Sebastian Coe is the UK’s most prolific world record setter and arguably the greatest runner to compete for his country.

Born in London in 1956, Coe began his athletics career age 12, at Sheffield’s Hallamshire Harriers squad, where his father was his running coach. In 1977 he made his first mark as a professional athlete, winning the 800m at the European Indoor Championship. After a string of world records, Coe won his first Olympic medal in 1980 at the Moscow games, taking gold in the 1,500m. His second gold came in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics. His famous rivalry with fellow runner Steve Ovett dominated athletics through much of those years, and he quickly became the UK’s best known and most cherished athlete – setting 12 middle-distance world records.

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