Frankie Fredericks

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Frankie Fredericks
2014 IAAF Council Meeting - Frank Fredericks (cropped).jpg
Fredericks at the 2014 IAAF Council Meeting
Personal information
Nationality Namibian
Born (1967-10-02) 2 October 1967 (age 52)
Windhoek, South West Africa
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 72 kg (159 lb; 11.3 st)
Sport Track and field
Event(s) 100 metres, 200 metres

Frank "Frankie" Fredericks (born 2 October 1967) is a former track and field athlete from Namibia. Running in the 100 metres and 200 metres, he won four silver medals at the Olympic Games (two in 1992 and two in 1996), making him Namibia's first and so far only Olympic medalist. He also won gold medals at the World Championships, World Indoor Championships, All-Africa Games and Commonwealth Games. He is the world indoor record-holder for 200 metres, with a time of 19.92 seconds set in 1996.

Fredericks has broken 20 seconds for the 200 metres 24 times. He also holds the third-fastest non-winning time for the 200 metres. In August 1996, Fredericks ran 19.68 seconds in the Olympic final in Atlanta, Georgia.

He is also the oldest man to have broken 20 seconds for the 200 metres. On 12 July 2002 in Rome, Fredericks won the 200 metres in a time of 19.99 seconds at the age of 34 years 283 days. He is currently serving as a council member in the IAAF.


Born in Windhoek, Frankie Fredericks was awarded a scholarship at Brigham Young University in the US in 1987. (Though he is not a Mormon, he enjoyed the religious classes at BYU.) During his college career, Fredericks earned numerous All-American citations and won three NCAA championships.[1] In 1990, after his country had become independent of South Africa, Fredericks could participate in international competition. At the World Championships that year, Fredericks won a silver medal in the 200 m, finishing behind Michael Johnson, and placed 5th in the 100 m.

The following year, at the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics, Fredericks became Namibia's first Olympic medalist when he finished second in both the 100 m and 200 m. He won the silver medal in the men's 100-meter dash, with a time of 10.02 seconds, just .06 seconds behind the gold medal winner. In 1993, in Stuttgart, he became the nation's first World Champion, winning the 200 m.

In the 1994 Commonwealth Games, he won gold in the 200 m and bronze in the 100 m. His time of 19.97 seconds in the 200 metres is the current Commonwealth Games record.

In the 1995 World Championships 100 m, after crossing the line he immediately went to help his friend Linford Christie who pulled a muscle in the race and signalled for help. This act of kindness endeared him to many (particularly British) athletics fans.

For the 1996 Summer Olympics, Fredericks was among the title favourites for both the 100 m and 200 m. He reached both finals, and again finished second in both. In the 100 m, he was beaten by Donovan Bailey, who set a new World Record, and in the 200 m he was beaten by Michael Johnson, who also set a new World Record. At the time, Fredericks's second-place run was the third fastest run in history, beaten only by Johnson (twice).

In the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Frankie once again missed out on the chance of gold in the 100 m; he was beaten by Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago.

Suffering from injuries, Fredericks had to withdraw from the 1999 and 2001 World Championships and the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the 200 m final at the 2004 Summer Olympics he finished 4th.

Fredericks won the 200 m at the inaugural Afro-Asian Games in 2003.

After the end of 2004 outdoor season, Fredericks retired from competition. Also in 2004 he became a member of the International Olympic Committee.

In 2009 Fredericks became the head of the Athletics Namibia in a controversial leadership contest. [2]

He has run the 100 m under 10 seconds 27 times, remained the 10th best in history until recently. [3]


Frankie Fredericks is today a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organisation.

He became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 2012.


File:Osaka07 Opening Frankie Fredericks.jpg
Fredericks making an appearance at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics
Distance Time (seconds) Wind Location Date
100 metres 9.86 – 0.4 m/s Lausanne 3 July 1996
200 metres 19.68 + 0.4 m/s Atlanta 1 August 1996
400 metres 46.28  ?  ? 1 January 1989


Event Best Location Date
50 metres 5.77 s Liévin 24 February 2002
60 metres 6.51 s Toronto 12 March 1993
100 metres 10.05 s Tampere 12 February 1996
200 metres World Record 19.92 s Liévin 18 February 1996
300 metres 32.36 s Karlsruhe 28 February 2003
Long jump 7.57 m Colorado Springs 22 February 1991

See also


  1. BYU Cougars: Frank Fredericks Athlete Profile
  2. Tonchi, Victor L., William A. Lindeke, and John J. Grotpeter, "Frederics, Frankie (1967- )" Historical Dictionary of Namibia. 2nd edition. Toronto: The Scarecrow Press, Inc, p. 129.
  3. Tonchi, Victor L., William A. Lindeke, and John J. Grotpeter, "Frederics, Frankie (1967- )" Historical Dictionary of Namibia. 2nd edition. Toronto: The Scarecrow Press, Inc, p. 129.

External links

Preceded by
Olapade Adeniken
Men's 200m African Record Holder
3 August 1992 – present
Preceded by
Linford Christie
Men's 200m Indoor World Record Holder
18 February 1996 – present
Preceded by
Michael Marsh
Men's 200 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
John Regis
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Flagbearer for  Namibia
Barcelona 1992
Succeeded by
Friedhelm Sack