Joan Baptiste

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Joan Baptiste
Medal record
Women's athletics
Competitor for  United Kingdom
World Championships
Silver 1983 Helsinki 4x100 m relay
European Indoor Championships
Silver 1983 Budapest 200 metres
Competitor for  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold 1986 Edinburgh 4x100 m relay

Joan Jeanetta Baptiste (born 12 October 1959) is a former British sprinter who competed mainly in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay. She won a silver medal at the inaugural World Championships in 1983 in the 4 x 100 m relay and competed in the 200 metres at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Career[edit]

Baptiste was born in St. Vincent and was a member of the Wolverhampton & Bilston Athletics Club. She emerged in 1983, winning the AAAs indoor 200 m title, before breaking the UK indoor record with 23.37 secs to win a silver medal at the European Indoor Championships in Budapest, the winner was Marita Koch. Later that year, she competed at the World Championships in Helsinki, where she won a silver medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay, running the first leg. Her teammates were Kathy Cook, Bev Callender and Shirley Thomas. They ran 42.71 secs, finishing behind the East Germans and just ahead of the fast finishing Jamaicans. She also reached the semi-finals of the 200 metres.

Baptiste reached the 200 metres semi-finals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, running a lifetime best of 22.86 secs. She improved her own UK indoor record to 23.33 secs in Stuttgart in 1985. She went on to finish fourth in the 200 metres final at the 1985 European Indoor Championships. Her 23.33 would remain the national indoor record for nine years, until Katharine Merry ran 23.00 in 1994, in Glasgow.

In 1986, Baptiste won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in Edinburgh in the 4x100 m relay, along with Paula Dunn, Kathy Cook and Heather Oakes. She won the AAAs National title at 200 metres in 1987 and competed that year at the World Championships in Rome as a member of the sprint relay squad.

Personal bests[edit]

  • 100 metres - 11.32 Zurich SWI 24/08/83
  • 200 metres - 22.86 Los Angeles USA 09/08/84
  • 200 metres (indoors) 23.33 23/02/1985 (former UK indoor record)

References[edit]