Wendy Hoyte

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Wendy Hoyte
Medal record
Women's Athletics
Representing  Great Britain
European Championships
Silver medal – second place 1982 Athens 4x100 m relay
European Indoor Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1982 Milan 60 metres
Representing  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1982 Brisbane 4x100 m relay

Wendy Hoyte (née Clarke, born 17 December 1957) is a British former sprinter, who won a 1982 Commonwealth Games gold medal and a 1982 European Championships silver medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay. She also competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. She is the holder of the United Kingdom indoor 50 m record, which she set in 1981. As of 2016, the record still stands.[1]


Hoyte was born in London, England. She was a member of Highgate Harriers and later the Borough of Hounslow Athletic Club. As Wendy Clarke, she first came to prominence at the age of 17 in 1975, when she won two medals at the European Junior Championships in Athens.[2] She won bronze in the 100 m in a wind assisted 11.53 secs, behind the East German pair of Petra Koppetsch and Marlies Oelsner (the future Marlies Gohr), then won silver behind Koppetsch in the 200 m in 23.85.

In 1976, she competed in the sprint relay at the Montreal Olympics, running the first leg for the British quartet that finished eighth in the final. In 1979, she finished fourth in the 60 m final at the European Indoor Championships in Vienna. She was selected for the relay squad for the 1980 Moscow Olympics but did not get to compete.

In 1981, she broke the UK indoor record for the 50 m with 6.21 secs in the heats of the European Indoor Championships, before placing sixth in the final (usually a 60 m race, the event was held over 50 m in 1981). The record (as of 2014) has stood for over thirty three years. In the late 70s and early 80s she won six AAAs national titles. She was the AAAs 100 m champion in 1981 and 1982 and the AAAs indoor 60 m champion in 1977, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Hoyte's best year was in 1982. Indoors, she won a bronze medal in the 60 m at the European Indoor Championships in Milan.[3] At the European Championships in Athens she reached the 100 m final, placing eighth, then won a silver medal as part of the British 4 × 100 m relay quartet, along with Kathy Smallwood, Bev Callender and Shirley Thomas. At the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, representing England, she finished fifth in the 100 m final and won a gold medal in the relay, along with Smallwood, Callender and Sonia Lannaman.

Hoyte missed trying for the 1984 Olympics due to pregnancy. In 1986, she competed at the European Championships in Stuttgart, finishing fifth in the 4 × 100 m relay final.

In 1987, Hoyte competed at three major Championships, she finished fifth in the 60 m final at the European Indoor Championships in Lievin and reached the semi-finals of the 60 m at the World Indoor Championships in Indianapolis. Outdoors, she ran in the sprint relay at the World Championships in Rome. She competed at the 1988 UK Olympic trials in Birmingham, but failed to earn Olympic selection.

Personal bests[edit]

  • 50 metres 6.21 Grenoble 22 February 1981 (UK Record)
  • 60 metres 7.20 Lievin 22 February 1987 (7th on UK all-time list)
  • 100 metres 11.31 Brisbane 4 October 1982
  • 200 metres 23.48 London (Crystal Palace) 7 June 1975

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Les Hoyte, also a leading sprinter (brother of Trevor Hoyte, 1978 Commonwealth 200 m finalist), and is the mother of footballers Justin, a former England U21 and Trinidad & Tobago international, and Gavin, who plays for Barnet and was an England U19 international. She is the aunt of the British sprinter Chris Clarke.[4]

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1975 European Junior Championships Athens, Greece 3rd 100 m 11.53
2nd 200 m 23.85
1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Canada 8th 4 × 100 m 43.79 (43.53)
1979 European Indoor Championships Vienna, Austria 4th 60 m 7.26
1981 European Indoor Championships Grenoble, France 6th 50 m 6.30 (6.21)
1982 European Indoor Championships Milan, Italy 3rd 60 m 7.27 (7.21)
European Championships Athens, Greece 8th 100 m 12.35 (11.41)
2nd 4 × 100 m 42.66
Commonwealth Games Brisbane, Australia 5th 100 m 11.31
1st 4 × 100 m 43.15
1986 European Championships Stuttgart, West Germany 5th 4 × 100 m 43.44
1987 European Indoor Championships Liévin, France 5th 60 m 7.27 (7.20)
World Indoor Championships Indianapolis, United States semi-final 60 m 7.33
World Championships Rome, Italy heats 4 × 100 m 44.21
  • Note: Results in brackets, indicate superior time achieved in an earlier round


External links[edit]