Class of ’91

Three decades after Britain’s most successful Olympics for athletics, a global championships returned to the city with the third edition of the World Championships. There was now greater equality in the events available to men and women on the track, where Liz McColgan took a memorable gold medal in the heat and humidity of the Japanese capital in the 10,000m. Women would have to wait for triple jump, pole vault and hammer, as well as steeplechase, to be added to their programme.

Kris Akabusi and relay team
Image credit: Mark Shearman MBE – Athletics Images

ESAA’s Goodwill Cup, now presented to the winners of the Intermediate Boys’ relay, was donated by the American Edward Roscoe Matthews in 1933. The name and inscription on the trophy tell us that “This cup is given in the name of Youth, Friendship and Peace. The donor loves England. He loves his own America. And this Cup shall symbolise his earnest prayer that the Youth of England and the Youth of America may attain to a friendship so warm that it will kindle the flame of Universal Peace.” All very well but the 4 x 400m relay squad felt that it was about time they extended the hand of friendship from the top of the medal podium. In a thrilling race, Kriss Akabusi’s final lunge for the line secured a famous victory.

Watch the video to find out how the ESAA champs contributed to the success of one of the Class of ’91.

Mick Hill at ESAA champs 1983
Image credit: ESAA archive

School Report – Tokyo 1991 >>

All ESAA competitors at 1991 World Championships >>