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Sally Gunnell: Wikis


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Medal record
Women's Athletics
Competitor for  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Gold 1992 Barcelona 400 m hurdles
Bronze 1992 Barcelona 4x400 m relay
World Championships
Gold 1993 Stuttgart 400 m hurdles
Silver 1991 Tokyo 400 m hurdles
Bronze 1993 Stuttgart 4x400 m relay
Goodwill Games
Gold 1998 New York 400 m hurdles
IAAF World Cup
Gold 1994 London 400 m hurdles
European Championships
Gold 1994 Helsinki 400 m hurdles
European Cup
Gold 1989 Gateshead 400 m
Gold 1991 Frankfurt 400 m hurdles
Gold 1993 Rome 400 m hurdles
Gold 1994 Birmingham 400 m hurdles
European Indoor Championships
Gold 1989 The Hague 400 m
Competitor for  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold 1986 Edinburgh 100 m hurdles
Gold 1990 Auckland 400 m hurdles
Gold 1994 Victoria 400 m hurdles
Silver 1990 Auckland 100 m hurdles

Sally Jane Janet Gunnell OBE (born 29 July 1966 in Chigwell, Essex, England) is a former British Olympic champion in the 400 m hurdles. She has also worked as a television presenter predominantly for the BBC until January 2006.[1]


Early life

She attended the West Hatch High School on High Road in Chigwell.




Gunnell started out in athletics with the Essex Ladies club[2] as an accomplished long jumper and pentathlete before turning to the sprints and hurdling.

Gunnell won the 400 m hurdles at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.[3] She set the world record in the same event when she won gold in the 1993 World Championships. This record was broken by Kim Batten in 1995, but is still the UK record. Her defence of her Olympic title in Atlanta in 1996 was cut short as she pulled up in one of her races, injured. This seemed a particularly cruel blow as this race occurred on her 30th birthday.[4]

In 1996, Gunnell worked as a Red Cross ambassador in Angola. In September 1997, she retired after a recurrence of an achilles tendon injury.

Gunnell remains the only woman to have held the European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic 400 metre hurdles titles at the same time.[5] This record can only be matched by an athlete from the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Malta or Cyprus, as these are the only European nations that also compete in the Commonwealth Games.


In summer 2006, she was a celebrity showjumper in the BBC's Sport Relief event Only Fools on Horses.[6] She also won a Weakest Link Sporting Heroes Special, first broadcast on Saturday 25th July 2009 on BBC ONE.


In 1998, Gunnell was made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire). [7]

Personal life

She is married to fellow athlete Jonathan Bigg, and has three sons; Finley, Luca, and Marley. She lives in Steyning, a village just outside Brighton in West Sussex.[8]


  1. ^ BBC undermined me so I quit, says Gunnell Daily Mail, accessed 08/11/07
  2. ^ The Glorious Tale of Two Clubs now United. Woodford Green Athletic Club, accessed 08/11/07
  3. ^ Sally Gunnell, accessed 08/11/07
  4. ^ Essex at 20: Sally Gunnell BBC, accessed 08/11/07
  5. ^ Sally Gunnell BBC, accessed 08/11/07
  6. ^ Celebs saddle up for Sport Relief BBC, accessed 08/11/07
  7. ^ Sports stars share honours BBC, accessed 08/11/07
  8. ^ Super Sally's Spanish Success Sporting Life, accessed 08/11/07

External links

Preceded by
Women's European Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Russia Irina Privalova
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Soviet Union Tatyana Ledovskaya
Women's 400 m Hurdles Best Year Performance
1992 — 1994
Succeeded by
United States Kim Batten


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