Derek Redmond heroic Olympic 400m finish video

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Derek Redmond on the 1992 Olympics 400m semi-final:

‘All my injury problems were normally achilles tendon problems,’ says Derek Redmond. ‘In that 400m race, I had one ankle taped to take the pressure off my tendon. So I had that problem under control.’

In the end, what ruined the sprinter’s medal hopes in the 1992 Olympics was his hamstring, which snapped 15 seconds into the semi-final heat. ‘I was surprised, to put it mildly,’ says Redmond. ‘I was going to win that semi-final, so when I pulled the hamstring, the natural thing to think was, “Well, if I get up now I can still qualify for the final.” That’s why I got up and started running. It took about 50 metres before it hit me that everyone had finished and it was all over.’ 

Redmond continued to hobble down the field, and was joined by his father, who pushed security aside to help his son. ‘At that stage I was pissed off with the whole situation,’ says Redmond, who received a standing ovation from the crowd. ‘I didn’t give a monkey’s about the crowd or the British team. I did it just for me. I know everyone says it’s the taking part that counts, but I wanted to go out and win the bloody thing.’

Despite his dashed medal hopes, Redmond’s struggle became a symbol of the Olympic spirit, and is an experience that he now draws on as a motivational speaker. ‘It wasn’t the best day of my life,’ he says, ‘but as the years have gone by I’ve realised it wasn’t the worst day of my life, either.’ 

If you want to injury-proof your body, do these exercises. Then watch another of our favourite iconic sporting moments: the victory.

Coach Staff

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