Cox to switch allegiance from US to GB
Sprinter Shana Cox has become the latest North American-born athlete to switch allegiances to Great Britain after UKA confirmed that the 400m runner will officially cross the pond.
The 26-year-old New York born athlete was a two-time NCAA champion in 2008 and will be eligible to compete for Great Britain as of November 29, meaning that while she will miss out on this summer’s World Championships, she will be in the frame for the London 2012 Olympics.
"I am really excited about the upcoming season and look forward to my future in athletics,” said Cox.
“This is something I have always wanted to do, and I'm looking forward to being part of an amazing team.
“I’ve always enjoyed competing in the UK at the Aviva Series but this year will be extra special knowing I will be running for GB&NI at the end of the season.”
Cox has personal best of 50.84 seconds, which would place her 11th on the all-time British list, while only there are only three currently active athletes – Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu, Nicola Sanders and Lee McConnell – who have gone faster.
The Penn State University graduate joins recent converts Tiffany Ofili, a sprint hurdler who was born in the USA, and Anguilla-born long jumper Shara Proctor in making the switch of allegiances.
And UKA head coach Charles van Commenee believes Cox will add further strength to his women’s 4x400m relay squad that is already brimming with the likes of Ohuruogu, Sanders, McConnell, Kelly Sotherton and Perri Shakes-Drayton to name but a few.
“Cox will be a further addition to the Aviva GB&NI team and of course we will be happy to have her on board,” he said.
“She has some promising credentials over 400m and will, in addition, give our 4x400m team a boost.”
Cox’s parents are both originally from London and while she has had her representational switch approved by the IAAF she must now wait until November in accordance with IAAF approval timelines before she can compete for her new country.