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Athletics at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Women's Marathon

Athletics at the 1984 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 5, 1984
Date Finished: August 5, 1984
Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) point-to-point.

Gold: USA Joan Benoit
Silver: NOR Grete Andersen-Waitz
Bronze: POR Rosa Mota

Summary

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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Joan Benoit 27 United States USA Gold 2-24:52 OR
2 Grete Andersen-Waitz 30 Norway NOR Silver 2-26:18
3 Rosa Mota 26 Portugal POR Bronze 2-26:57
4 Ingrid Kristiansen 28 Norway NOR 2-27:34
5 Lorraine Moller 29 New Zealand NZL 2-28:34
6 Priscilla Welch 39 Great Britain GBR 2-28:54
7 Lisa Martin-Ondieki 24 Australia AUS 2-29:03
8 Sylvie Ruegger 23 Canada CAN 2-29:09
9 Laura Fogli 24 Italy ITA 2-29:28
10 Tuija Toivonen-Jousimaa 25 Finland FIN 2-32:07
11 Joyce Smith 46 Great Britain GBR 2-32:48
12 Alba Milana 25 Italy ITA 2-33:01
13 Dorthe Rasmussen 24 Denmark DEN 2-33:40
14 Sarah Rowell 21 Great Britain GBR 2-34:08
15 Sinikka Keskitalo 33 Finland FIN 2-35:15
16 Charlotte Teske 34 West Germany FRG 2-35:56
17 Anna Marie Malone 24 Canada CAN 2-36:33
18 Marie-Louise Hamrin 27 Sweden SWE 2-36:41
19 Nanae Sasaki 28 Japan JPN 2-37:04
20 Paola Moro 31 Italy ITA 2-37:06
21 Ria Van Landeghem 26 Belgium BEL 2-37:11
22 Carla Beurskens 32 Netherlands NED 2-37:51
23 Regina Joyce 27 Ireland IRL 2-37:57
24 Marie-Christine Deurbroeck 27 Belgium BEL 2-38:01
25 María Trujillo 24 Mexico MEX 2-38:50
26 Bente Moe 23 Norway NOR 2-40:52
27 Mary O'Connor 29 New Zealand NZL 2-41.22
28 Carey May 25 Ireland IRL 2-41:27
29 Francine Peeters 27 Belgium BEL 2-42:22
30 Zehava Shmueli 29 Israel ISR 2-42:27
31 Winnie Ng 31 Hong Kong HKG 2-42:38
32 Mónica Regonesi 23 Chile CHI 2-44:44
33 Naydi Nazario 27 Puerto Rico PUR 2-45:49
34 Yuko Gordon 33 Hong Kong HKG 2-46:12
35 Ena Guevara 25 Peru PER 2-46:50
36 Julie Brown 29 United States USA 2-47:33
37 Gaby Andersen-Schiess 39 Switzerland SUI 2-48:42
38 Rita Borralho 30 Portugal POR 2-50:58
39 Conceição Ferreira 22 Portugal POR 2-50:58
40 María Cárdeñas 25 Mexico MEX 2-51:03
41 María Luisa Ronquillo 27 Mexico MEX 2-51:04
42 Nelly Chávez 38 Bolivia BOL 2-51:35
43 Mary Wagaki 30 Kenya KEN 2-52:00
44 Eleonora de Mendonça 35 Brazil BRA 2-52:19
AC Ifeoma Mbanugo 32 Nigeria NGR DNF
AC Akemi Masuda 20 Japan JPN DNF
AC Jacqueline Gareau 31 Canada CAN DNF
AC Julie Isphording 22 United States USA DNF
AC Anne Garrett-Audain 28 New Zealand NZL DNF
AC Leda Díaz 37 Honduras HON DNF