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Michelle-Lee Ahye
Michelle-Lee Ahye during the 4x100 relay semifinals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, 2022. - Guardian Photos.

Michelle-Lee Ahye

Athlete Info

01 Disciplines 60m, 100m, 200m  
02 Born 10 April 1992, Port of Spain, Trinidad  
03 Lives Round Rock, Texas, USA  
04 Statistics 1.68m/59kg  
05 Coach Matt Kane  
06 Manager Stellar Athletics  

Personal Bests

space Event Results Year space
01 60m 7.09 2016  
02 100m 10.82 2017 NR
03 200m 22.25 2016 NR

Yearly Progression

space Year 60m (i) 100m 200m space
01 2006 - 11.94 -  
02 2007 - 11.76 24.30  
03 2008 - 11.66 23.80  
04 2009 - 11.69 -  
05 2010 - 11.32 24.14  
06 2011 - 11.20 -  
07 2012 7.49 11.19 23.13  
08 2013 7.32 11.06 22.98  
09 2014 7.10 10.85 22.77  
10 2015 7.11 10.97 22.25  
11 2016 7.09 10.90 22.50  
12 2017 - 10.82 23.37  
13 2018 7.13 11.06 -  
14 2019 7.15 - 23.61  
15 2021 - 11.00 23.44  
16 2022 7.11 10.94 -  

Career Highlights

space Year Place Event Meet Mark space
01 2007 1 100 Carifta Games U17 (Providenciales) 11.76  
02 2008 1 100 Carifta Games U17 (Basseterre) 11.66  
03 2010 1 100 Carifta Games U20 (George Town) 11.5  
04 2010 1 4x100 Carifta Games U20 (George Town) 45.06  
05 2011 1 100 Pan Am Junior Championships (Miramar) 11.25  
06 2011 1 4x100 CAC Championships (Mayaguez) 43.47  
07 2011 2 100 Carifta Games U20 (Montego Bay) 11.44  
08 2011 2 4x100 Carifta Games U20 (Montego Bay) 45.8  
09 2013 2 4x100 CAC Championships (Morelia) 43.67  
10 2014 1 4x100 Continental Cup (Marrakech) 42.44  
11 2014 2 100 Continental Cup (Marrakech) 11.25  
12 2014 3 4x100 World Relays (Nassau) 42.66  
13 2014 6 60 World Indoor Championships (Sopot) 7.16  
14 2015 3 100 NACAC Championships (San Jose) 11.22  
15 2015 3 4x100 World Championships (Beijing) 42.03  
16 2015 5 4x100 World Relays (Nassau) 42.88  
17 2015 5 100 World Championships (Beijing) 10.98  
18 2016 4 60 World Indoor Championships (Portland) 7.11  
19 2016 5 4x100 Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro) 42.12  
20 2016 6 100 Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro) 10.92  
21 2016 6 200 Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro) 22.34  
22 2017 1 100  National Championships Port-of-Spain (TTO) 10.82  
23 2017 1 200  National Championships Port-of-Spain (TTO) 22.50  
24 2017 6 100  World Championships London (GBR) 11.01  
25 2017 6 4x100  World Championships London (GBR) 42.62  
26 2018 6 60  World Indoor Championships Birmingham (GBR) 7.13  
27 2018 1 100  Commonwealth Games Gold Coast (AUS) 11.14  
28 2018 1 100  National Championships Port-of-Spain (TTO) 11.14  
29 2022 7 60  World Indoor Championships Beograd (SRB) 7.11  
30 2022 6 4x100  Commonwealth Games Birmingham (GBR) 43.86  
31 2022 5 100  NACAC Championships Freeport (BAH) 11.23  
Michelle-Lee Ahye
Michelle-Lee Ahye gets ready for the women's 100m semi-final two during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at the Olympic stadium, in Tokyo. - (AFP PHOTO)

Michelle-Lee Ahye Biography

Michelle-Lee Ahye is motivated by love, the deep love she feels for her rock and fortress, Raquel Ahye. Raquel is the young sprinter's mother.

"Growing up, it was just me and my mom," Michelle-Lee explains. "My dad wasn't around so things were hard. Seeing my mom struggle to take care of me I made a promise to myself that this track thing is my way out, to help me and my mom. My idol has always been my mom. I've never seen such a strong, independent woman. She motivates me every day.

"She played a very big part in my life. She never missed a track meet unless I had to travel. She raised me to be the woman I am today. If it wasn't for her I probably would have been wasting my life doing nothing. She has had my back through the good and bad. If I needed a shoulder to cry on she was there."

Ahye got her first taste of athletics while attending Carenage Girls Government Primary School. "I got involved in track and field at the age of six during PE (physical education) class with Miss Abeyola Akowe. We were doing some runs, and I guess she saw it in me and told my mom.

"From the moment I joined a club," she continues, "and started competing and winning, I said to myself, 'hey, I'm good at this, I should keep it up'."

Ahye is grateful to her mother and her PE teacher for the roles they have played in her track and field career. "My mom, my granny Madline and Miss Akowe were the ones behind me. From day one they have been there, and up to this day they're still here with me."

Ahye's world-beating potential was evident from early. As a 14-year-old, she clocked 11.94 seconds in the 100 metres. And at 15, Ahye was crowned 2007 Carifta Games under-17 champion with an 11.76 clocking in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The improvement continued, and in 2008 Ahye retained her Carifta title, the T&T sprinter getting to the line in 11.66 seconds. Earlier in the season, she had clocked 11.48.

Ahye was the class of the under-20 100m field at the 2010 Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands, winning the century in 11.50 seconds. She went on to clock 11.32 in striking gold at the T&T Junior Championships, establishing herself as a genuine contender for the World Junior Championship title in Moncton, Canada.

At the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships in the Dominican Republic, however, Ahye did not face the starter in the 100m championship race, complaining of muscle soreness after leading all qualifiers into the final with an 11.61 run. That injury kept her off the T&T team for Moncton.

"My biggest disappointment was when I got injured two years back-to-back, which took away my chance from making the World Junior team, knowing I had a good chance of getting a medal."

In 2011, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Ahye was dethroned as Carifta Games 100m champion, her 11.44 seconds run earning her silver, behind Bahamian Anthonique Strachan (11.38).

But there was revenge for Ahye at the Pan American Junior Championships, in Florida, USA. The T&T teen scorched the track in 11.25 seconds to grab gold, ahead of American Keilah Tyson (11.39) and Strachan (11.46).

Ahye carried that momentum into the World Championships in Daegu, Korea. "My biggest achievements were making my first World Championships, making it through to the semis being only 19, and making the Olympics and also making it through to the semis…that moment and feeling is one I'll never forget."

In Daegu, Ahye advanced to the semi-final round with a then personal best 11.20 run. She also got to the 100m semis at the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Before heading to Moscow, Ahye clocked 11.06 seconds to finish second to Kelly-Ann Baptiste (10.83) in the National Championship final. Ahye was later promoted to first after Baptiste was found guilty of doping and had her results and times for a 21-month period struck from the record books.

Ahead of her 2014 campaign, Ahye was hoping for a breakout season. "Season goals are to run some really good times in the 100 and 200, and to finish my season injury-free."

On February 15, Ahye won the 60m dash at the Millrose Games in New York, USA with an impressive 7.13 seconds run, equalling the T&T indoor record established by Baptiste in 2008.

In March, at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, Ahye improved on the T&T standard, getting to the line in 7.10 seconds for third spot in her semi-final heat. In the final, she finished sixth in 7.16.

Outdoors, Ahye clocked a personal best 10.85 seconds in the National Championship 100m semis, and followed up with victory in the final in 10.88. Thanks to the 10.85 run, Ahye finished joint-second with Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare on the 2014 world performance list. And in the 200, Ahye twice clocked a personal best 22.77 seconds that season.

Ahye credits overdistance training and a change of mentality under the guidance of Eric Francis for the tremendous strides she made in 2014.

"My coach has had a big impact on my career with his words of wisdom. I never met someone who believes in me the way he does."

In addition to the fast times in 2014, Ahye beat Jamaican Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown, as well as the 2011 100m world champion Carmelita Jeter of the United States.

A hamstring injury, however, thwarted Ahye's bid for honours at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. She opted out of the 100m semis, after struggling in her first round heat.

About seven weeks later, Ahye was back on track at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco. She picked up silver in the 100m dash, behind Campbell-Brown, and then teamed up with American Tianna Bartoletta and Jamaicans Samantha Henry-Robinson and Campbell-Brown for gold in the 4x100m relay.

At the 2015 IAAF World Championships, in Beijing, China, Ahye finished fifth in the women's 100m final in 10.98 seconds. It was the very first time she had appeared in a major global outdoor final.

And there was a new chapter of history for Team T&T in the 4x100m relay. Ahye combined with Baptiste, Reyare Thomas and Semoy Hackett for bronze in a national record time of 42.03 seconds. It was the first-ever podium finish at a World Championships or Olympic Games for the country's relay women.

Earlier in the season, at the Shanghai IAAF Diamond League meet, in China, Ahye was third in the 100m dash, but had the satisfaction of beating Fraser-Pryce for the second time in her career.

"Those wins are very important to me. They made me more hungry, and boosted my confidence to a thousand."

Ahye's next major assignment was at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, USA. Winner of six out of seven 60m finals ahead of the meet, she was a genuine medal contender.

In her last outing ahead of the Championships, in Jablonec, Czech Republic on 5 March, Ahye equalled her own national record with a 7.10 seconds golden dash.

In the first round in Portland, Ahye bettered her T&T standard with a 7.09 run. She reproduced that time in the semis, and then clocked 7.11 seconds for fourth spot in the championship race.

Ahye's next major stop was the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She reached the 100m and 200m finals to become T&T's most successful female Olympian. Ahye finished sixth in both championship races. In the 200 semis, she had the satisfaction of producing a 22.25 seconds national record run.

In the 4x100m relay, T&T captured fifth spot, Hackett, Ahye, Baptiste and Khalifa St Fort teaming up for a 42.12 seconds clocking.

On to the 2017 season, and there's a major change for Ahye. Though she still lives in Texas, USA, the track star has moved her training base from Houston to Round Rock, and is now coached by Matt Kane.

"This year it's been a rocky start, but it ended up going good in the middle part, so I'm ready to run."

The highpoint for Ahye so far this season was undoubtedly the 10.82 seconds national record run that earned her gold at the T&T Championships in late June. The clocking secured second spot for Ahye on the 2017 world performance list. And she is 13th on the 200m list thanks to the 22.50 run that saw her completing the T&T Championship sprint double.

Ahye is clearly a contender for honours at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, in London, England.

"The goal is to stay healthy and fit and to be on the podium. It doesn't matter which race. I just want to be on the podium."

The T&T sprinter is just 25, and, whatever happens in London, seems set for a long and successful career.

"I came a long way. Been working hard to be one of the best someday, to be recognised for my talent, and save so I can take care of my mom."

Born and bred in Carenage, a community in northwest Trinidad afflicted with a stigma of crime, Ahye is keen to prove the critics wrong.

"My hometown, Carenage inspires me because people say bad stuff like nothing good ever comes out of Carenage, only gangsters, etcetera. But not me!

"I lived in Carenage up until I was 18, moved to Mt. Hope (Trinidad) with the manager of TNT Elite Sports, Sean Roach, who helped me out for a couple years with my track career. Then I moved to Woodbrook (Trinidad) on my own for about six months before I came to Houston (Texas)."

Though Ahye is quiet and unassuming, she stands out in a crowd. "Some people might think I'm some type of bad person because of my tattoos. Don't let my tattoos fool you. Behind all these tattoos is a very quiet girl who don't look for no kind of trouble, who keeps to herself, and minds her own business.

"I just love tattoos, and although I may not smile a lot, that's just me. So don't think of the worse. I'm human like everybody else, I'm friendly, and very easy to talk to."

The tattoo on Ahye's right forearm carries special significance.

"It has my cousin's name, She Ming. She died from cancer. She was like my sister. Even though she's not here, She's always with me everywhere I go."

Prepared by Kwame Laurence for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. © 2014-2017 IAAF (Stats updated 2022)

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