Jo Ankier

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Jo Ankier
Personal information
BornLondon, England, United Kingdom[1]
Height1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
ClubShaftesbury Barnet Harriers
Now coachingBryan Smith[1]
Achievements and titles
Highest world rankingNo. 8 – May 2005
Personal best(s)3000 Steeplechase – 9:43.88
Updated on Aug 2014.

Joanna Ankier is the British television personality and sports presenter, anchor and correspondent for “Beyond the Game” world sports show filmed out of Istanbul for TRT World and an ESPN sports reporter previously based in Los Angeles. She is a former British steeplechase athlete and holder of British national records for the 1500, 2000 and 3000 metre steeplechases.

Early life and education[edit]

Ankier grew up in north-west London and attended Henrietta Barnett School. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nottingham where she majored in physics with a minor in philosophy. Ankier then furthered her post-graduate education at King's College London where she received a sports law diploma.[2]

Ankier is a skilled pianist and cellist. In 2016, she joined Atlanta Braves shortstop Chase Darnaud and father / son duo Clayton and Sebastian Cages to form country rock and roll group, The Chasedarnaud band. Ankier plays acoustic and electric cello along with keyboard in the group which released their first full album "Seven Ghosts" on September 22, 2016.



Ankier is a former holder of the British National records for the 1500, 2000 and 3000 metre steeplechases. She trained at the UK Athletics' Endurance Centre at St Mary's University, Twickenham, and was a member of the Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers.[2][3]

In 2003, she set the British record for the women's 2000 metre steeplechase with a time of 6 minutes 48 seconds, at the Birmingham AAAs championships on 26 July.[4]

In 2004, she set the British record for the women's 1500 metre steeplechase with a time of 4 minutes 52.5 seconds, at the Bedford Inter Counties Championships on 31 May.[4]

In 2005, she set the British record for the women's 3000 metre steeplechase with a time of 9 minutes 50 seconds, at the Naimette-Xhovémont track in Liege, Belgium on 20 July.[4] After finishing 3rd in the European Cup at Leiria in Portugal she competed in the first ever Women's Steeplechase at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki where she finished 11th.[4]

In 2006, she finished 7th in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.[4]

She finished third at the qualifying trials for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but the third place on the team was given to the athlete who had a faster time at a previous event.[5]

Ankier's UK rankings include:[4]

  • 'Under 20' 2,000 metres: 2001 – Number 1.
  • 'Under 23' 1,500 metres: 2002 – 3rd.
  • 'Under 23' 3,000 metres indoor: 2002 – 3rd.
  • 1,500 metres indoor: 2002 – 12th; 2003 – 11th; 2004 – 21st; 2005 – 8th.
  • 1,500 metres steeplechase: 2004 – Number 1.
  • 2,000 metres steeplechase: 2001 – 3rd; 2003 – 7th; 2004 – 3rd.
  • 3,000 metres: 2005 – 9th; 2006 – 4th.
  • 3,000 metres indoor: 2004 – 14th; 2005 – 6th; 2007 – 4th; 2008 – 5th.
  • 3,000 metres steeplechase: 2003 – 3rd; 2004 – 2nd, 2005 – 2nd; 2006 – 3rd; 2007 – 6th; 2008 – 4th.
  • 2 miles: 2007 – 3rd.
  • 10,000 metres: 2005 – 15th.

She retired from top level international athletics in 2008 and competed in only 3 events in 2009. Over the course of her ten-year athletics career she competed in 134 national and international events, winning 20 of them.[4]

London Olympics video[edit]

In 2005, Ankier was chosen by the London 2012 Olympic Committee to star in the official video for the successful London Olympic Bid. In Sport at Heart she is pictured running through the sights of London inspiring locals and celebrities to "Back the Bid" and win London the Olympic Games.[6][7]


Ankier's media career is primarily as a news and sports reporter, anchor and producer for TV channels including: ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel, The Tennis Channel, Chelsea FC, Sky Sports News, Liverpool FC, KDOC-TV, Los Angeles, Chivas USA (Major League Soccer), VICE News, TLN News and Vocative.

In 2011, Ankier hosted ESPN International's global red carpet show for the prestigious ESPY awards airing across the Europe, Caribbean and Pacific Rim regions.

In 2012, she anchored ESPN International's flagship show SportsCenter over the London 2012 Olympic Games. Her athletics background enabled her to record exclusive interviews with star athletes such as Oscar Pistorius and Alison Felix.

In 2013, she was the solo host and reporter for ESPN's PAC-RIM Australia and New Zealand coverage of the final X Games from Los Angeles. She went on to lead ESPN International's coverage of the Americas Cup sailing in San Francisco later that year.

In 2016, Jo covered her second Olympic games for ESPN as a reporter across track and field, soccer and tennis in Rio.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]