13th September 2018
KELLY SOTHERTON RECEIVES BEIJING 2008 HEPTATHLON BRONZE AT TEAM GB BALL
Kelly Sotherton (coach: Aston Moore, club: Birchfield Harriers) received her heptathlon bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the Team GB Ball in London.
Sotherton originally finished in fifth place but following two disqualifications has been promoted into the bronze medal position and will finally be confirmed as a triple Olympic medallist.
She will be presented with her medal by Sir Hugh Robertson, chairman of the British Olympic Association, at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls alongside her fellow Olympians.
Ukrainian Lyudmila Blonska originally claimed the silver medal at the Games in August 2008 but was disqualified three days after the end of the competition after testing positive for methyltestosterone, promoting Russia’s Tatyana Chernova into the bronze medal spot and Sotherton into fourth.
Chernova was then herself disqualified for doping offences in April last year and despite appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the decision was upheld in December, promoting Sotherton into the bronze medal spot.
It will be the second time this year that Sotherton has been awarded a medal from the 2008 Games after receiving her 4x400m relay medal at the Anniversary Games in July.
Sotherton, who also won heptathlon bronze at the Athens 2004 Olympics, spoke of her delight at finally being awarded the medal a decade on from the event.
“It’ll be a nice feeling leading into it. Until I have the medal I don’t really know how I’m feeling. The 4x400m medal in the summer was great but I trained as a heptathlete and that’s the medal that I really want and it will mean quite a lot to get it.
“It’ll close a chapter of my athletics career. Receiving a medal 10 years after I should have got it is a little bittersweet but it indicates the career I had and it will finally confirm me as a three-time Olympic medallist.
“When I found out in April 2017, it was very emotional. It was the start of the journey because you never know when you’re going to get that medal. I got the call last month to say it had arrived and I couldn’t wait any longer.
“I wanted to get my hands on it. I had the option of waiting until Tokyo which would have been amazing but that’s too far away, I just want to have the medal. When my family see me with all three medals I’m sure they’ll be just as happy and emotional as I will be.”
British Athletics Chief Executive Niels de Vos commented:
“This has been a long time in coming for Kelly but we are delighted that she can finally have her moment and receive her medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“To receive her medal amongst fellow British athletes past and present in front of so many Team GB colleagues and friends will I’m sure make the occasion extra special for her.”