BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Herne Hill Harriers’ double Olympic long jump finalist Jade Johnson has been appointed as a club patron.
The former British international star, 40, will take up her new role for the club alongside Baron Terence Higgins, who is also a life member and a double Olympian.
Johnson joined Herne Hill in 1993, aged 12, and was coached by Ivor Northey for her first few years – such was her prodigious talent that she competed in the long jump for the GB U20 team when only 15.
She hit the global stage as an U23.
Johnson won a senior national title in 2000 and secured silver at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. A month later she contested the European Championships in Munich and jumped 6.73m to take silver.
Johnson placed fourth at the World Athletics Championships the following summer in Paris. She was a finalist at two successive Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, finishing sixth and seventh respectively. Her PB and club women’s record of 6.81m was recorded in 2008 when she came second in the European Cup.
Johnson said: “I knew I wanted to compete at the Olympics by the time I was eight. My family moved back to London when I was 11. I bothered my mum non-stop about needed to join a running club. Herne Hill Harriers, at Tooting Track, was the closest one, and when I went for the first time I just loved the energy and vibe.
“It was exactly what I knew would start my journey to fulfilling my dream of making the Olympics. Even when I achieved that dream in 2004, at the age of 24, it never crossed my mind to leave.
“HHH was always my ‘athletics home’, until I retired in 2012. It is a great honour to be coming ‘home’, and accept the role as co-patron alongside The Right Honourable Lord Higgins KBE.”
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