News08 Jul 2021

Olympic medallist and broadcaster Metcalfe dies


Adrian Metcalfe at London's Hurlingham Park in 1962 (© Mark Shearman)

World Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that Olympic medallist Adrian Metcalfe, who went on to become a highly respected broadcaster, died on Friday (2) at the age of 79.

As an athlete, Metcalfe achieved great success as a 400m and relay runner, twice breaking the British record for the one-lap event as a 19-year-old in 1961, with his best being 45.7 clocked in Dortmund in the September of that year.

The following year he formed part of Britain’s silver medal-winning 4x400m team at the European Championships in Belgrade and the England team which also secured silver in the 4x440 yards relay at the British Empire & Commonwealth Games in Perth.

It was at the Tokyo Games in 1964 that Metcalfe achieved his Olympic medal success.

After running in the heats and semifinals of the 400m, Metcalfe teamed up with Tim Graham, John Cooper and Robbie Brightwell in the 4x400m. Running a 45.5 second leg, he helped the team to a silver medal-winning European record of 3:01.6, a mark also inside the previous world record which was improved to 3:00.7 by the winning USA team.

Following his career on the track, Metcalfe moved into broadcasting and was an athletics commentator for ITV in the 1970s and 1980s. He then became Channel 4’s first head of sport and later launched Eurosport.

He also held many positions within World Athletics, including being a member of the Marketing Working Group and Marketing Commission. From 1984 he was a member of the governing body’s television committees and commissions, remaining part of the Television Commission until 2011.

Metcalfe received recognition for his services to sport and broadcasting in the 2001 New Year Honours List and was awarded an OBE.

World Athletics