Font size bigger Font size smaller
Samantha Kinghorn of Great Britain celebrates after winning gold in the Womens 100m T53 final at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.

Samantha Kinghorn


The 2017 season was undoubtedly Kinghorn’s most successful yet.

The Scot, who completes in the T53 class, broke her first ever world record over 200m at the Arizona Grand Prix in May that year, then claimed three European records in Switzerland before heading to the London 2017 World Championships.

Competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m T53, she clinched gold in both of the shorter sprints as well as bronze over one lap.

Kinghorn also knocked a further 0.06 seconds off her 200m world record as she saw off a highly competitive field including the likes of Australia’s defending champion Angie Ballard.

Kinghorn took up Para athletics in 2011 a year after fracturing her spinal cord in an accident on her family’s farm. She made her senior international debut in 2014 at the European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain, where she claimed three gold medals.

A year later at the Doha 2015 World Championships Kinghorn best placed finish was third in the 200m T53, while at the Rio Paralympic Games she finished out of the medals.

After her success at the London 2017 World Championships, Kinghorn turned her attention to the roads and made her marathon debut in Chicago, USA, in October where she finished fifth. She plans to race the distance at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

Kinghorn was named 2017 Scottish Sportsperson of the Year – the first Para sport athlete to take the top award in its 15-year history.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Glasgow, SCO

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para athletics in 2011.
Why this sport?
While recovering from her injuries in hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, her physiotherapist took her to try Para athletics at the Inter Spinal Unit Games in Buckinghamshire, England. "Trying it for myself, I loved being active again after months in hospital."
Club / Team
Red Star Athletics Club: Glasgow, SCO
Name of coach
Ian Mirfin [club]

International debut

Competing for
Great Britain
European Championships
Swansea, WAL

General interest

Sammi (Facebook page, 06 Feb 2020)
Memorable sporting achievement
Setting a world record in the T53 200m at the 2017 Desert Challenge Games in Mesa, AZ, United States of America. (, 03 Dec 2018;, 09 Jun 2017)
Most influential person in career
Her family. (, 03 Dec 2018)
Hero / Idol
British wheelchair racer David Weir. (, 16 Jul 2013)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She always wears a necklace that her brother gave her. (, 18 Jul 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"'As long as you never give up, you'll never fail' is my mum's favourite saying and it inspires me." (, 22 Mar 2017)
Awards and honours
In 2017 she was named Para Athlete of the Year by Scottish Athletics. (, 01 Jan 2019)

She was named Scottish Sportsperson of the Year in 2017 at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards. (, 27 Sep 2017;, 22 Sep 2017)

In 2015 and 2017 she won the Findley Calder Trophy from Scottish Disability Sport. (, 01 Jan 2019)

In 2017 she was named Sportsperson of the Year in Glasgow, Scotland. (, 07 Feb 2018)

She was named the 2015 Scotswoman of the Year by the Evening Times newspaper in Glasgow, Scotland. (, 20 Mar 2016)

She was named the 2013 Athlete with an Impairment of the Year at the Scottish Sports Personality of the Year Awards. (, 03 Mar 2014)
To win gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and to continue competing until the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. (, 03 Dec 2018)
In December 2010 she was helping clear the snow at her family's farm. Her father was driving a forklift to help the process. "I climbed on to the forklift while my dad was driving it. He didn’t see me and lowered the beam on top of me, which caused a fracture to my spinal cord. I ran forward and slipped into all the snow that had been compacted, which knocked the spinal cord. I had no idea what was happening, although I knew straight away that I was not going to walk again." (, 09 Jul 2014)
Other information
She feels there is more expectation for her to perform well since establishing herself as an elite Para athlete, but also that she has learned how to deal with pressure and nerves. "I'm at the stage where people are beginning to expect things from me. I go to an event and it's not the same as when I was 17 because people are expecting me to come home with medals now. Now though, I'm used to that. I know I'll probably feel really horrible on the day of the race but I always tell myself I feel like that because I'm passionate about my sport and it's because I want to do well. It's just adrenaline and as soon as the gun goes, I'm in my element and I'm doing what I love. In those hours before the race, you do wonder why you do it but then when the race starts, I know exactly why I do it." (, 09 Sep 2018, 01 Apr 2018)

She had a recurring nightmare of getting a puncture on her racing chair ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. "It's a horrible thought because there's nothing you can do - you're allowed help to try and fix it but the time you would lose would be critical. In my dreams it happens when I'm sprinting for the finish, or I've just set off. It's really horrible, like one of those dreams when you're falling. I suppose it's just a fear of failing because of something you can't really control. But all I can do is make sure my chair is fine when the gun goes and after that you can't do anything more." (, 09 Mar 2018)

She grew up on her family's farm near Gordon, Scotland, and from age five she began delivering lambs. "Things like helping out with the night lambing I can no longer do because I can't miss training the next day. It is heartbreaking because it is something I really enjoy." (, 20 Mar 2016)


Unit Date Rank
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T53 Final 1 2015-10-22 3
Women's 200 m T53 Heat 1 2015-10-22 2
Women's 100 m T53 Heat 1 2015-10-23 4
Women's 100 m T53 Final 1 2015-10-24 5
Women's 400 m T53 Final 1 2015-10-25 6
Women's 400 m T53 Heat 2 2015-10-25 7
Women's 800 m T53 Heat 1 2015-10-26 8
Women's 800 m T53 Final 1 2015-10-27 7
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T53 Heat 1 2016-09-08 2
Women's 100 m T53 Final Round 2016-09-08 5
Women's 400 m T53 Heat 1 2016-09-10 4
Women's 400 m T53 Final Round 2016-09-11 9999
Women's 800 m T53 Final Round 2016-09-17 6
Women's 800 m T53 Heat 2 2016-09-17 3
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T53 Final 1 2017-07-15 1
Women's 400 m T53 Heat 1 2017-07-18 4
Women's 400 m T53 Final 1 2017-07-19 3
Women's 800 m T53 Final 1 2017-07-23 5
Women's 100 m T53 Final 1 2017-07-23 1