Athletics Weekly - - Spotlight -

Grete Waitz

The Nor­we­gian is fa­mous for dom­i­nat­ing two events – the New York City Marathon and World Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships.

De­but­ing in 1978 in Glas­gow, she won by half a minute. The fol­low­ing year in Lim­er­ick the gap was 26 sec­onds, but in 1980 in Paris it was a record 44 sec­onds – as­ton­ish­ing when the race was less than 5km!

She eas­ily won again in Madrid in 1981 but was out­kicked in 1982, fin­ish­ing a close third as Mari­cica Puica took gold, be­fore the Nor­we­gian took gold again in Gateshead in 1983.

Lynn Jen­nings

After fin­ish­ing run­ner-up to Zola Budd in 1986 the Amer­i­can was a con­sis­tent top six placer in each of the next three years.

In 1990, she hit the form of her life and en­joyed a clear win in Aix-les-Bains. The 1991 race was tougher as she just out­kicked by Der­artu Tulu and Liz McCol­gan, whereas in 1992 she out-sprinted Ire­land’s Cathe­rina McKier­nan in the last 80m to take her third world ti­tle.

Gete Wami

The Ethiopian de­buted with ju­nior top 10 places in 1990 and 1991 be­fore a mod­est se­nior de­but of 34th in 1994. Im­prov­ing to fifth in 1995, there­after she was ul­tra-con­sis­tent.

She won in Stel­len­bosch in 1996 and was third in 1997 and 1998 be­fore re­gain­ing her ti­tle with a clear win in Belfast in 1999.

In Os­tend in 2001 she lost an epic race with Paula Rad­cliffe but the fol­low­ing day she won the short course ti­tle a sec­ond up on Rad­cliffe for her sev­enth suc­ces­sive medal.

Doris Brown

At her peak, the be­spec­ta­cled Amer­i­can dom­i­nated the In­ter­na­tional event, win­ning ev­ery year from 1967 to 1971 – and it’s worth not­ing that there was no In­ter­na­tional event from 1958 to 1966. This in­cluded pay­ing her own way to get to Barry in Wales in 1967, where she won by 37 sec­onds.

Later she com­peted four times in the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships from 1973 to 1977 and won team medals each time.

Tirunesh Dibaba

The Ethiopian de­buted with a fifth in the ju­nior race in 2001 but went on to win the un­der-20 ti­tle in Lau­sanne in 2003.

In 2005 she took her first se­nior crowns, win­ning a short and long course dou­ble gold in France. She re­gained the long­course ti­tle in 2006 in Fukuoka, was sec­ond in Mom­basa in 2007 to Lor­nah Kiplagat and won again in 2008 in Ed­in­burgh.

Hon­ourable men­tions: Edith Ma­sai (1) had three short-course wins, Der­artu Tulu (2) won three world long-course golds, Vi­vian Cheruiyot won the ju­nior ti­tle in 2000 and se­nior ti­tle in 2011. Dou­ble win­ners in­cluded Paala Cac­chi, Car­men Valero, Mari­cica Puica, Zola Budd, An­nette Ser­gent, Paula Rad­cliffe and Emily Che­bet (3).

Lynn Jen­nings (right) with Doris Brown

Tirunesh Dibaba

Grete Waitz

Gete Wami

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