Jenny Meadows

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The 800 metre runner proves that good things can come in small packages.

Raise Your Game: How important is hard work if you want to make it to the top?

Jenny Meadows: It's all about hard work, and you've got to put the time and effort in. I started in athletics when I was aged seven and three quarters, and I wouldn't be doing it today if I didn't enjoy it.


Jenny Meadows

17 April 1981




  • Bronze - 800m, European Championships, Barcelona (2010)
  • Silver - 800m - World Indoor Championships, Doha (2010)
  • Broke Kelly Holmes' seven-year-old British 800m indoor record at the UK Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham (2010)
  • Gold - 800m - Aviva World Indoor Trials and UK Championships, Sheffield (2010)
  • Bronze - 800m - Aviva British Grand Prix, Gateshead (2009)
  • Bronze - 800m - IAAF World Championships, Berlin (2009)
  • Gold - 800m - European Cup, Annecy (2008)
  • Fifth - 800m - IAAF World Indoor Championships, Valencia (2008)
  • Fifth - 800m (semi) IAAF World Championships, Osaka (2008)
  • First - 4x100m (heat) European Championships, Gothenburg (2006)

Until I was eighteen I just enjoyed going to the track and making friends. Then I got a bit better at athletics and I got to travel the world! It's a lot of hard work, but you've got to enjoy it and have fun as well.

RYG: What has sport given you?

JM: Sport has given me a lot of confidence. My mum has always said I never used to speak when I was a child! If the telephone rang I would never answer it. If I did I'd say 'Hello,' then I'd go and get the other person.

I think it's just improved every bit of my life. You can get nervous before races, and feel a little bit anxious, and that helped me with things like exams at school and taking my driving test. It's given me a whole range of skills and attributes.

RYG: You're quite small in stature and you're running alongside some very big and strong girls. How do you motivate yourself when you're lining up at the start with them?

LM: I think it's just because I'm really gutsy. Sometimes I look at the other girls and think 'Wow,' then I think 'Come on, you train just as hard as they do, you want it just as much.' Size doesn't matter. Good things come in little packages! That's what my mum used to say to me!

RYG: How do you feel at the end of a hard race?

LM: I feel tired, but if it goes well I feel great! There's nothing like it when you go and get a good result. I'm quite a girly girl so I like shopping and getting new shoes. I love it, but there's no feeling like winning a race! You've done something and you've achieved by yourself, so it's amazing.

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