Kelly Sotherton
Great Britain

  • Full name Kelly Jade Sotherton
  • Nickname Gamer
  • Birth date November 13, 1976
  • Birth place Isle of Wight
  • Current age 42 years 8 days
  • Height 1 ft 78 in
Kelly Sotherton finishes the 800m at the Beijing Olympics

Quite simply, had it not been for the presence of one super-talented Swedish athlete, Kelly Sotherton would already have penned herself into the history books as one of Britain's greatest ever athletes.

A true powerhouse in the multi-faceted world of Heptathlon, Sotherton has unfortunately suffered the equivalent of Roger Black syndrome: She was born in the same era as an Olympic great.

Like Michael Johnson did to Roger Black, Carolina Kluft has stood between Sotherton and a whole clutch of Gold medals, although the Brit will acknowledge she blew her first big chance in the absence of Kluft at the 2008 Olympics.

Born on the Isle of Wight, Sotherton won two heptathlon titles at school before moving her training camp to work with former Olympic champion Denis Lewis. Within four years the move paid dividends on the biggest of stages.

Picking the ultimate setting to make her mark in Athens, Sotherton usurped her training partner to take Olympic bronze with a total score of 6424 points. That day she would lose out to a certain C. Kluft, marking the start of a very one-sided rivalry.

The 2005 European Indoor Championships followed a similar script, although Sotherton took silver this time, so it was a relief for the Birchfield Harrier when Kluft could not stand in her way at the AAA's National Championship.

A greater moment was to follow. Again in the absence of Kluft, Sotherton celebrated the biggest achievement of her career, battling to Commonwealth Gold in Melbourne ahead of team-mate Jessica Ennis.

Everything was shaping toward the 2008 Olympics. At the 2007 European Indoor Championships Sotherton and Kluft endured their closest battle, with the latter pipping the former by just 17 points. Sotherton need to beat Kluft by 1.6 seconds in the 800m climax, but a personal best proved too little as the Swede broke her own personal marker.

It was bronze for Sotherton in the World Championships thanks to a shocking javelin, yet Kluft's retirement from Heptathlon installed the Briton as favourite for the forthcoming Olympic Games. Sotherton just could not bring it all together at the right moment though, finishing fifth, although her courage in speaking out against drug cheat Lyudmila Blonska (a move that later saw Sotherton bumped up to fourth) earned her a new army of fans.

After focusing on the 400m for a season, Sotherton returned to the heptathlon for the 2012 season, but was forced to abandon her Olympic dream when injury scuppered her build-up to the Games.

Career high A toss-up between bronze at the Olympics or Gold at the Commonwealths, but after spending so many years as the bridesmaid, it must have been a poignant moment for Sotherton to become the bride in Melbourne.

Career low The 2008 Olympics did not go to script. Sotherton was favourite, her great rival had gone, yet she only managed fifth place out in Beijing.

Quotes "During our long jump event in Beijing I saw Blonska take something. I was sitting next to her during the event, watching her doing it and thinking: "You cheating cow". Kelly Sotherton speaking to the Daily Mail.

"When Carolina Kluft says she is definitely not going to take part in the heptathlon, that gives people like Kelly Sotherton a lift. All of a sudden, you see a gold medal you can possibly win. With Carolina Kluft in the competition, you tend to think, 'Let's start at silver and work down'. But now, for someone like Kelly, it's a great opportunity for her." Colin Jackson

Trivia Kelly has little or no visible belly button, something she shares with underwear model Karolina Kurkova and reportedly Liverpool footballer Jamie Carragher.


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Feb 13, 2011

Jenny Meadows, Kelly Sotherton and Kelly Massey competein the 400m

Jul 11, 2009

Kelly Sotherton prepares to throw the shot