Perri Shakes-Drayton

Peirresha Alexandra Shakes-Drayton (born 21 December 1988) is a retired British track and field athlete. After specialising in the 400 metres hurdles in the early part of her career, a knee injury at the 2013 World Championships forced Shakes-Drayton to concentrate on the 400 metres on her return to athletics.[2] She is the 2013 European Indoor Champion in the 400 metres and won a 2012 World Indoor Championship gold medal in the 4 x 400 metres relay. She has also won silver and bronze medals in the 4 × 400 m relay at the World Championships.

Perri Shakes-Drayton
Perri Shakes-Drayton.jpg
Perri Shakes-Drayton in 2010
Personal information
Born (1988-12-21) 21 December 1988 (age 31)[1]
London, England
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight66 kg (146 lb)
Country Great Britain
ClubTower Hamlets and Victoria Park Harriers
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

In 2018, Shakes-Drayton took part in the tenth series of the ITV show Dancing on Ice.

Personal lifeEdit

Shakes-Drayton was born in East London, to parents from Grenada and grew up in Bow, where she continues to reside.[3] She attended Holy Family R.C. Primary School in Poplar and Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School in Stepney.[3] She studied sports science at Brunel University,[3] where she graduated with a 2:1. She married her fiancé, high-jump athlete and entrepreneur Mike Olayemi Edwards in London in June, 2019. Shakes welcomed her first child with Mike Edwards on August 26th 2020.[4]

Athletics careerEdit

Shakes-Drayton (lane 2) at the 2010 Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague where she finished second in 55.28 s.

Shakes-Drayton came to prominence at the English Schools Championships where she set a UK junior record time in the 400 m hurdles.[5] She made her first major international appearance at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Athletics where she finished eighth, achieving a new personal best of 57.52 seconds.[6] She took the silver medal at the 2007 European Athletics Junior Championships with a time of 56.46 s, a national junior record in the event.[7][8]

Shakes-Drayton won the 400 m hurdles at the 2008 Olympic Games GB trials, but veteran Tasha Danvers was chosen to represent Great Britain instead, going on to win the bronze medal.[9] Despite the non-selection, Shakes-Drayton was considered to be a medal prospect for the next Olympics in 2012.[6] At the 2009 British Championships in Birmingham, she finished second in the 400 metres behind reigning world champion Christine Ohuruogu, setting a new personal best. Further success came on the junior circuit at the 2009 European Athletics U23 Championships, where set won the 400 m hurdles gold medal with a run of 55.26 seconds, another personal best. Having secured a place on the Great Britain team, she set her sights on the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, remarking: "I like people talking about me. It means I must be doing some things right. Now I have to live up to the hype because hype is pointless if you don't live up to it.".[10]

She ran at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin and reached the semi-finals of the competition. However, she finished seventh in the race with a time of 57.57 seconds and did not compete in the final. She ran a personal best of 54.91 seconds for the 400 m hurdles to win at the Memorial Primo Nebiolo in June 2010.[11]

In the absence of Tasha Danvers, Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child were the sole representatives for Great Britain at the 2010 European Athletics Championships. Shakes-Drayton finished 2nd in her heat, with a time of 55.35. She then finished 3rd in her semi-final to qualify for the final in a new personal best of 54.73. In the final she finished third to win the bronze medal with a new personal best of 54.18.

Perri Shakes-Drayton after winning a 400m match during the 2013 Loughborough International Athletics

At the 2012 London Grand Prix, the final Diamond League meeting prior to the 2012 London Olympic Games, Shakes-Drayton recorded another personal best for the 400m hurdles of 53.77, a time that put her second in the world rankings for the year and also made her the second fastest British athlete of all time in the event behind only Sally Gunnell.[12] However, in the Olympic 400m hurdles she was unable to reach the final, finishing third in her semi-final heat.[13] She was also part of the GB 4 × 400 m relay team which finished fifth in the final of that event.[14]

At the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Shakes-Drayton went on to win gold in the Women's 400m final with a Personal Best of 50.85 ahead of another Great Britain runner Eilidh Child. She was also part of the Women's 4 × 400 m team along with Eilidh Child, Shana Cox and Christine Ohuruogu which won gold at the same championships.[15]

Personal bestsEdit

Event Time (sec) Location Date
60 metres 7.44 London 18 January 2009[16]
400 metres 50.50 Gateshead, United Kingdom 22 June 2013[17]
400 metres hurdles 53.67 London, United Kingdom 26 July 2013
400 metres (indoor) 50.85 Gothenburg, Sweden 3 March 2013


  1. ^ Biography Shakes-Drayton Perri. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-03-13.
  2. ^ Knee injury forces Perri Shakes-Drayton to switch from 400 metres hurdles to running one lap on the flat Telegraph. 02-12-2013. Retrieved 13-07-2014.
  3. ^ a b c Fahy, Dylan (3 August 2012). "Team GB hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton pledges to 'run her heart out' - Athletics - Olympics". The Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  4. ^ "BBNaija's Mike Edwards And Wife Perri Welcome First Child". Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  5. ^ Kervin, Alison (2009-03-02).Olympics: Great Britain's female medal hopes begin to feel the pressure. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 2009-03-13.
  6. ^ a b future Olympics stars. Time Out (2007-07-23). Retrieved on 2009-03-13.
  7. ^ European Athletics Junior Championships – Medallists by Event.European Athletic Association. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  8. ^ European Athletics Junior Championships – Records Set. European Athletic Association. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Majendie, Matt (2009-07-24).Perri Shakes-Drayton is promising to live up to the hype. London Evening Standard. Retrieved on 2009-08-05.
  11. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2010-06-13).Kaki scorches 1:43.48, Robles improves to 13.08 in Turin. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-06-14.
  12. ^ "Scots star Eilidh Child blown away by 400m hurdles rival Perri Shakes-Drayton at Diamond League meeting". Daily Record. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  13. ^ Colin Jackson (6 August 2012). "BBC Sport - London 2012 hurdles: Perri Shakes-Drayton loses final place". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  14. ^ Michael Johnson (11 August 2012). "BBC Sport - 4x400m relay: USA win fifth successive Olympic title". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Stars of 2009: Perri Shakes Drayton. BBC Sport (2009-02-20). Retrieved on 2009-03-13.
  17. ^ "Bolt over Powell, Idowu tops world list, Felix goes sub-50". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 29 August 2012.

External linksEdit