“It is with a heavy heart, or half of one rather, I must say goodbye to the sport.”, words shared by Jamaican Olympian and National 5000m record holder, Kemoy Campbell. The former Bellefield High School standout athlete was forced to retire from competitive athletics, following his near-death experience at the 2019 Millrose Games in New York 7 months ago. The athlete collapsed during the men’s 3000m while running as a pacesetter in the event.

It was later confirmed that Campbell experienced heart failure and spent a collective of 17 days in the hospital. He added that despite “numerous tests” doctors were unable to deduce the cause of heart failure.

An internal defibrillator (ICD) was implanted inside the athlete to prevent a repeat of the situation in New York, however, on Thursday, September 6, Campbell took to his Instagram to announce his early retirement. Since then he has been receiving an outpour of love from his followers as well as members of the athletics fraternity.

“I will no longer be competing. I have given my all to this sport. It has taken me to places I never dreamt of going. It gave a shy boy from rural Jamaica the opportunity to prove himself to the world. I believe I have done my part. I’ve represented myself, my family, my country proudly. I’ve represented.”

Campbell is the 5 times National Champion in the 5000m and also represented Jamaica at the 2017 London World Championships where he was placed 10th.

Campbell became the first male Jamaican distance runner to compete in a final at the IAAF World Championships in London 2017 where he finished 10th. He has also won five national championships.

On behalf of the entire CVM family, I just want to say thanks to Kemoy Campbell for representing Jamaica to the best of your ability, you are truly an icon.