British Jamaican Marilyn Neufville: Youth, Sprint World Records, Controversy and Damage

British Jamaican Marilyn Neufville: Youth, Sprint World Records, Controversy and Damage


As an elite black Jamaican athlete in the United Kingdom during the turbulent years of racism and black power movements during 1960's and 1970's would swear the controversy around the thin Marilyn Fay Neufville.

A South London resident, who was eight years old from Jamaica and even internationally diverted to Britain, had "contested British officials and missed an encounter with East Germany to train with Jamaican Team "(Associated Press: 1970). During her teens, Neufville ran for the Cambridge Harriers from southeast London after arriving in Britain in 1961 when she was 8 years old. Four months before the 1970's Commonwealth Games, Neufville had represented Britain and won the 400m title for Britain. She was born in the Hectors River in Portland (Jamaica) on November 16, 1952. She started as a short distance striker and at the end of 1969 she started concentrating at 400 meters.


Neufville was first recognized at national level when she won two Amateur Athletic Association of England sprint titles in 1967: the 100 and 150 meters (in 17, 3 seconds).


Also in 1968, she won in the 220 meters in the Amateur Athletic Association under the 17th group in 23.9 seconds – a new national record in this category. The amateur athletic association, especially the oldest athletics of the oldest athletics in the world, was founded in April 1880. The championships are considered the British national championship, although they are open to foreign competitors.


As an intermediary (under 17), Neufville won the English School Championship title in 150 meters and improved her personal best at 16.6 seconds in Shrewsbury. She would be transferred to the Amateur Athletic Association in 1969 and won in the 200m in second place (24.3) by 28-year-old legendary Dorothy Hyman (23.7) in the 200m. Val Peat, the former champion, won the bronze medal (24.3). Hyman, a multiple medalist at European Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games is considered Britain's largest sprinter.

In 1969, 16-year-old Neufville was ranked 400m in the world, thanks to her Personal Best (54.2) performed on October 9th in London. Earlier, on August 23, 1969, running for the Cambridge Harriers team, Neufville ran 54.4 in the 400m, which time still places her among the top ten British youths under the 17-year-old group. In September, Neufville was a part of the winning 4x400m relay team that met in the race against West Germany in Hamburg. Also on September 6, 1969 she won the 300 meters in London, in 38.3 seconds. This time is still included as one of the best among the United States youngsters under the age of 17.

1970 and the Commonwealth of Nations Games in Edinburgh

As a British runner is Marilyn's personal outdoor best In the 400m, 52.6 would be achieved when she won the title of The Internationales in 1970 Stadionfest won in 1970. Here in Berlin she beat the British record. The silver and bronze medalists were West German Christel Frese (54.3) and Inge Eckhoff (54.5). Neufville's personal best inside was breaking her 53.01 world record and winning performance, which is mentioned below.

At the 1970 European Athletics Indoor Championships held in Vienna (14th to 15th March), Neufville, representing Britain, won impressive in the 400m (53.01). This, founded on March 14, was a new indoor world record; A timing more than a second under her previous personal best (54.2). The silver medalist was Christel Frese of West Germany (53.1), followed by former (1968) Olympic gold medalist Colette Besson of France (53.6). The inner record would be reduced by Nadezhda Ilyina (Nadezhda Kolesnikova-Ilyina) of the Soviet Union in 1974.

On May 17, 1970, Neufville took part in the United Kingdom against the Women's Meeting at the Sparta Stadium. In the 200 meters, W. van den Berg won the Netherlands (23.7), Neufville was second (23.8), and M. Cobb from Great Britain was third (24.1). As for the 4x400m relay, Marilyn ran out of trouble right away, and the British (3: 45.1) defeated the Netherlands (3: 50,8).

Also in early 1970, Neufville won the 400m title in the British Amateur Athletics Association Indoor Championships in 54.9 seconds, drafting a new national record. Jannette Champion (56.5) was second and Avril Beattie (57.1) won the bronze medal. Neufville would participate in the same championship in 1971, but this time Jamaica represents. This time the winner Champion (now Jannette Roscoe) was in 56.1, Marilyn was second (57.3) and Maureen Tranter of Great Britain (57.5) was third.

In 1970, Marilyn Fay was a remarkable contest at the South England Championships held in London. Here she won the 200m and 400m in 23.9 and 52.0 seconds respectively – both new records in the annual event. She would return to the championship in 1971 as a Jamaican, and retains the 200m title, winning in 24.2 again in London.

On July 23th at the Commonwealth Games, the 17-year-old Legs and Clever Neufville established a new 400m world record of 51.02 and then refused to comment on the performance the next day in a press conference Had lowered, jointly by the French women Colette Besson and Nicole Duclos (In Athens in 1969), by a massive seven-tenth of a second. The 51.02 would tolerate Neufville's personal best. Neufville won a full twenty second for Australia runner-up Sandra Brown (53.66), in one second a second faster than she ever had at the event! The performance was the highlight of the day at the Commonwealth Games. Judith Ayaa of Uganda was third (53.77).

On July 24th, "at a bizarre news conference" Neufville "… with her Jamaican team manager, Norman Hill … and shook her head at every question" (Associated Press: 1970). In the extraordinary scene, Hill had brought her to the room, who had been fed forty-one, and delivered her to the reserved venue, and then stated that she did not answer questions and comments. Regarding her silent passive response, the manager explained that Neufville was soon about expressing everything that could endanger her future in athletics. Indeed, she had run for Jamaica, although she had previously died for Britain where she was bound under international rules of athletics.

Would Neufville be in trouble with the British Amateur Athletic Association for which she had attended events in the world? She was allowed by the association to travel to Europe with the Jamaican team as long as she returned and part of the UK team to be harassed against East Germany. Neufville remained firm at Jamaican, she did not get up for the European track meeting performed two weeks earlier. Hill was even evasive to answer whether Marilyn Fay, in silence, protested the attitude of British officials. Marilyn would compete later in the 4x100m relay: the Jamaican team finished fifth.

Although the Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh, in the United Kingdom, "Neufville was not beaten or beaten, although her preference to represent Jamaica While living in London, there was a lot, especially so much [blacks] searched […] British [sports] titles but were prevented by a rule that stated that a … participant lived in the United Kingdom for a period of at least ten years. "(Cashmore 2010: 242 ).

It would take two years for Marilyn's world record to become the same – Monica Zehrt of DDR on July 4, 1972 in Paris. It was almost four years later (July 22, 1974 in Warsaw) that Poland's superlord Irena Szewinska broke Neufville's world record, with more than one second (49.9) and the first ever less than 50 seconds.

At the end of July 1970, about a month after her Commonwealth triumph in Edinburgh, British rail officials convinced that she was inclined to compete for Jamaica stated that they would not include Neufville on the British team that would soon be in the European Cup competition would take part. They would not object to the demolition of Neufville to Jamaica, but would postpone the issue to the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) for approval. Neufville has even had the opportunity to study at an American university. After his Commonwealth performance, there was jubilee in Jamaica, she was officially congratulated by Prime Minister Hugh Shearer and also received a citizen's reception in her home parish Portland on the north coast of Jamaica. Neufville left Jamaica before the end of August in London, but a few days before the national affiliation and situation of her athletics was decided by the International Amateur Athletic Commission in Stockholm. It would be decided that international athletes can switch from one year to one match after a match instead of every three years.


In Toronto, on February 5, 1971, Neufville won in 300 meters (35.7).

In mid-July 1971 in Kingston, the Marilyn Fay won the Middle America and Caribbean Championships in 400m and wound a course record (53.5) in 1971. She was followed by Carmen Trustee of Cuba (54.0) and the bronze was captured by Yvonne Saunders of Jamaica (54.3). Neufville was also part of the Jamaica 4x400m relay team who won the silver medal (3: 41.0), behind the gold medalists Cuba (3: 38.6, a new course record) and for the Bronze medalists Trinidad and Tobago (4: 03.2).

Only a few weeks later, on August 3, Neufville won a gold medal in the 1971 Pan-African Games (from late July to early August in Cali in Colombia) in the 400m – the first time Event was combated with these games. Her wintime was 52.34 (51.34?), And team mate Yvonne Saunders was third (53.13). The two were also part of the Jamaica 4x400m relay team who also belonged to Ruth Williams and Beverly Franklin and won the Bronze Medal (3: 34.05). Jamaica was beaten by the United States (3: 32.45) and silver medal winners Cuba (3: 34.04). Fay's 400m achievement in Cali was her personal best of 1971, and the second best in the world ranking. Here in Cali, Carmen Trustee of Cuba finished second (52.8).

Neufville left Britain for Jamaica in July 1971, in the midst of the controversy claiming she was maltreated and that she would continue to run for Jamaica. She denies that she escaped from London for racial prejudice. It was argued that, according to the International Amateur Athletic Federation, Marilyn Fay would be eligible for Jamaica in the upcoming Olympic Games but would not qualify for the rules of the International Olympic Committee.

From September 1971, she lived near Los Angeles at Chi Cheng (Chi Cheng Reel) of Taiwan and her husband and coach Vince Reel, who also coached Neufville and was the coach of Claremont College.

1972 and the Olympic Games in Munich

The ninth annual Albuquerque Jaycees Invitational Track Meeting took place mid July 1972. Here comes Carol Hudson, a resident of Albuquerque, Marilyn Fay and Karin Lundgren of Sweden In 600 yard Hudson's performance was a new American record (1: 21.8)

On January 24, 1972, Neufville participated in an indoor track meeting in Los Angeles, 600 meters. Unfortunately, they fell close to the end of the game. She was visibly good when she was helped. With a severed tendon, she was scheduled to undergo surgery at Glendale Community Hospital. The officials were pessimistic about her opportunity to recover quickly to compete in the coming summer games in Munich. The trainee Jerome Bornstein said it depends on how important the tear was. He said that if the tendon was severely cut, Neufville would break in at least six months – a condition that would spoil her regime to adequately build for the Olympic Games.

She was helped to pay her medical bill: "World Record Holder Marilyn Neufville became the first claimant to pay for expenses caused by athletic injury under the amateur athletic union insurance program, which came into force on 1 January. A total of $ 1000 was sent to Mrs Neufville and the Glendale Community Hospital … ".

It was doubtful that Neufville would participate in the Wills-Qantas Olympic fundraising that took place in mid-March in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. She was a distinctive attraction at the meetings.

In mid July 1972, Neufville was listed in the 27-team team team that would represent Jamaica in the Olympic Games. There was still hope that she would recover from the broken Achilles tendon that enabled her to compete since the fall in January. In the second week of August it was stated that Marilyn Faye was not recovered sufficiently and thus would not compete in the Olympic Games.

Monica Zehrt of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was similar to Neufville's world record. The latter was injured and could not compete in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, but 19-year-old Zehrt, "[seemingly] untouched by the pressure of her opponents or her role as a favorite" (Wallechinsky 2000: 206) To the gold To win in the event, to set up a new Olympic record.


In January 1973, Winnipeg won Canada's 38-year-old Joanne McTaggert in Canada the 300m (40.2) in the first time she had gone to the distance. She beat the big names Yvonne Saunders, Kathy Hammond and Neufville.

At the Sunkist International Invitational Indoor Track Meet in Los Angeles, Neufville and Chi Cheng Reel, running for the Los Angeles Track Club, were part of the Sprint Relay won in 1: 14.3.

At the end of October 1973, Neufville, who again represented the Los Angeles Track Club in the Albuquerque Invitational Track and Field, won the 300 yard dash in 35.4 seconds.

On February 23, 1973, the United States Indoor Indoor Championships were held in Madison Square Garden in New York. Neufville, who represented the Los Angeles Track Club, finished third in the 440 meter (56.2), behind Brenda Walsh of Canada (55.5) and Kathy Hammond of the Sacramento Road Runners (55.7).

In the first week In June, Neufville won a Kennedy Games record of 55.1.

At the Amateur Amateur Athletics Association of Women held in Irvine, California, Neufville was hit second in the 440 yards. She was second (54.5) and the winner was Olympian Mable Fergerson (54.1).

The Pacific International Games were held in early July 1973. In Victoria, Canada. The 400 meter winner was Charlene Rendina of Australia (52.4). Neufville was disappointing sixth.

On July 19, 1973, Neufville, along with the other Jamaican world record holder Donald Quarrie, was recorded in the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association team, which participated in Central America and the Caribbean Athletics Championship held during July 26 Up to 29 in Maracaibo in Venezuela.

1974 and the Commonwealth Games of Nations in Christchurch

Marilyn Fay on 21, would travel to Christchurch in New Zealand to represent Jamaica at the Commonwealth of Nations Games in 1974. The injuries Plundered hair and she would only finish a sixth place in the 400m (54.04). The gold medalist was her former teammate Yvonne Saunders (51,67), becoming a naturalization Canadian followed by Verona Bernard (51.94) and Australia's bronze medal Charlene Rendina (52.08).


As a University of California at Berkeley Student, Neufville finished fourth in 800m, in the Association for Intercollegiate Atletics for Women Outdoor Championships.

1976 and the Olympic Games in Montreal

July 25, 1976, 23-year-old Neufville competed for Jamaica in the 400m at the Montreal Olympics. Here they ended in the third of six rounds of the first round and ran in lane 3, finishing fourth (52.93) behind Ellen Strophal-Streidt of East Germany (52.56), Christiane Casapicola-Wildschek of Austria (52.65) . And Judy Canty of Australia (52.88). Although Marilyn Fay is qualified for the next round (quarter-final) in the evening, this would be the first and the end of her Olympic presence because injuries have discouraged her from competing further. Nevertheless, the 52.93 was her personal best for 1976. This timing is the fourth personal best highest achievement among the 400m University of California at Berkeley (California Bears) women track stars. Time is also the most suitable timing of the 1970s, which is one of the top ten best in the quarter mile sprint. The best characters of California Bears were founded by Latasha Gilliam (52.53, 1996), Alima Kamara (52.75, 2010) and Marian Franklin (52.90, 1980).

As a student at the University of California Berkeley, Neufville's collegial personal best was 54.08, also founded in 1976. This timing is listed on the seventh under the University of Califoria at Berkeley performances, behind Latasha Gilliam , Marian Franklin, Kim White, Chantal Reynolds, Connie Culbert and Kelia Bolton. Marilyn lived in Berkeley University in California between 1972 and 1983.

In Montreal in the 400m, 400-year-old Irena Szewinska-Kirszenstein of Poland, the Olympic finals were also excellent short sprinter and long sweater like a multiple Olympic gold medalist, a world record (49.28) Ten meters for the 18-year-old Christina Brehmer of East Germany (50.51), and 23-year-old Ellen Strophal-Streidt of the German Democratic Republic (50.55). In 1974, Irena Szewinska-Kirszenstein became the first woman to officially manage the distance in less than 50 seconds.

The Aftermath

Marilyn Neufville has been employed as a tailor in the United States and the United Kingdom for years. She has worked at the Local Authority Social Services in London, in a mental health department. In March 2013, 60-year-old Neufville in 2010 called for unfair dismissal by the Richmond Council in London (Bishop: 2013). In 19459001, Neufville lived and worked in and around Haviland and Halstead in Kansas, Martinsville in Virginia and in Ballwin and St. Charles. In the United States, he lived and worked in Haviland and Halstead, Kansas, Martinsville, Virginia. In Missouri. She lived in Oakland while attending the University of California at Berkeley. She was also affiliated with Tilastopaja Oy Athletics, St. Columbas School in Kilmacolm (Scotland) and the Athletic Association South England. After winning the Commonwealth Games, national stamps were issued with her image.

The 400m plate of Jamaica's women, founded on July 19, 2002 by Lorraine Fenton in Monaco, is now at 49.30. Neufville is still the only Jamaican woman ever to have a world record in outdoor athletics. From 1978 to 1982, Marita Koch of East Germany reduced the world record of 400 million six times, from 49.19 to 48.16 in Europe. Her domination was interrupted by Czechoslovakia's Jarmila Kratochvílová, who reduced it to 47.99 in Helsinki in August 1983. At 1: 53.28, Jarmila Kratochvílová still holds the 800m world record set up in 1983. The world record of 400m (47.60) was rebuilt in Canberra in October 1985 by Marita Koch.

Neufville was officially listed as 5 and 125 pounds. She did not have the most significant build of a sprinter and her thinness made her prone to injury. As a result, she could not perform at many international matches and deteriorated her performance. But she was probably Britain's first elite black athlete.

Works Cited

Associated Press: & # 39; & # 39; M & # 39; Student first takes & # 39; (July 24, 1970) in & # 39; Michigan Daily & # 39;.

] Amateur Athletic Union of the United States: Amateurs Athletic Union News Volumes 43-46, 1972.

Bishop, Rachel. "Social worker claims unfair dismissal of the Richmond Council," (March 1, 2013) in "Richmond & Twickenham Times."

Cashmore, Ellis. Sense of Sports. Lo Ndon: Routledge, 2010.

Wallechinsky, David. The full book of the Olympic Games. London: Aurum Press, 2000.

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