KOKOnista Of The Day: Christine Ohuruogu Is The Ever Smiling Olympic Champion

Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu is a Nigerian-British track and field athlete who specialises in the 400 metres, the event for which she is a former Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion with a smile always on her face.


Christine Ohuruogu was born to Igbo Nigerian parents in Newham, east London. She was raised less than one mile from the 2012 Summer Olympics stadium in Stratford.
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She competed for Newham in the London Youth Games at both netball and athletics. She was inducted into the London Youth Games Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ohuruogu studied at University College London, where she graduated in Linguistics in 2005. She also played netball during her undergraduate studies. She has eight siblings, one of whom is Victoria Ohuruogu, a sprints competitor.


She attended St. Edward’s Church of England School, Romford and Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green. She resumed her education in 2017 when she started a two-year law degree course at Queen Mary University of London.

Ohuruogu is a member of Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club. She was appointed MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours, and conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of East London.


She is the Olympic champion in 2008, and silver medalist in 2012, she is a double World Champion, having won the 400 m at the 2007 and 2013 World Championships.

She has also won six World championship medals in the women’s 4 x 400m relay as part of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team (three awarded following disqualification for doping for other athletes) and bronze Olympic medals with the women’s 4 x 400m relay at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2016 Rio Games, her final Olympics.

Ohuruogu shares with Merlene Ottey and Usain Bolt the record for medalling in most successive global championships – 9 between the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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Ohuruogu’s personal best time of 49.41 seconds, set at the 2013 World Championships, beat the UK record set by Kathy Cook in 1984 by 0.02 seconds, simultaneously making her the first British female to win two World Championship titles, and the first British female to win three global titles.


Her relay bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics made her only the second British track and field athlete, after Steve Backley to win medals at three successive Olympic Games.

She is the author of the “Camp Gold” series of children’s books about an elite training school for budding athletes.

Photo Credit: Getty

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