Olympic, World and European medallist Marilyn Okoro announces her retirement from competitive track and field athletics
University of Bath alumna Marilyn Okoro has announced her retirement from competitive athletics after an outstanding career that saw her win medals on the Olympic, World and European stage.
Okoro made some of her breakthrough performances while based at the University between 2003 and 2007, where she combined training under the guidance of Colin Bovell with studying for a degree in French and Politics.
As well as a host of national student titles in the Blue & Gold, she also won 800m bronze at the 2005 World University Games in Turkey before helping Great Britain claim women’s 4x400m relay bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Ozaka, Japan, shortly after graduating from Bath.
@TeamBath home from home where I enjoyed some incredible success supported by an incredible institution that celebrated my gifts as well as my academia… Thank you!! 💛💙 #frenchandpolitics #bahons #teambath #highereducation #universityofBath https://t.co/lQEQ7Fflj8
— Marilyn Okoro OLY (@mokoro4) February 28, 2021
The following year saw Okoro earn selection for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and she was part of the GB quartet that finished fifth in the 4x400m relay. However, they were upgraded to third place in 2016 after retrospective drugs tests led to the disqualification of Russia and Belarus, who had placed second and fourth respectively.
Okoro and her team-mates – Christine Ohuruogu, Kelly Sotherton and Nicola Sanders – were finally presented with their Olympic bronze medals at the London Stadium during the Müller Anniversary Games in 2018.
There were further relay medals at the 2010 European Championships and both the 2009 and 2011 European Indoor Championships, with Okoro also winning individual 800m bronze at the latter event in Paris after two Russian athletes were disqualified for doping violations.
Okoro has now decided to hang up her spikes to focus on a new career supporting athlete welfare as chief operating officer of the newly-launched Love Athletes platform.
“Loveathletes.com is a global crowdfunding platform for athletes and coaches and our mission is to revolutionise the world of sports, with athlete care and compassion at the core of it,” she told Athletics Weekly.
“Everything we are offering for athletes we are going to offer for coaches as well, because the coaches are also crying out for support. Imagine having a really well looked after coach and a really well looked after athlete – it’s success.
“It’s something I’m passionate about, it’s like I’ve got another medal to seek. I didn’t think there was going to be something that filled that feeling, but there is. You just have to let go.”