Les Laing was overshadowed but still an outstanding performer

3 years ago

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Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell has hailed the late Olympian Les Laing as a dependable and outstanding performer, even if he may have at times been overshadowed by a few of his contemporaries.

Laing, a part of Jamaica’s Olympic and World Record-setting team at the 1952 Olympics, died on Sunday at the age of 95. 

The more talked about members of the historical quartet were Jamaica track and field legends Arthur Wint and Herb McKenley but Laing blazed a trail of his own.  At 5”4′ Laing was the shortest of the four Jamaicans on the 4x400m team.  He was, however, recognized for his achievements on the track by the noted magazine Track and Field News which listed him in its annual world rankings on three occasions.  Laing was listed at number nine in 1948, number 10 in 1949, and at number nine once more in 1953.

“Although he was overshadowed by the likes of George Rhoden, Herb Mckenley, and Arthur Wint he is important in no uncertain manner.  He was considered very steady, very dependable,” Fennell said.

“He was a part of the world record 4x400m relay team at the Olympic Games, in Helsinki, in 1952.  He was also there in London in ’48 when we had the tragedy of Arthur Wint getting injured, but he was really a 200m runner, having made the finals in both Olympics,” he added.

“He was quiet, unassuming, a gentleman at all times, and a very outstanding performer.”