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1968 Olympic Games Ciudad de México, Mexico - Women's 400 m

 

 

Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico Format: Top four in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: October 14, 1968 Format: Top four in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.
Date Finished: October 16, 1968  
(Competitors: 29; Countries: 21; Finalists: 8)  
    Venue(s): University Olympic Stadium, Ciudad de México
Overview by IAAF    1968_olympic_stadium.jpg
Board was the favourite and produced the fastest time before the final with 52.5 (52.56) in her semi-final, held in dry conditions after a storm had affected the first race, won by Henning in a German record 53.3 (53.33). Scott took the lead early on in the final, and held off Board until just before 300m, when the Briton took over. As the race unwound Board was clearly struggling, and the unheralded Besson slipped by in the last 20m to win by just over half a metre, with the tall Pechonkina leaving her effort too late and finishing third, a metre behind. The standard was unprecedented, even allowing for altitude, as seven beat 53 seconds as compared with a previous best of two in the same race. Tragically, Board contracted cancer at the end of the following season, and died in December 1970, aged 22.
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
Great Britain’s Lillian Board was favored based on fast times early in the year. The lead in the final was taken by Jarvis Scott (USA) but she faded at 300 metres and Board took over. In the last 20 metres, France’s Colette Besson pulled up to win the gold medal with Board second. Besson was completely unheralded prior to the competition, but would place second in the 400 at the 1969 European Championships. Britain’s press was somewhat critical of Board, but later had cause to regret that. Within 18 months of the 1968 Olympics, she was diagnosed with cancer and died in December 1970, when she was only 22.
 
 

Records

Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Shin Geum-Dan (PRK) 51.9 Pyongyang, North Korea October 23, 1962
Olympic record  Betty Cuthbert (AUS) 52.0 Tokyo, Japan October 17, 1964
 
        Results          
   
400 m Women     Final 16 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 52.03     Colette Besson France FRA 22 (=)OR 52.0 h
2 52.12     Lillian Board Great Britain GBR 19   52.1 h
3 52.25     Nataliya Pechonkina-Chistyakova Soviet Union URS 22   52.2 h
4 52.57     Janet Simpson Great Britain GBR 24   52.5 h
5 52.75     Aurelia Pentón Cuba CUB 27   52.7 h
6 52.79     Jarvis Scott United States USA 21   52.7 h
7 52.89     Helga Henning West Germany FRG 30   52.8 h
8 53.02     Mirna van der Hoeven-Jansen Netherlands NED 20   53.0 h
400 m Women     Semi-Finals Heat One 15 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 53.33   Q Helga Henning West Germany FRG 30   53.3 h
2 53.62   Q Colette Besson France FRA 22   53.6 h
3 54.01   Q Janet Simpson Great Britain GBR 24   54.0 h
4 54.08   Q Aurelia Pentón Cuba CUB 27   54.0 h
5 54.35     Esther Stroy United States USA 15   54.3 h
6 54.63     Una Morris Jamaica JAM 21   54.6 h
7 54.67     Ingrīda Verbele Soviet Union URS 20   54.6 h
8 55.37     Joan Fisher Canada CAN 19   55.2 h
400 m Women     Semi-Finals Heat Two 15 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 52.56   Q Lillian Board Great Britain GBR 19   52.5 h
2 52.69   Q Mirna van der Hoeven-Jansen Netherlands NED 20   52.6 h
3 52.83   Q Nataliya Pechonkina-Chistyakova Soviet Union URS 22   52.8 h
4 53.22   Q Jarvis Scott United States USA 21   53.2 h
5 53.64     Mary Green Great Britain GBR 24   53.6 h
6 53.93     Karin Wallgren-Lundgren Sweden SWE 24   53.9 h
7 54.30     Monique Noirot France FRA 27   54.2 h
8 57.39     Lois Drinkwater United States USA 17   57.3 h
400 m Women     Round One Heat One 14 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 53.11   Q Colette Besson France FRA 22   53.1 h
2 53.53   Q Jarvis Scott United States USA 21   53.5 h
3 53.58   Q Helga Henning West Germany FRG 30   53.5 h
4 54.62   Q Joan Fisher Canada CAN 19   54.6 h
5 55.47     Enriqueta Basilio Mexico MEX 20   55.6 h
6 56.56     Joyce Bennett Australia AUS 23   56.5 h
400 m Women     Round One Heat Two 14 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 52.86   Q Aurelia Pentón Cuba CUB 27   52.8 h
2 53.00   Q Lillian Board Great Britain GBR 19   52.9 h
3 54.07   Q Ingrīda Verbele Soviet Union URS 20   54.0 h
4 54.19   Q Una Morris Jamaica JAM 21   54.1 h
5 54.34     Anne Covell Canada CAN 18   54.3 h
6 54.91     Anna Chmelková Czechoslovakia TCH 24   54.9 h
7 55.61     Antónia Munkácsi Hungary HUN 29   55.6 h
8 58.25     Jean Robotham Costa Rica CRC 24   58.2 h
400 m Women     Round One Heat Three 14 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 53.17   Q Mirna van der Hoeven-Jansen Netherlands NED 20   53.1 h
2 53.58   Q Esther Stroy United States USA 15   53.5 h
3 53.63   Q Janet Simpson Great Britain GBR 24   53.6 h
4 53.67   Q Monique Noirot France FRA 27   53.6 h
5 54.05     Tekla Chemabwai Kenya KEN 18   54.0 h
6 55.43     Sandra Brown Australia AUS 22   55.4 h
7 56.38     Channa Shezifi Israel ISR 24   56.3 h
400 m Women     Round One Heat Four 14 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 53.73   Q Nataliya Pechonkina-Chistyakova Soviet Union URS 22   53.7 h
2 54.00   Q Mary Green Great Britain GBR 24   53.9 h
3 54.30   Q Karin Wallgren-Lundgren Sweden SWE 24   54.2 h
4 54.56   Q Lois Drinkwater United States USA 17   54.5 h
5 54.77     Donata Govoni Italy ITA 24   54.7 h
6 55.01     Eeva Haimi Finland FIN 22   55.0 h
7 56.34     Josefa Vicent Uruguay URU 18   56.3 h
8 57.09     Olajumoke Bodunrin Nigeria NGR 23   57h
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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