Jemma Reekie (b. 1998) Beith-born Olympic runner who won gold at the U20 championships in Italy.
Born in Beith on 6th March 1998 to parents Morna and Jared, Jemma was born into a sport loving family that saw her enjoy hockey and horse riding. But it was running that Jemma enjoyed the most, and ever since she joined a cross country running group when she was in Primary 5 at Beith Primary School, aged only 9, Jemma knew she was going to be a runner. She then joined the Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club, where she stayed for a number of years. it was a great opportunity for her to meet other runners, to train several times a week and to have fun. Jemma says that she was never going to be all that academic. It was hard not knowing what she wanted to do, but as soon as she started to run, she knew exactly what she wanted to do, albeit not how that would work out as a job that would earn her some money.
Jemma won her first run almost a decade ago in Wishaw in the 800m at a youth league meeting.
In 2012, at the age of 14, Jemma carried the Olympic Torch ahead of the London Games. Nominated for this privilege by her aunt, this was the start of Jemma’s Olympic journey.
In 2017 she won gold at the U20 championships in Grosseto, Italy, followed by two gold medals at the 2019 U23 championships in Gavle, Sweden in the 800m and 1500m. She is the first British athlete to win two individual gold medals at the European U23 event. In 2017 she won the Sports Scotland Young Sports Personality of the Year.
After an impressive junior career, Jemma joined the senior ranks in style at the start of 2020 by breaking the indoor 800m, 1500m and mile records in the space of a fortnight. She was named British Athlete of the Year for 2020, alongside fellow runner Jake Wightman.
In June 2021, she competed in the British Athletics Championship which doubled as the Olympic trials for the postponed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Top form in the 800m over the past two years, Jemma knew that she had to produce the goods at the British Athletics Championships in Manchester in order to guarantee her place in Tokyo. Running alongside Laura Muir, her training partner, Jemma was overtaken by Keely Hodkinson who won the race, with Jemma coming second. That second was enough to secure Jemma’s ticket to Tokyo and achieving her life long dream.
Jemma Reekie at WorldAthletics.org
Jemma Reekie at BritishAthletics.org