Derek Redmond

Derek Redmond

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Derek Redmond
Height 6'0" (183 cm)
Weight 154 lbs (70 kg)
Nationality Great Britain
PR 400m: 44.50 (1987)
Born September 3, 1965 at Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, England, Great Britain
Club Birchfield Harriers, London





Derek Anthony Redmond (born 3 September 1965 in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, England) is a retired British athlete. During his career, he held the British record for the 400 metres sprint, and won gold medals in the 4x400 metres relay at the World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

However his career was hampered by a series of injuries, and he is best remembered for his performance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona where he tore his hamstring in the 400 metres semi-final but fought through the pain and, with assistance from his father, managed to complete a full lap of the track as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Redmond first broke the British record for the 400 metres in 1985 with 44.82 seconds. This record was subsequently broken by Roger Black, but Redmond regained the record in 1987 with 44.5 seconds. His record lasted until 1992.

In 1986, Redmond was a member of teams which won the 4x400m relay gold medal at both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games. The following year, he was on the team which won the 4x400 metres relay silver medal at the World Championships.

At the 1991 World Championships Redmond was a member of the British team which won the gold medal in the 4x400 metres relay, defeated the predicted winners from the United States. Redmond ran the second leg in the final and, together with team-mates Roger Black, John Regis and Kriss Akabusi, ran what was then the second-fastest 4x400m relay in history.

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Injuries

Injuries had consistently interrupted Redmond's career. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, he pulled out of the opening round of the 400 m 90 seconds before his heat was due because of an injury to his achilles. Prior to the 1992 Olympics, he had undergone eight operations due to injuries. However he seemed to be in good form heading into the Olympics in Barcelona. He posted the fastest time of the first round, and went on to win his quarter-final. In the semi-final, Redmond started well, but in the back straight about 250 metres from the finish, his hamstring snapped. He hobbled to a halt, and then fell to the ground in pain. Stretcher bearers made their way over to him, but Redmond decided he wanted to finish the race. He began to hobble along the track, with pain etched upon his face. He was soon joined on the track by his father, Jim Redmond, who barged past security and on to the track to get to his son. Jim and Derek completed the lap of the track together, with Derek leaning on his father's shoulder for support. As they crossed the finish line, the 65,000 crowd rose to give Derek a standing ovation. However as his father had helped him finish, Derek was officially disqualified and Olympic records state that he "Did Not Finish" the race.[1][2]

Prior the 1992 Olympics, Redmond had a hostile relationship with fellow British runner Linford Christie, the 100m gold medal winner. The two athletes criticized each other publicly, and Redmond was quoted to comment on Christie as "He's a well-balanced athlete; he has a chip on both shoulders"[3]. But as Redmond was leaving the field after his heroic semi-final race, he was approached by Christie. The two men embraced and cried together. "He has a heart," Redmond said. "I've changed my views of him completely." [4]

Redmond's struggle in the 1992 semi-final later became the subject of one of the International Olympic Committee's 'Celebrate Humanity' videos. In 2008, Redmond was featured in a Visa advertisement promoting the Olympic Games. The advertisement highlights his 1992 injury, noting that "he, and his father, finished dead last, but he, and his father, finished". It was also featured in Nike's "Courage" commercials in 2008.

Later life

In 1994, Redmond won Celebrity Gladiators, and during the first four series of Gladiators (1992-96), he served as Assistant Referee to John Anderson. Redmond has also served as a commentator for Eurosport, and presented a basketball show on ITV.

In 2003, Redmond competed on the "British Superstars" TV series.[5]

Redmond currently serves as Director of Development for sprints and hurdles for UK Athletics, and also works as a motivational speaker.

Redmond was educated at Roade School, Northamptonshire, where a multi-use sports hall is named after him.

Redmond was formerly married to the British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies. The couple had two children, Elliott and Grace, before they divorced in 2000.

External links

References

  1. 'I hated the world. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder'
  2. Derek and dad finish Olympic 400 together
  3. Linford Christie: Biography
  4. BARCELONA: TRACK & FIELD; British Runner Is a Hero Even Without a Medal
  5. http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Dugout/8973/athletes/redmond.html Retrieved 2009-02-25.