Perri Shakes-Drayton is one of the leading athletes and personalities in the sporting world. The only British athlete to simultaneously be the National champion in both the 400m and the 400m hurdles, Perri is a 5 time National champion, double European indoor champion and World indoor champion.
Born in East London and raised in Bow, Perri came to prominence at the English School’s Championships setting a UK Junior Record time in the 400m hurdles. Rapidly progressing through the ranks, Perri quickly went from being crowned European U23 in the 400m hurdles in 2009 to a double European medallist the following year to establish herself as one of the most exciting young talents in the sport.
Although Perri was only a part-time athlete due to completing her degree in Sports Science at Brunel University; she firmly established herself as Britain’s leading 400m hurdler and despite her young age, was hoping to win a medal at her home OIympic Games – London 2012. Unfortunately, after getting injured during her warm up for the semi-final, PSD wasn’t able to fulfil her true potential on that occasion. However, Perri made sure that the following year she proved her talents; winning 2 Gold medals at the 2013 European Indoor championships and was ranked number 2 in the world.
On course to be crowned World Champion later that year having won her semi-final in Moscow with ease, bad luck was to hit Perri again. A serious knee injury in the final tragically caused her to finish the race in a disappointing 7th place, and also to miss the entire 2014 and 2015 seasons as she ruptured her ligaments.
2016 brought a smile to many athletics fans and fans of sport throughout the world as Perri laced up her spikes for the first time in 3 years. Perri produced a great comeback display clocking a time that was within the British qualifying standard to make the team for the upcoming European Championships. Unfortunately for Perri, in a rush to get back to her best to make the Team GB squad for Rio 2016, after cruising to a victory in the semi-final of the National Championships, Perri suffered an injury that meant she was unable to complete the race in the National Championship finals meaning that her season was over for the year. However, Perri is the embodiment of a fighting spirit and has already undergone surgery as she is now back on the road to recovery with her sights set firmly on getting a medal at London 2017.
An unquestionable talent both on and off the track, Perri has used her time away from the track to successfully develop her “Train with PSD” movement encouraging the public to get fitter and healthier. A natural aptitude in the kitchen, confident with delivering motivational speeches to inspire the next generation and an infectious personality, Perri is naturally drawn to wanting to help Britain become a healthier and happier place. With her father being Lennox Lewis’ fitness trainer, Perri grew up with an appetite for healthy living and when not taking the DLR to and from training, is likely to be found with a smile on her face helping to motivate somebody.