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Christine Ohuruogu

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Title: Christine Ohuruogu  
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Subject: 2013 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 400 metres, Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics, Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 400 metres, 400 metres, 2013 World Championships in Athletics
Collection: 1984 Births, Alumni of University College London, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Black English Sportspeople, Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallists for England, Commonwealth Games Competitors for England, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists for England, Doping Cases in Athletics, English Children's Writers, English Olympic Medallists, English People of Igbo Descent, English Sportspeople in Doping Cases, English Sprinters, Female Sprinters, Igbo Sportspeople, Living People, Medalists at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Medalists at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Members of the Order of the British Empire, Olympic Athletes of Great Britain, Olympic Gold Medallists for Great Britain, Olympic Medalists in Athletics (Track and Field), Olympic Silver Medallists for Great Britain, People from Stratford, London, Sportspeople from London, World Championships in Athletics Athletes for Great Britain, World Championships in Athletics Medalists
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu
Ohuruogu at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Born (1984-05-17) 17 May 1984
London, England
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight 68 kg (150 lb)
Country  Great Britain
Club Newham and Essex Beagles
Turned pro 2004
Achievements and titles
World finals 2007 – 1st 2013 – 1st
Olympic finals 2008 – 1st, 400m
Highest world ranking 200 m: 11 (2008)
400 m: 2 (2007/2008)
Personal best(s) 100 m 11.35
200 m 22.85
400 m 49.41 NR
Updated on 30 August 2015.

Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu, MBE (born 17 May 1984) is a British Track and field athlete who specialises in the 400 metres, the event for which she is the former Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion.

The Olympic champion in 2008, and silver medalist in 2012, she is a double World Champion, having won the 400 m at the 2007 and 2013 World Championships. She has also won four World championship bronze medals in the women's 4 x 400m relay as part of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team.

Ohuruogu's personal best time of 49.41 seconds, set at the 2013 World Championships, beat the UK record set by Kathy Cook in 1984 by 0.02 seconds, simultaneously making her the first British female to win two World Championship titles, and the first British female to win three global titles.[2][3] She is coached by Lloyd Cowan.


  • Biography 1
  • Athletics career 2
    • 2006 Commonwealth Games Relay controversy 2.1
    • Competition suspension 2.2
    • 2007 2.3
    • 2008 2.4
    • 2009 2.5
    • 2011 Athletics World championships 2.6
    • 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships 2.7
    • 2012 Olympics 2.8
    • 2013 Athletics World championships 2.9
    • 2014 Athletics World Indoor Championships 2.10
    • 2015 Athletics World championships 2.11
  • Personal bests 3
  • Titles 4
    • International Titles 4.1
    • National titles 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Born to Igbo Nigerian parents[4][5] in Newham, east London,[6] she was raised less than one mile from the 2012 Summer Olympics stadium in Stratford.[7] She competed for Newham in the London Youth Games at both netball and athletics.[8] She was inducted into the London Youth Games Hall of Fame in 2009. Ohuruogu studied at University College London, where she graduated in Linguistics in 2005.[9] She also played netball during her undergraduate studies. She has eight siblings, one of whom is Victoria Ohuruogu, a sprints competitor. She attended St. Edward's Church of England School, Romford and Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green.

Ohuruogu is a member of Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club.

She was appointed MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours,[10][11] and conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of East London.[12]

She is the author of the "Camp Gold" series of children's books about an elite training school for budding athletes.[13]

Athletics career

In 2003 Ohuruogu was a bronze medallist at 400 m at the European Junior Championships. She became the AAA champion in the 400 m in 2004, was a semi-finalist in the 400 m at the Athens Olympics of 2004, also taking part in the 4 x 400 m relay team that finished 4th. In the 2005 European Under 23 Championships she took the silver medal, losing individual gold by a hundredth of a second. She also won silver in the 4 x 400 m relay.

After reaching the semi-final at the 400 m at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics she won a bronze medal in the women's 4 x 400 m relay together with Lee McConnell, Donna Fraser and Nicola Sanders.

Ohuruogu won a gold medal for England in the 400 m at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in a personal best time of 50.28 seconds, beating favourite Tonique Williams-Darling in both the semi-final and the final.[14]

She was banned for a year for missing three out-of-competition drug tests; one in October 2005 and then a further two in June 2006.[15]

Within 24 days of the end of her year-long competition suspension she returned to win the gold medal at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. Fellow British athlete, Nicola Sanders won silver with Novlene Williams of Jamaica third. Ohuruogu won all three of her individual races at the world championships – her heat, her semi-final and the final.

2006 Commonwealth Games Relay controversy

2006 Commonwealth games: Danvers-Smith (centre) should have been the other side of Lewis (left). In the background: Sanders (back left) and Willis (back middle) had to change lanes, resulting in the 'obstruction' and disqualification.

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Ohuruogu missed out on a gold medal due to a mix-up caused by other members of her team. She ran the final leg in the 4 x 400 m relay for England, where the team finished over a second ahead of Australia, with Ohuruogu pulling away at the end. However, after the race the Australians were awarded the gold medal, after they protested that the English team had breached IAAF Rule 170 earlier in the race, when Danvers-Smith changed position with Tamsyn Lewis. Australian winner Jana Pittman offered the England team her gold medal, stating "They set the fastest time of the day and England are the winners of the race".[16][17]

Ohuruogu (in dark blue, centre) winning the 400 m at the world championship in Osaka

Competition suspension

Christine Ohuruogu was suspended from competing in the 2006 European Athletics Championships because she had committed a doping violation.[18] She missed three out-of-competition drug tests, known as the "whereabouts" system, of the World Anti-Doping Code; one in October 2005 and then a further two in June 2006.[15] Under IAAF and British Olympic Association rules, she received a one-year ban for missing these tests, which expired on 5 August 2007.[19] The final test missed occurred when Ohuruogu failed to inform the testers of a last-minute change of training venue after a double-booking. Due to the circumstances, the Independent Committee stated "There is no suggestion, nor any grounds for suspicion, that the offence may have been deliberate in order to prevent testing," and that a fair ban would have been 3 months. Ohuruogu passed tests 9 days before and 3 days after her final violation.[20]

The British Olympic Association also imposed a lifetime ban on competing at future Olympic Games for Great Britain.[21] She appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the original decision was upheld, even though CAS emphasised that there was no suspicion of doping. Ohuruogu submitted a further appeal, citing the precedent of triathlete Tim Don.[20] Ohuruogu suggested that she would probably leave Britain and compete in the Olympics for another country if it was unsuccessful, but confessed "I haven't really given it any serious thought.".[22][23] Her Olympic ban was over-ruled on 27 November 2007.[24]


A day after her ban was finished, Ohuruogu was selected for the British team at the 2007 Athletics World Championships.[19] She had only run five competitive races before the final since her suspension; however, she won the individual 400m, taking the only gold medal for Great Britain at the Championships. Nicola Sanders won silver. Ohuruogu was also part of the bronze medal winning team in the 400 m relay. Although she became the World Champion, she was ranked No. 2 in the world behind Sanya Richards.


In Beijing, Ohuruogu won her heat against Yulia Guschina who finished 0.18 seconds behind. She won the semi-final over Shericka Williams by 0.14 seconds. In the final she became the first ever British female 400m champion, by beating the pre-race favourite Sanya Richards (bronze) and Shericka Williams (silver), with a time of 49.62s,[25] the fastest time of 2008. She was once again ranked No. 2 in the world over 400m behind Sanya Richards.[26]


In preparation for the European Indoor Championships in Turin, Ohuruogu set personal bests in the 60 metres and 200 m at the Birmingham Grand Prix.[27] She competed at the 2009 Manchester City Games, finishing second in the 150 metres final in 17.10 seconds.[28] She ran a personal best 22.85 seconds to take second place in the 200 m at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games.[29] While she won the 400 m national title at the UKA Championships in Birmingham that July, her times and finishes over the distance at IAAF Golden League meets were unimpressive.[30] She had failed to break 51 seconds in the 2009 season; some distance behind world-leader Richards' best of 49.23 seconds.[31] A hamstring problem caused her to withdraw from the London Grand Prix, raising doubts that she would be able to defend her World title.[30] Ohuruogo's form improved in time for the 2009 World Championships, and she set a season's best time in her semi-final heat.She ran another season's best of 50.21s in the final, well behind Sanya Richards, who won in a time of 49.00s

2011 Athletics World championships

Ohuruogu was selected for the British team at the 2011 World Championships. She was disqualified from the individual 400 m after a false start.

2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships

Christine, after legs from Shana Cox and Nicola Sanders took over in third place for Great Britain. Ohuruogu handed over to Perri Shakes-Drayton to hold off Sanya Richards-Ross to win Great Britain's first ever IAAF World Indoor Championships medal in the Women's 4x400m relay.

2012 Olympics

Ohuruogu won the silver medal at 400m in the 2012 London Olympics. In a close race Sanya Richards Ross held on to take the gold while Ohuruogu produced a fast finish to beat DeeDee Trotter and Amantle Montsho by just a few hundredths of a second to take the Silver. Trotter took Bronze and Montsho, the World Champion finished fourth. Richards-Ross won in 49.55s, Ohuruogu ran a season's best time of 49.70, which is only the third time she has run under 50 seconds. Ohuruogu said she was "heartbroken" to not be able to defend her title.

2013 Athletics World championships

Ohuruogu claimed a second World Title on 12 August 2013, becoming the first British woman to do so, by winning the 400m final in Moscow. A late surge helped her pip Amantle Montsho in a photo finish, and beat Kathy Cook's long-standing British record in the process, with a time of 49.41s, beating Montsho by 0.004 seconds.[32]

2014 Athletics World Indoor Championships

Ohuruogu only entered the 4x400m Womens relay, alongside her sister Victoria Ohuruogu, attempting to defend the title that Great Britain won at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot. However Ohuruogu alongside her teammates finished in bronze medal position.

2015 Athletics World championships

Despite an injury ravaged season, defending champion Ohuruogu reached the final of the 400m. She, however, finished in eighth place with a time of 50.63, which is widely recognised as Ohuruogu easing up when she knew a medal wasn't within reach.[33]

She did however lead off the British 4x400m relay to a Bronze medal in these World Championships.

Personal bests

Event Best Location Date
60 metres 7.54 s Birmingham, England 21 February 2009
100 metres 11.35 s Irvine, California, United States 4 May 2008
200 metres 22.85 s Hengelo, Netherlands 1 June 2009
400 metres 49.41 s Moscow, Russia 12 August 2013


International Titles

Preceded by
Aliann Pompey
Commonwealth Champion in 400m
Succeeded by
Amantle Montsho
Preceded by
Tonique Williams-Darling
World Champion in 400m
Succeeded by
Sanya Richards
Preceded by
Tonique Williams-Darling
Olympic Champion in 400m
Succeeded by
Sanya Richards-Ross
Preceded by
Amantle Montsho
World Champion in 400m
Succeeded by
Allyson Felix
Preceded by
 United States
Debbie Dunn
DeeDee Trotter
Natasha Hastings
Allyson Felix
World Indoor Champion in 4 x 400m relay
representing  Great Britain
Shana Cox
Nicola Sanders
Perri Shakes-Drayton

Succeeded by
 United States
Natasha Hastings
Joanna Atkins
Francena McCorory
Cassandra Tate
Jernail Hayes*
Monica Hargrove*
Preceded by
Kseniya Zadorina
Kseniya Vdovina
Yelena Migunova
Olesya Forsheva
European Indoor Champion in 4 x 400m relay
representing  Great Britain
Eilidh Child
Shana Cox
Perri Shakes-Drayton

Succeeded by
Floria Guei
Elea Mariama Diarra
Agnes Raharolahy
Marie Gayot

National titles

Preceded by
Helen Karagounis
British Champion in 400m
Succeeded by
Donna Fraser
Preceded by
Lee McConnell
British Champion in 400m
Succeeded by
Lee McConnell

See also


  1. ^ "Team GB – Christine Ohuruogu". Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ Matt Majendie (13 August 2013). "World Championships 2013: Christine Ohuruogu leaves it late again to seal her place in history". London: The Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Snow, Mat (11 January 2009). "Christine Ohuruogu: Holidays are for wimps". London: Times Newspapers. Retrieved 25 January 2009. Her parents came to England from Nigeria in 1980 and the family name means "fighter" in their native Igbo tongue. 
  5. ^ McRae, Donald (2 August 2008). "Mirth and melancholy of a dreamer named Ohuruogu". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2009. From Ohuruogu, "My mum and dad still speak their Igbo dialect which we were never taught. But we know odd words. Like when someone annoys you, you know how to insult them." 
  6. ^ Athletics: Briton Sweating Over Drugs Test The Guardian – 9 November 2006
  7. ^ Duncan Mackay Fate of star athlete and UK 2012 Olympics hope hangs in the balance The Guardian – 8 August 2006
  8. ^ Hall of Fame retrieved 19 February 2013
  9. ^ "UCL world champion". UCL News. University College London. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2008. 
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 20. 31 December 2008.
  11. ^ "Honours" (PDF). BBC News. 
  12. ^ "University of East London honours Olympic stars Coe, Ohuruogu and Hunter". Podium. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Valentina, Renee; Jacquelin Magnay (22 March 2006). "It's Ohuruogu in a 400 upset". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 April 2007. 
  15. ^ a b Slater, Matt (22 January 2009). "Legal threat to anti-doping code". BBC News. 
  16. ^ "England Stripped of Golds". 
  17. ^ "Pittman spat: English want all four golds". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 April 2006. 
  18. ^ "Court of Arbitration for Sport – Christine Ohuruogu decision". IAAF. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Ohuruogu handed place in GB squad". BBC. 7 August 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007. 
  20. ^ a b "Dates prove Christine Ohuruogu is no cheat". BBC (London). 8 November 2007. 
  21. ^ "Ohuruogu is hit by one-year ban". BBC. 15 September 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2007. 
  22. ^ "Ohuruogu ready to change nationality". SuperAthletics. 8 August 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  23. ^ Ohuruogu could to on the run for Nigeria, Daily Express, 9 August 2007
  24. ^ "Olympic ban reprieve for Ohuruogu". BBC. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Ohuruogu grabs gold for Britain". BBC. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  26. ^ "Women's 400m". Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  27. ^ Ashenden, Mark (21 February 2009). Farah breaks record in Birmingham. BBC Sport. Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
  28. ^ Superb Bolt storms to 150m record. BBC Sport (17 May 2009). Retrieved on 17 May 2009.
  29. ^ Hart, Simon (1 June 2009). Christine Ohuruogu sets 200m personal best. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 5 June 2009.
  30. ^ a b Kessel, Anna (17 July 2009). Christine Ohuruogu's withdrawal leaves world champ a doubt for Berlin. The Guardian. Retrieved on 23 July 2009.
  31. ^ Ramsak, Bob (5 July 2009). Richards to take on Felix in Rome – ÅF Golden League. IAAF. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  32. ^ Lewis, Aimee (12 August 2013). "World Athletics 2013: Christine Ohuruogu wins gold in photo-finish". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  33. ^

External links

  • Christine Ohuruogu profile at IAAF
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