Sharman at the 2010 Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague
12 September 1984 |
|Event(s)||110 metres hurdles|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||110 m hurdles 13.16 s (European Championships)|
William "Will" Sharman (born 12 September 1984) is a British athlete who specialises in the 110 metres hurdles. He started his career as a junior high jumper and decathlete, but focused entirely on hurdling after a shoulder injury. He made his international debut for Great Britain at the 2006 European Athletics Championships and went on to compete at the 2007 Summer Universiade. Sharman came to prominence in 2009, after he significantly improved upon his previous personal best and finished fourth in the 110 metres hurdles final at the 2009 World Championships. This would be the first of three consecutive appearances in the World Championship final, he's since finished fifth in both the 2011 and 2013 finals.
His first experiences of track and field competition were as a junior high jumper and John Anderson, the referee for the UK television series Gladiators and coach of former world record holder Dave Moorcroft, urged him to focus on athletics. Training at Corby Athletics Club, he began competing in the decathlon and 110 metres hurdles and he became the No. 1 ranked under-20 British athlete in both disciplines. At the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) under-20s championships in 2003, he won the decathlon. His first major junior competition was the 2003 European Athletics Junior Championships, where he finished fifth in the 110 m hurdles final. He competed at the 2004 AAA meeting and finished third in the hurdles, behind Robert Newton and Paul Gray. At the 2005 European Athletics U23 Championships, Sharman was just outside the medals with a fourth-place finish. A shoulder injury that year had impaired his javelin throwing ability and he made the decision to abandon the decathlon to focus solely on hurdling.
Sharman performed well on the British athletics circuit in 2006, winning three of the hurdles races building up to the 2006 European Athletics Championships, and also winning at the AAA under-23 competition with a personal best of 13.49 seconds. As a result, he was selected for the Great Britain team for the event, his first major championships. However, he did not progress beyond the heats of the 110 m hurdles and finished fourth, beaten to the qualification spot by Dániel Kiss.
The following year represented a breakthrough into the senior circuit, as he was invited to the Birmingham Indoor Games and other high-profile meetings. Sharman moved to Loughborough University and began to train with Polish hurdles coach George Maciukiewicz. He finished third at the UK Championships, both indoors (60 metres hurdles) and outdoors, beaten by Andy Turner and Allan Scott both times. He competed at the Bislett Games in 2007 where he ran his season's best of 13.68 seconds, making him the second fastest British athlete that year after Turner. He attended the 2007 Summer Universiade but only reached the semi-finals of the competition.
In 2008, Sharman again finished behind Turner and Scott at the national Olympic trials, but he was optimistic about making the qualification standard of 13.55 seconds for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ultimately, however, his best of the season was a wind-aided 13.59 s thus he was not included in the British Olympic squad.
First World Championships and Commonwealth Games
At the British trials for the 2009 World Championships in Athletics he finished fourth with a disappointing 14.08 seconds, making selection seem unlikely. However, he was a last-minute call up for the British team: he was not included in the original line-up but he set a new personal best of 13.44 seconds in Loughborough in July, making the "A" qualification standard for the event.
He was the fifth fastest qualifier in the heats of the 110 m hurdles, but he made more of an impact in the semi-finals: the favourite in the race, world record holder Dayron Robles, pulled up injured and Sharman emphatically won with a personal best of 13.38, celebrating as he crossed the finish line. In the final race he finished in fourth position with another best of 13.30 seconds, becoming the second surprise performer of the final after winner Ryan Brathwaite. The fourth-place finish made him the fastest European in the final, equalling Turner's European season's best, and placed him at number five on the all-time British list. His performance at the event was singled out as one of the highlights of the British team: he made the biggest improvement by a British athlete in terms of ranking, having been ranked 103rd in the world at the start of the year.
Following the World Championships, Sharman stated that a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics would be one of his aims for the future. He performed well on the athletics circuit, finishing just a hundredth behind David Payne at the British Grand Prix and taking a close fourth place at Memorial Van Damme.
A wrist injury ruled Sharman out of competition at the start of 2010, but he returned in time for the national championships and defeated Andrew Turner to lift his first outdoor title. Their fortunes were reversed at the 2010 European Athletics Championships as Sharman was disqualified in the semi-finals while Turner won the competition. The pair duelled again at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. A stomach bug affected him during the event but he managed to complete and English podium sweep alongside Turner and Lawrence Clarke, taking home the silver medal – his first at a major international competition.
In addition to being a world-class international hurdler, Sharman has a diverse range of other talents: he plays the cornet, is a classically trained pianist, has a university degree in economics from Leicester University and a master's in banking and finance from Loughborough University. He was also a timekeeper for the Gladiators television series.
His brother, Richard Sharman, is also an international sportsman and he competed at the 2007 Bobsleigh World Championships. His father David Sharman was also involved in sport, previously playing rugby union for Northampton Saints, in addition to being a professional pianist.Though his sister Sarah Sharman followed in the sporting tracks, she went down the artistic route to become a dancer/actor. Sharman is a family man with two children.
He appeared in the BBC Horizon documentary "The Truth About Exercise" in 2011.
|60 metres hurdles||7.53 s||Sopot, Poland||9 March 2014|
|110 metres hurdles||13.16 s||Zurich, Switzerland||14 August 2014|
|60 metres||6.89 s||Lee Valley Park, England||28 January 2007|
|100 metres||10.86 s||Woerden, Netherlands||27 August 2005|
|200 metres||21.59 s||Geneva, Switzerland||11 June 2006|
|400 metres||48.53 s||Woerden, Netherlands||27 August 2005|
|High jump||2.08 m||Woerden, Netherlands||27 August 2005|
|Pole vault||4.00 m||London, England||30 July 2005|
|Long jump||7.08 m||Calais, France||6 August 2005|
|Heptathlon||5278 pts||Sheffield, England||16 January 2005|
|Decathlon||7384 pts||Woerden, Netherlands||27 August 2005|
- All information taken from IAAF and Power of 10 profiles.
- "110m hurdles". European Athletics. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- Turnbull, Simon (30 August 2009). Meet Britain's bolt from the blue. The Independent. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- Going for gold. BBC Northamptonshire. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- William Sharman UKA profile. UK Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Gardener books Athens spot. BBC Sport (10 July 2004). Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- Powell, David (5 August 2006). UKA 'dictatorship' under attack for imposing ban. The Times. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Norwich Union Great Britain & Northern Ireland Team. UK Athletics (July 2006). Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- 2006 European Athletics Championships results. European Athletics. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- Hurdling to national success. BBC Sport (3 February 2007). Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- William Sharman Power of 10 profile. Power of 10. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- 60 METRES HURDLES Men – Final. UK Athletics. Retrieved on 5 September 2009.
- 2007 110 METRES HURDLES Men – Final. UK Athletics. Retrieved on 5 September 2009.
- Bislett Games Will Sharman June 2007 William Sharman clocked the .... Small Fish Big Pond (June 2007). Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- 2008 110 METRES HURDLES Men – Final. UK Athletics. Retrieved on 5 September 2009.
- Corby athlete eyes Olympics spot. BBC Sport (15 July 2008). Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- William Sharman Profile. Power of 10. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- 2009 110 METRES HURDLES – Men – Final. UK Athletics. Retrieved on 5 September 2009.
- Will Sharman and James Brewer called up late to World Championship team. Daily Mirror (1 August 2009). Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Mulkeen, Jon (19 August 2009). Event Report – Men's 110m Hurdles – Heats. IAAF. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Mulkeen, Jon (20 August 2009). Event Report – Men's 110m Hurdles – Semi-Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-09.04.
- Mulkeen, Jon (20 August 2009). Event Report – Men's 110m Hurdles – Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-09.04.
- 2009 European Top 30. European Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Broadbent, Rick (25 August 2009). Charles van Commenee: Britain can continue great leap forwards. The Times. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Sharman eyes Olympic gold medal. BBC Sport (21 August 2009). Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- British pair light up Gateshead . BBC Sport (31 August 2009). Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- Brown, Matthew (31 August 2009). Berlin champions battle the winds in Gateshead – IAAF World Athletics Tour. IAAF. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Memorial Van Damme Bruxelles (BEL) – Friday, Sep 04, 2009. IAAF. Retrieved on 4 September 2009.
- Broadbent, Rick (22 January 2010). Injury condemns William Sharman to face series of hurdles before Barcelona. The Times. Retrieved on 27 January 2011.
- Meagher, Gerard (27 June 2010). Sharman denies Turner fifth national hurdles title. More Than The Games. Retrieved on 27 January 2011.
- It's as easy as 1–2–3! Andy Turner storms to gold as English athletes clean up in 110m hurdles. The Daily Mail (8 October 2010). Retrieved on 27 January 2011.
- Hurdling to national success. BBC Northamptonshire (17 February 2007). Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
- The Truth About Exercise. Retrieved on 11 October 2015.