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1997 World Championships in Athletics Athens, Greece

1997 6th IAAF World Championships - Athens - Women's 400m

 

 

Host City: Athens. Greece Format: First round (First 4 & 4 fastest to second round) (Aug 2)
Dates: August 1–10. 1997 Format: Second round (First 4 & 4 fastest to semi-finals) (Aug 2)
Nations participating: 198 Format: Semi-finals (First 4 to final) (Aug 3)
Athletes participating: 1882
    Main venue: Olympic Stadium
Overview by IAAF   oaka7 
After finishing only third in her semi behind 1993 champion MilesClark and Ogunkoya. Olympic silver medallist Freeman was drawn in lane one. but she refused to be daunted by that and went on to claim the title vacated by Pérec. It was a close-run affair as Freeman – last at 100. seventh at 200m and a close second to Ogunkoya (36.11) at 300m in 36.13 – surged into the lead and found the strength to prevail by just 2/100ths over training partner Richards. with Miles-Clark a metre behind. “Although I am still inexperienced I think I chose the right tactics.” said Freeman. the first Australian aboriginal to win any world athletics title. and the only athlete to have won a world title at 400m from an unseeded lane.
 These are the results of the Women's 400 metres event at the 1997 World Championships in Athletics in Athens. Greece.
 
  400m 4 August

Event report women 400m final

Australian Cathy Freeman had a tough assignment prior to the final. Running from lane 1 having been 3rd in her semifinal, the 24 year old Aboriginal run a very intelligent race. She entered the home straight in 1st place, and kept it in a hard battle against Jamaican Sandie Richards who finished 2nd with 49.79, American Jearl Miles-Clark who was 3rd with 49.90 and German Grit Breuer 4th with 50.06. Breuer who made her best performance after returning from a 3 year doping suspension, was the leader at the 200 meters mark, but Freeman produced a very strong turn, and by the 300 meters was slightly ahead of the rest. The Australian could hold on to her lead, in spite of a very strong move made by Richards, who ended up setting a personal best. The Jamaican lost the gold medal but a minimum margin of 2 hundredths of second, the closest ever at the World Championships. Freeman, the Oceania and Commonwealth record holder, 1996 Olympic silver medallist, and 97 world leader at 49.39, celebrated her biggest win with both Australian and Aboriginal flags.
  Final
1 Cathy Freeman AUS 16 Feb 73 49.77
2 Sandie Richards JAM 6 Nov 68 49.79
3 Jearl Miles-Clark USA 4 Sep 66 49.90
4 Grit Breuer GER 16 Feb 72 50.06
5 Falilat Ogunkoya NGR 5 Dec 68 50.27
6 Helena Fuchsová CZE 3 Jun 65 50.66
7 Pauline Davis-Thompson BAH 9 Jul 66 50.68
8 Tatyana Alekseyeva RUS 7 Oct 63 51.37

Event report women 400m semi finals

Semi I featured a matchup between a trio that most expect should win at least two medals in the final. Australia’s Cathy Freeman, USA’s Jearl Miles-Clark, and Nigeria’s Falilat Ogunkoya ran side-by-side in lanes 3-4-5 respectively. Miles-Clark and Freeman both started out fast, but Freeman, the 1996 Olympic silver medallist, drove harder down the backstretch and by 200m, had made up the stagger on Miles-Clark. On the final turn, Ogunkoya began to move into contention. Freeman held a narrow lead coming off that turn, but by 360m, Miles-Clark had caught her, with Ogunkoya also slipping past. In the final 50m, with the three running closely together, it appeared that Miles-Clark has the most relaxed and powerful style, while Freeman seemed to labour somewhat. Miles-Clark crossed first at 50.05, with Ogunkoya a few inches back (50.06) and Freeman in 50.11. Pauline Davis finished a step ahead of Jamaican Lorraine Graham for the last qualifying spot for the final. Semi 2 saw Germany’s Grit Breuer take command immediately, blistering the first half of the race. She made up the stagger on Sandie Richards by 170m, and came off the final turn with a clear lead on the field. Richards attacked on the straightaway, passing Breuer to win, 50.21 to 50.33. Helena Fuchsova finished 3rd in 50.69 and Tatyana Alekseyeva grabbed the last ticket to the final with her 50.98. Maicel Malone-Wallace of the United States finished well-back in 5th at 51.40.
  Semifinals 3 August
  Heat 1
1 Jearl Miles-Clark USA 4 Sep 66 50.05
2 Falilat Ogunkoya NGR 5 Dec 68 50.06
3 Cathy Freeman AUS 16 Feb 73 50.11
4 Pauline Davis-Thompson BAH 9 Jul 66 50.77
5 Lorraine Fenton JAM 8 Sep 73 50.90
6 Olga Kotlyarova RUS 12 Apr 76 51.03
7 Anja Rücker GER 20 Dec 72 51.94
- Donna Fraser GBR DNS
  Heat 2
1 Sandie Richards JAM 6 Nov 68 50.21
2 Grit Breuer GER 16 Feb 72 50.33
3 Helena Fuchsová CZE 3 Jun 65 50.69
4 Tatyana Alekseyeva RUS 7 Oct 63 50.98
5 Maicel Malone-Wallace USA 12 Jun 69 51.40
6 Allison Curbishley GBR 3 Jun 76 51.42
7 Bisi Afolabi NGR 31 Oct 75 51.44
8 Kim Graham USA 26 Mar 71 51.54

Event report women 400m quarter finals

The leading contenders for the women’s 400m medals all qualified with ease for the semi-finals, to be held tomorrow evening. The fastest qualifier was this year’s World Indoor silver medallist, Sandie Richards of Jamaica, who won the first heat in a personal best time, 50.08. Richards was a bronze medallist in the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart and has twice been an Olympic finallist. Second fastest was Helena Fuchsova of the Czech Republic, who also ran a personal best time, 50.36 in the first heat. The second and third heats were slower, but both Nigeria’s Falilat Ogunkoya, the Olympic bronze medallist, who ran 50.39 in heat two, and USA’s Jearl Miles-Clark, the 1993 World Champion, who ran 50.66 in heat three, looked comfortable. Another easy qualifier was this year’s fastest 400m runner, Cathy Freeman of Australia, the Olympic silver medallist. Germany’s Grit Breuer, the silver medallist in the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, also qualified.
  Quarterfinals 2 August
  Heat 1
1 Sandie Richards JAM 6 Nov 68 50.08
2 Helena Fuchsová CZE 3 Jun 65 50.36
3 Pauline Davis-Thompson BAH 9 Jul 66 50.53
4 Olga Kotlyarova RUS 12 Apr 76 50.63
5 Maicel Malone-Wallace USA 12 Jun 69 50.77
6 Allison Curbishley GBR 3 Jun 76 50.78
7 Anja Rücker GER 20 Dec 72 51.36
- Adri De Jongh RSA DNF
  Heat 2
1 Falilat Ogunkoya NGR 5 Dec 68 50.39
2 Grit Breuer GER 16 Feb 72 50.65
3 Tatyana Alekseyeva RUS 7 Oct 63 50.90
4 Kim Graham USA 26 Mar 71 51.72
5 Ladonna Antoine CAN 52.37
6 Nadezda Kostovalova CZE 52.61
7 Damayanthi Darsha-Kobalavithanage SRI 53.49
8 Tonique Williams BAH 54.23
  Heat 3
1 Jearl Miles-Clark USA 4 Sep 66 50.66
2 Cathy Freeman AUS 16 Feb 73 50.75
3 Lorraine Fenton JAM 8 Sep 73 51.03
4 Bisi Afolabi NGR 31 Oct 75 51.07
5 Donna Fraser GBR 7 Nov 72 51.11
6 Norfalia Carabalí COL 21 Jan 64 51.42
7 Tatyana Chebykina RUS 22 Nov 68 51.57
8 Patrizia Spuri ITA 18 Feb 73 52.15

Event report women 400m heats

The biggest surprise in the first round of the women’s 400m, the first track event of the 6th World Championships in Athletics, was the non start of Nigeria’s Charity Opara, ranked third in the world this year and one of five women to have run under 50 seconds in 1997. Other than that, all the main contenders for medals qualified without trouble. The fastest qualifier was the Czech Republic’s Helena Fuchsova, the bronze medallist in this year’s World Indoor Championships in Paris. Her time, 51.05 was a personal best by four hundredths of a second. The favourite for gold, Olympic silver medallist, Cathy Freeman of Australia, finished second in the fifth heat in 51.53. There were two national records: 51.99 by Darsha Damayanthi of Sri Lanka, who was third in the first heat; and 55.54 by Cathalina Staye of St Vincent. Dijana Kojic of Bosnia and Herzegovina ran a personal best of 55.06.
  Heats 2 August
  Heat 1
1 Helena Fuchsová CZE 3 Jun 65 51.03
2 Tatyana Alekseyeva RUS 7 Oct 63 51.61
3 Damayanthi Dharsha SRI 13 Feb 75 51.99
4 Olabisi Afolabi NGR 52.13
5 Tonique Williams BAH 52.30
6 Ladonna Antoine CAN 52.44
7 Maria Magnolia Figueiredo BRA 53.95
8 Charmaine Smit NAM 55.67
  Heat 2
1 Sandie Richards JAM 6 Nov 68 51.57
2 Jearl Miles-Clark USA 4 Sep 66 51.77
3 Allison Curbishley GBR 3 Jun 76 51.97
4 Norfalia Carabali COL 52.18
5 Hana Benesova CZE 52.74
6 Mayra Gonzalez MEX 53.63
7 Nadjina Kaltouma CHA 54.49
8 Cathalina Staye STV 55.54
  Heat 3
1 Kim Graham USA 26 Mar 71 51.92
2 Donna Fraser GBR 52.21
3 Patrizia Spuri ITA 52.54
4 Tatyana Chebykina RUS 52.57
5 Inez Turner JAM 53.34
6 Christina Panagou GRE 54.23
7 Grace Dinkins LBR 55.19
- Charity Opara NGR DNS
  Heat 4
1 Grit Breuer GER 16 Feb 72 51.43
2 Olga Kotlyarova RUS 12 Apr 76 51.55
3 Falilat Ogunkoya NGR 5 Dec 68 51.77
4 Nadezda Kostovalova CZE 52.15
5 Adri De Jongh RSA 52.47
6 Zoila Stewart CRC 54.03
7 Dijana Kojic BSH 55.06
8 Olga Conte ARG 55.82
  Heat 5
1 Lorraine Fenton JAM 8 Sep 73 51.45
2 Cathy Freeman AUS 16 Feb 73 51.53
3 Maicel Malone-Wallace USA 12 Jun 69 51.57
4 Pauline Davis-Thompson BAH 9 Jul 66 51.61
5 Anja Rücker GER 20 Dec 72 51.84
6 Marina Filipovic YUG 53.16
7 Svetlana Bodritskaya KZK 53.28

Heat 1 02 AUG 1997 08:10

Order / LaneATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 1997
1 Maria Magnólia Souza Figueiredo BRA BRA 50.62  
2 Olabisi Afolabi NGR NGR 50.41 50.41
3 Charmaine Smit NAM NAM    
4 LaDonna Antoine-Watkins CAN CAN 51.99  
5 Tatyana Alekseyeva RUS RUS 49.98 49.98
6 Helena Fuchsová CZE CZE 51.70 52.04i
7 Tonique Williams-Darling BAH BAH 52.15 52.15
8 K.V.Damayanthi Dharsha SRI SRI    

Heat 2 02 AUG 1997 08:18

Order / LaneATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 1997
1 Mayra González MEX MEX    
2 Norfalia Carabali COL COL 51.17  
3 Allison Curbishley GBR GBR    
4 Cathalina Staye VIN VIN 56.42  
5 Jearl Miles Clark USA USA 49.40 49.40
6 Kaltouma Nadjina CHA CHA 53.19 53.19
7 Sandie Richards JAM JAM 50.19 50.68
8 Hana Benešová CZE CZE 51.18 51.18

Heat 3 02 AUG 1997 08:26

Order / LaneATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 1997
1 Charity Opara NGR NGR 49.79 49.79
2 Kim Graham USA USA 50.96 51.89
3 Grace Dinkins LBR LBR 51.83  
4 Inez Turner JAM JAM 52.04  
5 Christína Panágou GRE GRE    
6 Donna Fraser GBR GBR 50.87 50.87
7 Tatyana Chebykina RUS RUS 51.01 51.36
8 Patrizia Spuri ITA ITA 52.45  

Heat 4 02 AUG 1997 08:34

Order / LaneATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 1997
1 Olga Kotlyarova RUS RUS 51.17 51.40
2 Grit Breuer GER GER 49.42 51.50i
3 Adri Schoeman RSA RSA 51.70 51.70
4 Falilat Ogunkoya NGR NGR 49.10 50.19
5 Naděžda Koštovalová CZE CZE 52.69  
6 Olga Conte ARG ARG 52.50 52.50
7 Dijana Kojic BIH BIH    
8 Zoila Stewart CRC CRC 52.57  

Heat 5 02 AUG 1997 08:42

Order / LaneATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 1997
1 Pauline Davis-Thompson BAH BAH 49.28 51.77
2 Lorraine Fenton JAM JAM 50.69 50.69
3 Cathy Freeman AUS AUS 48.63 49.39
4 Maicel Malone-Wallace USA USA 50.05 50.74
5 Anja Rücker GER GER 51.11 52.16i
6 Marina Filipovic SCG SCG 52.88 52.88
7 Svetlana Bodritskaya KAZ KAZ 53.24

 

 

 

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