Colin Ray Jackson CBE (born 18 February 1967) is a Welsh former sprint and hurdling athlete who specialised in the 110 metres hurdles. Over his career representing Great Britain and Wales he won an Olympic silver medal, became world champion three times, went undefeated at the European Championships for 12 years and was a two-time Commonwealth champion.
His world record of 12.91 seconds for the 110 m hurdles stood for over a decade and he remains the 60 metres hurdles world record holder.
Jackson, born in Cardiff, Wales, is of Jamaican, Maroon, Taino, and Scottish ancestry. Jackson grew up in Birchgrove, attending Birchgrove Primary School and then Llanedeyrn High School. He played football and cricket for the county and rugby union and basketball for his school and joined the athletics club Birchgrove Harriers, which nurtured his talent.
Jackson won his first major medal, a silver in the 110 m hurdles, at the age of nineteen at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. He soon established himself on the global scene, taking bronze at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics and a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics. After winning another silver in the 60 metres hurdles at the 1989 IAAF World Indoor Championships, he won European and Commonwealth gold medals in 1990. The 1993 season saw him reach the pinnacle of his sport: after a silver at the 1993 Indoor Worlds, he went on to set a world record of 12.91 seconds to become the 1993 World Champion. This mark was unbeaten for almost thirteen years and remains the world championship record. Jackson also helped the British 4×100 metres relay team to the world silver medal.
This period was perhaps Jackson's most successful – he had a streak of 44 races undefeated between 1993 and 1995. In addition to European and Commonwealth golds outdoors in 1994, he set another world record, running 7.30 seconds in the 60 m hurdles. A double gold at the 1994 European Athletics Indoor Championships in the 60 m hurdles and sprint events saw him set a European record of 6.49 seconds over 60 metres. Injury affected his 1995–1996 seasons and he only finished in fourth at the 1996 Olympics. He returned to the global podium in 1997 but took silver twice – behindAnier García at the Indoor World Championships and Allen Johnson in the World Outdoors. After winning the European Championships for a third consecutive time in 1998 he became world champion indoors and out in 1999. He finished fifth at the 2000 Summer Olympics and his last major medals came in 2002, taking European indoor and outdoor gold and a Commonwealth silver.
After a period of sports management and coaching, he now works as a sports commentator for athletics and television presenter (predominantly for the BBC) and appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2005.
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