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Our Athletes

Birchfield is proud to have a number of international athletes as members of the club. We have long history of successfully producing some of the best talent in the UK. Our international athletes are:

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Kelly Sotherton

Kelly excels at combined events and she made her name on the international stage when winning bronze in the heptathlon at the 2004 Olympic Games. In 2006 she won the Commonwealth Games heptathlon title by 98 points with a score of 6396. It was later revealed that she had won despite a broken bone in her back. She is also a talented 400m runner and represented GB and NI in the 4 x 400m relay at the 2008 Olympic Games.

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Tom Parsons

Tom is a high jumper who got into athletics through watching the Barcelona Olympics – and also from seeing the AAA championships staged in Birmingham when he was a youngster. He is a keen Aston Villa fan and often wears his “lucky Villa” socks when competing, which he did to win the Olympic Trials in Birmingham in 2008 with a pb of 2.30m. He works part time at Aston University Library to help fund his athletics and has a degree from UWIC.

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Zoe Derham

Zoe took up athletics as a discus thrower at the age of 13 before moving onto the hammer which is her best event.  Zoe  England at the last two Commonwealth Games and GB and NI at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Zoe has now graduated from the University of Gloucester after combining training at 6:30 in the morning, studying and a full time job with a courier company. Zoe became National champion once again in 2009 when winning the World Trials in Birmingham. Zoe is one of the Birchfield 12 for 12 athletes.

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Mickey Bushell

Mickey made his impressive Olympic debut in Beijing winning a surprise 100m silver at the Paralympic Games in a European record of 14.86. Mickey was born with a very rare medical condition called Lumbar Sacral Spinal Agenesis Congenital Paraplegia, which means he is ‘missing’ seven vertebrae from the lower part of the back.

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Mark Lewis-Francis

Mark was originally coached at Birchfield by the late Steve Platt and set UK age group 100m records at 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 and won the World Junior Championship gold. In 2001, having set a world junior record indoors over 60m to win world bronze at age 18, he then ran a scintillating 9.97 in the quarter-finals at the World Championship, but was denied a World Junior record as the wind gauge malfunctioned. In 2004 Athens Olympic Games he ran a truimphant anchor leg in the 4x100m relay to hold off USA’s Maurice Greene and take the British team to gold in the 4x100m at the Olympic Games – making him the youngest British Athletics Olympic champion since 1936. He was awarded the MBE in the 2005 New Year Honours. He is now coached by Linford Christie and has recently begun competing again following an injury that caused him to miss the entire 2008 summer season.

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