Linford Christie, gbr
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A late starter as a sprinter, Christie narrowly missed selection for the British Olympic team in 1984. He worked hard to reach the peak of sprinting excellence in his 30s. In 1988 he had a triumphant Olympic Games with four UK records, winning silver medals at 100m in 9.97 and at sprint relay, and at 200m in 20.09. In 1992 he won the Olympic gold medal at 100m in 9.96 to become the oldest ever winner at this event by four years. A year later he sealed his position as an all-time great by winning the World title in a time of 9.87, just 0.01 off the world record.
Christie, coached throughout his career by Ron Roddan at Thames Valley Harriers, burst through to international prominence in 1986 in the European Indoor and Outdoor Championships, and the Commonwealth Games. In 1987 he was originally 4th in the World 100m, but was awarded the bronze medal when Ben Johnson (Can) was disqualified.
He was the European Champion Indoors at 60m in 1990, when he ran a European record time of 6.51.
He set his first World Record in 1995, indoors at 200m (20.25) and improved his European indoor 60m record to 6.47.
Christie wins gold in Barcelona
His 23 major championships medals (ten gold) is a British male record as is his 26 national titles, and he also won the World Cup 100m in 1989, 1992 and 1994. His international championship career came to a sad end when he had to leave the track after two false starts in the final of the 1996 Olympic 100m. But in his final year he helped the British men to a memorable European Cup triumph in 1997. With a triple in 1994 and 1995, and Cup records at both 100m and 200m in 1995, he won a record 13 individual (unbeaten, with a tie in his final race, 200m with the Greek Georgios Panayotopoulos) and four relay races in this event 1987-97.
He was awarded the MBE in 1990 and OBE in 1998, and was Sports Writers Association British Sportsman of the Year 1992 and 1993. His home track, the West London Stadium, was renamed in his honour in October 1993. In 1998 he presented the BBC TV programme Record Breakers.
He now coaches British 400m hurdler Natasha Danvers, and runs a Athlete's agency called 'Nuff respect'.
* (ER) European Record
** (WR) World Record
*** (NR) National (UK) Record
**** (CR) Championship Record