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Athletics at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games:

Women's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Montjuïc Olympic Stadium, Barcelona
Date Started: August 5, 1992
Date Finished: August 8, 1992

Gold: ALG Hassiba Boulmerka
Silver: EUN Lyudmila Rogachova
Bronze: CHN Qu Yunxia

Summary

Algeria’s Hassiba Boulmerka had won the 1991 World Championships at this distance, but becoming a world-class runner had not been an easy task for her. A Muslim from Algeria, she was singled out by Islamic fundamentalists who considered it shameful for her to run with her “legs naked.” There were rumors of a possible assassination attempt in Barcelona if she ran. Supported by her parents she moved to Germany early in 1992 where she continued her training. The final was led out by Russian Lyudmila Rogachova with Boulmerka on her shoulder at 800 metres. They maintained those positions for the third lap, before Boulmerka pulled ahead just before the final turn. She held the lead to the finish for the gold medal, with Rogachova second. China’s Qu Yunxia placed third. In 1993 she would break the vaunted world record that had been set by Tatyana Kazankina in 1993. Trained by the Chinese martinet Ma Junren, who pushed his runners mercilessly at a high-altitude training camp, Qu and several other Chinese runners set startling world records at the 1993 Chinese National Championships. The marks were considered by many to be “too good.” It was known that Ma fed his runners an unusual diet of turtle soup extract, and an elixir containing products from caterpillars. But it was also rumored that he fed them other performance-enhancing agents as well. Most of those runners quickly disappeared from the world scene once drug testing came to China.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Hassiba Boulmerka 24 Algeria ALG Gold
2 Lyudmila Rogachova 25 Unified Team EUN Silver
3 Qu Yunxia 19 China CHN Bronze
4 Tetiana Samolenko-Dorovskykh 30 Unified Team EUN
5 Liu Li 21 China CHN
6 Maite Zúñiga 27 Spain ESP
7 Małgorzata Rydz 25 Poland POL
8 Yekaterina Podkopayeva 40 Unified Team EUN
9 Maria Mutola 19 Mozambique MOZ
10 PattiSue Plumer 30 United States USA
11 Elena Fidatov 32 Romania ROU
AC Doina Beşliu-Melinte 35 Romania ROU
6 h1 r2/3 Angela Chalmers 28 Canada CAN
7 h1 r2/3 Violeta Beclea-Szekely 27 Romania ROU
8 h1 r2/3 Letitia Vriesde 27 Suriname SUR
8 h2 r2/3 Paula Schnurr 28 Canada CAN
9 h1 r2/3 Kirsty Wade 29 Great Britain GBR
9 h2 r2/3 Carla Sacramento 20 Portugal POR
10 h1 r2/3 Maria Akraka 26 Sweden SWE
10 h2 r2/3 Fabia Trabaldo 20 Italy ITA
11 h1 r2/3 Anna Brzezińska 21 Poland POL
11 h2 r2/3 Sonia O'Sullivan 22 Ireland IRL
12 h1 r2/3 Regina Jacobs 28 United States USA
12 h2 r2/3 Theresia Kiesl 28 Austria AUT
13 h1 r2/3 Marie-Pierre Duros 25 France FRA
13 h2 r2/3 Debbie Scott-Bowker 33 Canada CAN
8 h1 r1/3 Maxine Newman 21 Great Britain GBR
8 h2 r1/3 Sriyani Dhammika Manike 22 Sri Lanka SRI
9 h1 r1/3 Simone Meier 26 Switzerland SUI
9 h2 r1/3 Carol Galea 29 Malta MLT
10 h1 r1/3 Susan Sirma 26 Kenya KEN
10 h2 r1/3 Rosalie Gangué 17 Chad CHA
11 h1 r1/3 Suzy Favor-Hamilton 23 United States USA
11 h3 r1/3 Gete Urge 21 Ethiopia ETH
12 h1 r1/3 Laurence Niyonsaba 19 Rwanda RWA
12 h3 r1/3 Khin Khin Htwe 29 Myanmar MYA
13 h1 r1/3 Bigna Samuel 26 Saint Vincent VIN
13 h3 r1/3 Brigitte Nganaye 18 Central African Republic CAF
14 h1 r1/3 Mantokoane Pitso 17 Lesotho LES
14 h3 r1/3 Ana Isabel Elias 26 Angola ANG
15 h1 r1/3 Rosemary Turare 28 Papua New Guinea PNG
AC h2 r1/3 Ann Williams 26 Great Britain GBR
AC h2 r1/3 Ellen Kießling 24 Germany GER