Darren Andrew Campbell (born September 12 1973 in Moss Side, Manchester, England) is a retired English sprint athlete. He competed in the 100 m and 200 m, as well as the 4 x 100 m relay. He now works with Premier League football side Stoke City, working with the players to improve their sprinting ability.
His senior international debut came at the Stuttgart World Championships in 1993, as part of the 4 x 100 m squad. However, as a result of injuries, he left athletics at the age of 21 to play football for Cwmbran Town, Plymouth Argyle F.C., Cinderford Town F.C., Weymouth F.C., UWIC Inter Cardiff F.C., and Newport County A.F.C. amongst others. During a debate on TalkSPORT on 14th August 2006, Campbell stated this period away from athletics had also been spurred on by attempts by certain individuals to draw him in to a drugs programme.
At the 1997 World Championships, Campbell won his first major senior medal - a bronze in the 4 x 100 m relay, and by this time was a regular feature in the British squad.
Campbell's first senior gold medals came at the 1998 European Championships in Budapest. Campbell won the 100 m individual event, setting his best time at the 100 m in the final - 10.13s, and also winning gold in the 4 x 100 m relay. At the Commonwealth Games that year, Campbell was in the winning team for the 4 x 100 m relay, however, won no individual medals.
At the Olympics in Sydney, Campbell placed 6th in the 100 m final, and took a surprise silver medal in the 200 m, as Campbell was mainly a 100 m runner, and had a previous best time of 20.49s. In the quarter-final, he took 0.29s off this to reduce to 20.13s, his fastest time at the distance in his career. This was followed by performances of 20.23s in the semi-final and 20.14s in the final to finish second, Campbell's first senior medal at the distance. The gold medal was won by controversial Greek sprinter Konstantinos Kenteris
After returning from injury the following year, Campbell took bronze in the individual 100 m event and gold in the 4 x 100 m relay at the 2002 European Championships. His bronze was later upgraded to a silver after Dwain Chambers confessed to taking performance-enchancing drugs at this time. However, the relay gold was later taken from him, as Chambers was part of the quartet. He won his quarter-final in the 200 m, but was eliminated after being disqualified for stepping outside his lane.
The year also saw Campbell compete in his home town of Manchester in the Commonwealth Games. He did repeat his Olympic success in the 200 m, receiving bronze in this event. However, he anchored the team to gold in the 4 x 100 m relay along with squad members Jason Gardener, Marlon Devonish and Allyn Condon, just beating Asafa Powell of Jamaica in a very tight photo finish.
In the 2004 Summer Olympics, Campbell won a surprise gold medal in the 4 x 100 m, in a team with Jason Gardener, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis, who defeated the United States team by just 0.01s, winning in a season's best of 38.07s. However, Campbell performed less well in the 100 m and 200 m, exiting in the heat and semi-final respectively, due to not being fully recovered from a hamstring injury.
He was named captain for the European Cup in 2005, however did not have a successful season, only placing 5th in the AAA semi-final and running 10.47s (10.48w) for the 100 m and 20.9s for the 200 m. He did, however, receive an MBE in the New Year Honours.
Campbell competed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, however did not progress past the semi-final in the 200 m, and the England team were eliminated in the 4 x 100 m after a faulty baton changeover in their heat. He did not compete individually at the European Championships in Gothenburg, but ran the second leg to help Britain to the gold medal in the 4 x 100 relay.
Campbell defended himself, saying "I will not regret doing that. At times you have to stand up for what you believe", and also that he was concerned about youngsters ending up the same situation. He also defended his links with Christie, stating that he would not have remained with Christie if he thought he had cheated.
In July 2007, Campbell was announced as the new ambassador for Sky Living For Sport, a successful initiative run by the Youth Sport Trust in conjunction with BSkyB, which uses sport as a tool to re-engage young people who may be at risk of opting out of school life. Sky Living For Sport, now in its fifth year, has involved over 600 schools and benefited over 17,000 young people aged 11-16. Campbell's role will see him meet young people and teachers involved in Sky Living For Sport across the country to share his experiences and help inspire them to reach their full potential.
Shevchenko is not the first high-profile subject whom Campbell has coached – he has previously worked with Jonah Lomu while the Kiwi was playing rugby for Cardiff. Campbell has also been working since the start of the season with MK Dons, at the invitation of then manager, Paul Ince, and in the last couple of days he has had Everton's Andy Johnson, a regular England player expressing the wish to benefit from his expertise. "When you look at some of the other big Premiership clubs, it looks as if they are doing the same kind of thing. As a Manchester United fan, I have noticed that their players run very efficiently. Arsenal's players are the same. But there are usually improvements you can make. The only player I don't think I could improve would be Thierry Henry. His technique is already up there. He could easily be a sprinter, and is the template I use with other footballers."
|1991||European Junior Athletics Championship||Thessaloniki, Greece||100 m||1st|
|4 x 100 m||1st|
|1992||World Junior Championships||Seoul, South Korea||100 m||2nd|
|4 x 100 m||1st|
|1996||European Cup||Madrid, Spain||4 x 100 m||3rd|
|1997||World Championships||Athens, Greece||4 x 100 m||3rd|
|1998||European Championships||Budapest, Hungary||100 m||1st|
|4 x 100 m||1st|
|Commonwealth Games||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||4 x 100 m||1st|
|1999||World Championships||Seville, Spain||4 x 100 m||2nd||National Record 37.73s|
|European Cup||Paris, France||4 x 100 m||1st|
|2000||Summer Olympics||Sydney, Australia||200 m||2nd|
|European Cup||Gateshead, England||100 m||1st|
|4 x 100 m||1st|
|2002||European Championships||Munich, Germany||100 m||3rd|
|4 x 100 m||1st||(later stripped|
due to Dwain Chambers'
|Commonwealth Games||Manchester, England||200 m||3rd|
|4 x 100 m||1st|
|2003||World Championships||Paris, France||100 m||3rd|
|4 x 100 m||2nd||(later stripped|
due to Dwain Chambers
failing a drugs test)
|European Cup||Florence, Italy||4 x 100 m||3rd|
|2004||Summer Olympics||Athens, Greece||4 x 100 m||1st|
|2006||European Championships||Goteborg, Sweden||4 x 100 m||1st|
As well as these performances, during his career Campbell has also won seven national titles at either the 100 or 200 metres.