Gemma Spofforth

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Gemma Spofforth
Personal information
Full name Gemma Mary Spofforth
Nationality  United Kingdom
Born (1987-11-17) 17 November 1987 (age 27)
Shoreham-by-Sea, England, United Kingdom
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Weight 73 kg (161 lb; 11.5 st)[1]
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Backstroke
Club Portsmouth Northsea
College team University of Florida (U.S.)

Gemma Mary Spofforth (born 17 November 1987) is a British former competition swimmer who is a world record-holder and former world champion in the backstroke.

Spofforth was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, England.[2] She had pancreatitis in 2005, taking a year in and out of the water undecided on plans to continue swimming. This was a turning point in her career as she finished up at Portsmouth High School. Her decision on where to attend university rested on whether she would continue swimming.

Spofforth represented 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, coming fourth in the 100-metre backstroke, four one-hundredths of a second (0.04) behind bronze medalist Margaret Hoelzer.[3] She also came ninth in the 200-metre backstroke.

At the 2009 World Aquatic Championships in Rome, she took the gold medal in the 100-metre backstroke, in a world record time of 58.12 seconds.[4] Spofforth broke the 100-metre Backstroke world record on her way to winning her first world title in Rome, her time of 58.12 erased previous record holder Anastasia Zuyeva time of 58.48 set in the semi finals of the event.[5]

Spofforth accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she swam for coach Gregg Troy's Florida Gators swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) competition from 2007 to 2010. She was a five-time NCAA national champion, eleven-time All-American, four-time All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection, two-time SEC champion and two-time SEC record holder.

She was a member of Great Britain's 2012 Olympic team, and competed in the 100-metre backstroke event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where she achieved fifth place in 59.20 seconds. After the 2012 Olympics, Spofforth announced her retirement from competitive swimming.[6]

Personal bests and records held[edit]

Event Long course Short course
50 m backstroke 27.92 NR 28.63
100 m backstroke 58.12 WR 1.00.45
200 m backstroke 2:07.56 2.07.64
Key CR:Commonwealth NR:British

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gemma Spofforth's profile at Great Britain team site
  2. ^ British Swimming, Profile, Gemma Spofforth. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  3. ^ London 2012, Team GB, Gemma Spofforth, The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  4. ^ "13th FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - Women's 100m Backstroke Result". Omega Timing. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  5. ^ "Spofforth sets record to win gold". BBC Sport. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Anastasia Zuyeva
Women's 100 metre backstroke
world record holder (long course)

July 28, 2009
Succeeded by