Jenny Meadows

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Jennifer Meadows
Jenny Meadows bronze medal berlin world championships.jpg
Personal information
Born (1981-04-17) 17 April 1981 (age 34)
Wigan, Greater Manchester
Height 1.52 m (5 ft 0 in)
Weight 47 kg (104 lb)
Country United Kingdom Great Britain
Club Wigan & District Harriers
Turned pro 2004
Achievements and titles
Highest world ranking 400 m: 74 (2003)
800 m: 3 (2009)
Personal best(s) 400 m 52.50
800 m 1.57.93
800 m (i) 1:58.43
Updated on 26 February 2010.

Jennifer Brenda "Jenny" Meadows (born 17 April 1981 in Wigan, Greater Manchester) is a British athlete. Her main event is the 800 m, although she previously competed over the 400 m.

She is the fourth-fastest British woman over 800 m, behind Kelly Holmes, Kirsty Wade and Lynsey Sharp.

Early life[edit]

Meadows attended the Deanery High School on Frog Lane in Wigan. At Liverpool Hope University, she studied English with Physical Education and Recreation.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

Schools championships[edit]

Jenny Meadows (AKA Jennifer Meadows) was the winner in the English Schools Junior Championships in 800 m 1995. In 1998, she was 3rd at the AAA Junior Indoor Championships over 400 m. She also made her junior international debut and finished second in the English Schools Championships.

GB team[edit]

In 2000, she ran the fastest leg for the Great British team at the World Junior Championships, helping to secure the gold medal. In 2001, she finished 6th at the European Under 23 Championships, and gained a gold medal on the 4 × 400 m relay.

Senior career[edit]

In 2002 Meadows won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games as part of the England 4 × 400 m relay squad (she ran in the heats but not the final). In 2004 she competed at the World Indoor Championships in Moscow.[citation needed]


In 2006, Meadows set another personal best, finishing third at the AAA indoor 800 m, managing to hold off Karen Harewood. At the World Indoor Championships, she managed to make the semi-finals over 800 m, and ran in the 4 × 400 m relay, despite most of the British team choosing to compete at that year's Commonwealth Games. She set three personal bests in consecutive races outdoors, taking it down by over two seconds. She also finished 4th at the AAA Championships.[citation needed]

In 2007 Meadows set a new UK record over 600 m, and finished 2nd after Okoro at the British Indoor Championships. She ran under 2 minutes for the first time, when she won the Glasgow International.[citation needed]

At the outdoors AAA Championships, Meadows was the joint favourite, with Marilyn Okoro, over 800 m. Meadows and Okoro both took their normal tactic of sitting in the pack, and then attacking on the last bend, whilst Jemma Simpson led the field. However, Simpson, who was coming back from injury, pulled away on the home straight, and took the title, with Meadows finishing in third place. This championships was the last before the first round of selection for the British Team at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics. Many thought that Simpson, Okoro and Meadows would all receive selection for the 800 m as they had achieved the A-Standard in 2007, but injured Rebecca Lyne was just coming back, and as she had achieved the A-standard in the past 12 months, she was eligible for selection. However, there were only three spaces on the team, and one athlete would be disappointed. The team was announced with Simpson and Okoro receiving 800 m places, and Meadows was selected for the 4 × 400 m relay. The final 800 m place was left open for either Lyne or Meadows, and they would both compete at Crystal Palace before the final selection. At Crystal palace, Meadows finished ahead of Lyne, however it was obvious that Lyne was fast improving, setting a season's best. The final place went to Lyne, and Meadows was only going to compete in the relay. However, just before heading for the flight to Osaka, Lyne withdrew her place from the British team, as she had aggravated her injury. The final 800 m place, then went to Meadows.[citation needed]

At the championships, she qualified into the semi-finals, coming second in her heat with a new outside personal best time of 2:00.14. Fellow British athletes Marilyn Okoro and Jemma Simpson also qualified second in their heats, however Meadows had the fastest time of all three. All three British women failed to progress to the finals, despite both Okoro and Meadows receiving personal bests, and Meadows becoming the 8th fastest British woman of all time over 800 m.

Meadows started 2008 in fine style with wins including the AAA title beating Okoro. Selected for the World Indoor team she ran a personal best indoors (1.59.71/3rd British all-time list indoors) to make the final. In the final itself Meadows came 5th.

2008 Olympics[edit]

On 21 June 2008 in Annecy, Meadows ran brilliantly to win her first European Cup victory over 800 m. On 18 July 2008 Meadows improved her personal best in the 800 m to 1:59.11 at the Paris Golden League meeting. On 19 July 2008 her place in the Beijing 2008 Great Britain Olympic Team was confirmed along with Marilyn Okoro and Jemma Simpson. Meadows qualified for the semi-final of the 800 m in the Olympic Games after finishing 3rd in her heat with a time of 2.00.33, and in the semi itself ran close to her personal best in a time of 1.59.43, finishing in 6th place.

Meadows had a successful indoor season during 2009 winning the UK Championships and European Indoor Trials, setting a new indoor personal best of 1.59.52 in the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix and finishing in 4th place in the European Indoor Championships in Turin, Italy.

2009 World Championships[edit]

On 27 July 2009, her place in the Great Britain Team for the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany, in August was confirmed, along with Jemma Simpson and Marilyn Okoro. On 28 July 2009, Meadows set a new outdoor personal best of 1.58.63 at the IAAF Super Grand Prix, Herculis, Monaco.[1] On 19 August, Meadows took the bronze medal in the 800 m World Championship finals in a new personal best of 1.57.93. In a quick BBC interview after winning the bronze medal, Meadows commented: "It proves you should never say never, you should always believe in yourself. If you work hard and keep the faith, good things will happen."[2]

2010 World Indoor Championships & European Championships[edit]

Meadows started the season in great form and on 20 February 2010 broke the British indoor 800 m record, formerly held by Kelly Holmes, with a 1:59:11 in Birmingham. She won silver at the World Indoor Championships in Doha on 14 March 2010, setting a personal best and a new British indoor record of 1:58.43 which she previously set on 20 February 2010. At the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona Meadows reached the final and came back with a bronze medal.

2011 European Indoor Championships[edit]

Jenny Meadows spent December (2010) and January (2011) training at Club La Santa in Lanzarote[3] and moved onto South Africa to continue training with her physiotherapy and fitness team Harris & Ross[4] as she aims to reach the World Outdoor Championships in South Korea. On 6 March 2011, she achieved Silver in the 800m and returned to the track an hour later to anchor the 4 × 400 m relay team to another Silver in the European Indoor Championships in Paris. On 3 July 2012, Meadow's silver was upgraded to gold following the disqualification of Yevgeniya Zinurova.[5]

2011 National Championships[edit]

On 31 July 2011, at the age of 30, Jenny finally won her first national outdoor senior title with an 800m victory at the Aviva National Championships in Birmingham, to become National Champion.

2011 Diamond League[edit]

Meadows won three of the seven Diamond League 800 metres races in 2011 – in Shanghai, Birmingham and London (earning $10,000 a win) – to win the overall Diamond League 800 m title. Each overall winner earned an additional $40,000 (US Dollars) in prize money.


An Achilles injury picked up at the start of 2012 was to render her unable to compete for the year.[citation needed]


Jenny made a competitive return to the track and was awarded the Captaincy of the Great Britain team at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg. Jenny performed strongly to reach the final, finishing a credible 4th. Injury blighted Jenny's 2013 outdoor season and her focus has turned to 2014 and adding to her medal haul.


Jenny returned to competition at the start of 2014 running the indoor season and then taking part in her first outdoor season since 2011. She has steadily been improving performances and on 16 June 2014 Jenny's place in the England Team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was announced. At the British National Championships on 30 June Jenny secured a Bronze medal. At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Jenny finished in 6th place.

Non-competitive career[edit]

Jenny Meadows used to be head athletics coach for Manchester City Council. She has appeared on the BBC's A Question of Sport in Matt Dawson's team on 13 March 2010, and on the BBC's Mastermind in December 2011, in which her specialist subject was Wigan Warriors.

Personal life[edit]

She married Trevor Painter in 2006. Painter is also her coach and a former 400 m sprinter, who played rugby league for Wigan (although never made the first team) and took part in the England 4 × 400 m team (an event in which she has taken part).[citation needed]

National Lottery funded athletes Ad is inspired by the story of Jenny Meadows' mother. The TV advert looks at how National Lottery funding helps British athletes achieve their dreams.[citation needed]


External links[edit]