The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Erskine saw battle with ‘The Flying Housewife’


Margaret Erskine was privileged during her athletics career to compete against Fanny Blankers-Koen who was widely considered to be the greatest female athlete of the 20th Century.

Blankers-Koen, from the Netherland­s, was the undoubted star of the 1948 London Olympic Games, winning gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m relay.

She was also a world record-holder for the long jump, the event in which Erskine represente­d Great Britain at the Games, but the Dutch woman couldn’t fit that into her busy schedule.

However, BlankersKo­en and Erskine did go head-to-head in early summer 1950, competing in the 100 yards at the Coventry Godiva sports.

The Olympic champion was in outstandin­g form, equalling her British allcomers record when posting a time of 11.9 secs, while Erskine finished third.

A couple of months later, they were both on duty at the European championsh­ips in Brussels where BlankersKo­en pocketed another three gold medals – in the 100m, 200m and 80m hurdles. She also earned silver in the 4x100m. Erskine was sixth in the long jump.

Blankers-Koen was without question a remarkable athlete. Her quadruple success at the first post-war Olympics is credited with helping promote more widespread participat­ion by women in sport.

She was 30 years old at the time and a mother of two, earning her the nickname of “The Flying Housewife”.

 ??  ?? Fanny Blankers-Koen.
Fanny Blankers-Koen.

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