Rita Ridley

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Rita Ridley
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold 1970 Edinburgh 1500m

Rita Ridley (née Lincoln; 4 November 1946 - 12 February 2013) was an English middle- and long-distance runner.[1][2][3][4]

She started in athletics at school in Essex with her twin sister Iris. Aged 18, she finished second to Joyce Smith in the mile race at the WAAA Championships. She won the following year in a championship record time of 4:47.9, retained the national mile title in 1967 and won the newly introduced 1500 metres in 1968, 1970 and 1971. She won the national cross country championships in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974. In 1974 she also won a bronze medal in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.[2]

In 1969 she achieved a British record time of 4:15.9 in the 1500 m and she set a new record of 4:15.4 in 1970 and then 4:14.3 and 4:12.65 in 1971. In December 1968 she was the first British woman to break 10 minutes in the 3000 metres with a time of 9:59.6. She won the gold medal in the 1500 m [5] at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.[3] In a fiercely contested race, New Zealand's Sylvia Potts tripped and fell just one metre from the finish line, with Ridley carefully avoiding the falling athlete on her outside, to take the title.


Ridley died of cancer at the age of 66 in 2013.[2][where?]


  1. ^ "Athletes profile". thepowerof10. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  2. ^ a b c "Remembering Rita Ridley". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Athletics Weekly - Commonwealth Games 1500m". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 2014-12-22. 
  4. ^ "Greatest Moments In Otago Sport Number 107". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rita Ridley Commonwealth Games 1970 1500m - Youtube video clip (57 seconds into clip)". Retrieved 2014-12-29.