Sanderson's most notable achievement came in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics when she won the gold medal in the women's javelin event. This victory made her the first British woman to win an Olympic throwing event and the first British athlete to win an Olympic throwing gold medal in 72 years. Sanderson's success in Los Angeles propelled her to international stardom and cemented her status as one of Britain's greatest athletes.
In addition to her Olympic triumph, Sanderson had a remarkable career at the Commonwealth Games. She won six Commonwealth Games medals in the javelin event, including gold medals in 1978, 1986, and 1990. Her three gold medals made her the most successful javelin thrower in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
Sanderson's career spanned four decades, and she competed in six Olympic Games, an extraordinary feat for any athlete. She also set several British records in the javelin throughout her career and remained a dominant force in the sport for many years. Her longevity and consistency in performance showcased her dedication and determination.
Beyond her athletic achievements, Sanderson has been involved in sports administration and coaching. She has worked to promote athletics in the United Kingdom and has been a vocal advocate for greater representation of ethnic minorities in sports. Sanderson was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1997 for her services to sport.
Tessa Sanderson's success on the global stage and her contributions to British athletics have made her an iconic figure in the sport. Her groundbreaking achievements have paved the way for future generations of athletes and continue to inspire aspiring javelin throwers and track and field athletes around the world.