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Cycling at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Women's Sprint

Cycling at the 1988 Summer Games: Next Summer Games


Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Velodrome, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 21, 1988
Date Finished: September 24, 1988
Format: 1,000 metres.

Gold: URS Erika Salumäe
Silver: GDR Christa Rothenburger-Luding
Bronze: USA Connie Paraskevin-Young


This was the first track cycling event for women at the Olympics. Women had contested the match sprint at the World Championships since 1958, and a number of outstanding women cyclists never had the opportunity to compete at the Olympics. Notable among these were Galina Yermolayeva (URS), six-time World Champion, who won 14 medals in the event between 1958-73; American [Sheila Young], Olympic speed skating champion who was World Champion in 1973, 1976, and 1981; and Soviet Galina Tsareva, World Champion from 1977-79.

Coming into Seoul, the three dominant female sprinters of the 80s had been American [Connie Paraskevin-Young], sister-in-law of Sheila Young and World Champion in 1982-84, and again in 1990; Soviet/Estonian sprinter [Erika Salumäe], World Champion in 1987 and again in 1989; and [Christa Luding-Rothenburger], East German World Champion in 1986 and runner-up to Salumae in 1987. Both Paraskevin-Young and Luding-Rothenburger had competed at the Olympics in speed skating – Paraskevin-Young in 1984, while Luding-Rothenburger had competed in speed skating in both 1984 and 1988, and won a gold medal in the 1,000 metres in 1988. In the end, the three favorites would win the medals. In the first semi, Salumäe defeated Paraskevin-Young in two straight races. Luding-Rothenburger had more trouble in her semi, needing three races to get past France’s [Isabelle Gautheron]. With that victory, Luding-Rothenburger made Olympic history, guaranteeing she would become the first woman to win medals in both the Winter and Summer Olympics. The final went to Salumäe in three races, after Luding-Rothenburger had won the first race. Salumäe would return in 1992 to defend her title, then representing Estonia, a historic victory for her renascent nation.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Erika Salumäe 26 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 Christa Rothenburger-Luding 28 East Germany GDR Silver
3 Connie Paraskevin-Young 27 United States USA Bronze
4 Isabelle Gautheron 24 France FRA
5 Julie Speight 21 Australia AUS
6 Zhou Suying 27 China CHN
7 Louise Jones 25 Great Britain GBR
8 Yang Hsiu-Chen 20 Chinese Taipei TPE
2 h1 r2/5 Beth Tabor 24 Canada CAN
2 h2 r2/5 Seiko Hashimoto 23 Japan JPN
2 h3 r2/5 Elisabetta Fanton 19 Italy ITA
2 h4 r2/5 Kim Jin-Yeong 18 South Korea KOR