Tonja Buford-Bailey

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Tonja Buford-Bailey
Medal record
Women's Athletics
Competitor for  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Atlanta 400 m hurdles
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1995 Gothenburg 400 m hurdles

Tonja Buford-Bailey (born December 13, 1970 in Dayton, Ohio) is a former American athlete who competed mainly in the 400 meter hurdles. She competed as Tonja Buford until marrying Victor Bailey on October 28, 1995. In 1982, when she was 12 years old, she met former track runner Wilma Rudolph.

Her best result came in the 1995 World Championships held in Gothenburg, Sweden where she won the silver medal in the 400 meter hurdles, losing to compatriot Kim Batten by only 0.01 seconds. With times of 52.61 and 52.62, both athletes went under Sally Gunnell's old world record of 52.74 from the previous edition of the World Championships. That time would remain Buford's personal best, and is still the fourth quickest of all time.[1]

The following year she competed for the United States in the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, U.S., where she won the bronze medal in the 400 meter hurdles behind Jamaica's Deon Hemmings and Batten.

She went on to have some further successes, only just missing out on a bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships[2] and winning her event at the IAAF Grand Prix Final that year.[3]

Buford-Bailey is the men and women's track and field Sprint and Relay coach at the University of Texas, Austin beginning in June 2013. Buford-Bailey was the head women's track and field coach at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.[citation needed] She has two children and her husband is Victor Bailey, a former American football player.


  1. ^ "Toplists w400h". IAAF. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  2. ^ "Edmonton '01 Results". IAAF. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  3. ^ "Results - IAAF Grand Prix Final 2001". IAAF. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 

Tonja Buford-Bailey profile at IAAF

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