Full name: Anja Rücker
Height: 5-8.5 (174 cm)
Weight: 128 lbs (58 kg)
Born: December 20, 1972 in Lobenstein, Thüringen, Germany
Affiliations: TuS Jena, Jena (GER)
Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)
Anja Rücker, a 400 metre runner, earned a bronze medal with the 4x400 relay at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Four years earlier at Barcelona the relay came in sixth and was eliminated in the second round of the 400. After 1992 she had severe Achilles tendon problems, requiring surgery on both ankles after she won a relay gold medal at the 1997 Worlds. At the 1999 Worlds Rücker won a silver medal in the 400 and a relay bronze. She also participated in the World Cup in 1992 and 1994 (runner-up with the relay), the European Cup in 1993 (third with the relay), 1994, 1997 (runner-up with the relay), and 1999 (third over 400). Rücker picked up another bronze at the 1994 European Championships with the relay.
At the 2000 European Indoors Rücker’s injury struggles continued. Just before the 400 heats, she had an injection, but she fell during the race, tearing ligaments and her Achilles’ tendon. She attempted a comeback in 2002, but sustained another Achilles’ rupture. Her health and injury troubles continued, as she was afflicted with shingles, and in 2006 developed mononucleosis (glandular fever). She had later surgery on heel spurs and then, after a sports accident, one of her middle fingers had to be amputated. In 2011 Rücker changed her sports career to bobsleigh.
She was trained as a precision engineer and later worked as a middle grade clerk at the Higher Regional Court in Jena until 2006. In 2013 she founded the athletics club Bad Lobenstein Track Club, becoming its president. She also hired her life partner [Falk Balzer] as the club’s head coach.
Personal Best\: 400 – 49.74 (1999).
|1992 Summer||19||Barcelona||Athletics||Women's 400 metres||Germany||GER||5 h2 r2/4|
|1992 Summer||19||Barcelona||Athletics||Women's 4 × 400 metres Relay||Germany||GER||6|
|1996 Summer||23||Atlanta||Athletics||Women's 4 × 400 metres Relay||Germany||GER||3||Bronze|
|1992 Summer||19||Barcelona||Athletics||Germany||Quarter-Finals||Heat Two||5||52.05||5|
|1992 Summer||19||Barcelona||Athletics||Germany||Round One||Heat Four||4||QU||52.24||2|
|1992 Summer||19||Barcelona||Athletics||Germany||GER||Round One||Heat Two||3||QU||3:26.25|
|1996 Summer||23||Atlanta||Athletics||Germany||GER||Round One||Heat Two||1||QU||3:24.08||51,08|