Ruth Fuchs, East Germany

Ruth Fuchs

World Records: 65.06m Potsdam 11 Jun 1972
66, 10 m. Edinburgh 07 Sep 1973
67, 22 m. Rome 03 Oct 1974
69, 12 m. Berlin 10 Jul 1976
69, 52 m. Dresden 13 Jun 1979
69, 96 m. Split 29 Apr 1980

Ruth Fuchs (born December 14, 1946 in Egeln) is a German javelin thrower. Fuchs, representing East Germany, was the winner of the women's javelin at the 1972 (Munich) and 1976 (Montreal) Olympic Games. She set the world record for the javelin six times during the 1970s.

By the end of 1974, there was no doubt that Ruth Fuchs was the best javelin thrower in the world, having won the Olympic and European titles in the preceding three years, as well as setting three new world records. As the rest of the world's throwers tried to close the gap on her, Fuchs drew further away from them. At an Olympic Test meet in Berlin on 10 July 1976, Fuchs set her fourth world record, reaching a distance of 69.12m. Two weeks later at the Olympic Games in Montreal, Fuchs gave her opposition no chance of beating her, sealing her second Olympic gold medal on her first throw with a new Olympic record of 65.94m. The following year, in the World Cup at Dusseldorf on 2 September 1977, it seemed that Ruth's winning streak in major international championships might come to an end, when she was only lying fourth at the start of the fourth round. However, Fuchs recovered in the final round with a throw of 62.36m (see photo above) to win the gold medal. At the 1978 European Championships in Prague, Ruth easily won her second European title, producing the year's longest throw of 69.16m. Fuchs had relinquished her world record in 1977 to Kathy Schmidt (USA), but on 13 June 1979, Ruth regained the record with a throw of 69.52m at an Olympic Day meet in Dresden. Early in the 1980 season, Fuchs set her final world record of 69.96m at Split on 29 April. However, Fuchs' days of dominance were quickly coming to an end. She lost her world record two weeks before the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow to Tatyana Biryulina (Soviet Union), and other athletes were also approaching her best mark. At Moscow, plagued by back injury, Fuchs could only finish in 8th place, prompting her subsequent retirement.

source: wikipedia, Ron Casey

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