fray’s family and friends.

Fray, who was 72-years-old, represented Jamaica at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games in the 100m and 200m events. He was part of the 4x100m relay team at the 1968 Olympics, which set a world record in a time of 38.3 seconds.

He was found dead three days after he lost everything in a fire that destroyed the home of fellow Olympian, Rupert Hoilett at Skibo Avenue near Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.  Fray shared the home with Hoilett who also lost everything in the blaze.

At the time of his passing, he was being allowed to occupy premises at a lawyer’s office in downtown Kingston and had spent Monday and Tuesday at that location where he was found dead Wednesday morning.

“It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Olympian Michael Fray. He was a talented sprinter, who competed at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games,” the JAAA said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

Fray was part of an elite group of sprinters who have been in Olympic finals over both 100 and 200 metres. He shares the distinction with Herb McKenley, Don Quarrie, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

In the 1968 Olympics, he ran the second leg on the 4x100m relay team of Errol Stewart, Lennox Miller and Clifton Forbes to set a world record of 38.39 seconds. The team had established a new world record of 38.6 in the heats before breaking it again in the semi-finals. The USA set a new world record in the final where Jamaica finished fourth.

However, the semi-final time stood as the Jamaican national record until 2000.

In the finals of the 1968 Olympic 200m, Fray placed seventh in the event won by American Tommie Smith with John Carlos second.

At the Munich Games in 1972, Fray placed fifth in the 100m final won by Valery Borzov.

Earlier in his career, Fray competed at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay. He also won a gold medal in 1966 at the Central America and Caribbean Games.

He ran the 4x400m in 1967 at the Pan Am Games.

In 1967, while competing for Odessa Junior College, Fray set a US National Junior College record in the 200m. He later enrolled at University of Texas at El Paso in 1968 and was ranked 10th in the world by US Track and Field news.

Fray was a graduate of St Andrew Technical High School.

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