Jo Ankier

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Jo Ankier
Personal information
Born (1982-08-05) 5 August 1982 (age 32)[1]
Edgeware, London, England, United Kingdom[1]
Height 1.7 m (5.6 ft)[1]
Club Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers
Retired 2008
Now coaching Bryan Smith[1]
Achievements and titles
Highest world ranking UK No.2 – 2004–2005
Personal best(s) 3000 Steeplechase – 9:43.88
Updated on Aug 2014.

Joanna (Jo) Ankier is a television personality based in Los Angeles. She is a former British International track athlete and holder of British National records for the 1500, 2000 and 3000 metre steeplechases.

Early life and education[edit]

Ankier grew up in a Jewish family in Edgware, north-west London. Her father, Dr. Stephen I. Ankier, is a pharmacist and the founder of Ankier Associates specialists in Medical Law. Her mother Loretta is a director of the charity Friends of Ramat Gan. She has one sister, Esther.[1][2][3]

She was educated at the Henrietta Barnett School in Hampstead Garden Suburb, the University of Nottingham where she studied physics and philosophy, and King's College London where she received a postgraduate sports law diploma.[4]

Ankier is a skilled pianist and cellist who performed on the 1997 recording of Benjamin Britten's opera Noye's Fludde by the Finchley Children's Music Group.[5][4]



Ankier is a former holder of the British National records for the 1500, 2000 and 3000 metre steeplechases. She trained at the UK Athletics' Endurance Centre at St Mary's University, Twickenham, and was a member of the Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers.[4][6]

In 2003 she set the British record for the women's 2000 metre steeplechase with a time of 6 minutes 48 seconds, at the Birmingham AAAs championships on 26 July.[7]

In 2004 she set the British record for the women's 1500 metre steeplechase with a time of 4 minutes 52.5 seconds, at the Bedford Inter Counties Championships on 31 May.[7]

In 2005 she set the British record for the women's 3000 metre steeplechase with a time of 9 minutes 50 seconds, at the Naimette-Xhovémont track in Liege, Belgium on 20 July.[7] After finishing 3rd in the European Cup at Leiria in Portugal she competed in the first ever Women's Steeplechase at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki where she finished 11th.[7]

In 2006 she finished 7th in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.[7]

She finished third at the qualifying trials for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but the third place on the team was given to the athlete who had a faster time at a previous event.[8]

Ankier's UK rankings include:[7]

  • 'Under 20' 2,000 metres: 2001 – Number 1.
  • 'Under 23' 1,500 metres: 2002 – 3rd.
  • 'Under 23' 3,000 metres indoor: 2002 – 3rd.
  • 1,500 metres indoor: 2002 – 12th; 2003 – 11th; 2004 – 21st; 2005 – 8th.
  • 1,500 metres steeplechase: 2004 – Number 1.
  • 2,000 metres steeplechase: 2001 – 3rd; 2003 – 7th; 2004 – 3rd.
  • 3,000 metres: 2005 – 9th; 2006 – 4th.
  • 3,000 metres indoor: 2004 – 14th; 2005 – 6th; 2007 – 4th; 2008 – 5th.
  • 3,000 metres steeplechase: 2003 – 3rd; 2004 – 2nd, 2005 – 2nd; 2006 – 3rd; 2007 – 6th; 2008 – 4th.
  • 2 miles: 2007 – 3rd.
  • 10,000 metres: 2005 – 15th.

She retired from top level international athletics in 2008 and competed in only 3 events in 2009. Over the course of her ten year athletics career she competed in 134 national and international events, winning 20 of them.[7]

London Olympics icon[edit]

In 2005 Ankier was chosen by the London 2012 Olympic Committee to star in the official video for the successful London Olympic Bid. In Sport at Heart she is pictured running through the sights of London inspiring locals and celebrities to "Back the Bid" and win London the Olympic Games.[9][10]


Ankier's media career is primarily as a sports and entertainment host and reporter on TV channels including: ESPN International, Fox Soccer Channel, The Tennis Channel, Chelsea TV, Sky Sports News, KDOC-TV, Los Angeles, UKTV Sport and "kick" (YouTube channel).

In 2011 Ankier hosted ESPN International's global red carpet show for the prestigious ESPY awards airing across the Europe, Caribbean and Pacific Rim regions.

In 2012 she anchored ESPN's International version of the flagship show Sportscenter over the London 2012 Olympic Games. Her athletics background enabled her to record exclusive interviews with star athletes such as Oscar Pistorius and Alison Felix.

In 2013 she was the solo host and reporter for ESPN's PAC-RIM Australia and New Zealand coverage of the final X Games from Los Angeles. She went on to lead ESPN International's coverage of the Americas Cup sailing in San Francisco later that year.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]