Andy Turner is one of the leading lights of British Athletics in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics, with recent successes establishing him as a Championship performer and a challenger to the best hurdlers in the world. He sits just behind Colin Jackson and Tony Jarrett as the 3rd quickest British sprint hurdler of all time.
Andy was born and brought up in Nottingham and comes from a sporty family where his father and brother were both county standard athletes. At school he was scouted by Notts County Football Club, where he played for two years. He subsequently switched from football to athletics because of his love for the sport.
In 2002, he made his international debut as a member of the U23 Great Britain team in a match against Germany. Things continued to progress from there as he became Britain’s top sprint hurdler in 2003, a title which he has held ever since.
2004 started well as Andy smashed his PB in the European Cup, however a devastating injury, sustained to one of his quads ruined his preparation for the Olympics in Athens. Determined not to miss his first Games, he decided to travel to Athens to give the hurdles his best shot. Whilst his courage and determination were admired, he was only able to compete in 110m hurdles heats.
This disappointment didn’t knock Andy back, and his successes over the following two years led to him travelling to Australia in 2006 to represent England at his first Commonwealth Games. He successfully achieved his goal by making the podium, winning the Bronze medal. His hard winter training paid off again in July when he won the 110m hurdles at the AAA Championships. Clearly in great shape, Andy went to the European Championships in Gothenburg determined to bring back another medal. Yet again he didn’t disappoint securing another impressive bronze medal for Great Britain, making him the only GB athlete to win an individual medal at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.
Success continued in 2007 as Andy became UK outdoor champion for the second year in a row. This was a huge boost ahead of the World Championships in Osaka, where Andy performed well, finishing 3rd in his heat in a personal best time of 13.27, qualifying for the semi-finals amidst a list of highly talented competition, including World Record Holder and Olympic Champion Liu Xiang.
After retaining his British title later in the year and securing a place in the British Olympic team, his last competition before travelling out to the Olympic holding camp in Macau was on home soil at the London Grand Prix. This race proved significant in Andy’s Olympic preparations, feeling a twinge in his hamstring whilst racing. The medical team later confirmed his fears of muscle damage. Typical to Andy’s character he fought back to make the start line in Beijing’s Birds Nest. Drawn next to current world record holder Dayron Robles he had a fantastic start finishing in second place to progress into the second round.
Once again drawn next to the World record holder who went on to take the Olympic title it appears Andy’s body had not had quite enough time to recover from the earlier injury setback and he was inched out of the semi final by six hundredths of a second. Following the Olympics Andy had his funding cut by the sport’s governing body as they didn’t believe him to be medal contender at major championship level. With two children to care for, he had a huge decision to make as to whether he could justify continuing with his athletics career without the financial and medical support he needed. True to Andy’s character he soldiered on, determined to prove that he did have what it takes.
In 2009 Andy immediately began to provide this proof, securing the gold medal in the hurdles at the European Team Championships. However injury yet again struck, meaning despite making the start line at the World Championships later that year, he was only able to finish 5th in the heats. Still undeterred, Andy yet again overcame his injury problems, and his season best 13.30secs saw him earn his right to yet again receive full funding from UKA.
2010 was Andy’s opportunity to finally prove his critics wrong while also replying the faith that the governing body had once again shown in him. Things started well, winning the 110m hurdles at the Manchester City Games and taking the title in the 200m event aswell whilst also securing a world best time. Next up were the European Team Championships and another first placed finish set Andy up nicely for the true test he’d been waiting for at the European Championships in Barcelona. Following straightforward progression in the heats and a slight scare in the semi- finals, it was Andy’s time to shine in the Final. Putting pressure on the favourite Petr Svoboda throughout, Andy seized his chance with both hands and steamed through to a historic gold medal success.
Andy ended a very successful 2010 with yet another gold medal, this time at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Despite citing exhaustion after a long season he was determined to compete and bring back the gold medal. He succeeded by leading a 1- 2-3 for England as he finished ahead of his compatriot Will Sharman.
2011 started off strongly for Andy, equalling his PB in Jamaica before setting a new lifetime best of 13.22 seconds in Lausanne in June. This, along with leading the GB team with a gold medal at the European Team Championships, set him up for the World Championships in Daegu. Despite a groin tear just a few weeks before the Championships, Andy cruised through the heats and made it through a tough semi- final to line up against the world’s best in the final. With Dayron Robles being disqualified form the race, Andy took home another historic medal, this time a bronze, making it three consecutive major championship medals.
In addition to his athletics career, Andy is in demand as a model and has a range of television experience having been in an advert for Ford as well as an episode of Silent Witness. Despite this his sights remain firmly set on success at the London Olympics in 2012, with his recent successes establishing him as one of the leading 110m hurdle contenders in the world.
- Olympian, London
- World Championships, Bronze
- PB of 13.22secs
- UK Indoor Championships, 60m hurdles, Gold
- Commonwealth Games, 110m hurdles, Gold
- European Championships, Gold
- IAAF World Challenge, 110m hurdles, 1st
- Manchester City Games, 200m hurdles, 1st
- Manchester City Games, 110m hurdles, 1st
- British 110m hurdles Champion
- IAAF Grand Prix in Hengalo, 1st
- British 110m hurdles Champion
- Olympian, Beijing
- British 110m hurdles Champion
- AAA Indoor Champion
- European Championships, Bronze
- Commonwealth Games, Bronze
- Olympian, Greece