Jeanette Boahemaa Kwakye, a retired British-Ghanaian athlete, has been awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021, on June 13, 2021.
Now a sports broadcaster, Jeanette was honoured with the award in recognition of her services to sport and sports broadcasting.
Both of Jeanette’s parents were born in Ghana. However, the family moved to England in the early 1980s.
She is a graduate of Loughborough University where she attained a degree in Politics and Economics.
At the 2002 World Junior Championships, she won a bronze medal in the 4×100 metres relay with teammates Jade Lucas-Read, Amy Spencer and Vernicha James.
She became the 2007 British Champion over 100m in a time of 11.59, beating Laura Turner and defending champion Joice Maduaka. She also won the 200m title, after beating Emily Freeman and Donna Fraser, who took silver and bronze, respectively.
At the 2007 European Indoor Championships, she finished fourth in the 60 metres. In the semi-final she recorded a time of 7.17 seconds, this being the fastest time by a British woman in the 60m since 1986.
In the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Kwakye equalled the British 60m record of 7.13 by Beverly Kinch in her semi-final before breaking it with a 7.08 run to claim silver behind American Angela Williams who won in 7.06, this placing Kwakye as number 2 in the 2008 world female rankings.
Jeanette, on July 12, 2008, defended her British 100m title, whilst also winning the Olympic trials, and was accordingly automatically selected to compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Her time of 11.26 equalled her then lifetime best
In 2012 Jeanette won the British 60m Indoor title but failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games due to injury. She later announced her retirement in January 2014.
After retiring, she studied for an NCTJ qualification and began working for BBC Radio Berkshire, before joining BBC Radio London’s sports team.
She is a regular host of BBC Radio 5live’s Football Daily Podcast and covers for 5live Sport.
In December 2020, she was announced as Channel 5’s lead presenter for their boxing coverage.
Jeanette currently presents a weekly hour-long show on BBC Radio London entitled “The Women’s Sport Show”.
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