- Full name Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu
- Birth date May 17, 1984
- Birth place London
- Current age 29 years 299 days
- Height 5 ft 9 in
Born just a stone's throw from the Olympic site in East London, Christine Ohuruogu came back from a year's ban to storm to Olympic gold medal in Beijing. The 400m runner was banned from all competition for a year after she missed three out-of-season drugs tests, but made her comeback in 2007 in spectacular fashion.
Ohuruogu was a late starter, only turning to the track seriously at the age of 16, but she wasted no time and in 2003 won a bronze medal at the European Junior Championships. She was a semi-finalist at both the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the World Championships the following year.
Then, in 2006 she produced a personal best time of 50.28 seconds to beat the favourite Tonique Williams-Darling to win Commonwealth gold medal in Melbourne. However, later that year she was handed a 12 month ban for missing a third out-of-season drugs test. Under new regulations Ohuruogu was the first athlete to face the sanction.
Just a month after returning from the ban, she stormed to gold in the World Championship final in Osaka, with a personal best time in 49.61. Nicola Sanders took silver in Britain's first one-two at the World Championships since Colin Jackson and Tony Jarrett in the 110 metre hurdles in 1993. In fact, the result was so unexpected organisers did not have a Union Jack flag ready for the victory lap.
However, due to a British Olympic Association bye-law states any athlete receiving a ban for a doping offence incurs a lifetime Olympic ban, which Ohuruogu had to wait until January 2008 to find out that she had won the appeal to overturn the ban.
Going into the Olympics she had little racing experience, and a season's best of 50.80 left her well out of the favourites list. Former Olympic and world 400m champion Michael Johnson doubted her fitness and suggested that she would be like a "rabbit in headlights" in the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing. However, a perfectly-timed sprint saw her pass the favourite Sanya Richards on the home straight to take her third major gold in as many championships. Her medal was Britain's 16th gold medal at the Games, which made it the most successful Olympics for Britain in a century.
Ahead of the defence of her world title in Berlin in August 2009, Ohuruogu was battling with a hamstring injury, but insisted she would be fit to race. Despite her reputation of being able to rise to the big occasion, she was unable to find the finish that saw her victorious in Beijing, and she could only manage fifth behind Richards.
Ohuruogu has developed a knack of peaking for the big events, and despite concerns over her form, ran her fastest 400m time since 2008 to take silver at London 2012. Her characteristic late burst saw her threaten to overhaul Sanya Richards-Ross in a repeat of the race in Beijing, but could not chase down the American in time as she was forced to see the silver lining.
A perfectly-executed tactical race saw saw Ohuruogu run a season's best time of 50.80 to take Britain's only gold medal on the track in Beijing, after returning from a doping ban just a year earlier.
In September 2006 Ohuruogu was handed a 12-month ban for missing an out-of-season drugs test. She had fallen foul of the so-called 'whereabouts rule' which states athletes must allocate one hour a day, five days a week when they are available for drugs testing. On the day in question, Ohuruogu had been forced to change training locations and had forgotten to inform UK Sport. Ohuruogu maintained her innocence, but accepted full responsibility for missing the tests. Her coach Lloyd Cowan later revealed that the ban "almost destroyed" Ohuruogu and she had considered quitting the sport.
"I don't believe that I'll realise what I've done until my career is over. I don't think so, because we live in such a fast-moving world. You don't have any time for your feet to touch the ground, let alone stop and think about one of the greatest achievements you're probably ever going to have in your life."
"It wasn't meant to be but that silver means a lot more to me than gold in 2008. I should be really proud of myself, it could have been a lot worse and I could have come back with nothing. To have done what I did having three years which were not that great, I should be quite happy with that."
"The sport needs role models. Usain Bolt will be looked up to by kids in Britain because he is a character and youngsters can relate to that. It must be hoped they can now look at Christine in the same way." Steve Cram
Ohuruogu was a talented netballer and represented England at Under-17 and Under-19 level before opting to focus on athletics.
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