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Veronica Campbell-Brown, who led Jamaica’s golden sprint revival, retires

Veronica Campbell-Brown

Veronica Campbell Brown (R) of Jamaica sprints to the finish line to win the women’s 200m final at the National Stadium as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 21, 2008. Veronica Campbell Brown of Jamaica won ahead of Allyson Felix of the US and Kerron Stewart of Jamaica. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Veronica Campbell-Brown, who won back-to-back Olympic 200m titles to lead Jamaica’s ascent to the top of global sprinting, announced her retirement on the eve of her nation’s Olympic Trials.

“As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town walks away happy and contented with a race well run,” was posted on the 39-year-old’s social media. “Through the grace of God, I have climbed from a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica up the ladder of success to become one of the most decorated women in the Olympic Games and World Championships history.”

Campbell-Brown sprinted at five Olympics from 2000 to 2016, earning eight medals, one shy of the Olympic women’s track and field record.

In 2004, she beat an 18-year-old Allyson Felix for gold in Athens, becoming Jamaica’s first Olympic flat sprint champion in 28 years. She repeated in 2008, again relegating Felix to silver.

Campbell-Brown also excelled at 100m, winning a world title in 2007 and Olympic bronze medals in 2004 and 2012.

She was honored with a statue in a park outside the National Stadium in Kingston, along with other champions from her era -- Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Asafa Powell. Past Jamaican Olympic sprint legends Herb McKenley, Don Quarrie and Merlene Ottey were previously feted with statues.

Campbell-Brown came from the same parish as Bolt and the same high school as Ottey.

“I realized in primary school, around 10, that I had a chance,” Campbell-Brown said years ago. “I would run a lot, and I would win. I would beat the girls, I would beat the boys, and I realized there was something special about this gift that I had.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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