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Irena Kirszenstein-Szewińska

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 2
Bronze 2
Total 7
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, IOC member
SexFemale
Full nameIrena•Kirszenstein-Szewińska
Used nameIrena•Kirszenstein-Szewińska
Born24 May 1946 in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg (RUS)
Died29 June 2018 in Warszawa (Warsaw), Mazowieckie (POL)
Measurements176 cm / 60 kg
AffiliationsPolonia Warszawa, Warszawa (POL)
NOC Poland

Biography

With a total of seven Olympic medals in track & field Poland’s Irena Szewińska-Kirszenstein equaled the record of Australian Shirley Strickland de la Hunty (later bettered by Merlene Ottey). Szewińska-Kirszenstein won gold medals in the 4×100 metres relay (1964), the 200 metres (1968) and the 400 metres (1976) and she also won two silver and two bronze medals. Her Olympic career ended in 1980 when, in her fifth Games, she pulled up with a muscle strain in the semi-finals of the 400 metres. Her tally of 13 world records included her Olympic victories of 1968 (200 metres) and 1976 (400 metres) and at the European Championships she won a record ten medals (five gold, one silver, four bronze). Born to Polish-Jewish parents in the Soviet city of Leningrad, she returned to Poland at an early age and during an outstanding career set 38 Polish records. In 1967 she married her coach, Janusz Szewiński. In 1998, Irena Szewińska was named a member of the International Olympic Committee, serving until her death in 2018.

Personal Bests: 100 – 11.13 (1974); 200 – 22.21 (1974); 400 – 49.28 (1976); LJ – 6.67 (1968).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics POL Irena Kirszenstein
200 metres, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Poland 1 Gold
Long Jump, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics POL Irena Szewińska
100 metres, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze
200 metres, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Poland 7 h2 r1/2
Long Jump, Women (Olympic) 16 r1/2
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics POL Irena Szewińska
100 metres, Women (Olympic) 6 h2 r3/4
200 metres, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Poland DNS
Long Jump, Women (Olympic) DNS
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics POL Irena Szewińska
400 metres, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
1980 Summer Olympics Athletics POL Irena Szewińska
400 metres, Women (Olympic) 8 h2 r2/3
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Poland DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Poland DNS

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1964 Summer Olympics 21 October 1964 Athletics 4 × 100 metres Relay, Women Final 43.6 WR 1
1968 Summer Olympics 14 October 1968 Athletics 100 metres, Women Quarter-Finals, Heat Four 11.1 WR 1
1968 Summer Olympics 18 October 1968 Athletics 200 metres, Women Final 22.5 WR 1
1976 Summer Olympics 26 July 1976 Athletics 400 metres, Women Semi-Finals, Heat One 50.48 1
1976 Summer Olympics 29 July 1976 Athletics 400 metres, Women Final 49.28 WR 1

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Member International Olympic Committee 1998—2018 POL Irena Kirszenstein-Szewińska

Special Notes