Joanne Fenn

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Joanne Mersh
Personal information
Born 19 October 1974
Height 173cm
Country United Kingdom Great Britain
Club Woodford Green with Essex Ladies
Turned pro 2001
Retired 2008
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 400m 54.57
800m 1:59.50
1500m 4:09.54
Updated on 20 July 2006.

Joanne Mersh (born 19 October 1974 in Leytonstone, London) is an English singer-songwriter and is a former Olympic middle-distance runner.

Sporting career[edit]

Jo had shown a great deal of promise in her early athletics career having been the English schools 300m hurdles champion. However, a series of injuries, particularly shin splints, halted her career. Initially competing in the 400-metre hurdles and heptathlon, Jo took up the 800 metres with her breakthrough season arriving in 2002. She is a member of the Woodford Green with Essex Ladies athletic club.

Fenn produced a personal best of 1:59.86 at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester which led to her first sub 2-minute performance.

2004 started promisingly for Jo with an 800m bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Jo also broke the 1000m British Record before Kelly Holmes retained it later that same year. In the 800m at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, where Jo accompanied teammate and eventual gold medalist Kelly Holmes, she progressed through the first round but in the third of three semi-finals found the pace too fast and finished fifth therefore not qualifying for the final.

Having recovered from a serious knee injury and major operation on a grapefruit-sized cyst in 2006 and a split from her longtime coach Ayo Falola in late 2007, Jo spent time in Lausanne to work with Trent Stellingwerff, a Canadian middle distance coach with a view to compete in 2008 Olympic Games.

Jo is a special speaker for 21st Century Legacy, a charity set up by David Hemery as part of the 2012 legacy. In this role Fenn visits schools up and down the country to inspire and engage with children promoting the Be the Best you can Be programme.

Music career[edit]

Jo began her singing career in a local band, The Business, during her early career and was offered a place on the BBC talent show Fame Academy, Jo declined as she focused on her sport at that time and since her retirement from professional sport, Jo has picked up her music career and worked with Judie Tzuke and Universal Records in the autumn of 2007. Jo now works with Downtown Artists and is releasing her debut single "Jive" in the next few weeks.

External links[edit]