Derrick Adkins

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Not to be confused with Derrick Atkins.
Derrick Adkins
Derrick Adkins.jpg
Personal information
Born July 2, 1970 (1970-07-02) (age 44)
Updated on 6 December 2013.

Derrick R. Adkins (born July 2, 1970) is a former American athlete, winner of 400 m hurdles at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Born in Brooklyn, New York,Adkins was raised in the Lakeview section of Long Island where he attended Malverne High School, graduating in 1988. That year he was ranked as the number one high school 400 meter hurdler in the nation, having run the race in 50.71 seconds, while at the age of 17. An honor student in high school, Adkins attended Georgia Tech where he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in June 1993. Coached by Buddy Fowlkes and Grover Hinsdale at Georgia Tech, Derrick Adkins rose into the international athletics scene in 1991, when he finished third at the US National Championships and qualified to the 1991 World Championships, where he finished in the sixth place.

Adkins won the World Student Games in 1991 and 1993 and finished seventh at the 1993 World Championships. Adkins made a rapid improvement in 1994, when he won his first US National Championships. He repeated this win in the next year and at the 1995 World Championships he was already a main favourite to the gold medal. At Gothenburg, Adkins won his heat easily and in the final he won the gold narrowly ahead of his career long rival Samuel Matete from Zambia.

Prior to the Atlanta Olympics, Matete beat Adkins in four races out of five, but at the Olympic Games itself Adkins turned the tables on Matete, winning in a time of 47.54 and beating Matete to a second place by 0.24 seconds. Due to his gold medal performance, in October 1996 local authorities of his hometown of Lakeview lobbied to change the name of the street where he was raised from Seneca Road, to Derrick Adkins Lane.

In 1997, Adkins was second at the US National Championships, but missed the final for the first time at a World Championships by finishing only fifth at the semi-final. Adkins was Assistant Coach of Columbia University's Track and Field team between 2004 and 2006.

On February 17 of 2006 Adkins appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman showing his gold medal on "Show and Tell".

Adkins was the Director of the New Balance Armory Track and Field Center between 2006 and 2011. He is currently a Senior Representative at the New York Road Runners organization.

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
United States Kevin Young
Men's 400m Hurdles Best Year Performance
1994
Succeeded by
France Stéphane Diagana
Preceded by
France Stéphane Diagana
Men's 400m Hurdles Best Year Performance
1996
Succeeded by
United States Bryan Bronson