15th July 2020
FAMOUS FLASHBACKS - WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 1-2S
With athletics slowly but surely returning to normal across the United Kingdom and the world, we’re looking back at some memorable moments from major championships where Britons have locked out the top two places on the podium.
We begin our look back with the World Athletics Championships from the past, with a scintillating Colin Jackson world record in 1993, and a stunning last 50m in the women’s 400m from Osaka in 2007.
1993 – Sensational Jackson Rules Supreme In Stuttgart
In 1993, the stage belonged to Colin Jackson and Tony Jarrett as they became the first British athletes to win gold and silver in the same event as they blew away the competition in Stuttgart to take gold and silver in the men’s 110m hurdles.
Jarrett arrived in Stuttgart off the back of a third place finish in the 1991 World Championships and had enjoyed a fourth-place finish at the Olympic Games in Barcelona the previous year and was keen to push himself onto the podium this time around.
By comparison, Jackson, the Olympic silver medallist from Seoul in 1988, was forced to pull out of the Tokyo World Championships after his heat due to injury and the following year, had to settle for seventh place in the final of the Olympic Games.
The year had started well for Jackson as he took silver in the World Indoor Championships in Toronto, but the worlds in Germany gave him the chance of redemption and to ensure he would be on the podium once again.
For Jarrett, the aim was clear, upgrade on his bronze medal from the World Championships in Tokyo two years previously and earn himself a third medal on the world stage.
From the off in Stuttgart, pair laid down their authority and made sure they were going to be the ones to watch, blitzing through their heats. Jackson led the way in the first heat courtesy of a 13.23s clocking, the fastest time of the heats, with Jarrett replicating Jackson’s dominance in heat three with a 13.32s showing.
It was a repeat showing in the semi-finals as Jackson laid down the gauntlet to his rivals with a 13.13s effort, while Jarrett was made to work much harder in his semi-final in order to progress. The Briton just pipped American Tony Dees – 13.14s to 13.19s respectively – with Cuba’s Emilio Valle matching Dees’ time in a frantic finish between the trio, all would eventually progress into the final.
But when it all boiled down to the final 110m and the final ten hurdles of the competition, the Brits came into their own and stole the show with a staggering performance.
From the outset, Jackson stepped on the accelerator and opened up a good lead on Jarrett and American, Jack Pierce. The Welshman’s faultless run continued as he leapt over barrier after barrier with consummate ease, cutting the tape in 12.91s and setting a new world record.
Jarrett held his form and produced a 13.00s performance to take the silver medal and make sure that Great Britain would have its first two athletes atop the world championships podium.
The world record would stand outright until 2006, when China’s Liu Xiang shaved 0.03s off the time as he claimed victory in Lausanne, Switzerland.
2007 – Last gasp Ohuruogu snatches gold in Osaka
In 2007 in Japan, Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders became the first women to successfully complete a 1-2 at the World Championships with one of the most memorable finishes to a 400m race in the competition’s history.
Sanders arrived in Osaka off the back of a very good season, having claimed European Indoor 400m gold in Birmingham in a new personal best of 50.02s, which she followed up by joining forces with Emma Duck, Kim Wall and Lee McConnell to set a British 4x400m record of 3:28.69 to claim bronze.
Ohuruogu by comparison had entered 2007, her first senior year, off the back of claiming her first individual title with 400m gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and was keen right the wrongs of two years previous, when she went out in the semi-finals in Helsinki, Finland.
Both knew each other’s abilities having been part of the 4x400m that took bronze in 2005, also including Wall and Donna Fraser, but the duo had the chance to etch their name into the history books as the first British woman to win a medal at the championships over one-lap.
After Lee McConnell was the first Briton through in the heats, qualifying in fourth position in a season’s best 51.44s, Sanders immediately followed suit in the second heat, finishing second in 51.45s, but it Ohuruogu who stood out, notching the second-fastest of all the qualifying times as she cruised through the final heat, winning in 50.46s, also a season’s best.
In the semi-finals, McConnell failed to progress after a sixth-place finish in 51.07s, improving on her season’s best, while for Sanders and Ohuruogu, they made automatic qualification safe in style as they both won in personal bests of 49.77s and 50.16s respectively.
Only Jamaica’s Novlene Williams had qualified quicker in both the heats and semi-finals than any of the British contingent, with 2005 world silver medallist Ana Guevara of Mexico still very much a threat.
Starting from lanes four, Sanders went out hard through the first 200m and was well in contention as she and Jamaica’s Novlene Williams jostled with Natalya Antyukh for the lead, with Ohuruogu coming off the final bend in fifth position.
As the lactic started to set in with 50m to go, Sanders moved past the Russian to draw level with Williams, but Ohuruogu went one better, finding an extra gear in the final ten metres to push past the Jamaican and edge out Sanders to claim her maiden world title in a personal best of 49.61s, with Sanders pushed into silver medal position, but also recorded a PB of 49.65s.
The duo weren’t done there and combined with McConnell and Marilyn Okoro to win 4x400m bronze in a British record of 3:20.04, with Fraser once again playing her part in the heats to
Their medals added to the bronzes achieved by Jo Pavey in the 10,000m, the men’s 4x100m quartet and Kelly Sotherton’s heptathlon bronze medal to help the British team finish 11th on the overall medal table.