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Women's Olympic Records


Five women's Olympic records fell at the 2012 London Games, in the 100-meter hurdles, the marathon, the 20-kilometer race walk, the hammer throw and the 4 x 100-meter relay. The eight athletes in these events join a list of outstanding competitors who've set Olympic records since women first competed in Olympic track and field, in 1928.

1. 100 Meters

Florence Griffith-Joyner, United States, 10.62. September 24, 1988. Griffith-Joyner set the Olympic mark in her quarterfinal race in Seoul, then went on to win the gold in a wind-aided 10.54, leaving the quarterfinal time as the Olympic record.

2. 200 Meters

Florence Griffith-Joyner, United States, 21.34. September 29, 1988. The year 1988 was a year of records for Griffith-Joyner as she the world 100-meter record (10.49 seconds), then set a 200-meter world record that still stands, as of 2012, in the Olympic final.

3. 400 Meters

Marie-Jose Perec, France, 48.25. July 29, 1996. A strong challenge from Australia's Cathy Freeman helped spur Perec to her second consecutive 400-meter gold, and a new Olympic mark.

4. 800 Meters

Nadezhda Olizarenko, Soviet Union, 1:53.43. July 27, 1980. As of 2012, Olizarenko remains the only women to break the 1:54 mark in Olympic competition, through the 2012 Games.

5. 1500 Meters

Paula Ivan, Romania, 3:53.96. October 10, 1988. Ivan not only set the Olympic record, but also won by the largest margin in Olympic history, beating the runner-up by more than six seconds.

6. 5000 Meters

Gabriela Szabo, Romania, 14:40.79 September 25, 2000. Szabo had dominated the 5000 meters for several years, since moving up from the 1500 meters, but she lost her final pre-Olympic race. She then took care of business in Sydney, edging Sonia O'Sullivan in a fast-paced race.

7. 10,000 Meters

Tirunesh Dibaba, Ethiopia, 29:54.66. August 15, 2008. Dibaba took the lead from pacesetter and eventual silver medalist Elvan Abeylegesse at the bell and pulled away down the home straight.

8. Marathon

Tiki Gelana, Ethiopia, 2:23:07 August 5, 2012. Gelana wasn't a top favorite entering the race, but she surged ahead late in the race and broke the Olympic record by two seconds.

9. Steeplechase

Gulnara Galkina-Samitova, Russia, 8:58.81 August 17, 2008. Galkina-Samitova won the initial Olympic women's steeplechase final in Beijing, setting a world record that still stands as of 2012.

10. 100-Meter Hurdles

Sally Pearson, Australia, 12.35 . August 7, 2012. American Dawn Harper tied the former Olympic mark of 12.37 seconds, forcing Pearson to break the record to take the gold.

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