Who was Tori Bowie? London 2017 world champion dies aged 32

·3-min read

Athletics legends are paying respects to Tori Bowie, the former world champion sprinter and multi-Olympic medalist who has died aged 32.

The American 100m and 200m runner and long jumper was a star in the sport in the mid to late 2010s and her unexpected death has caused a shock to the community.

Bowie’s representative Icon Management confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon.

The agency tweeted: “We’re devastated to share the very sad news that Tori Bowie has passed away.

“We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister. Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shined so bright! We’re truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends.”

As of 5pm on May 3, 2023, there has not been any cause of death made public.

Athletics stars such as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Will Claye have already shared tributes.

But who was Tori Bowie and what is her legacy?

Who was Tori Bowie?

Frentorish ‘Tori’ Bowie started her athletics career as a long jumper and set a world-class personal best distance of 6.91m in 2014.

But, shortly after, she began to make a name for herself as a sprinter, too, and made the US 100m team for the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing, where she won bronze.

She had an even more successful campaign at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where she won 100m silver, 200m bronze, and gold alongside the US team in the 4x100m relay.

Long live the champ, the sister, the daughter, the model and so much more!

Athlete Will Claye

But her crowning achievement was an individual gold she won in London at the World Athletics Championships in 2017. In a dramatic 100m race, she ran down leader Marie-Josee Ta Lou to become champion by 0.01 of a second.

After the race, a delighted Bowie told the BBC: “It’s a wonderful feeling… I’m so happy. I feel like the hard work has finally paid off. I couldn’t be any more happy, tonight is perfect.

“I am so grateful. Tonight has been one of the greatest nights of my life.”

Bowie was unable to defend her title in 2019 but did come fourth in the long jump.

She has competed sparingly in recent years, with her last result being a 200m run in her native Florida last year.

Who has paid tribute to Tori Bowie?

Some of the biggest names in women’s athletics history ran or jumped against Tori Bowie and were often beaten by her.

Her longtime rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a multiple Olympic and world 100m champion, said: “My heart breaks for Tori Bowie’s family. A great competitor and source of light.

“Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”

Brittney Reese, a long jump legend and teammate of Bowie, tweeted: “I’m so heartbroken over this ... You have made a lot of us proud thank you for representing our state of Mississippi like you did.”

“So sad to hear the devastating news about Tori Bowie,” wrote Brianna McNeal, the 2016 Olympic women’s 100m hurdles champion. “May her soul rest eternally.”

Men’s long and triple jumper Will Claye tweeted: “This hurt… Long live the champ, the sister, the daughter, the model and so much more!”

Governing body World Athletics wrote in a short statement: “Condolences go out to her family and friends.”