Fatima Whitbread at 60

Few athletes have such a dramatic life story, writes Jason Henderson, as the British javelin legend who celebrates her 60th birthday this week

The No.1 Olympic sport is full of stories of athletes who have battled through adversity to break a world record or make the podium at a global championship. Yet few can match the rags-to-riches rise of Fatima Whitbread.

She was born in London on March 3 in 1961, which means she celebrates her 60th birthday on Wednesday this week. Unwanted by her parents and abandoned as a baby, she was treated for malnourishment – an extraordinary start for someone who would go on to become one of the world’s strongest athletes.

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