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Sports Personality 10: Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu

Sports Personality of the Year
Venue: Liverpool Echo Arena Date: Sunday, 14 December Time: 1900 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website.

Christine Ohuruogu is one of the finest track athletes Britain has produced and she realised her Olympic dream this summer with gold in Beijing.

She was the reigning Commonwealth and world 400m champion as she stepped on the track in China before adding the Olympic title with a dynamic run.

The 24-year-old crossed the line to pip Jamaica's Shericka Williams and pre-race favourite Sanya Richards.

Ohuruogu will certainly be one of the hot favourites to land gold in 2012.

Steve Cram
By Steve Cram
World 1500m champion and Olympic 1500m silver medallist

Steve Cram was part of the BBC commentary team for the memorable Olympic women's 400m final in Beijing.

Here, the former world champion explains why winner Christine Ohuruogu should be among those considered for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year accolade.

Christine is an increasingly rare breed of British gold medallist in athletics.

It is difficult to win medals at world and Olympic levels, never mind gold, so we need to cherish how good she is. And Christine's still improving.

Some quarters did not understand why she chose not to run many 400m races in the lead up to the Olympics.

She also suffered from niggly injury problems and everybody thought hot-favourite Sanya Richards would come back and dominate the event after missing out on the world championships in 2007. I don't think many gave Christine a chance of winning gold.


Despite the pessimism, and I try not to sing my own praises, I always thought she was in with a very good shot of the big title.

Regarding the training, Christine's critics failed to pick up on the fact that she had won last year's world 400m having competed in only about five races in the lead up to the final, because of her suspension for missing three out-of-competition drugs tests. By claiming the world prize she and her coach gained confidence that they could do things their own way.

I believe you just need to be in right shape for the big moment - there's no need to produce it a month before.

Christine concentrated on what she perceived to be a weakness, which was her first 200 during a 400m race. By improving her leg speed at the beginning it helped her develop the second part of the race which we all knew was where she was very strong.

By now we all know that Christine got it right again at the Olympics - what a race.

She may not be massively prolific during the athletics season, but ask top men's 100m sprinter Asafa Powell, who has not won an individual gold at world or Olympic level, whether he'd exchange his Grand Prix wins for one of the major medals - I think we all know what his answer would be.

If we could coach each of our British athletes into hitting their peak at major championships then it would be fantastic.

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Watch Ohuruogu's Olympic triumph

It would be nice to tap into Christine and find out how she manages to hit her best at the right time, but I guess not all athletes will be able to follow her pattern of training because they're all different.

What I really like about Christine is that she's very focused, a fantastic character and a great example to other athletes when it comes to knowing how to conduct yourself.

Maybe some are more outgoing - she's not like that, but neither is she aloof. Christine just doesn't get over-excited and she focuses her energies on getting good results. There's a lot of emotion inside her.

She is our one consistent performer in athletics at the top level and that means an awful lot to the public.

I'm looking forward to seeing her hit more heights and I think there will be more world and Olympic titles.

And if Christine continues to add to her collection then by the time she comes to the end of her career I think she'll be recognised as one of the all-time greats.

Steve Cram was talking to BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury

Stories from Ohuruogu's year:

Sun 14 Dec, 1900 GMT,
BBC One & BBC Radio 5 Live.

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