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Wendy Smith Sly

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Name  Wendy Smith-Sly

Role  Olympic athlete
Wendy Smith-Sly wwwsportingheroesnetcontentthumbnails001010

Olympic medals  Athletics at the 1984 Summer Olympics – Women's 3000 metres

Wendy Sly MBE (née Smith, born 5 November 1959) is a British former athlete, who competed mainly in the 3,000 metres. She won a silver medal in the event at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She won the 1983 10km World Road Race Championships in San Diego.



Sly was born in Hampton, Greater London, England. In 1978, as Wendy Smith, she finished 43rd at the World Cross Country Championships, and won a team bronze medal. In 1980, she was the UK number one in the 3000 metres and finished second in the 1500 metres at the UK Championships. /bc/ In 1982, at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, she won a silver medal in the 3000 metres, running 8:48.47 behind Anne Audain.

In 1983, now competing as Wendy Sly, she finished fifth in the finals of both the 1500 metres and the 3000 metres at the inaugural World Championships in Helsinki. She ran her lifetime bests in both events, 4:04.14 in the 1500 m and 8:37.06 in the 3000 m. Also that year, she won the IAAF World Women's Road Race Championships in San Diego contested over 10 km.

At her first Olympic Games in 1984 in Los Angeles, Sly won a silver medal in the infamous 3000 metres final that included the collision between Mary Decker and Zola Budd, with whom she had a strong rivalry. She ran a season's best of 8:39.47. The race was won by Maricica Puică of Romania.

Sly finished eighth in the 1987 World Championships 3000 metres final in Rome. Then at her second Olympics in Seoul, she finished seventh in the 3000 metres final in 8:37.70, her fastest time in five years.

As of 2014, Sly still ranks in the UK all-time top 10 lists in the 3000 metres (6th with 8:37.06 1983), 10,000 metres (10th with 31:53.36 in 1988), 10 km road (3rd with 31:29 in 1983) and 15 km road (4th with 48:17 in 1985).

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to athletics.

Personal life

In 1997, she had a son, Max Heath. In 2013, she married her long-term partner, Andrew, whom she met through working together for her former university friend and colleague, Sebastian Coe.


  • 1986 UK 3000 metres Champion
  • 1987 AAAs 3000 metres Champion
  • 1988 AAAs Indoor 3000 metres Champion
  • References

    Wendy Smith-Sly Wikipedia

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