Christina Boxer

Christina Boxer
Personal information
Born 25 March 1957

Christina Tracy Boxer-Cahill (born 25 March 1957) is a retired female middle distance athlete from England. She represented Great Britain at three Olympic Games, in Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988. In Seoul, she finished fourth in the 1500 metres final. She also won a gold medal in the 1500 m at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. In 1979, she became the first British woman in history to run the 800 metres in under two-minutes.


Yately School/Farnborough College (1968–1976); Loughborough University (1979–1983); Chichester University (2003–2004)


Boxer was born in Northolt, Greater London, England and was a member of Aldershot, Farnham & District Athletics Club and later Gateshead Harriers & AC. In 1971, she won the Under 15 English National Cross Country Championships. She won the first of 11 AAAs Championship and UK Championship titles in 1977, winning the AAAs National 800 metres title in 2:03.78.

In August 1979, Boxer became the first British woman to run 800 metres in under two minutes, with a time of 1:59.05 in Turin.[1] She still remains one of only three British woman, along with Kirsty Wade and Hannah England, to have broken both two minutes for 800 metres and nine minutes for 3000 metres. She gained a BSc in Physical Education and Sport Science and a PGCE in PE & Biology at Loughborough University between 1979–1983. During this time, she competed at her first Olympic Games in Moscow 1980, reaching the semi-finals of the 800 m. In 1982, she won the gold medal in the women's 1500 m event at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.

On 6 July 1984, Boxer achieved her career best of 4:00.57 in the 1500 m at Gateshead, to break Christine Benning's five-year-old British record. A month later, at the Los Angeles Olympics, she finished 6th in the 1500 m final with 4:05.53. She ended the season running a career best time in the mile, with 4:22.64 in London. Although she lost her British 1500 m record to Zola Budd, who ran 3:59.96 in Brussels, Boxer had another fine season in 1985. She ran her best ever time in the 3000 m, with 8:49.89 at the Crystal Palace and finished second in the 1500 m at the European Cup in Moscow, behind Raviliya Agletdinova of the Soviet Union.

After a disappointing couple of years, Boxer returned to top form in 1988. Competing at her third Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, (under her then married name of Cahill), she finished 4th in the 1500 m final, with her best time for four years, 4:00.64. She was beaten into bronze by Tetyana Samolenko, who was later banned for taking performance-enhancing drugs.[2] She was the fifth fastest woman in the world in 1988 at 1500m.

In 1990, Boxer won a Commonwealth Games silver medal in the 1500 m behind Canada's Angela Chalmers. In 1992, she competed at the UK Olympic trials in Birmingham but missed out on selection for a fourth consecutive Olympics Games in Barcelona. She retired as an international athlete later that year.

As of 2015, Boxer still ranks in the UK all-time top ten at 1500 m and the mile. She ranks seventh in the 1500 m (4:00.57) and fourth in the mile (4:22.64). In the 800 m, she ranks 12th (1:59.05).

Later career

After her retirement she worked as a Sport, Physical Activity & Education Consultant leading national projects involving health-activity and sport retention programmes, while also coaching worldclass senior and junior athletes including Jo Pavey, whom she helped return from serious injury to make her first ever Olympics in 2000 at 5,000m and Charlotte Moore who became the first British junior woman to break 2 minutes at 800m, setting a UK junior record of 1.59.75 when finishing 6th in the 2002 Commonwealth Games and gained a silver medal at the European Junior Championships in 2003.

Boxer was also a reporter for BBC Sport's athletics coverage from 1996–2001, providing track-side interviews at major events including the Commonwealth Games, World Track & Cross Country Championships and the Sydney Olympic Games. She became a middle distance Team GB coach during the early – mid 2000's.

Boxer continued to combine consultancy work with formal employment contracts and project management and has held honorary positions promoting sport and coaching. She was board director of sportscoachUK from 1998–2007, a sporting patron of the Youth Sport Trust from 1992–2006 and a London2012 Olympic and Paralympic Ambassador in the West Midlands from 2009–2012. After completing a MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology and a Diploma in Behavioural Coaching she became Course Leader of BSc in Sports Coaching Science and Senior Lecturer (Coaching with PE & Sport Development) at the University of Worcester[3] before being appointed Director of Girl's Sport/Sport Development at Malvern College in 2008.[4] In 2011 she became Sports Development Manager at the University of Birmingham managing staff and programmes involving Coaching, Club Development, Participation and Volunteering.[5] and was also appointed Chair of the Birmingham Athletic Network.[6][7] In September 2014 Christina became Director of Sport at Queen Anne's School in Caversham, Reading developing sport across the full spectrum from health-related fitness through to performance team and individual sports. She is also a member of their Life and Learning working group.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Great Britain /  England
1978 Commonwealth Games Edmonton, Canada 11th 1500 m 4:26.14
1979 European Cup Turin, Italy 6th 800 m 1:59.05
1980 Olympic Games Moscow, Russia semi-final 800 m 2:00.9
1982 Commonwealth Games Brisbane, Australia 1st 1500 m 4:08.28
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 9th 1500 m 4:06.74
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 6th 1500 m 4:05.53
1985 European Cup Moscow, Russia 2nd 1500 m 4:02.58
1986 Commonwealth Games Edinburgh, Scotland 4th 1500 m 4:12.84
European Championships Stuttgart, West Germany heats 1500 m 4:07.74
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 4th 1500 m 4:00.64
1990 Commonwealth Games Auckland, New Zealand 2nd 1500 m 4:08.71
European Championships Split, Yugoslavia 10th 1500 m 4:14.48
1991 World Championships Tokyo, Japan heats 1500 m 4:09.01
1992 European Indoor Championships Genoa, Italy heats 1500 m 4:14.46


  1. United Kingdom all-time lists – Women – 800 Metres. Compiled by Athletics Weekly. 31 December 2006.
  2. When Boxer set the standard. Mark Butler. 4 August 2009.
  3. Malvern College appoints former Olympian as new Director of Girls' Sport. Malvern College official website.
  4. Christina Boxer, GB athlete, gets girls into sport. Worcestershire Life.
  5. Birmingham Athletic Network.
  6. Sport Development Manager appointed new chair of Birmingham Athletics Network. 20 June 2011.

External links

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