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Mary Peters

Full name: Mary Elizabeth Peters
Gender: Female
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
Weight: 157 lbs (71 kg)
Born: July 6, 1939 in Halewood, Merseyside, Great Britain
Affiliations: Spartan Ladies, (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

In the 45th pentathlon of her career, the veteran Mary Peters of Spartan Ladies AC achieved the ultimate athletic success by winning an Olympic title with a new world record. The English-born Peters spent much of her life in Ireland and her first pentathlon competition was at Ballymena in 1955. In the 17 years leading up to her Olympic triumph, she won seven WAAA pentathlon titles as well as the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1970, and finished fourth in the 1964 Olympics and ninth in 1968. She also won the WAAA shot put title twice and was the Commonwealth Games champion in 1970. After the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, she took a rest from competition and devoted 1971 to intensive training guided by her coach Buster McShane.

Her form early in 1972 indicated that despite her age she would be a strong contender for the Olympic title. After the opening event (100 metre hurdles) in München the 33-year-old Peters was in second place, just six points behind the leader. She moved into the lead after the second event (shot put) and at the end of the first day she held a lead of 301 points. The West German Heide Rosendahl-Ecker, in front of her home crowd, made a superb effort on the second day and made up 291 points on Peters, but she still finished a tantalizing 10 points behind the ecstatic British winner. The last event was the 200 metres, with the two contenders for the gold medal drawn in the same heat. Rosendahl came home ahead of Peters, her overall score of 4791 points giving her the world record for a fraction over one second. Precisely 1.2 seconds after Rosendahl had completed the race, and the competition, Peters reached the 200 metres finishing line and with a total of 4,801 points the world record passed to her.

Mary Peters, who was awarded the MBE in 1973 and the CBE in 1990, competed for two more years and in her fifth appearance at the Commonwealth Games in 1974, she successfully defended her pentathlon title. After retirement she remained active in sports-related civic affairs and fund-raising in Belfast, and was the team manager for many women’s international athletic teams. Peters was appointed Lord Lieutenant of the City of Belfast in 2009.

Personal Bests: 100H – 13.29 (1972); HJ – 1.82 (1972); SP – 16.40i (1970); PenA - 4823 (1964); PenB – 4801 (1972).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Women's Shot Put Great Britain GBR 14 QR
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Women's Pentathlon Great Britain GBR 4
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Women's Pentathlon Great Britain GBR 9
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Women's Pentathlon Great Britain GBR 1 Gold WR

Women's Shot Put

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank D BMD
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain Qualifying Round 14 14.46
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain Qualifying Round Round One 15 13.44
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain Qualifying Round Round Two 15 foul 13.44
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain Qualifying Round Round Three NP 14.46

Women's Pentathlon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank P(1962HT) T D P(1962T) H P(1962AT) T(H) T(A) P(1971AT) P(1985AT) P(1971T) P(1985T) C/F/P
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain Final Standings 4 4,797
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain 80 metre hurdles 5 1.044 11.0
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain 80 metre hurdles Heat Six 1 1.044 11.0
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain Shot put 2 14.48 1.015
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain High jump 8T 945 1.60
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain Long jump 16 5.60 897
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain 200 metres 10 896 25.4
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Great Britain 200 metres Heat Five 2 896 25.4
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain Final Standings 9 4.803 4.780
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain 80 metre hurdles 6T 1.044 11.0 11.10
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain 80 metre hurdles Heat Two 2 1.044 11.0 11.10
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain Shot put 1 15.09 1.052
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain High jump 22T 869 1.53
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain Long jump 27 5.60 897
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain 200 metres 13T 941 24.9 24.96
1968 Summer 29 Ciudad de México Athletics Great Britain 200 metres Heat One 4 941 24.9 24.96
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Final Standings 1 WR 4.801 4.841
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain 100 metre hurdles 2 13.29 960 1.081
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain 100 metre hurdles Heat Two 2 13.29 960 1.081
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Shot put 1 16.20 960 941
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Shot put Round One NP 15.03
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Shot put Round Two NP 16.20
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Shot put Round Three NP 14.41
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1 OB 1.82 1.049 1.003
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.55 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.60 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.65 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.68 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.71 metres NP xxo
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.74 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.76 metres NP xxo
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.78 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.80 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.82 metres NP o
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain High jump 1.84 metres NP xxx
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Long jump 17T 5.98 902 843
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Long jump Round One NP foul
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Long jump Round Two NP 5.90
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain Long jump Round Three NP 5.98
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain 200 metres 6 24.08 930 973
1972 Summer 33 München Athletics Great Britain 200 metres Heat Four 4 24.08 930 973