Olympic Stories

William Sharman - Athletics

William Sharman - Athletics

Born on September 12, 1984 in Lagos, Nigeria, William Sharman is a gifted track and field athlete who is competing for Great Britain in the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. William’s family moved to England soon after he was born, and he grew up in Corby, Northamptonshire. The Games this year will be his first trip.

Sharman was initially focusing his talents on high jumping and as a decathlete, but after a severe shoulder injury he began to focus solely on the hurdles – specifically the 110m hurdles, in which he specializes now. Some speculate that had it not been for the shoulder injury, Sharman may have already acquired multiple gold medals. But speculation aside, William is only looking to prove he has what it takes in this summer’s Games.

Sporting Career

William Sharman was a very impressive junior athlete. As a high jumper, Sharman was excelling, but after his coach witnessed his all-around physical talent, William was urged to train for and compete in the decathlon and the 110m hurdle events. In only a short span, Sharman was the number-one ranked British athlete under 20 in both events. Sharman would live up to this ranking by winning the Amateur Athletic Association under-20 championships in 2003 (decathlon). And in his first major competition, the European Athletics Junior Championships, Sharman finished 5th in the hurdles.

In 2006, William was performing well enough on the British circuit to be invited to represent the Great Britain team for the under 23 competition via the European Athletics Championships. He didn’t manage to progress past the heats in the hurdles, but instead of being deterred by defeat, William used it as motivation for future events.

Breaking through in his senior year, William would be invited to compete in a slew of championships matches, including the Birmingham Indoor Games, the UK Championships, in which he finished with a bronze medal, and other high profile events. Unfortunately, however, Sharman could never get past his competition to be invited to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He would miss out by only four-tenths of a second.

William’s next step was trying out for the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. He finished fourth overall and didn’t seem as if he would make it, but the British team managed to call him up at the last second. In the only race Sharman won, he blew past Dayron Robles, the world record holder in the event, when Robles seemed to pull up some. Other notable performances in this event made him a big player on the British team.

As Sharman prepares for the 2012 Olympic Games, he does have a lot to prove to the sporting world. Although he is a great athlete, and although injuries have altered his trajectory, he is still far behind his peers in terms of accomplishments. One Olympic Gold medal can change that in a hurry, however.

Career Highlights

  • 2010 Commonwealth Games – Silver
  • 2011 World Championships – 5th

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