Kim Robertson (athlete)

Last updated
Kim Annette Robertson
Personal information
Full nameKim Annette Robertson
NationalityNew Zealand
Born (1957-03-10) March 10, 1957 (age 63)
Mt. Eden, New Zealand
Sport
CountryNew Zealand
Sport athletics
Updated on 16 July 2012.

Kim Annette Robertson (born 10 March 1957) is a New Zealand former track and field sprinter. She represented New Zealand at three Commonwealth Games, one World Indoor Championship, three IAAF World Cups and three Pacific Conference Games. She was also selected in the 1980 Moscow Olympic team in the 400 meters but did not compete due to the NZ Government boycotting the event.

Contents

Early life

Robertson was born on 10 March 1957, the middle child of Maurice Robertson [1] and Eileen Hobcraft, in Mt Eden, a suburb of Auckland. Both her parents were athletes in their own right. Her father captained the New Zealand national rugby league team in the 1940s and 1950s and was inducted into the Legends of League (Hall of Fame equivalent) in 2000. Her mother was a sprinter, netball and basketball player for the Auckland province. Robertson was educated at Epsom Girls' Grammar School in Auckland, and Eastern Institute of Technology, Viticulture and Winemaking Dept, Napier, New Zealand.

Sporting career

She joined the Hillsborough Junior Athletic Club when she was seven years old and rarely lost a sprint race from that age through to 13 years old. When she was 13 years old, competing at the Auckland Children's Championships she completed a rare feat of winning all four events she was entered in – 75 meters, 100 meters, long jump and high jump. Her athletic career continued at Epsom Girls’ Grammar where she won the inaugural New Zealand Secondary Schools Championship senior girls sprint double in the 100m and 200m in times that were to last for over 25 years - the 100 meter record of 11.66 still stands [2]. Two weeks later she finished in 3rd place in the New Zealand senior woman's 100m & 200m to secure a place in her first New Zealand team as the youngest member (16 years old and still at high school) of the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games track team. She was also selected in the 4 × 100 meter relay which came 5th in the final.

After ending school Robertson joined up with Tom McIntyre (coach of Olympic medallist John ("Dutch") Holland [3]), one of New Zealand's most successful sprint and hurdles coaches to become unbeatable in New Zealand Championship events in the 100m, 200m and 400m winning 32 national titles from 1976 to 1984 [4]. It was Mr. McIntyre who suggested to Robertson that she should move up to the 400m something which she first attempted at the NZ Track & Field Championships in Hamilton in March 1977. In a very poignant moment Robertson was awarded her gold medal for the 400m by Mr. McIntyre who at the time was 95 years old.

The move up to the 400m distance resulted in her 1st of six 400m titles, immediately breaking the Auckland record. Her times steadily improved until in 1980 she ran a world class time (and new New Zealand Record [5]) of 51.60 in the televised New Zealand Track Series beating the current Commonwealth Games champion Donna Hartley from England. This time ranked Robertson 12th in the world and beat the Olympic Games qualifying time. She repeated this accomplishment one week later in her home city of Auckland running down the opposition in the final 150 meters to win in 51.80. Robertson's time of 51.60 still stands as a New Zealand record – the longest standing Olympic track event record for women. [2]

Unfortunately for Robertson the 1980 New Zealand Olympic team boycotted the Moscow Games and therefore she could not compete. She continued to compete in all sprint events and was 5th in the 1982 Commonwealth Games 400m behind the great Raelene Boyle. In 1985 Robertson was selected to compete in the first ever World Indoor Games in Paris, France. She was selected for both the 60m and 200m. Having never run on an indoor track before Robertson made both finals and won a bronze medal behind world record holder Marita Koch in the 200m [6]. Koch's winning time was 23.09 c.f. Robertson's 3rd place in 23.69. Robertson's times from that championship are still the fastest indoor times run by a New Zealand woman.

In the winter months Robertson excelled in badminton representing Auckland at numerous tournaments and winning the Auckland A Grade singles and doubles in 1978.

Coaching career

After retiring from competitive athletics Robertson moved to the small South Island city of Nelson and coached a number of young sprinters and jumpers. Brent Stebbings won the NZ Secondary Schools triple jump title 3 years running using the Robertson innovative style of sprint/jump training. Robertson also coached hockey, basketball and soccer players, marathon runners and Special Olympic athletes over a 20-year period. Now living in California, US, she continues her interest in coaching speed work for track and soccer.

Honours

New Zealand Athlete of the Year – 1980

North Shore Athlete of the Year - 1985

Epsom Girls Grammar School Track Captain – 1973–1975

Personal bests

Outdoor

EventTimeDatePlace
100m11.62March 1978Wellington, New Zealand
200m23.1315/07/1978Mt. Sac Relays, California, US
400m51.6019/01/1980Christchurch, New Zealand
800m2:5.4February 1985Auckland, New Zealand

Indoor

EventTimeDatePlace
60m7.4319/01/1985Paris, France
200m23.6919/01/1985Paris, France
400m55.3215/01/1986Osaka, Japan

International competitions

IAAF World Indoor Games
Commonwealth Games
Australian Athletics Championships
New Zealand Athletics Championships [3]
Auckland Badminton Championships

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References

  1. "Legends of League". History. New Zealand Rugby League. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  2. New Zealand National Records [ permanent dead link ]. NZSSA. Retrieved on 2016-02-20.
  3. New Zealand Championships [ permanent dead link ]. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2016-02-20.