014: Kelly Sotherton on receiving her 4x400m medal ten years late

In this special podcast episode I talk to Kelly Sotherton just after receiving a retrospectively awarded Olympic medal for the 4x400m, ten years after the Beijing games.

Show notes
1:00 Introduction to Kelly Sotherton and the award of 4x400m medal from the Beijing Olympics alongside Marilyn Okoro, Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders
3:15 Background of how we developed 400m running performance from heptathlon training
5:25 Sadness and hope. Sadness that athletes and countries resorted to cheating. Hope that the authorities are punishing athletes retrospectively
6:13 Athletes taking the courage to speak out against cheating
6:37 The moment the women’s 4x400m team received their medals
7:29 Finally got the medal
8:00 Heptathlon medal still to come
8:20 Mixed emotions, when Kelly retired there was a sense of bitterness and being heartbroken but being reflective that she did everything to get her in the best shape possible
9:10 After Athens 2004 Olympics, her coach Charles van Comenee left the UK, Kelly pulls together a group of coaches
10:20 The running begins to plateau – where the two of us started to work together
11:30 The fact finding mission at a training camp in Portugal
12:00 The results start to come. Kelly medals at the Worlds Championships. Kelly calls out Lyudmila Blonska, someone who already cheated. The gamble of investing in a new approach to running
13:00 Focussed on speed to renew Kelly’s running ability and my transition to the coaching team
14:10 Background to Kelly calling out other athletes as dopers
15:23 How Kelly felt about competing against athletes. Blonska and Chernova effects Kelly performance
17:20 The headline is injustice, sympathy for missing out on the moment, loss of earnings – but competing against dopers did negatively affect her performance
18:39 Kelly’s hopes that we don’t see these retrospective medal awards
19:00 Sport won’t forget athletes like Kelly as victims of cheaters
19:45 Many athletes haven’t received their rightful medals, so Kelly feels fortunate to have the moment. Goldie Sayers still waiting
20:45 How Kelly and I came across the 400m while focussing on developing the 300m ability
22:00 Top Britain in 2008 indoor season and 8th in World – leading to a curiosity in her 400m ability
22:55 Not getting distracted by the 400m. A trial of whether Kelly’s ability could contribute to the 4x400m team, running 51s split
24:00 In shape for heptathlon – but capable of a great 400m performance. A pivotal 300m trial that impresses the 4x400m coaches
25:10 8th fastest GB 400m split of all time
26:15 A lesson in rounded training that can help overall performance
27:00 Reflecting on what could be but blighted by injury, trying different training methods to keep Kelly fit when injured
28:25 Kelly applies the lessons learned from her career to athletes now
29:35 Heptathlon medal still to come, how Kelly focuses on the individual medal having more meaning
30:43 Three time Olympic medallist
31:20 The consequences of being cheated
32:10 Kelly being active as a coach, team leader, establishing the athlete commission, “What are you doing about it?” Make it happen, make it better

Follow Kelly on Twitter and Instagram @kellysotherton


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