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1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles - Women's Marathon



Host City: Los Angeles, United States Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) point-to-point.
Date Started: August 5, 1984  
Date Finished: August 5, 1984  
(Competitors: 50; Countries: 28)  
    Venue(s): Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Overview by IAAF    
With a warm (24 °C) overcast day, it was thought that a really fast time was unlikely, but Benoit was of a different mind, and she dominated the race. Benoit moved away from the field after only three miles, leading at 5Km by 6 seconds from Waitz, Kristiansen and Mota. Waitz, the World Champion, felt that the pace was too fast, and she let Benoit move away. The American, who had run a world best 2:22:43 in 1983, increased her pace after passing 10Km in 35:24, covering the next 10Km in an almost unbelievable 33:08. She then led by 1:12 from Mota, with the two Norwegians 60m behind. There was no let up as Benoit ran the next 10Km in 33:51, with the three pursuers together 1:51 behind. Benoit slowed up a little in the fourth 10Km section (34:51), losing 24 seconds, and she finished 1:26 ahead of Waitz, having run the second fastest time ever. The battle for the lesser medals was determined shortly after the 30Km mark, when Waitz went clear of Kristiansen. Mota passed the second string Norwegian after the 40Km mark, setting a Portuguese record in third place. Each of the finishers from fifth to 10th place ran lifetime bests.
Summary by      
Women had been known to run marathons since at least the 1920s, but it was not until the 1960s that this was well-known when several woman, among them Katherine Switzer and Roberta Gibb, broke into the all-male Boston Marathon. By 1973, the West Germans had established the first all-female marathons, and the pioneer administrator who supported women in the marathon was the German Dr. Ernst van Aaken. In 1983 a women’s marathon was included at the first Athletics World Championships in Helsinki, won by Grete Waitz of Norway. Waitz, a former track runner, was the first great female marathoner, winning the New York Marathon from 1979-83, and she would eventually win New York nine times. She was the early favorite for Los Angeles. Also to be watched were Portugal’s Rosa Mota, who had won the 1983 European Championship, and America’s Joan Benoit, who won the 1979 and 1983 Boston Marathon. Her 1983 Boston win was in a world marathon best time of 2-22:43. But Benoit was not fully healthy, having required arthroscopic surgery on her knee only a few weeks before the US Olympic Trial, and she was considered fortunate to make the team.
The women’s marathon was the first track & field event of the 1984 Olympics, starting at 8 AM. It started at the Santa Monica City College track and ran along LA freeways to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Benoit moved into the lead at 7 km., and Waitz led her get away, saying later that she thought the move was made too early. But Benoit never came back. She stayed in the lead throughout, running by herself for most of the race, winning by almost 1½ minutes, with Waitz winning the silver medal and Mota the bronze.


Standing records prior to the 1984 Summer Olympics
World Record  Joan Benoit (USA) 2:22:43 April 18, 1983 United States Boston, United States
Olympic Record New Event
Season Best  Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR) 2:24:26 May 13, 1984 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
Broken records during the 1984 Summer Olympics
Olympic Record  Joan Benoit (USA) 2:24:52 August 5, 1984 United States Los Angeles, United States
Marathon Women     Final 5 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 2.24.52     Joan Samuelson United States USA 16 May 57  
2 2.26.18     Grete Waitz Norway NOR 1 Oct 53  
3 2.26.57     Rosa Mota Portugal POR 29 Jun 58  
4 2.27.34     Ingrid Kristiansen Norway NOR 21 Mar 56  
5 2.28.34     Lorraine Moller New Zealand NZL 1 Jun 55  
6 2.28.54     Cilla Welch Great Britain GBR 22 Nov 44  
7 2.29.03     Lisa Ondieki Australia AUS 12 May 60  
8 2.29.09     Sylvia Ruegger Canada CAN 23 Feb 61  
9 2.29.28     Laura Fogli Italy ITA 5 Oct 59  
10 2.32.07     Tuija Toivonen Finland FIN 1 Mar 58  
11 2.32.48     Joyce Smith Great Britain GBR 26 Oct 37  
12 2.33.01     Alba Milana Italy ITA 17 Mar 59  
13 2.33.40     Dorthe Rasmussen Denmark DEN 27 Jan 60  
14 2.34.08     Sarah Rowell Great Britain GBR 19 Nov 62  
15 2.35.15     Sinikka Keskitalo Finland FIN 29 Jan 51  
16 2.35.56     Charlotte Teske West Germany FRG 23 Nov 49  
17 2.36.33     Anna-Maria Malone Canada CAN 28 Jul 60  
18 2.36.41     Midde Hamrin Sweden SWE 19 Apr 57  
19 2.37.04     Nanae Sasaki Japan JPN 8 Feb 56  
20 2.37.06     Paola Moro Italy ITA 14 Aug 52  
21 2.37.11     Ria Van Landeghem Belgium BEL 19 Jul 57  
22 2.37.51     Carla Beurskens Netherlands NED 10 Feb 52  
23 2.37.57     Regina Joyce-Bonney Ireland IRL 7 Feb 57  
24 2.38.01     Marie-Christine Deurbroeck Belgium BEL 1 Feb 57  
25 2.38.50     María Trujillo Mexico MEX 19 Oct 59  
26 2.40.52     Bente Moe Norway NOR 2 Dec 60  
27 2.41.22     Mary O'Connor New Zealand NZL 19 Apr 55  
28 2.41.27     Carey May Ireland IRL 19 Jul 59  
29 2.42.22     Francine Peeters Belgium BEL 23 Feb 57  
30 2.42.27     Zehava Shmueli Israel ISR 19 May 55  
31 2.42.38     Winnie Ng Lai Chu Hong Kong HKG 7 Aug 52  
32 2.44.44     Mónica Regonessi Chile CHI 27 Apr 61  
33 2.45.49     Naydi Nazario Puerto Rico PUR 10 Sep 56  
34 2.46.12     Yuko Gordon Hong Kong HKG 23 Feb 51  
35 2.46.50     Ena Guevara Peru PER 7 Feb 59  
36 2.47.33     Julie Brown United States USA 4 Feb 55  
37 2.48.42     Gabriela Schiess Switzerland SUI 20 May 45  
38 2.50.58     Rita Borralho Portugal POR 21 Mar 54  
39 2.50.58     Maria Conceição Ferreira Portugal POR 13 Mar 62  
40 2.51.03     Maria del Carmen Cardenas Mexico MEX 13 Feb 59  
41 2.51.04     Maria-Luisa Ronquillo Mexico MEX 13 Dec 52  
42 2.51.35     Nelly Chavez de Wright Bolivia BOL 17 Dec 45  
43 2.52.00     Mary Wagaki Kenya KEN 20 Jun 54  
44 2.52.19     Eleonora de Mendonca Brazil BRA 13 Nov 48  
  DNF     Jacqueline Gareau Canada CAN 10 Mar 53  
  DNF     Leda Díaz Honduras HON 28 Oct 46  
  DNF     Ifeoma Mbanugo Nigeria NGR 3 Mar 52  
  DNF     Anne Audain New Zealand NZL 1 Nov 55  
  DNF     Akemi Masuda Japan JPN 1 Jan 64  
  DNF     Julie Isphording United States USA 5 Dec 61  
More Details by Marathoninfo
Sunday, August 5th at 8 am Joan Benoit (United States) 27 years old 50 from 28 countries 6 (12%)
So there it is, women finally have the right to have their Olympic marathon, which now appears as natural was not yet at that time not so long ago, but until then, women had no greater distance events in the 1,500 meters !! Yet there were long as women were involved in running the marathon in 1926 with the British Violet Piercy, timed in 3h40'22 ". But the rules of athletics then forced them to run underground, the event the most famous is being held in Boston in 1967 when the US Kathie Switzer was discovered in the squad after a 3 km race. Immediately, John Semple had set out to expel him in his capacity as a volunteer, he was in turn ejected blows shoulder by the fiancé of the intruder, to the applause of the pack and the goal of a photographer, which did much for the cause of women as well as the writings of the German doctor Ernst Van Aaken that had swept all objections against endurance in women's sports. Under the pressure of the US feminist movement and the results of US marathoners, English, French, Japanese and Czech, the international Athletics federation was opened in 1981 the 5000m and 10000m for women, and in 1982 the marathon was opened to women for the European championships. Los Angeles is the logical continuation of this movement.

Everything went well almost, but an event will mark the first women's edition, the arrival of the Swiss Gabrielle Andersen-Schiess will remember that the marathon can be full of surprises, and will also remember the famous pioneers arrived male discipline. At the same time it will give grist to the opponents of women's marathon.

The Swiss will live a hassle on arrival, before the cameras of the world. Victim of heat stroke, his knees rattled, she divagait a corridor to another runway. Three judges will escort like to keep distance standing when it stopped, then left limping. "I thought for a moment giving up, but it was so silly, because the end was so close! And it was not a marathon like no other. The instincts told me to continue." Among the officials, we wondered: should prevent it from continuing or not? But "go on, go on" escaped from the crowd. And she went and after his terrible effort, her terrible Cross, before collapsing at the finishing line in both arms judges. Rescue workers and doctors were busy around the stretcher which carried him to thunderous applause and admiration mingling relief. "When I made my entrance into the stadium, encouragement, I heard intermittently gave me back some strength. I was trying to go straight. In vain! My body was so hot! I can not remember everything that happened to me. " Finally she finished 37th in 2h48'42 ", after a final lap covered in 5'44". Proof of good health: two hours later, she was up and ran again later without incident several marathons.
Before it, the first Olympic champion in history had crossed the line in 2h24'52 ", it was the American Joan Benoit beating of a turn of the favorite Grete Waits Norwegian track. The April 18, 1983 Joan Benoit imposed on the Boston marathon in 2:22:43. She still holds the world record when there was the first women's Olympic marathon on August 5, 1984. Joan Benoit qualified for the Olympics by winning races qualification in the US, seventeen days after undergoing arthroscopic right knee. at the Los Angeles Games, she was the favorite along with Norway's Grete Waitz, who had previously won all seven marathons she had participated. Grete Waitz had also beat Joan Benoit ten times during their eleven previous meetings on various distances. But this time, Joan Benoit took the lead after fourteen minutes and outdistanced its competitors, surprised that nobody followed. "When I left, I have not really started. I have only accelerated the pace, which was particularly slow. I always hoped to receive help from athletes from the rear, but I never saw it coming. in the end, I was also very happy. " In the 20th km in 1:08:32 spent his advance exceeds the minute 72 secfontes on the Portuguese Rosa Mota (first European champion in Athens in 1982). Holds for its share of the best European performance after winning in 2:24:26 in London, the other Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen, accompanied by Fogli Italian, accusing 10 "additional delay before Waitz, on his heels. In 30th km, Benedict happening in 1:42:23 ahead of a trio of Waitz and Kristiansen Mota.A from there his lead of almost two minutes will decrease gradually especially compared to Waitz who went after him, but it's too late and the crowd gasped in delight when she saw his lead winning on the track after following on the giant screen of the stadium. at 2:24:52, the first Olympic champion had done better than Mimoun in Melbourne in 1956.

Born January 28, 1979, high 1m60 for 47kg, she finished second in his first marathon in 2:50:54, before winning 16 April of that year the Boston Marathon in 2h35'15 ". The 18 April 1983 she won the Boston marathon in 2:22:43, then the best time ever for a woman she said after the race. I decided to do my own race without taking care of my opponents in. this kind of event, it must find its own pace. If you run in a pack, unless resolutely take the lead and do the work, you often have changes in rhythm and in a marathon, it does not forgive not. Better to get away, run regular train, it always pays. "





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