Steve Backley

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Country: United Kingdom

About Steve Backley
Stephen ("Steve") James Backley OBE (born 12 February 1969 in Sidcup) is a retired British athlete who was formerly the world record holder for javelin throwing. During his career, he won four gold medals at the European Championships, three Commonwealth Games gold medals, and two silvers and a bronze at the Olympic Games, and two silvers at the World Championships. Backley was a firm fixture in the British national athletics team for over fifteen years and is the only British track and field competitor to win medals at three different Olympic Games. Backley was educated at Warren Road Primary School, Orpington, and later Beths Grammar School in his teens and later enrolled at Loughborough University in October 1988 to study for a BSc Honours degree in Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreation Management. Although he completed his first year there and remained a student until 2002, the time he dedicated to the javelin prevented him from completing his studies. However, on December 16, 2002 Loughborough University honoured him with the degree of Doctor of Technology honoris causa. Backley's first significant title, was won in 1987 when he threw 75.14 metres to pick up the European junior title, ahead of Vladimir Zossimovich (73.24) of Russia and East German Raymond Hecht (72.78). In 1988, Backley won the silver medal at the 1988 Junior World Championships. He also broke the world junior record that year. In July 1990, Backley set a world record of 89.58m in Stockholm, Sweden. The record was then bettered by the Czech thrower Jan Železný a few weeks later, but Backley then regained the record with a throw 90.98m at Crystal Palace, London, to end the year as the world record holder. Finland's Seppo Räty then bettered the record in 1991. The records set by Železný and Räty, as well as Backley's 90.98m throw, had all been made using new 'Nemeth' javelins, however in August 1991 the IAAF declared this type of javelin illegal and all records set using them were retrospectively deleted. As a consequence, the world record reverted to the 89.58m mark that Backley had set in 1990. Backley then set another world record of 91.46m in January 1992 in New Zealand, a record which stood until the following year when it was bettered by Železný.

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United Kingdom Athletes Ranking

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Athletes Ranking

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Rank Name Total
25. Francis Obikwelu 14987
26. Spyridon Louis 14025
27. Hadi Saei 13687
28. Vishvanathan Anand 13145
29. Steve Backley 11838
30. Gholamreza Takhti 10894
31. Maria Sharapova 9429
32. Koca Yusuf 9116
33. Yordan Yovchev 9092

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8 Iran 11295 4165647
9 Germany 6148 77827
10 United Kingdom 5797 891398
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