Born in Jamaica Linford Christie followed his parents, who had emigrated some years earlier, to England at the age of seven but it was not until he was 19 that he took up sprinting.
Although considered by many within British athletics to have prodigious talent he showed a lack of discipline in training that meant he narrowly missed selection for the relay at the 1984 Olympics. Fired by his Olympic disappointment and under the tutelage of Ron Roddam he showed a more professional attitude to training and he immediately converted this improved form by winning the 1986 European title, which he would retain in 1990 and 1994. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Christie finished third in the 100 m final, but his medal was upgraded to silver after Ben Johnson was disqualified. Christie was very close to being disqualified himself: traces of pseudo-ephedrine in his urine were found, but a jury ruled it might have been ingested through ginseng, which was allowed.
Four years later, Christie moved up a step, winning the title in Barcelona. By also winning the World title in Stuttgart in 1993, Christie became the first 100 m runner to hold the Olympic, World, Continental and Commonwealth titles at the same time. He also won seventeen race victories at the European Cup between 1985 and 1997. His third Olympic 100 m final was a disappointment when he was disqualified for false-starting twice.
Christie retired in 1997 and took up coaching but over the next two seasons he still occasionally took part in minor events alongside sprinters in his training group. In 1999 Linford Christie tested positive for nandrolone after a competition in Germany and was suspended for two years. At age 39, this effectively ended his career. Christie now runs a successful sports management company alongside his coaching career. A keen amateur gardener he has also presented a number of television programmes on the subject.
Personal Bests: 100 – 9.87 (1993); 200 – 20.09 (1988).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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