Tuesday, 30 July 2013


                               BLACK                SOCIAL              HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu, MBE  born 17 May 1984  is a British athlete, who specialises in the 400 metres; the event for which she is the former Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion. Her victory in the Beijing Games was the 50th gold medal for Great Britain in Athletics at Olympic Games. She also won the 400 m at the 2007 World Championships and a silver medal at the Olympics in London.
Ohuruogu's personal best time of 49.61s ranks her third amongst British women 400 m runners, behind Kathy Cook and Katharine Merry. She is coached by Lloyd Cowan.


Born to Igbo Nigerian parents in Newham, east London, she was raised less than one mile from the 2012 Summer Olympics stadium in Stratford. She competed for Newham in the London Youth Games at both netball and athletics. 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. 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, and conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of East London.
She is the author of the "Camp Gold" series of children's books about an elite training school for budding athletes.

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 favouriteTonique Williams-Darling in both the semi-final and the final.
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. That said, Sanya Richards was not competing, after failing to make the United States team.

2006 Commonwealth GHowever after the race the Australians were awarded the gold medal, as the English team had breached IAAF Rule 170 when Danvers-Smith changed position with Lewis.At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Ohuruogu ran the final leg in the 4 x 400 m relay for England. On the second leg with 200 m to go until the third change-over, Jamaica were leading with Australia second and England in third. The rules are that the change over athletes are to line up in order of the position at 200 m. This would have meant that Jamaica would have the inside lane, then Australia with England third from the inside. However, between 200 m and 300 m of the second leg, Nicola Sanders of England overtook Caitlin Willis meaning coming up to the third change, the English team were second, with Australia in third place. Tasha Danvers, the English athlete changed places with the Australian, Tamsyn Lewis. On the home straight, however, Willis and Sanders ran in the 2nd and 3rd lane respectively, and had to change over to pass the baton, as they were obviously aware of the rules. The English team went on to win the race, with Ohuruogu pulling away at the end.

(RULE 170 Relay Races9. The athletes in the third and fourth legs of the 4 x 400 m relay race shall, under the direction of a designated official, place themselves in their waiting position in the same order (inside to out) as the order of their respective team members as they complete 200 m of their legs. Once the incoming athletes have passed this point, the waiting athletes shall maintain their order, and shall not exchange positions at the beginning of the take-over zone. If an athlete does not follow this Rule, his team shall be disqualified.)
BLACK          SOCIAL               HISTORY

Competition suspension

Christine Ohuruogu was suspended from competing in the 2006 European Athletics Championships because she had committed a doping violation. 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. Under IAAF and British Olympic Association rules, she received a one-year ban for missing these tests, which expired on 5 August 2007.
The British Olympic Association also imposed a lifetime ban on competing at future Olympic Games for Great Britain. She appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the original decision was upheld. Ohuruogu submitted a further appeal, claiming that she would probably leave Britain and compete in the Olympics for another country if it was unsuccessful. Her Olympic ban was over-ruled on 27 November 2007.

2007 Athletics World Championships

A day after her ban was finished, Ohuruogu was selected for the British team at the 2007 Athletics World Championships. 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.

2008 Olympics

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 beat the pre-race favourite Sanya Richards (bronze) and Shericka Williams (silver), with a time of 49.62s. This time, over 2 seconds slower than the world record, would have achieved no higher than bronze at each of the Olympics since 1976 (and was slower than 5th place in 1996). It was Great Britain's only track and field Olympic gold of the 2008 Games, and Ohuruogu was the first British female Olympic champion of the 400 m.


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. She competed at the 2009 Manchester City Games, finishing second in the 150 metres final in 17.10 seconds She ran a personal best 22.85 seconds to take second place in the 200 m at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games.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. She had failed to break 51 seconds in the 2009 season; some distance behind world-leader Richards' best of 49.23 seconds. A hamstring problem caused her to withdraw from the London Grand Prix, raising doubts that she would be able to defend her World title. 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 Olympics

Ohuruogo 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. Ohuruogo said she was "heartbroken" to not be able to defend her title.