Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 58 George Kerr R.I.P.

Kerr, finishing ahead of Ernie Cunliffe
and Tony Blue in an 800m prelim
at Rome
George Ezekiel Kerr (October 16, 1937 – June 15, 2012) was a Jamaican athlete who competed in the 400 metres and 800 metres twice making the Olympic Games final in the latter event.[1] He was born in Hanover Parish, Maryland, and died in Jamaica.
He competed for the British West Indies at the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy where he won the bronze medal in the 800 metres. He then teamed up with Keith Gardner, Malcolm Spence and James Wedderburn to win the bronze medal in the 4 x 400 metres.
In 1962, he became the first Jamaican athlete to have the national flag flown in recognition of winning a gold when he won double gold in the 400m and 800m at the Central American and Caribbean Games held at Kingston's National Stadium.
At the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, representing Jamaica, he finished fourth in the 800m and the 4x400m relay. He broke the Olympic record for the 800m in the semi-finals but lost the bronze by less than one tenth of a second with 1:45.9, his fastest ever time.

At Perth Commonwealth Games 1962
2nd from left
Kerr also competed at two Commonwealth Games winning a total of three medals. He won gold in the 440 yards and silver in the 880 yards at the 1962 Games in Perth, Australia. His final medal, a bronze for the 880 yards, came at the 1966 Games in Kingston, Jamaica.[2]
On June 4, 2012, Kerr had a heart attack and underwent heart surgery at the University Hospital of the West Indies. He remained in the intensive care unit until he succumbed to complications. He had a wife, Fay Kerr, five children, Karyn, Margaret, Roger, Candice and William Kerr and seven grand children.

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