Mary Decker

Mary Teresa Slaney (formerly Tabb, née Decker; born August 4, 1958) is a retired American middle-distance runner. During her career, she won gold medals in the 1500 meters and 3000 meters at the 1983 World Championships, and was the world record holder in the mile, 5000 meters and 10,000 meters. In total, she set 17 official and unofficial world records, including being the first woman in history to break 4:20 for the mile. She also set 36 US national records at distances ranging from 800 meters to 10,000 meters, and has held the US record in the mile, 2000 meters and 3000 meters since the early 1980s, while her 1500 meters record stood for 32 years. In 2003, she was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.[3]

Mary Decker
Zola Budd, Mary Decker, Maricica Puică 1984
Decker leading the 3000 m final at the 1984 Olympics
Personal information
Birth nameMary Teresa Decker
NationalityUnited States
BornAugust 4, 1958 (age 60)
Bunnvale, New Jersey, U.S.[1]
Height168 cm (5 ft 6 in)[1]
Weight51 kg (112 lb)
SportMiddle distance running
Event(s)800–5000 m
ClubAthletics West, Eugene[1]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)800 m: 1:56.90 (1985)
1500 m: 3:57.12 (1983)
Mile: 4:16.71 (1985)
3000 m: 8:25.83 (1985)
5000 m: 15:06.53 (1985)
10,000 m: 31:35.3 (1982)[2]


Mary Decker was born in Bunnvale, New Jersey. A decade later her family moved to Garden Grove in Southern California, where Decker started running. A year later, aged 11, she won her first local competition.[4]

She joined her school athletics club and a local track club, and completely immersed herself in running, for which she would pay an injury-laden price later in her career. At age 12, she completed a marathon and four middle- and long-distance races in one week, ending the week with an appendectomy operation.[4]


In her early teens, Decker was already recognized as a world-class runner. Unable to attend the 1972 Olympics as she was too young, the pigtailed 89 pounds (40 kg) 14-year-old nicknamed "Little Mary Decker," won international acclaim in 1973 with a win in the 800 meters at a US-Soviet meet in Minsk, beating the later Olympic silver medallist.[4]

By the end of 1972, Decker was ranked first in the United States and fourth in the world in the 800 meters.[4] In 1973 she gained her first world record, running an indoor mile in 4:40.1. By 1974, Decker was the world Indoor record holder with 2:02.4 for 880 yards, and 2:01.8 for 800 meters.

By the end of 1974, she had developed a case of the muscle condition compartment syndrome. This resulted in a series of injuries, which meant that she did not compete in the 1976 Olympics, because of stress fractures in her lower leg. In 1978 she had an operation to try to cure compartment syndrome, which kept her out of competition for a period.[4] After recovering from surgery, she spent two seasons at the University of Colorado at Boulder on a track scholarship.[5][6] In 1979, she became the second American woman (the first was Francie Larrieu) to break the 4:30 mile in American record time.[7] Decker was the first woman to break the 4:20 barrier for the mile in 1980 when she ran it in 4:17.55. However, this time was never ratified by the IAAF.[8] In 1981 she married fellow American distance runner Ron Tabb. The couple divorced in 1983.[9] In 1982, under the name Mary Tabb, she ran the mile in 4:18.08, breaking the official record of 4:20.89 by the Soviet Lyudmila Veselkova This time was ratified. She did not compete at the Olympics due to the American boycott. She did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes.[10]

Career peak

In 1982 Decker-Tabb set six world records, at distances ranging from the mile run to 10,000 meters. She received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States.

The following year she achieved the "Double Decker,"[11] winning both the 1500 meters and 3000 meters events at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Her history of relatively easy wins in the United States left her tactical abilities suspect in Helsinki, as she would not choose to run in close order because so few athletes could keep up with her, a situation that the Soviet runners hoped to use to their advantage. Her wins against Soviet World Record holders proved a redemption of her competitive guile. After her double win she won the Jesse Owens Award from USA Track and Field and Sports Illustrated magazine named her Sportsperson of the Year.[1] Shortly before her World Championship victories, Decker improved her U.S. 1500 meters record to 3:57.12 in Stockholm on July 26, 1983. This record stood for 32 years until Shannon Rowbury ran 3:56.29 on July 17, 2015.

The 1984 Olympic incident

Decker was heavily favored to win a gold medal in the 3000 meters run at the 1984 Summer Olympics, held at Los Angeles. In the final, Zola Budd, representing Great Britain, had been intentionally running barefoot side by side with Decker for three laps and moved ahead. In an attempt to put pressure on Budd, Decker remained close by in a crowded space. Decker stood on Budd, then shortly after, collided with the barefoot runner and fell spectacularly to the curb, injuring the hip. As a result, Mary Decker did not finish the race, which was won by Maricica Puica of Romania (Budd finished seventh). Decker was carried off the track in tears by her boyfriend (and later, husband), British discus thrower Richard Slaney. At a press conference she said that Budd was to blame for the collision. While it is generally the trailing athlete's responsibility to avoid contact with the runner ahead, it is also an accepted convention among most distance runners that the leader be a full stride ahead before cutting in. International track officials initially disqualified Budd for obstruction, but she was reinstated just one hour later once officials had viewed films of the race. Despite being behind Budd, Decker's claim that Budd had bumped into her leg was supported by a number of sports journalists. The claim was not accepted by the director of the games or the IAAF.[12]

Decker and Budd next met in July 1985, in a 3000 meters race at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London, England. Decker won the race, and Budd finished in fourth place. After the race, the two women shook hands and made up. Decker later went on record as claiming that she was unfairly robbed of the LA 3000 meters gold medal by Budd, but said many years after the event "The reason I fell, some people think she tripped me deliberately. I happen to know that wasn't the case at all. The reason I fell is because I am and was very inexperienced in running in a pack."[13]

Decker had a successful 1985 season, winning twelve mile and 3000 meters races in the European athletics calendar, which included a new official world record for the women's mile of 4:16.71 in Zurich (Natalya Artyomova's 4:15.8 in 1984, not being ratified by the IAAF). Since that race in 1985, her time has only been bettered on four occasions. That race in Zurich also matched her with both of the other principle athletes from the Olympic race, Slaney vanquishing both Puica and Budd who themselves ran times that until July 9, 2017 also ranked in the top 10 of all time.[14]

She sat out the 1986 season to give birth to her only child, daughter Ashley Lynn (born May 30, 1986), but missed the 1987 season due to injury. She qualified for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, but failed to win a medal. She did not qualify for the 1992 Games.

Doping controversy

In 1996, at the age of 37, as she qualified for the 5000 meters at the Atlanta Olympics, Decker became involved in controversy. A urine test taken in June at the Olympic Trials showed a testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E) ratio greater than the allowable maximum of six to one.[15] At the time of the positive test Decker was being coached by Alberto Salazar.[16]

Decker and her lawyers contended that the T/E ratio test is unreliable for women, especially women in their late 30s or older who are taking birth control pills. In the meantime, Decker was eliminated in the heats at the Olympics.[5]

In June 1997, the IAAF banned Decker from competition. In September 1999, a USATF panel reinstated her.[17][18] The IAAF cleared her to compete but took the case to arbitration. In April 1999, the arbitration panel ruled against her, after which the IAAF – through a retroactive ban, even though she was cleared to compete – stripped her of a silver medal she had won in the 1500 meters at the 1997 World Indoor Championships.[19][20]

In April 1999, Decker filed suit against both the IAAF and the U.S. Olympic Committee which administered the test, arguing that the test is flawed and cannot distinguish between androgens caused by the use of banned substances and androgens resulting from the use of birth control pills.[21] The court ruled that it had no jurisdiction, a decision that was upheld on appeal.[22]

The (T/E) ratio test has seen its standards tightened to a 4:1 ratio, instead of the previous 6:1 ratio, and laboratories now also run a carbon isotope ratio test (CIR) if the ratio is unusually high.[23]

Later life

Throughout her later career, Decker had suffered a series of stress induced fractures. After the loss of her 1999 legal case, she agreed to have a series of 30+ orthopedic procedures. Mainly on her legs and feet, they were an attempt to enable her to run competitively in marathons. However, the surgery increased the occurrence of the problems. As a result, she retired with her husband to a 55-acre (22 ha) property in Eugene, Oregon, where she can now jog every other day.[24] Her other hobbies include sewing, quilting, gardening, renovating the property, and walking her three Weimaraner dogs.[24]

International competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  United States
1979 Pan American Games San Juan, Puerto Rico 1st 1500 m 4:05.7
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 1500 m 4:00.90
1st 3000 m 8:34.62
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States DNF 3000 m 8:44.32 (heat)
1985 Grand Prix Final Rome, Italy 1st 3000 m 8:46.38
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 8th 1500 m 4:02.49
10th 3000 m 8:47.13
1991 Grand Prix Final Barcelona, Spain 2nd Mile 4:28.35
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 21st (h) 5000 m 15:41.30
1997 World Indoor Championships Paris, France DQ (2nd) 1500 m 4:05.22
Elliptical Cycling
2012 World Championships San Diego, United States 2nd Palomar Mountain 1:51.34
2013 World Championships San Diego, United States 3rd 1:45.27
2014 World Championships San Diego, United States 3rd 1:31.22
2015 World Championships San Diego, United States 2nd 1:30.54
(h) Indicates overall position in qualifying heats. DNF = did not finish. DQ = disqualified.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Mary Decker-Slaney. Sports Reference
  2. ^ Mary Slaney at IAAF
  3. ^ Mary Slaney (Decker) at USA Track & Field Hall of Fame
  4. ^ a b c d e "Mary Decker – Little Mary". Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  5. ^ a b MacDonald, Jamie (November 29, 1999). "Mary Decker Slaney, Track and Field". Sports Illustrated for Women. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Taylor, Susan Champli (September 29, 1986). "Mary Decker Takes a Run at Happiness with Husband Richard Slaney". Retrieved June 13, 2010.
  7. ^ Chronological Listing of U.S. Women Who Have Broken 4:30 in the Mile as of May 5, 2013.
  8. ^ "Mary Decker – Repairing The Damage". Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Mary Decker Takes a Run at Happiness with Husband Richard Slaney". Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry. Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  11. ^ "Covers". CNN.
  12. ^ Athletics at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games: Women's 3,000 metres.
  13. ^ Parker-Pope, Tara (August 1, 2008). "An Olympic Blast From the Past". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  14. ^ One Mile – women – senior – outdoor. Retrieved on October 9, 2016.
  15. ^ Litsky, Frank (April 14, 1999). "TRACK AND FIELD; Slaney Suing the I.A.A.F. In Dispute Over a Drug Test". New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  16. ^ LONGMAN, JERE (May 1, 1996). "TRACK AND FIELD; Slaney Tries New Approach to Olympic Quest". New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  17. ^ "Athletes Unretiring: The Comeback Kids". Business Week. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  18. ^ "Runner still feels regret over 1984 Olympics wipeout". Reuters. Taipei Times. July 25, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  19. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (April 27, 1999). "Athletics: Slaney doping ban upheld at IAAF hearing". The Independent. London. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  20. ^ Mark Butler (ed.), "DOPING VIOLATIONS AT IAAF WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS", IAAF Statistics Book – World Indoor Championships SOPOT 2014 (PDF), IAAF, pp. 47–48, retrieved September 27, 2015
  21. ^ Yesalis, Charles (2000). Anabolic steroids in sport and exercise (2nd ed.). Human Kinetics. p. 367. ISBN 978-0-88011-786-9.
  22. ^ "Mary Decker Slaney, Plaintiff-appellant, v. the International Amateur Athletic Federation and the United States Olympic Committee, Defendants-appellees, 244 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 2001)". Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  23. ^ Cotton, Simon (March 1, 2010). "Five rings good, four rings bad". Education in Chemistry. Vol. 47 no. 3. Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  24. ^ a b Gene Cherry (July 28, 2009). "Mary Slaney still yearns to run". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 27, 2010.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Martina Navratilova
United Press International
Athlete of the Year

Succeeded by
Heike Drechsler
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paula Fudge
Women's 5.000m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Zola Budd
Preceded by
Tatyana Kazankina
Women's 3.000m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Olga Bondarenko
1500 metres at the World Championships in Athletics

The 1500 metres at the World Championships in Athletics has been contested by both men and women since the inaugural edition in 1983. It is the second most prestigious title in the discipline after the 1500 metres at the Olympics. The competition format typically has two qualifying rounds leading to a final between twelve athletes. It is one of two middle-distance running events on the programme, alongside the World Championship 800 metres.

The championship records for the event are 3:27.65 minute for men, set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999, and 3:58.52 minutes for women, set by Tatyana Tomashova in 2003. The world record has never been broken or equalled at the competition by either men or women, reflecting the lack of pacemaking and athletes' more tactical approach to championship races.Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco is the most successful athlete of the event through his four straight wins from 1997 to 2003, as well as a silver in 1995. Algeria's Noureddine Morceli is the next most successful athlete, with three gold medals. Two-time champion Hassiba Boulmerka of Algeria is the only woman to have won three medals. Rashid Ramzi is the only athlete to have won both middle-distance titles, having done an 800 m/1500 m double at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics. The first two women's champions Mary Decker and Tatyana Dorovskikh both completed 1500 m/3000 m World Championships doubles, while Bernard Lagat completed a 1500 m/5000 metres double at the 2007 World Championships. Steve Cram, the inaugural men's winner, is the only non-African-born man to win the World Championship event.

Algeria is the most successful nation in the discipline, having won five gold medals across the men's and women's event. Morocco and Bahrain each have won four gold medals, while Russia and the United States each have three. The United States has the highest total of medals in the events at twelve, with six in both in the men's and women's divisions. Kenya has the highest number of medals in the men's event, with a total of seven.

Two medallists have been stripped of their honours in the event due to doping: 1987 bronze medallist Sandra Gasser and 2007 silver medallist Yelena Soboleva.

1983 World Championships in Athletics

The inaugural 1983 World Championships in Athletics were run under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations and were held at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland between 7 and 14 August 1983.

1983 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 1500 metres

These are the official results of the Women's 1,500 metres event at the 1983 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. There were a total number of 26 participating athletes, with three qualifying heats and the final held on Sunday 1983-08-14.

The final was a microcosm of these championships. East vs West. The American Mary Decker vs a strong Soviet squad. Decker was so dominant in domestic competition, her races were won from the gun, so she was not well practiced in running elbow to elbow as the Soviets and other Europeans were highly skilled in the art. True to her form, Decker took the lead from the gun, with a large pack surrounding her. As the last lap approached Zamira Zaytseva moved onto Decker's shoulder, immediately to her outside. On the last lap, the pace quickened but Decker refused to let Zaytseva get all the way past. Finally with 200 metres to go, Zaytseva sprinted ahead and gained a couple of steps. Decker looked dejected, unable to keep up all the way through the turn but clearly ahead of Yekaterina Podkopayeva who was battling to stay ahead of Ravilya Agletdinova. On the final straight, Decker moved into lane 2 and started to make a run at Zaytseva, gaining slightly. About 50 metres out, Decker checked over her shoulder to see if any competition was approaching from the rear. Agletdinova-Kotovich was making a run at Podkopayeva several metres back but neither was gaining on Decker. Decker gritted her teeth and noticeably accelerated gaining on Zaytseva. As Decker moved past Zaytseva tried to accelerate. In the effort she started to lose her balance. Two awkward steps of flailing and reminiscent of Yevgeniy Arzhanov a decade earlier, Zaytseva dived for the finish line from four meters out. Clearly beaten by this point, Zaytseva executed a face plant a metre from the finish line and rolled across the line in second. Podkopayeva held off her teammate for bronze. The powerful Soviets all finished in the top four, but Decker was number one.

1983 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 3000 metres

These are the official results of the Women's 3,000 metres event at the 1983 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. There were a total number of 26 participating athletes, with two qualifying heats and the final held on Wednesday 1983-08-10.

The final was led from start to finish by Mary Decker-Slaney, a common tactic for her in the USA, but untested at the world level. Marking her every move throughout the race was the Soviet pair of 1500 metres world record holder Tatyana Kazankina and 3000 metres world record holder Svetlana Ulmasova who expected to use their superior finishing speed. As Decker gradually increased the pace, the field stretched out to a lead pack of five, with Wendy Smith-Sly and Agnese Possamai. As the final lap approached, Sly, who ran in the USA frequently, moved to join Decker on her shoulder, while Brigitte Kraus covered the gap to join the lead pack. The Decker/Sly wall kept the Soviet runners boxed in for half a lap, but when Kraus moved on the rail, Kazankina popped free and the race was on to the finish. Coming off the final turn Kazankina looked ready to pass Decker, but she never got there as Decker found an extra gear to hold her off. Kazankina eventually slowed before the finish to be passed by a fast closing Kraus two steps before the line.

Antonio McKay

Antonio McKay Sr. (born February 9, 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a former track and field athlete who specialized in the 400 meters.

Athletics at the 1984 Summer Olympics – Women's 3000 metres

These are the official results of the Women's 3000 metres event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. The final, held on August 10, 1984. This was the first ever 3000 meters race for women at the Olympics. The race is still remembered because of the fall of world champion Mary Decker after a collision with Zola Budd.Mary Decker won the first heat to claim the new Olympic record. Maricica Puică improved upon the record in the third heat.

South African teenager Zola Budd had controversially fast (through an agreement between her dad, Frank Budd and Daily Mail, London) obtained British citizenship to enter the Olympics. The Apartheid government of South Africa had been banned from worldwide competition. Budd, who intentionally ran barefoot, was essentially an unknown athlete on the world stage. Decker also was largely untested in domestic races and had relatively little experience running competitively in a crowd. In addition to being the favorite in the race, this was a home town Olympics for Decker, having grown up barely 50 km (33 miles) from the Coliseum.

From the gun, Decker went to the front, with Puică a metre back. Starting slower, Budd ran through the field to assume her position on Decker's shoulder 200 metres into the race. They ran in the same formation for three laps. With four laps to go, Wendy Sly moved forward to challenge for the lead next to Budd. Coming of the turn, Budd moved toward the curb. Decker stood on her, then shortly after, collided with the British runner and fell spectacularly to the curb, injuring the hip. As a result, Mary Decker did not finish the race. Decker was carried off the track in tears by her boyfriend (and later, husband), British discus thrower Richard Slaney. Puică rushed around Budd into the lead, with Sly on her shoulder as the bewildered Budd lost ground for a moment. But Budd ran around Puică and Sly to again take the lead. Deeper in the pack, somehow Brigitte Kraus also fell into the infield and out of the race. With a lap and a half to go, Sly again edged her way around Budd and into the lead. While Sly and Budd wore the same uniform, they were essentially strangers and there was no effort to cooperate tactically. Puică followed Sly around Budd and with 500 metres to go. Sly took the bell with Puică on her shoulder. With 250 metres to go, Puică passed Sly and went into her finishing kick, separating from Sly. Lynn Williams caught Budd and moved into third position. Budd continued to fall back through the field as the other athletes were launching their finishing kicks. Puică extended her lead over Sly, Williams even further back in third. Budd fizzled into seventh place. Out of 12 starters, 4 had fallen during the race, with two not finishing. As Puică crossed the finishing line, with Sly some 15 meters behind, she clearly appeared to have had more to give, if it had been necessary.

Carol Cady

Carol Therese Cady (born June 6, 1962 in Los Alamos, New Mexico) is a retired female shot putter and discus thrower from the United States. She competed for her native country at two consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1984. During the 1980s Cady was one of the first women to compete in hammer throw. Cady was on the track team while a student at Stanford University.

Elly van Hulst

Elisa ("Elly") Maria van Hulst (born 9 June 1959) is a former middle distance runner from the Netherlands. She competed in the 800 m and 1500 m events at the 1984 Summer Olympics and in the 1500 m and 3000 m at the 1988 Summer Olympics; her best achievement was ninth place in the 3000 m in 1988. During her career she set one world record, on 4 March 1989 at the 1989 European Indoor Championships in Athletics in the 3000 m event (8:33.82), as well as three national records: in the mile (1986, 4:22.40), 1500 m (1987, 4:03.63) and 3000 m (1988, 8:33.97). In 1989 she was named Dutch Sportswoman of the Year.She started training in ballet, but had a limited success because of her height. At age 11 she started training in athletics, together with her elder brother. When she was in high school, she moved from Maastricht to Leeuwarden. There she started a long-term training program with her coach Theo Kersten. Although her trainer was 13 years older, they got involved into a romantic relationship and later got married.

Elly van Hulst's career would last for almost twenty years and bring her 65 national, three European and two world titles. On the 3000 m indoor, she held the world record for twelve years. She participated in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. At the end of the 1980s Van Hulst showed that she was among the best athletes in the world. In 1988 she defeated Mary Decker, favorite for the 3000 m victory in Zurich.

In 1990, Van Hulst began having strange physical complaints and was tired frequently. Doctors were unable to find anything that caused her symptoms, and so she kept on running. Eventually Van Hulst could not participate in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, because she was in the hospital for medical tests. It was discovered that she had a serious viral infection, and had had it for two years.

As a result of the viral infection, she got exercise-induced asthma. However, because her asthma was easily controlled, her career was apparently unaffected. Just before the European Championships in 1994 in Paris, she heard that one of the ingredients of her medication was on the list of banned substances. A permitted alternative was not effective. As a result, she ended up in ninth place in Paris. Two years later, the ingredient in question was found to be harmless and was removed from the list of banned substances, but this change came too late for Van Hulst: she was not able to participate in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

During her successful years, Van Hulst trained in the Algarve in Portugal. She loved this place and later, when her career had ended, moved there. Nowadays she runs a real estate business, Elly van Hulst Real Estate Lda, together with her husband.

Glenda Reiser

Glenda Reiser, (16 June 1955 – 6 January 2008) was a Canadian middle-distance runner.

She was born in Ottawa and was a member of the Ottawa Kinsmen Harriers. She switched from swimming to track and field aged 15. She then progressed very rapidly in the sport and excelled as a junior, running the 1500 metres in 4 minutes 15.9 seconds. She competed in the inaugural women's 1500 metre Olympic event at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, where she finished second in her heat with a time of 4 minutes 6.7 seconds to Lyudmila Bragina who broke the world record. Reiser's time was a World Junior Record. She was then eliminated in the semifinals. On September 15, 1973 Glenda broke the world record for the women's mile. At the summer Universiade held in Moscow in 1973, Glenda took home a silver medal in the 1500 metres. She also took a silver medal in the 1500 metres, and a bronze medal in the 800 metres at 1973 Pacific Conference Games in Toronto; where she had a tight finish with Mary Decker (USA) and Charlene Rendina (Aus), in which all 3 medalist finished within 1/10 of a second of one other. She was the three time Canadian 1500-metre champion, won a gold medal at the distance at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand breaking the games record twice along the way. She died aged 52 after a long illness.

Glenda still holds the Canadian junior records at 800 meters, 1000 metres, 1500 metres, and the mile some 40 years after setting the records.

Jim Heiring

James Anthony Heiring (born November 4, 1955) is a retired male race walker from the United States, who competed in two consecutive Summer Olympics during his career, starting in 1984.

Karin Smith

Karin Kiefer Smith (born August 4, 1955 in Fürstenfeldbruck, Bavaria) is a retired female javelin thrower from the United States. She was born in Germany. She is a three-time Olympian. Smith qualified for a fourth, the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, but was unable to compete due to the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. She did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes.

Lillie Leatherwood

Lillie Mae Leatherwood (born July 6, 1964) is an American athlete who competed mainly in the 400 metres.

She competed for the United States in the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, U.S. in the 4 x 400 metres where she won the gold medal with her team mates Sherri Howard, Olympic 400 m champion Valerie Brisco-Hooks and 400 m silver medalist Chandra Cheeseborough.

Lillie was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Brought up in Ralph, Lillie attended the University of Alabama, in the 1986 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Lillie captured the 400-m title with a 1st-place finish in an indoor collegiate record-setting time of 51.23s. She was also the National Champion in the 400-meter dash at the 1985 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, with a time of 53.12 seconds.

Lillie became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in 1986 through the Iota Eta Chapter at the University of Alabama. She became married on November 20, 1986 to teammate & Olympian, Emmit King, member of Phi Beta Sigma. Lillie now resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is employed by the Tuscaloosa City Police Department.

Lynda Sutfin

Lynda Sutfin (born 6 October 1962) is an American athlete. She competed in the women's javelin throw at the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Lynn Kanuka-Williams

Lynn Kanuka-Williams (née Kanuka; born July 11, 1960) is a Canadian athlete from Regina, Saskatchewan. She competed in 3000m races, as well as a smaller number of 1500m races.

She competed for Canada at the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, U.S. in the 3,000 metres where she won the bronze medal (in the race notable for the incident between Mary Decker and Zola Budd). Four years later in Seoul, South Korea she finished fifth in the 1500 metres.

Additionally, she collected a bronze medal at the 1989 World Cross Country championships.

Mile run world record progression

The world record in the mile run is the best mark set by a male or female runner in the middle-distance track and field event. The IAAF is the official body which oversees the records. Hicham El Guerrouj is the current men's record holder with his time of 3:43.13, while Svetlana Masterkova has the women's record of 4:12.56. Since 1976, the mile has been the only non-metric distance recognized by the IAAF for record purposes.

Accurate times for the mile run (1.609344 km) were not recorded until after 1850, when the first precisely measured running tracks were built. Foot racing had become popular in England by the 17th century, when footmen would race and their masters would wager on the result. By the 19th century "pedestrianism", as it was called, had become extremely popular and the best times recorded in the period were by professionals. Even after professional foot racing died out, it was not until 1915 that the professional record of 4:12​3⁄4 (set by Walter George in 1886) was surpassed by an amateur.

Progression of the mile record accelerated in the 1930s as newsreel coverage greatly popularized the sport, making stars out of milers such as Jules Ladoumègue, Jack Lovelock, and Glenn Cunningham. In the 1940s, Swedes Arne Andersson and Gunder Hägg lowered the record to just over four minutes (4:01.4) while racing was curtailed during World War II in the combatant countries. After the war, John Landy of Australia and Britain's Roger Bannister vied to be the first to break the fabled four-minute mile barrier. Roger Bannister did it first on May 6, 1954, and John Landy followed 46 days later. By the end of the 20th century, the record had been lowered to the time of 3:43.13 run by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in 1999.On the women's side, the first sub-5:00 mile was achieved by Britain's Diane Leather 23 days after Bannister's first sub-4:00 mile. However, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) did not recognize women's records for the distance until 1967, when Anne Smith of Britain ran 4:37.0. The current women's world record is 4:12.56 by Svetlana Masterkova of Russia, set on August 14, 1996.

Ron Tabb

Ron Tabb (born August 7, 1954) is a retired male long-distance runner from the United States, who competed in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the men's marathon. He won the 1981 edition of the Paris Marathon ex-æquo with England's Dave Cannon. He won the 1983 Beijing Marathon and competed at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics later that year, finishing in 18th place overall.

Tabb attended Central Missouri State University between 1972–1977 and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2004. He married Mary Decker in 1981 but they divorced two years later.

Ruth Wysocki

Ruth Wysocki (born March 8, 1957 in Alhambra, California) is an American middle distance runner who specialized in the 800 meters and 1500 metres.

Wysocki began track competition in age-group races in the late 1960s, and continued her track career over a period of about 30 years, until she became a Masters (over-40) runner in 1997. Wysocki was a standout performer in the 800 m at Azusa High School in Azusa, California, winning the California State championship at 440 y and 880 y. Running for Citrus College as Ruth Caldwell, she won the CCCAA California State Cross Country Championships in both 1977 and 1978. Later in those seasons, she won the 1978-9 championships at both 800 meters and 1500 meters. Her victories at the Southern California Championships remain the records in both those events.

She attended the University of Redlands, where she excelled at 400 and 800 m.

Wysocki first won fame in American middle-distance running when she upset Mary Decker to win the 1978 US Champsionships 800 m in 2:01.99. Wysocki scored another upset victory against Decker (now Slaney) at the 1984 US Olympic Trials, this time at 1500 m. Wysocki outsprinted Slaney to win the Trials in 4:00.18. At the 1984 Summer Olympics she finished sixth in 800 m and eighth in 1500 m. [1] She finished seventh in 1500 m at the 1995 World Championships in Athletics in Gothenburg.

In 1997, Wysocki set several Masters records at distances from 800 m – 5000 m on the track, and 5k and 8k road races. Her father, Willis Kleinsasser, was also a successful Masters athlete. Her brother, Alan Kleinsasser, ran 1:50.5 for 800 m and 3:52.2 for 1500 m, both school records at Caltech.

Sportswoman of the Year Award

The Sportswoman of the Year Award is given by the Women's Sports Foundation every year. This foundation recognizes both an individual and a team Sportswoman on their performance over a 12-month period. This award is given based on their new records and their world championships won.In 2012, the winners of the Sportswoman of the Year Award were Gabrielle Douglas (Individual Sport) and Alex Morgan (Team Sport).The following table reflects past winners of the Sportswoman of the Year Award in individual and team sports.

Tim Bright

Timothy William "Tim" Bright (born July 28, 1960) is a retired American decathlete and pole vaulter.

Born in Taft, California, Bright represented the US in the decathlon at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics and the 1987 World Championships, and in the pole vault at the 1985 World University Games, the 1985 World Cup, the 1991 World Championships and the 1992 Olympics. He won the American national championships in decathlon in 1987. His personal best score was 8340 points, achieved in June 1987 in San Jose. At one point he held the Decathlon World Record for the Pole Vault, set during the 1988 Olympics.He also became American champion in pole vault in 1991 and 1992. His personal best jump was 5.82 metres, achieved in July 1990 in Nice.

3000 metres
5000 metres
Pan American Games champions in women's 1500 metres
Amateur Athletic Union
The Athletics Congress
USA Track & Field
Amateur Athletic Union
The Athletics Congress
USA Track & Field
Men's track & road athletes
Men's field athletes
Women's track & road athletes
Women's field athletes
Men's track & road athletes
Men's field athletes
Women's track & road athletes
Women's field athletes
Men's track & road athletes
Men's field athletes
Women's track & road athletes
Women's field athletes

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