7th August 2013

IAAF WOrld Championships Memories

There is now little over 48 hours until the action kicks off in Moscow and the GB & NI team descend on the Luzhniki Stadium for the IAAF World Athletics Championships. Captained by Christine Ohuruogu, the squad will be looking to eclipse the medal tally from Daegu two years ago, where they returned home with a total of seven medals, including gold medals for Mo Farah and Dai Greene. So what better time to look back at some of best GB & NI performances at the World Championships over the last 30 years.

Helsinki 1983

Steve Cram

In the greatest era of middle distance running this country has ever seen, it was Steve Cram that took the plaudits 30 years ago in Helsinki.

A fresh faced 22 year old lined up in the 1500m final against fellow countryman and then world record holder Steve Ovett. After lying second behind Said Aouita with 400m to go, Cram made a gutsy breakaway to put distance between him, the Moroccan and American record holder Steve Scott to mark a memorable victory for the ‘Jarrow Arrow.’

Leading the commentary team for the BBC in Moscow, Cram will be hoping create some more memorable moments for British Athletics in the Russian capital.   

Relive the moment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTwIPiUv0XI

Daley Thompson

The same championships witnessed GB & NI’s Daley Thompson write his way into the record books when he became the first decathlete to hold the European, World and Olympic titles simultaneously. The Brit upset the odds in his defeat of the world record holder at the time, Jurgen Hingsen. By tallying 8666 points, Thompson went 105 points clear of his German rival who had to settle for silver. The Thompson-Hingsen rivalry dominated the event during the 80’s, with the pair breaking and re-braking the world record on seven occasions. But notably in their head-to-head encounters, Thompson has the remarkable record of never losing to his German counterpart.

Witness Thompson’s final day events which saw him take the top-spot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7vITp3uoYo


Tokyo 1991

Liz McColgan

Just months after giving birth to her daughter Eilish, Scottish distance athlete Liz McColgan won GB & NI’s first gold medal at the IAAF World Championships in Tokyo. Known for her feats in the marathon, she stepped down to the 10,000m in Japan to claim a convincing 21-second victory over Chinese duo Zhong Huandi and Wang Xiuting.

Front-running from the gun, McColgan left defending champion Ingrid Kristiansen, of Norway, trailing in her wake in a run described by BBC commentator Brendan Foster as “the greatest performance by a British distance runner”. This performance saw McColgan pick up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award later that year.

22 years later, McColgan will be in close proximity to the track once again in Moscow, as her daughter Eilish lines up in the 3000m steeplechase on Saturday afternoon.

Remember McColgan’s crowning moment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhoE8Jjv7xs

Stuttgart 1993

Colin Jackson

What better way to win a World Championship title than to break the world record in the process? This is exactly what Colin Jackson did in the German city of Stuttgart in 1993. Strong favourite to take the title, Jackson held his nerve to streak away from the field and clock a world record 12.91 in the process.

Watch Jackson break the world record here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J11KjUfB_Ug

Sally Gunnell

Fresh off the back of her Olympic triumph in Barcelona a year earlier, Sally Gunnell was the reigning World Championship silver medallist but had her sights set on gold in Germany. Little did she know it would take a world record breaking performance to secure her first and only world title.

Gunnell came off the bend neck and neck with American Sandra Farmer-Patrick, who also went under the old world record, however the British record holder held her from over the last hurdle to clinch victory by five hundredth’s of a second with a time of 52.74. Gunnell also went on to anchor the GB & NI 4x400m relay team to bronze.

Watch Gunnell break the world record here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkVz4pmjbUE 

Gothenburg 1995

Jonathan Edwards

In a career littered with gold medals and some of the most memorable moments in British Athletics history, it was Jonathan Edwards’ leap at the 1995 World Championships that truly set him apart in the world of triple jump. The 29 year old wowed the Gothenburg crowd with a world record leap of 18.16m, before following it up with another mammoth jump of 18.29m; a world record that still stands to this day.

Edwards continued to dominate the event for many years, winning Olympic gold in 2000 followed by another world crown in Edmonton a year later. Whether his record will ever be bettered is anyone’s guess, but what will remain is that the athlete turned pundit will go down in athletics folklore as one of the greatest of all time.

Watch him become the first athlete to break the 18m triple jump barrier in Gothenburg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgHYUDoG8_A


Osaka 2007

Christine Ohuruogu

It is well recognised that athletes often falter under the overwhelming pressure of a major championships, but Christine Ohuruogu is living proof of not falling into that category. Ohuruogu was the only athlete from the GB & NI team to win gold in Osaka, claiming victory in the 400m over pre-race favourite Novlene Williams.

The Londoner saves her season’s best performance for championship finals time and time again, and in Osaka she clocked a personal best 49.61 to take gold. Six years later, the 29 year old will be looking to add another world title to the two Olympic medals she has since won in Beijing and London.

Watch Ohuruogu’s late surge to win gold in Osaka  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_zig-7OnyI

Daegu 2011

Dai Greene

The most recent IAAF World Championships in Daegu 2011 saw Welshman Dai Greene cruise to 400m hurdles victory over a world-class field, which included two time Olympic champion Felix Sanchez.

Greene really kick-started GB & NI’s medal campaign in South Korea, becoming the first British male to win a global crown over 400mH since David Hemery’s victory in Mexico City in 1968.

Despite an injury-interrupted build-up to his title defence, Greene will be keen to make sure he remains on top of the world.

Relive Dai’s winning moment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0L3xNqHpBQ

Mo Farah

He may have recently broken Steve Cram’s long standing 1500m British record at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, but it was over his more familiar 5000m distance that the double Olympic champion took his first global title in Daegu.

Hailed by former world record holder Dave Moorcroft as “perfection,” Farah fought hard down the home straight to become the first British man to win a world title in the event. His 5000m feat came just a week after the Brit was piped to the post in the 10,000m by Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan and Farah will want to re-write the statistics when he lines up in both events in Moscow.

Watch Farah make history http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IpYjhn2a_0