Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, KBE

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Sebastian Newbold Coe

Also Known As: "Baron Coe KBE", "Seb Coe"
Birthplace: Chiswick, London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Peter Coe and Tina Angela Coe
Husband of Carole Annett Coe
Ex-husband of Nicola Elliott
Father of The Hon. Madeline Rose Coe; The Hon. Harry Sebastian Newbold Coe; The Hon. Peter Harry Christopher Coe and The Hon. Alice India Violet Coe
Brother of Miranda Coe; Nicholas Coe and Emma Coe

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, KBE

Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, KBE, often known as Seb Coe, is an English former athlete and politician.

Seb Coe is considered one of the greatest middle-distance runners of all time. He won the British 1,500 metres title at both Youth and Junior level. His first major international championship success came when he won the 1977 European indoor 800 metres title at Dortmund with a new British indoor record of 1:47.6 seconds.

He twice improved the record and later in 1977 headed the British outdoor record, clocking 1:44.95 at Crystal Palace in September. In 1978, Coe brought the British 800 metres record down to 1:44.25 seconds in August before making a further improvement the following month with a run of 1:43.97.

Over 42 days in July and August 1979, Coe posted new world records for the 800 metres, 1,500 metres and 1 mile. In 1980 he took over as the world record holder at 1,000 metres and in 1981 he improved his own world records at 800 metres and 1,000 metres before twice improving his own record for the mile.

His only world record in 1982 came when he contributed a 1:44.01 second leg on Britain's 4×800 metre relay team; the following year he posted world indoor records at 800 metres and 1,000 metres. In all, Seb Coe set nine world records outdoors and three indoors, enough to ensure his place as one of the legends in the sport.

He is also the only man in modern times to have won the Olympic 1,500 metres title twice and his victory in 1980 when he came back from losing the 800 metres, for which he was an overwhelming favorite, was testament to his moral fortitude. In addition to all his Olympic gold medals at 1,500 metres in 1980 and 1984, he finished second in the 800 metres at both of these Games. He also won over 800 metres at the European and World Cup in 1981 and the European Championships in 1986.

Personal Bests: Outdoor

  • 400 – 46.87 (1979); 01/01/1979
  • 800 – 1:41.73 (1981); Firenze - 10/06/1981
  • 1000 – 2:12.18 (1981); Oslo - 11/07/1981
  • 1500 – 3:29.77 (1986); Rieti 07/09/1986
  • Mile – 3:47.33 (1981); Bruxelles 28/08/1981
  • 2000 – 4:58.84 (1982);
  • 3000 – 7:54.32 (1979); 01/01/1980
  • 5000 – 14:06.2 (1980). 01/01/1980

Personal Bests: Indoor

  • 800 Metres - 1:44.91 - Cosford, 12/03/1983
  • 3000 Metres - 7:54.32, 01/01/1986
  • 50 stunning Olympic moments No23: Coe v Ovett, Moscow 1980

"On 25 March 1972 a boy called Kirk Dumpleton emerged from the pack to win the Intermediate Boys' Race at the English Schools Cross-Country Championships in Hillingdon. Twenty seconds later a tall Brightonian with an unkempt mop of hair crossed the line in second place, a 16-year-old by the name of Stephen Michael James Ovett. Farther back, in 10th, was a 15-year-old from Sheffield called Sebastian Newbold Coe. For two of these three boys, though they barely knew each other's names at the time, this was the start of one of sport's great rivalries. Dumpleton, now assistant head of a secondary school in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, was not one of them".

Sebastian Coe - Race Career Highlights 1976 - 1989

You Tube - Some of Sebastian Coe's race career highlights from Gateshead in 1976 to Barcelona in 1989. Action highlights of a BBC interview first broadcasted during the Commonwealth Games in Auckland NZ in 1990. Narrator - Brendan Foster. Commentators - David Coleman & Ron Pickering.


Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, CH, KBE, FRIBA (born 29 September 1956), often referred to as Seb Coe or Lord Coe, is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Lord Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984. He set eight outdoor and three indoor world records in middle-distance track events – including, in 1979, setting three world records in the space of 41 days – and the world record he set in the 800 metres in 1981 remained unbroken until 1997. Coe's rivalries with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram dominated middle-distance racing for much of the 1980s. Following Coe's retirement from athletics, he was a member of parliament for the Conservative Party from 1992 to 1997 for Falmouth and Camborne in Cornwall, and became a Life Peer on 16 May 2000. He headed the successful London bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics and became chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. In 2007, he was elected a vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and re-elected for another four-year term in 2011. In August 2015 he was elected president of the IAAF. In 2012, Coe was appointed Pro-Chancellor at Loughborough University where he had been an undergraduate, and is also a member of the University's governing body. In November 2012 he was appointed chair of the British Olympic Association. In 2012 he was one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the IAAF Hall of Fame. Coe was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December 2012. In March 2017, Coe was named Chancellor at Loughborough University, replacing Nigel Rudd and becoming the University's sixth Chancellor.

Coe was born on 29 September 1956 at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, Hammersmith, London. His mother, Tina Angela Lal, died in London, in 2005, aged 75. She was of half Indian descent, born to a Punjabi father, Sardari Lal Malhotra, and an English/Irish mother, Vera (née Swan). His father, Peter Coe, died on 9 August 2008, aged 88, while Sebastian was visiting Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics. His father was from East End of London with Jewish background. Coe moved to Warwickshire when he was less than a year old where he attended Bridgetown Primary School and Hugh Clopton Secondary School in Stratford-upon-Avon. The family then moved to Sheffield where he attended Tapton Secondary Modern School, Crosspool which became a Comprehensive School when he was there and Abbeydale Grange School. He joined athletics team Hallamshire Harriers at the age of 12, and soon became a middle-distance specialist, having been inspired by David Tomlinson, a geography teacher at Tapton School who had been a cross-country runner and eventually its school captain when he was a pupil at King Edward VII School Sheffield. Coe was coached by his father and represented Loughborough University and later Haringey when not competing for his country. Coe studied Economics and Social History at Loughborough University and won his first major race in 1977—an 800 metres event at the European indoor championships in San Sebastián, Spain. It was at Loughborough University that he met athletics coach George Gandy who had developed "revolutionary" conditioning exercises to improve Coe's running. Coe was the silver medallist in Men's 800m at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

Coe had planned to have a somewhat quiet season in 1985, partly because of the intensity of the previous year's efforts to get himself ready in time for the Olympics, as well as a planned move up to 5000m, which never materialised. He suffered a recurrence of a back problem which had plagued him on and off since 1980, causing him to miss several weeks of training mid season. Despite this he managed to set some fast times towards the end of the season, but was to lose his Mile world record to Cram, who beat him in Oslo. In 1986, Coe won the gold medal over 800 m at the European Championships in Stuttgart, beating Tom McKean and Cram, with a stunning last 200 metres of 24.7. In what is known as the Great Court Run, students traditionally attempt to complete the circuit on the evening of the matriculation dinner. The only persons recognised to have actually completed the run in time are David Cecil in 1927 and Sam Dobin in 2007. It was thought that Coe had succeeded when he beat Steve Cram in a charity race in October 1988 in a time of 42.53 seconds. A video of the race, however, apparently shows that Coe was 12 metres short of the finish line when the last chime sounded, so Trinity College never officially accepted his time.

Coe was elected as Member of Parliament for Falmouth and Camborne in 1992, for the Conservative Party, but lost his seat in the 1997 general election. He returned to politics for a short time as Leader of the Opposition William Hague's chief of staff, having accepted the offer of a Life Peerage on 16 May 2000. During this time he also ran a marathon, which he completed in 2 hours, 56 minutes and 20 seconds. Coe is currently on a leave of absence from the House of Lords, since 2016.

When London announced its bid to hold the 2012 Olympics, Coe became an ambassador for the effort and a member of the board of the bid company. With the May 2004 resignation of chair Barbara Cassani, Coe became the chair for the latter phase of the bid. As Coe was a well-known personality in Olympic sport, it was felt he was better suited to the diplomatic finesse needed to secure the IOC's backing. Coe's presentation at the critical IOC meeting in July 2005 was viewed by commentators as being particularly effective, against tough competition from Paris and Madrid, and the London bid won the IOC's blessing on 6 July. Following the London Olympics, Coe was appointed as Chairman of the British Olympic Association replacing Lord Moynihan

After graduating in 1980, and a few months after his exploits on the track in the 1980/81 seasons, Coe got a job as a research assistant at the Loughborough University of Technology in the department of Physical Education and Sports Science. At this time he shared a semi-detached home with his close friend Steve Mitchell. In 1990, when resident in Surrey, Coe married Nicky McIrvine, a former Badminton three-day-event champion, with whom he has two sons and two daughters. The marriage ended in divorce in 2002 after twelve years and Coe moved out of the family home. In 2003, Coe began a relationship with Carole Annett; the couple wed in 2011. She is the daughter of former England cricket captain M.J.K. Smith.

Coe was featured in an episode of the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are?, which showed he is descended from Jamaican sugar farmers and slave owners, George Clarke, Lieutenant Governor of New York Colony, and Edward Hyde of Norbury.

Coe is colour blind.

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Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, KBE's Timeline

September 29, 1956
London, England
Age 16
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England