10th June 2013

Donna Hartley-wass

10 June 2013

Donna Hartley-Wass (maiden name Murray), 1980 Olympic 400m bronze medallist and double Commonwealth champion in 1978, has passed away aged 58.

Hartley-Wass began training at the age of 13 and first competed for GB & NI aged just 17 as the youngest member of Great Britain’s team at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

She won 400m and 4x400m gold at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada, in 1978 before winning a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Moscow two years later.

Two of her greatest races were at the European Cup in 1975 where she placed third in the 400m with a time of 51.30 before running a split of 50.2 in the 4x400m relay to help Great Britain to second place and a new British record which stood for seven years.

Her coach Mike Smith said: “My wife Joan and I are devastated. Donna was very talented but also tremendously dedicated – she never missed a training session. For a period in the mid 1970’s she carried the mantle for British women’s athletics, and was truly the Golden Girl of British athletics, with her long blond hair and fluid running style.”

“Donna achieved an incredible amount, not just in Athletics but in life itself. After she retired from athletics, she stayed in regular contact with us although she was living in South Yorkshire. She was a lovely person. Our thoughts and condolences are with her husband, Bobby.”