Philippa Roles

Philippa Kate Roles OLY (1 March 1978 – 21 May 2017) was a Welsh discus thrower who competed at two Olympic and four Commonwealth Games. Roles was British junior athlete of the year – an honour presented at Buckingham Palace. She was the first British discus thrower to medal at junior European level; and narrowly missed out on a medal at under 23 level, finishing 4th. She competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Born in Neath, she studied at Neath Port Talbot College from where she gained her degree, and was resident in London. Roles worked for the train operating company Southern as a train driver on services in South London. She represented Swansea Harriers at club level. Proudly Welsh, she was a popular member of Team Wales and Team GB due to her sense of humour and self-deprecating manner.[1]

Her personal best throw was 62.89 metres, achieved in June 2003 in Loughborough. This placed her third on the British outdoor all-time list, behind Meg Ritchie and Venissa Head. It also ranked her in the World top 20.[2]

On 16 July 2008, Roles appeared as Jonny Saunders' guest in the feature "Who's in the Locker, Cocker?" on Chris Evans Drivetime on BBC Radio 2.[citation needed]

She was 5 ft 10 inches tall and weighed 88 kg.

Roles died suddenly and unexpectedly on 21 May 2017 aged 39.[3][4]

International competitionsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing   Great Britain and   Wales
1995 European Junior Championships Nyíregyháza, Hungary 12th 44.84 m
1996 World Junior Championships Sydney, Australia 16th (q) 46.48 m
1997 European Junior Championships Ljubljana, Slovenia 3rd 50.62 m
1998 Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 6th 54.10 m
1999 Universiade Palma de Mallorca, Spain 15th (q) 54.82 m
European U23 Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 4th 55.37 m
2001 Universiade Beijing, China 6th 55.02 m
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 4th 57.65 m
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 18th (q) 58.83 m
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 6th 58.38 m
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 27th (q) 57.44 m
2010 Commonwealth Games Delhi, India 4th 57.99 m


  1. ^ Skeels, Robert (19 June 2008). "Athletics: Euro role for Philippa". Neath Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  2. ^ UK All-Time Lists: Women - Throws - GBR Athletics
  3. ^ "Welsh discus thrower Roles, 39, dies". BBC Sport. 22 May 2017.
  4. ^ Roles Philippa: Obituary

External linksEdit