Jamaican Olympic champion Les Laing has died

Jamaican Olympic gold medallist Leslie ‘Les’ Laing has died sending a pall of gloom over the track and field community. He was 94.

Laing was part of the gold medal winning 4x400m team from the Helsinki, Finland games in 1952.

Laing died on Sunday just days ahead of his 95th. It’s uncertain what led to his death but his age is being considered a factor.

Laing was a member of the storied 4×400 relay team that mined gold in a then world record at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. He ran the second leg on the team which included fellow greats Herb McKenley, George Rhoden and Dr Arthur Wint.

Of that quartet, only George Rhoden remains alive with Wint passing in 1992 and Herb McKenley in 2007.

Tributes have been pouring in since with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) describing him as one of Jamaica’s “great Olympic pioneers”.