Tue | Aug 4, 2020

Olympian Fray kills self

Published:Thursday | November 7, 2019 | 12:28 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Mike Fray, a two-time individual Olympic finalist, died on Wednesday morning in Kingston in an apparent suicide.

Police are investigating the circumstances of his death, which appeared to be caused by hanging.

Fray, who had injured a shoulder recently, is one of a small group of Jamaican men who have reached Olympic finals in the 100 and 200 metres. He placed sixth in the 1968 200m final and fifth in the 100m in 1972.

He emerged as a medal winner at Boys’ Champs for St Andrew Technical High School in 1965 in races won by his future Olympic teammate Lennox Miller. With high school behind him, the 18-year-old Fray accelerated into the Jamaica team, winning a sprint relay silver medal at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston and a CAC Games gold.

At the 1967 Pan-Am Games, he reached both sprint finals.

Early in 1968, he set a Jamaican record of 20.2 seconds for 220 yards. Converted to 20.1 for 200m, the run would stand as a national benchmark for several years.

At the 1968 Olympics, Fray joined Errol Stewart, Clifton Forbes, and Miller in a 4x100m unit that set two world records en route to fifth in the final. The mark he helped to set in the semis – 38.39 seconds – stood as the Jamaican record until the 2000 Olympics.

The tall Kingston native, who attended the University of Texas at El Paso, returned to the Olympics in 1972, where he reached the 100m final and became only the second Jamaican after the peerless Herb McKenley to have run in the finals of both sprint events.

The affable sprinter turned 72 in September.