NEW YORK — Carmelita Jeter, the second-fastest woman in history, is no longer competing in track and field.
“I am going to miss when they say, ‘Carmelita Jeter, lane five,’ and everyone screams,” Jeter, a 37-year-old who last competed in June 2016, said Thursday night at the USATF Black Tie and Sneakers Gala.
Jeter is the fastest woman alive. Her 100m personal best, 10.64 seconds, is second only to Florence Griffith-Joyner all-time.
At the 2012 Olympics, she took silver behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m and bronze in the 200m behind Allyson Felix and Fraser-Pryce. She also won the world title in the 100m in 2011.
But Jeter said her proudest accomplishment was not an individual race. She anchored the U.S. 4x100m relay, joining Tianna Bartoletta, Felix and Bianca Knight for gold in a world-record time of 40.82 seconds at the London Games (VIDEO).
In her garage, Jeter hangs an oversized photo of herself crossing the finish line and pointing a finger at the electronic clock.
“For four women who all run the same event to put their pride and ego aside,” Jeter said, “that is the most amazing thing I’ve done in my career.”
A left quad injury forced Jeter to withdraw ahead of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
She is now a motivational speaker, speed coach and manager for Total Sports, her professional agency. She considered trying out for the U.S. bobsled team, but reaggravated her left quad injury.
One of the sprinters Jeter works with, Aaliyah Brown, ran the opening leg as the U.S. won the 4x100m at the world championships on Aug. 12 in London.
To inspire additional athletes, Jeter is hosting a clinic on Dec. 2 in Los Angeles with sprint coach John Smith.
“I want to coach the next world record,” she said. “I want to make someone else a better Carmelita Jeter.”
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