Lynsey Sharp

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Lynsey Sharp
Sharp competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Personal information
Born (1990-07-11) 11 July 1990 (age 29)
Dumfries, Scotland, United Kingdom
EducationEdinburgh Napier University[1]
Height1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Weight59 kg (130 lb) (2014)
Country Great Britain
Event(s)800 metres
Coached byTerrence Mahon

Lynsey Sharp (born 11 July 1990) is a British track and field athlete who competes in the 800 metres. She is the 2012 European champion and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.[2] She won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Her personal best is 1:57.69, the third fastest time over 800m by a British woman, set in the final of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Lynsey Sharp was born in Dumfries, United Kingdom and lived her early life in nearby Lochmaben. She is the daughter of former Scottish athletes Cameron Sharp and Carol Sharp (née Lightfoot). Her father won a 1982 European silver medal in the 200 m and competed at the 1980 Olympic Games, while her mother has an 800 m best of 2:02.91 and competed at the 1982 Commonwealth Games.

Sharp went to The Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh. She graduated with a 2:1 in Law (LLB) from Edinburgh Napier University in 2012 a few weeks before competing in the London Olympics. She has said she was inspired to study law after her father fought a medical negligence case following permanent injuries he sustained in a road crash.[4] She is also a fan of Scottish Premiership side Rangers.[5]


As a teenager, Sharp competed at the IAAF World Youth Championships and IAAF World Junior Championships. In 2011, she improved her 800 m personal best by almost four seconds. In June, she took her best down from 2:04.44, to 2:02.48 in Watford then 2:01:98 in Prague. Then in July, at the European U23 Championships in Ostrava, she further improved to 2:00.65, to win a bronze medal. This would be upgraded to silver, after the 2013 disqualification of Elena Arzhakova.

In June 2012, at the UK Championships & Olympic trials, Sharp was a surprise winner of the 800 metres. Olympic qualifying rules stated that a country could send three athletes in an event, provided they had achieved the A standard, or one athlete who had the B standard. Sharp only had the B standard, while four other British women had the A standard, an injured Jenny Meadows and three athletes who Sharp had defeated at the Olympic trials. A week after the trials, Sharp won a silver medal at the European Championships in Helsinki, in a PB of 2:00.52, a time that was still outside the A standard.[6] The selectors decided to pick Sharp and leave behind athletes including Meadows and Marilyn Okoro. At the Olympics, she ran 2:01.41 in her heat to qualify for the semi-finals, where she finished seventh in 2:01.78, failing to reach the final. In April 2013, her European silver was upgraded to gold after abnormalities were found in Elena Arzhakova's biological passport.[7] Arxhakova was stripped of both her 2012 European title and 2011 European U23 title. Sharp was finally presented with the gold medal at the Emirates arena, during the Glasgow indoor international meeting in March 2014.

At the end of the 2013 season Sharp had surgery on her ankle which became infected resulting in her competing throughout the 2014 season against medical advice with an open wound in her foot.[8] In July 2014, Sharp ran under two minutes in the 800 m for the first time, running 1:59.67 at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne. In August, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, she ran 2:01.34 to win a silver medal in the 800 m.[9] The race was won by 2013 World champion Eunice Sum. The night before the Commonwealth 800 m final, Sharp suffered stomach cramps and sickness and had to be placed on a drip at the Poly-clinic at the Athletes' Village until 5.30 am on the morning of the race. Sharp's performance was hailed as 'a miracle run'.[10][11] Two weeks after the Commonwealth Games, she won a silver medal at the European Championships in Zürich, breaking Susan Scott's Scottish record of 1:59.02, with a time of 1:58.80, to move to eighth on the UK all-time list. The race was won by Maryna Arzamasava of Belarus in 1:58.15.

2016 Olympics[edit]

Due to rule changes, athletes with testosterone levels previously exceeding the IAAF's limits for female athletes were allowed to compete as females and Sharp finished sixth in the 800 metres final at the 2016 Rio Olympics, improving her own Scottish record to 1:57.69. Following the race, Sharp broke in tears after the race and said that "it was difficult to compete against Caster Semenya and other hyperandrogenic athletes after the rule to suppress testosterone levels was overturned."[12] Sharp was also criticised in the media when she appeared to ignore Semenya post-race, while embracing fellow runners Joanna Jóźwik and Melissa Bishop.[13] Sharp has since defended her comments, saying on Twitter that:

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Caster. She is someone who I talk to regularly on the circuit...When asked on live TV, I felt I gave an honest and diplomatic response.

— Lynsey Sharp, Twitter[14]

Sharp had previously claimed that "there were obvious athletes with heightened testosterone" and that there were "two separate races being run."[15]


Sharp ran 1:58.80 in the 800 metres at the Athletissima Lausanne Diamond League race on 6 July 2017, before running a season's best of 1:58.01 at the Herculis Monaco Diamond League on 21 July. Three weeks later at the 2017 World Championships in London, she reached the 800m final, finishing eighth in 1:58.98.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Sharp was eliminated in the heats of the 800m, running 2:01.63.


  • UK 800 m Champion in 2012 and 2014.
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Great Britain
2007 World Youth Championships Ostrava, Czech Republic 15th (sf) 800 m 2:11.36
2008 World Junior Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 18th (sf) 800m 2:09.00
2011 European U23 Championships Ostrava, Czech Republic 2nd 800 m 2:00.65
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 800 m 2:00.52
2012 Olympic Games London, England, United Kingdom 20th (sf) 800 m 2:01.78
2014 European Championships Zürich, Switzerland 2nd 800 m 1:58.80
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 14th (sf) 800 m 1:59.33
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 6th 800 m 1:57.69
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 8th 800 m 1:58.98
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 31st (h) 800 m 2:03.57
Representing  Scotland
2008 Commonwealth Youth Games Pune, India 3rd 800 m 2:06.77
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom 2nd 800 m 2:01.34
2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 14th (h) 800 m 2:01.33
(#) Indicates overall position in qualifying heats (h) or semifinals (sf)
  • All information taken from IAAF profile and power of 10 profile.[17][18]


  1. ^ "2018 CWG bio". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  2. ^ Hart, Simon (3 July 2012). "Team GB athletics squad for London 2012 Olympics announced". Telegraph. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  3. ^ "2016 800m Olympic Final". Rio 2016 - Women's 800m final. Rio 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Lynsey Sharp". Edinburgh Napier University – Study – Be different. Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Rangers are in my blood, says Lynsey Sharp". The Scotsman. The Scotsman. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Olympics: Lynsey Sharp grabs silver, but London looks out of reach". The Scotsman. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Great Britain's Lynsey Sharp made European champion after 800m silver is upgraded". The Telegraph. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  8. ^ Bloom, Ben (16 May 2015). "Lynsey Sharp prepares for surprise captaincy after 'coming of age' season". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  9. ^ Greechan, John (1 August 2014). "Lynsey Sharp wins silver for Scotland in 800m as England's Jess Judd and Jenny Meadows miss out on medals at Commonwealth Games in Glasgow". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  10. ^ English, Paul; McGivern, Mark. "Glasgow 2014: Lynsey Sharp shrugs off hospital visit before 800m final at Hampden to win silver with a 'miracle' run". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Glasgow 2014: Lynsey Sharp overcomes illness for 800m silver". BBC Sport Glasgow 2014. BBC. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  12. ^ Jack Rathborn (21 August 2016). "Tearful Lynsey Sharp claims it is 'difficult' to compete with Caster Semenya after rule change". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  13. ^ Katrina Karkazis (23 August 2016). "The ignorance aimed at Caster Semenya flies in the face of the Olympic spirit". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Lynsey Sharp Twitter Response". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  15. ^ Kathryn Snowdon (21 August 2016). "Lynsey Sharp Defends Caster Semenya Comments After Coming Sixth In Women's 800m Final In Rio". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Lynsey is Kurri Athlete of the Year... Again". 28 October 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Sharp, Lynsey Biography". IAAF. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Athlete Profile". Retrieved 26 August 2012.

External links[edit]