Derrick Adkins

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Not to be confused with Derrick Atkins.
Derrick Adkins
Derrick Adkins.jpg
Personal information
Born July 2, 1970 (1970-07-02) (age 46)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Updated on December 6, 2013.

Derrick R. Adkins (born July 2, 1970) is a former American athlete, an Olympic gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1996 Summer Olympics and a World Champion from the 1995 World Championships in Athletics.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Adkins was raised in Lakeview, New York in Long Island where he attended Malverne High School, graduating in the year 1988. That year he was ranked as the number one high school 400 meter hurdler in the nation, having ran the race in 50.71 seconds. He attended Georgia Tech where he earned a bachelor's degree at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering in June 1993. Coached by Buddy Fowlkes and Grover Hinsdale at Georgia Tech, he became a six-time All American in the 400 meter hurdles and in the 4 X 400 meter relay.

At the 1995 World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden, Adkins won the gold narrowly ahead of his career long rival Samuel Matete from Zambia in a time of 47.98 seconds. In the beginning of the 1996 season Matete beat Adkins four times in a row. Then just before the Games in Atlanta, Adkins defeated Matete in the Paris Grand Prix at the Stade de France in a time of 47.70.

At the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Adkins won the gold medal in a time of 47.54, beating Matete by 0.24 seconds.

In his career Adkins broke the esteemed 48-second barrier a total of 20 times. He is one of the few hurdlers who have won back-to-back gold medals in the World Championships and Olympic Games. He was a two time USA National Champion in 1994 and 1995. He was a two-time winner of the Weltklasse Zurich meet, having won the 1995 meet in a time of 47.65 seconds. He was a two-time winner of the Millrose Games in the 500 meters having run 1:01.71 at Madison Square Garden. He has set stadium records and meet records at the Penn Relays, the Lucerne Grand Prix (47.68), the Linz Grand Prix (47.70), and the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia (47.86).

In October 1996 local authorities of his hometown of Lakeview lobbied to change the name of the street where he was raised from Seneca Road, to Derrick Adkins Lane.

Adkins was an assistant coach at Columbia University between 2004 and 2006. While coaching at Columbia his athletes set seven school records, and won seven Ivy League individual-event championships.

He served as the Director of The Armory Track and Field Center between 2006 and 2011. During his time at The Armory the organization began hosting more than 100 track meets per year. He was instrumental in the development of Armory College Prep, an after-school program for New York City student-athletes. He initiated the dialogue to bring the Millrose Games from Madison Square Garden to The Armory where it is has been staged ever since. In 2010 Adkins stated "I'm a New Yorker and I love the Garden, but current pro-runners only want to run on a 200-meter banked Mondo surface. Under-sized tracks are now out-dated." He is currently employed New York Road Runners.

On February 17, 2006 Adkins appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman showing his gold medal on "Show and Tell".

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
United States Kevin Young
Men's 400 m Hurdles Best Year Performance
1994
Succeeded by
France Stéphane Diagana
Preceded by
France Stéphane Diagana
Men's 400 m Hurdles Best Year Performance
1996
Succeeded by
United States Bryan Bronson