Adrian Metcalfe

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAdrian Peter•Metcalfe
Used nameAdrian•Metcalfe
Born2 March 1942 in Bradford, England (GBR)
Died2 July 2021
Measurements188 cm / 87 kg
AffiliationsUniversity of Oxford, Oxford (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


Adrian Metcalfe was a single lap and relay specialist, and as a 19-year-old in 1961, twice broke the British 400 metre record, with a personal best of 45.7 set at Dortmund in September that year. Also in 1961, he won the first of his two 440 yard AAA titles, adding a second two years later. His first major championship medal was at Beograd in 1962 when Britain won the silver medal in the 4x400 relay. Metcalfe followed that with another silver medal later in the year with the England relay squad at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia.

Metcalfe’s only gold medals at a major international championship came at Porto Alegre in 1963 when he won gold in both the 400 and 4x400 relay at the Summer Universiade. However, Metcalfe’s finest moment came at the 1964 Tokyo Olmpics when, along with Tim Graham, John Cooper, and Robbie Brightwell the Great Britain quartet finished second to the powerful Americans in a new European record 3:01.6. Their time was also inside the old world record of 3:02.2, prior to the USA lowering it in winning the final.

After his active career, Metcalfe went on to become one of the leading figures in sports broadcasting, firstly as an athletics commentator with ITV, before being appointed senior commissioning editor for sports and features at Channel 4 when it launched on 2 November 1982. After seven years he moved to Eurosport as head of programmes, when it too was launched in 1989. Metcalfe returned to ITV in 1991 after being appointed director of programmes at Tyne Tees Television in Newcastle.

Metcalfe held many positions within the sport of athletics and, amongst others, was an adviser to the IOC and World Athletics (formerly IAAF), for whom he was a member of the Marketing Working Group and Marketing Commission. From 1984 he was a member of their television commissions and remained with the television commission until 2011.

Metcalfe was at one time a director of the ill-fated company, a UK internet sports news company that collapsed after just two years. In 2001 Metcalfe was awarded the OBE for services to sports and broadcasting.

Personal Best: 400 – 45.7 (1961).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Adrian Metcalfe
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h4 r2/4
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver

Special Notes