London 2012

Linford Christie

Linford Christie is without doubt Great Britain's best ever sprinter having dominated the world over 100m in the early 1990s.

Fascinating Facts:

  • Personal Best for 100m is 9.87 set in Stuttgart 1993
  • Christie and Carl Lewis were each paid a reported sum of £100,000 for a televised head-to-head duel at Gateshead in 1993, with the British legend taking victory.
  • Linford surprisingly lost a physical challenge against X Factor finalist Stacey Solomon during the 2010 series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here. He failed to squash as much rotten fruit in a set time while dressed as a kangaroo.

The Jamaican-born Londoner didn't make his breakthrough until the age of 26 when he claimed a surprise gold at the 1986 European Championships but by the time he quit the international stage 11 years later he had won every major outdoor title available to a British athletes.

Coached by Ron Roddan, Christie's first taste of the Olympics came at Seoul 1988 when his impressive bronze was soon upgraded to silver after controversial Canadian Ben Johnson tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

A 32-year-old Christie became a national sporting icon at Barcelona 1992 when he stormed to glory ahead of Namibia's Frankie Fredericks and Dennis Mitchell of the USA in a time of 9.96 seconds, becoming the oldest 100m Olympic champion in the process.

His legendary rival Carl Lewis had failed to qualify for Barcelona but a year later Christie had the opportunity to take his scalp at the World Championships in Stuttgart, while fellow Americans Mitchell and Andre Cason would also be tough to beat.

However, the British hero produced the fastest performance of his life to keep gold away from the dangerous American trio and his time of 9.87 seconds remains a national and European record to this day.

Christie, who became famous for his "tunnel vision" approach, missed out on the medals two years on and his reign as Olympic king ended in bitter disappointment in Atlanta when he was disqualified for two false starts in the final.

But these two low points take very little - if anything - away from a glorious career which also saw him pick up three Commonwealth golds and three European Championship titles.

Linford Christie

  • DOB: 02/04/1960
  • Event: Sprints
  • Medals: Gold 1992, 2 Silver 1988