Born in Nottingham in 1973, Jamie is one of a select band of only 12 Welsh athletes to have won an Olympic athletics medal, winning silver in the 1996 Atlanta Games. He cut his athletics teeth with Newport Harriers, before moving to Cardiff AAC in 1993.
For such a diminutive athlete (1.76m/5’9½), he had a brilliant record as a 400m runner – an event more suited to athletes in excess of 6 foot. His size obviously was more appropriate to the smaller indoor arena where tightly banked 200m tracks are kinder to his shorter stride length. So it was as an indoor performer that he made the biggest impact.
His finest achievement came in the world indoor championships in Maebashi, Japan in 1999, when he won in 45.73 secs, beating Milton Campbell (USA) by just over a quarter of a second. An indication of his superb form as an indoor 400m runner can be gauged by the fact that the UK record of 45.39 set when he won the UK indoor title in 1997, still stands today.
Whilst the indoor arena was clearly his favourite, he was a key member of the UK 4 x 400m relay team that took an Olympic silver medal in Atlanta (1996) and European gold in 1998 (Budapest) & 2002 (Munich). He also won silver as part of Britain’s 1997 silver medal winning 4 x 400m team in the Athens World Championships, although belatedly, along with Iwan Thomas, Mark Richardson and Roger Black he has become a world championship gold medallist as the USA’s Antonio Pettigrew failed a retrospective drug test and the British team has been elevated to world champions. He competed 29 times for Britain in full international matches in a career spanning 12 years.
From a Welsh perspective, he was a member of the brilliant Welsh Commonwealth Games teams that took 4 x 400m bronze in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and silver in Manchester in 2002. In Manchester, the Welsh squad of Iwan Thomas, and fellow Cardiffian’s, Tim Benjamin and Matt Elias missed out on the gold to England by just one hundredth of a second, despite Elias’s heroic last leg. In Kuala Lumpur the sight of Jamie mid-way down the home straight sharing a grin with eventual 400m winner Iwan Thomas, was one of the highlights of those 1998 Games. Jamie finished 4thbefore going on to the relay bronze with Thomas, and fellow Cardiff team-mates Paul Gray and Doug Turner. Turner was destined to win the European 200m silver medal some weeks later in Munich.
Altogether in his career, Jamie won five senior Welsh Championship titles - including four at 200m and set nine senior Welsh records at 200 and 400 metres.
His fastest 400m time of 44.57 set in Lausanne in 1996 still ranks him as the 7thfastest by a British athlete and is the third fastest Welshman of all time behind UK record holder Iwan Thomas (44.36) and Cardiff club mate Tim Benjamin (44.56).
Jamie retired in 2005 aged 32, and had already started to forge a career in TV whilst still competing. He has hosted his own show and appeared on Superstars. Nowadays he runs his own marketing company.
Mike Walters and Clive Williams