Team GB’s Women’s 4x400m relay team from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will receive a heroes’ reception at the Müller Anniversary Games on Saturday 21 July, when they are awarded their Olympic bronze medals.
In 2016 a reanalysis of samples from the Beijing Games resulted in doping violations for Russia’s Tatyana Firova and Belarus anchor runner Sviatlana Vusovich. This resulted in the quartet of Christine Ohuruogu, Kelly Sotherton, Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders, who originally placed fifth, to claim bronze.
The four British athletes will finally get their podium moment in the London Stadium, in front of a cheering British crowd and live on the BBC at 13.53 on Saturday.
Christine Ohuruogu said: “Hearing the news that we are to receive our bronze medals stirs up a series of emotions. Of course I am happy that we are finally getting the reward and recognition that our performance on the day deserved, but there is still some frustration that we never had ‘our moment’ at the time, and that it has taken 10 years to get to this stage.
“However, I look forward to sharing the podium with the other girls at the Anniversary Games and hope that everybody in my team who helped me get to that point also shares a sense of pride in the achievement and feels vindicated for all the work.”
Kelly Sotherton said: “I finally feel satisfied we got what the team deserved. To run the time we did and not medal and finish fifth was hard.
“To have a podium experience 10 years on obviously isn’t ideal, but I am overwhelmed that we all get to stand in an Olympic Stadium in front of a British crowd to receive something that vindicates our performance. A great outcome regardless of the delay.”
Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of the British Olympic Association said: “We are delighted to be able to present the medals to the women’s 4x400m relay team at the Anniversary Games this weekend. These athletes sadly missed out, due to doping cheats, on the opportunity to celebrate in Beijing ten years ago, so it seems only fitting that they are recognised and are able to celebrate in front of the home crowd with their friends and family.”
The Müller Anniversary Games takes place across Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July with a host of world, Olympic and Paralympic champions taking part.
For tickets to see the world’s best athletes at the Müller Anniversary Games go to www.britishathletics.org.uk
The British Olympic Association is still waiting on confirmation of the amended results and reallocated medals from the women’s javelin and women’s heptathlon where current sanctions could see British athletes retrospectively awarded medals.
The process of reallocation begins with the sanctioning of athletes following the retesting of samples from the Olympic Games. Those disqualified athletes then have a right to appeal.
If a disqualified athlete’s appeal is unsuccessful, the IOC is only then able to officially reallocate the medals and will do so by informing the British Olympic Association.
Courtesy of Team GB