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Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu, British-Nigerian 400m runner

Christine Ohuruogu is a British-Nigerian athlete who specialises in the 400 metres, an event for which she has been Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion and in which she has a personal best time of 49.61.

Early Life
Ohuruogu was born on May 17, 1984 in Newham, London to Nigerian parents who had relocated from Imo State two years earlier.

As a former junior netball international, she played for England at the U17 level. She ventured into athletics at the age of 17, joining the Newham and Essex Beagles club after she ran in an 800-metre race at a school sports day and a teacher suggested she take up athletics. She did not fully commit to running until 2003 when she finally stopped playing netball. She specialised in the 400 metres due to the fact that no other member of the athletics club wanted to compete over that distance.

Career
In 2003, Ohuruogu was a bronze medallist at the European Junior Championships and became the AAA champion in 2004. In the same year, she reached the 400-metre semi-finals at the Athens Olympics.

At the 2005 European U23 championships, she won the silver medal. After reaching the 400-metre semi-finals at the 2005 World Championships, she won a bronze medal in the women's 4 x 400 metre relay.

Ohuruogu won a gold medal for England in the 400 metres at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in a time of 50.28 seconds, beating the world and Olympic champion Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas. She won the gold medal at the World Championships in Osaka the following year.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she won Great Britain's only gold medal in athletics. She participated in the 2009 Manchester City Games, finishing second in the 150 metres final in 17.10 seconds. She ran a personal best of 22.85 seconds to take second place in the 200 metres at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in the Netherlands. She also won the 400-metre national title at the UKA Championships in Birmingham the same year.

During the 2012 London Olympics, Ohuruogu won the silver medal in the 400-metre final. In 2005, Ohuruogu graduated from the University College London with a degree in Linguistics. She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2009 New Year Honours and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of East London. She is also the author of a series of children's books about an elite training school for budding athletes.

Watch Ohurugo racing to a first-place finish at the 2012 London Samsung Diamond League meet

Sources

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Tell Magazine
  3. Biogs.com

Picture sources: The Guardian UK and the UK Times