Olympic Stories

Hannah England - Athletics

Hannah England - Athletics

Born March 6, 1987 in Oxford, England, Hannah Jane England is a British runner who specializes in middle-distance events, like the 800 and 1500 meter and mile run events. A previous silver medal winner at the 2011 World Championships in the 1500m, Hannah looks to improve her position as she enters 2012 London, looking to take home Olympic Gold for Great Britain.

Although England’s success will not come easily, she is convinced that her talents are more than enough to win gold in any event she enters, especially her specialty – the 1500m. Winning accolades and awards since she was a teenager, Hannah’s drive and determination cannot be questioned, and her work ethic is second to none.

Sporting Career

Hannah England was an impressive athlete since her days at the Cherwell School in North Oxford. Before she was 13 years old, she joined the Oxford City Athletic Club and then made big waves when she did well at the UK Athletics Reebok Cross Country Challenge as an under 15. Hannah would then attend Birmingham University in 2005 to study Biochemistry, all the while continuing to compete.

England traveled to Florida State University as part of her degree program, and she would win an NCAA Track and Field Championships event in the indoor mile run and the outdoor 1500m. Even though she was a great athlete, Great Britain chose World Champion Stephanie Twell to compete in the Olympics in 2008, leaving Hannah as a reserve. England would not compete in Beijing. This has made her even more determined to represent her country and to win gold.

During the 2009 IIAF World Athletics Final, England was one of the top twelve competitors in the field. Although she would finish second in the 1500m, she was only bested by former Olympic Gold Medal winner Nancy Jebet Lagat. This impressive run proved that Hannah had what it took to compete at the highest of levels, and in the European Team Championships in 2010 she again finished second and also won a national AAA title the same year.

Although some of these successes really register in a huge way at home, Hannah had never won anything that was recognized around the world. While she was a proven athlete that many people thought could do well at a world event, England was yet unproven. All of that changed in September of 2011. At the IAAF World Athletic Championship, England would come back from 7th place in the final bend of her 1500m race to take the silver medal.

Silver certainly isn’t gold, but when an athlete can jump five places in the final leg of a huge race, it shows the type of pure grit and determination that countries need representing them in the Olympics, and that’s why Hannah will be running for Team GB in 2012.

Career Highlights

  • 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final – Silver
  • 2010 European Team Championships – Silver
  • 2011 World Championships – Silver

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