Marilyn Okoro was told to lose weight to 'look the same as other girls'

Athlete Marilyn Okoro has revealed she was repeatedly ordered to lose weight to make her "look the same as the other girls".
Marilyn Okoro at Robin ParkMarilyn Okoro at Robin Park
Marilyn Okoro at Robin Park

The Olympic medalist relocated to Wigan at the end of 2018 to work with coach Trevor Painter in an attempt to revive her career and qualify for the Tokyo Games, which has been put back to next summer.

She has revealed how much she suffered at the advice of her coaches, who felt was "too heavy".

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“I spent a lot of my career with terrible fatigue because I didn’t want to consume too many calories," she told the Sunday Times.

"You’ve got a champion mindset and will do whatever it takes. But it shouldn’t be costing you your mental or physical health. To look at, I was in great shape. Inside I was so conscious of, ‘Have I lost enough weight?’

"When you’re looking at someone who is under 10 per cent body fat, how safe is it to say, ‘Lose 5kg’?”

As well as winning 400m relay bronze at the 2008 Olympics, Okoro has seven medals from European and World Championships.

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The 35-year-old, who overcame bulimia when she was at school, is an ambassador of the Dump The Scales campaign.

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