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 40)
Wigan, Greater Manchester
Height1.52 m (5 ft 0 in)
Weight47 kg (104 lb)
CountryUnited Kingdom Great Britain
SportWomen's athletics
ClubWigan & District Harriers
Turned pro2004
Achievements and titles
Highest world ranking400 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 metres, although she previously competed over the 400 metres. Meadows also had some international success as part of the Great Britain 4 x 400 metres relay squad.

She is the fourth-fastest British woman over 800 m, behind Kelly Holmes, Kirsty Wade and Lynsey Sharp. Meadows, along with other athletes such as Caster Semenya and Alysia Montano, has been noted in the press as one of a number of athletes who were repeatedly denied major international medals by doping competitors, particularly from Russia.[1]

Early career[edit]

Schools championships[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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 sixth at the European Under 23 Championships, and gained a gold medal on the 4 × 400 m relay.[citation needed]

Senior career[edit]

2008 Olympics[edit]

On 21 June 2008, in Annecy, Meadows achieved 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 sixth 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 fourth place in the European Indoor Championships in Turin, Italy.[citation needed]

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.[2] 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 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."[3]

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 won a bronze medal.

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.


Meadows was awarded the captaincy of the Great Britain team at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.[citation needed]


Meadows returned to competition at the start of 2014, running the indoor season and then taking part in her first outdoor season since 2011. She steadily improved 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 sixth place.


Meadows announced her retirement on 7 July 2016, after an injury sustained at the 2016 European Athletics Championships meant that she would be unable to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics.[4]

Non-competitive career[edit]

Meadows was 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.[citation needed] After retirement, Meadows joined the BBC team covering athletics at the 2016 Olympics.[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Turner, Chris (2009-07-28). Hurdlers delight on a spectacular evening in Monaco – IAAF World Athletics Tour. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
  3. ^ Kessel, Anna (2009-08-19). Caster Semenya wins 800m gold but cannot escape gender controversy. Retrieved on 2009-12-13.
  4. ^ "Rio 2016: Jenny Meadows retires after injury ends Olympic hopes". BBC Sport. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.

External links[edit]