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Marita Koch

Full name: Marita Koch (-Meier)
Gender: Female
Height: 5'7" (171 cm)
Weight: 137 lbs (62 kg)
Born: February 18, 1957 in Wismar, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Affiliations: SC Empor Rostock, Rostock (GER)
Country: GDR East Germany
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Silver (2 Total)

Biography

Marita Koch was one of the greatest ever 400 m runners, setting 16 sprint world records (four outdoors in the 200, and six outdoors in the 400), capped by 47.60 in the 400 that remained the world record thru 2009. In 1978-79, 1982-83 and 1985 she was elected East German Sportswoman of the Year and in 1978-79, and 1982-83 she was Track & Field News' Athlete of the Year. In 1980 she won Olympic gold in the 400 and a silver in the 4×400, while at the inaugural World Athletics Championships in 1983 in Helsinki, she was the most successful athlete with three golds and one silver medal. Koch also won six titles at the European Championships between 1978 and 1986, and missed further chances at Olympic gold because of the 1984 boycott. In 1979, she became the first female to run 200 metres under 22 seconds, setting a world record of 21.71 at Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz), a mark that stood until 1988 when FloJo broke it. Her achievements, along with the extraordinary performances of many other East German female athletes, aroused suspicion about the use of anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, but she never tested positive, and denied ever using drugs. Marita Koch later married her coach Wolfgang Meier.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.83 (1983); 200 – 21.71 (1979); 400 – 47.60 (1985).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Athletics Women's 400 metres East Germany GDR 3 h4 r2/4
1980 Summer 23 Moskva Athletics Women's 400 metres East Germany GDR 1 Gold OR
1980 Summer 23 Moskva Athletics Women's 4 × 400 metres Relay East Germany GDR 2 Silver

Women's 400 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A) L
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Athletics East Germany Quarter-Finals Heat Four 3 QU 51.87 8
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Athletics East Germany Round One Heat Two 3 QU 52.78 4
1980 Summer 23 Moskva Athletics East Germany Final 1 OR 48.88 4
1980 Summer 23 Moskva Athletics East Germany Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 50.57 1
1980 Summer 23 Moskva Athletics East Germany Round One Heat Five 2 QU 51.06 3

Women's 4 × 400 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) ST
1980 Summer 23 Moskva Athletics East Germany GDR Final 2 3:20.4 3:20.35
1980 Summer 23 Moskva Athletics East Germany GDR Round One Heat Two 1 QU 3:28.7