Abiodun Oyepitan

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Abi Oyepitan
Abiodun Oyepitan 2012.jpg
Abi Oyepitan at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Nationality British
Born (1979-12-30) 30 December 1979 (age 37)
London, England
Sport
Sport Running
Event(s) 100 metres, 200 metres

Abiodun Adesola "Abi" Oyepitan (born 30 December 1979) is a British sprint athlete, who specialises in the 100 and 200 metres. She won the 100 m at the 2001 Summer Universiade and at the 2002 Commonwealth Games she took a bronze medal with the 4 × 100 m team. She became one of Britain's best female sprinters, becoming the first British female to reach an Olympic final in a sprint event since Kathy Cook.[1] However, following her performance in the 2004 Athens Olympics, she suffered an injury, which all but brought her career to a halt.
She made a winning comeback in 2010, competing in the Diamond League and winning a silver medal for England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in the 200 m and a gold medal when she anchored the 4 × 100 m relay team to a win.

Early career[edit]

Abi was born in Westminster, London to Nigerian parents. Her name "Adesola" means "crowned with wealth" in Yoruba.[2] She attended Bentley Wood High School.[3] She represents Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers athletics club. Her first outing to a major athletics came at the 1998 World Junior Athletics Championships, where she finished fourth as part of the British 4 x 100 m relay team. She continued to perform well at the junior level, but her progress was interrupted in 2000 by an injury. She managed to bounce back the following year, with her comeback including a silver medal at the European under-23 Championships.

She was again part of the 4 x 100 m relay squad at the 2001 World Championships. Although the squad came away empty handed, they set the second fastest time ever by a British squad. She went on to take gold at the World Student Games that same year.

2002 saw Abi make the final of the Commonwealth Games 100 m and improve on this in the relay by taking silver behind an Australian team. She also made the final of the European Athletics Championships, where Ekaterini Thanou took the gold.

She continued to improve and in 2003 broke her 200 m personal best in taking her first national senior title.

2004 saw Abi step up to hold her own with the best in the world. At a meeting in Kalamata, Greece, in May she won the 100 m, then beat the reigning European Champion Muriel Hurtis in the 200 m.[4]

2004 Athens Olympics[edit]

At the 2004 Summer Olympics Abi was unfortunate in not making the 100 m final. Running in the faster of the two semi-finals, she finished fifth in her heat with a time of 11.18 s, that equalled LaTasha Colander's fourth placed time that saw her through in the second semi.

Despite not making that final, her good form gave her confidence for her preferred event the 200 m where she set a personal best in the first round, then comfortably progressed through round two and the semi-final, finishing second in both to Allyson Felix. She was passed early on in the final by eventual winner Veronica Campbell and eventually finished joint 7th, but happy with her overall performance.[5]

Her appearance in the 200 m final was the first women's Olympic sprint final (100 + 200 m) to feature a Brit since Kathy Smallwood-Cook at the Los Angeles Olympics twenty years previously. She was also the only Briton to reach the sprint finals, all of the men failing for the first time in twenty-eight years, despite later going on to win the 4 × 100 m relay.

After 2004[edit]

Following the Olympics, a stress fracture injury caused her to miss the 2005 athletics season. She returned to the track in 2006, but the injury continued to limit her performances.[6]

In 2010, she returned to take silver in the 200 m and a gold in the 4 x 100 m relay at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

2012 London Olympics[edit]

In 2012, Abi came 2nd in the Oslo leg of the Diamond League 200 m Women in 22.71s. She then qualified for 2012 Olympics in London, where she competed in the 100 m and 200 m, making the semi-finals in both events.

In 2014 she announced her retirement.

National titles[edit]

  • AAAs (of England) National 100 metres Champion – 2004 (2nd in 2002, 2003)
  • AAAs National 200 metres Champion – 2003 (2nd in 2004)

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United Kingdom
1998 World Junior Championships Annecy, France 4th 4 × 100 m relay 44.65
1999 European U23 Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 18th (h) 100m 25.00 (wind: -0.2 m/s)
2001 World Student Games Beijing, China 1st 100 m 11.42
European U23 Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 2nd 100m 11.58 (wind: -1.2 m/s)
1st 4 × 100 m relay 44.31
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece semi-final 100 m 11.18
7th 200 m 22.87
2012 Olympic Games London, England semi-final 100 m 11.36
semi-final 200 m 23.14
Representing  England
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 3rd 4×100 m relay 42.84
2010 Commonwealth Games Delhi, India 2nd 200 m 23.26
1st 4×100 m relay 44.19

Personal bests[edit]

Event Best Location Date
60 metres 7.27 s Glasgow, Scotland 24 January 2004
100 metres 11.17 s Birmingham, England 23 July 2004
200 metres 22.50 s Athens, Greece 23 August 2004
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (26 August 2004) The Olympics 2004; Athletics: Oyepitan lone light as British The Independent Retrieved on 12 May 2009
  2. ^ "Adesola". Online Nigeria: Nigerian Names and Meanings. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/athletics/2341477/My-Sport-Abi-Oyepitan.html
  4. ^ Nikitaridis, Michalis (29 May 2004) Double win for Abi Oyepitan in Kalamata EAA Permit Meeting. IAAF Retrieved on 11 July 2009
  5. ^ Oyepitan, brave but ultimately bowed. The Times (25 August 2004) Retrieved on 12 May 2009
  6. ^ The Road to Kaunas: How the women's class of 2001 fared as seniors[permanent dead link]. European Athletics (9 July 2009) Retrieved on 11 July 2009
  7. ^ Oyepitan Abiodun biography IAAF Retrieved on 12 May 2009

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Joice Maduaka
British Champion in 100m
2004
Succeeded by
Laura Turner