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Mary Decker-Slaney

Full name: Mary Thereza Decker-Slaney (-Tabb-)
Gender: Female
Height: 5-6 (168 cm)
Weight: 112 lbs (51 kg)
Born: August 4, 1958 in Flemington, New Jersey, United States
Affiliations: Athletics West, Eugene (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Related Olympians: Wife of Richard Slaney.

Biography

Mary Decker has been the greatest American female middle distance and distance runner. She was a prodigy, breaking American records indoors when she was only 15, and won AAU titles indoors and out in 1974. After her breakout years of 1973-74, she had problems for a few years with injuries, which would become a recurrent feature of her career. In 1979 she came back to win a gold medal at the Pan-American Games in the 1,500. Her greatest season was 1983, when she won gold medals in the 1,500 and 3,000 at the first World Athletics Championships, defeating favored Soviets in both races. She was voted Track & Field News Female Athlete of the Year for 1983 and Sports Illustrated's Sportswoman of the Year.

In 1984, with the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Decker (now Decker-Slaney) was the hometown favorite in both the 1,500 and 3,000. But her form was not as good as 1983 and she placed only second in the US Olympic Trials in the 1,500, and elected to run only the 3K at the Olympics. In the final, on an early lap, she collided with South African Zola Budd who competed for Great Britain in this Olympics, and Decker-Slaney fell to the track with a hip injury, unable to continue. Over the next few years she sustained multiple injuries, underwent multiple surgeries, and never returned to her form of 1983, despite making the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Teams.

Personal Bests: 400 – 53.84 (1973); 800 – 1:56.90 (1985); 1000 – 2:34.65 (1988); 1500 – 3:57.12 (1983); Mile – 4:16.71 (1985); 3000 – 8:25.83 (1985); 2 miles – 9:31.7i (1983); 5000 – 15:06.53 (1985); 10000 – 31:35.3 (1982).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1984 Summer 25 Los Angeles Athletics Women's 3,000 metres United States USA AC
1988 Summer 30 Seoul Athletics Women's 1,500 metres United States USA 8
1988 Summer 30 Seoul Athletics Women's 3,000 metres United States USA 10
1996 Summer 37 Atlanta Athletics Women's 5,000 metres United States USA AC h2 r1/2 DQ

Women's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A)
1988 Summer 30 Seoul Athletics United States Final 8 4:02.49
1988 Summer 30 Seoul Athletics United States Round One Heat Two 2 QU 4:03.61

Women's 3,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A)
1984 Summer 25 Los Angeles Athletics United States Final AC DNF
1984 Summer 25 Los Angeles Athletics United States Round One Heat One 1 QU/OR 8:44.38
1988 Summer 30 Seoul Athletics United States Final 10 8:47.13
1988 Summer 30 Seoul Athletics United States Round One Heat Two 4 QU 8:44.15

Women's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A)
1996 Summer 37 Atlanta Athletics United States Round One Heat Two AC DQ 15:41.30
id: 77,801