ATHLETICS: Award for athlete in New Year’s Honours

Athlete Angela Copson was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours list
Athlete Angela Copson was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours list

British Empire Medal for Angela Copson

Record-breaking athlete Angela Copson has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list for her services to running.

The 69-year-old Rugby & Northampton AC star has broken 48 British, European and World records or bests in the Over 60 and Over 65  age groups.

And she will now have one more very special medal - the British Empire Medal, which was re-established in the UK in 2012 - to add to her outstanding collection.

Surprisingly Copson has been running for only ten years after initially taking up the sport to raise money for heart research at Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital where her husband had been treated.

Copson has achieved her records in distances ranging from 400m on the track right through to the marathon and exactly half of these records have been world best times with 33 of them being European.

From 2007-2016 she was ranked No.1 in the UK in an incredible 73 events.

She has won 79 individual Championship medals from British, European and World Championships over track, cross country and road races in her age group. And 68 of these are gold medals. She has never failed to win a medal in every single championship event she has taken part in.

Of her 68 gold medals, ten have been in Masters World Championships, with another 13 in European Championships and 36 in Britsh Masters Championships.

The remaining nine golds were won in an unprecedented nine consecutive victories in the British & Irish Masters International Cross Country from 2008-2016. This included four in the W60 category and five in the W65.

In 2012 she was voted the European Masters Athlete of the Year.

On April 10, 2016 Copson became the oldest woman  in history to break 3 hours 30 mins for the marathon when she recorded a time of 3-24.54 at the age of 68 years 356 days in Manchester.

This gave her a current total of 30 officially recognised single age world records in distances from 3000m to the marathon on track and road.