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| Event type

400 metres, Women

Date25 – 29 July 1976
StatusOlympic
LocationStade olympique, Parc olympique, Montréal, Québec
Participants38 from 19 countries
Olympic Record 51.08 / Monika Zehrt GDR / 7 September 1972

Irena Szewińska-Kirszenstein had started out as a long jumper and short sprinter but in the mid-70s turned her attention to the 400 metres. In 1974 she became the first woman to run 400 metres in under 50 seconds, recording 49.9 at the Kusociński Memorial meet in Warszawa. In May 1976 Christina Brehmer (GDR) broke that record running 49.77 in Dresden, but Szewińska-Kirszenstein took the record back shortly before the Olympics, running 49.75, again at the Kusociński Memorial. In the final, the race was close for 300 metres but Szewińska-Kirszenstein blasted the last 100 metres and won by almost 10 metres, Brehmer coming in second. The time was a world record 49.29. Szewińska-Kirszenstein later became a member of the IOC, but the first woman to become an IOC Member was Finland’s Pirjo Häggman, who placed fourth in this race.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1QFSFFinal
1277Irena SzewińskaPOL52.75 (3 h4)52.00 (4 h4)50.48 (1 h1)49.28 (1)GoldWR
2137Christina BrehmerGDR52.45 (1 h1)51.67 (2 h2)50.86 (2 h2)50.51 (2)Silver
3164Ellen StreidtGDR52.56 (1 h3)51.33 (2 h1)50.51 (2 h1)50.55 (3)Bronze
494Pirjo HäggmanFIN52.73 (4 h6)51.35 (3 h1)51.03 (3 h2)50.56 (4)
5360Rosalyn BryantUSA52.01 (1 h5)51.74 (2 h4)50.62 (1 h2)50.65 (5)
6369Sheila IngramUSA51.83 (1 h4)51.31 (1 h1)50.90 (3 h1)50.90 (6)
799Riitta SalinFIN52.57 (2 h5)51.62 (1 h4)51.26 (4 h1)50.98 (7)
8380Debra SapenterUSA52.33 (1 h2)51.23 (1 h3)51.34 (4 h2)51.66 (8)
5 h1 r3/46Beth NailAUS52.98 (4 h5)51.71 (3 h3)51.44 (5 h1)
5 h2 r3/4338Nadezhda IlyinaURS51.97 (1 h6)51.32 (2 h3)51.42 (5 h2)
6 h1 r3/4325Lyudmila AksyonovaURS52.90 (3 h5)51.73 (4 h1)51.55 (6 h1)
6 h2 r3/42Verna BurnardAUS52.10 (2 h6)51.79 (3 h2)51.71 (6 h2)
7 h1 r3/422Christiane WildschekAUT52.65 (2 h3)52.25 (4 h3)52.20 (7 h1)
7 h2 r3/4186Rita WildenFRG53.08 (3 h1)52.41 (4 h2)51.82 (7 h2)
8 h2 r3/4351Nataliya SokolovaURS52.45 (2 h4)51.63 (1 h2)51.95 (8 h2)
3 h4 r2/4149Marita KochGDR52.78 (3 h2)51.87 (3 h4)– (DNS h1)
5 h1 r2/4172Dagmar FuhrmannFRG52.58 (3 h6)52.02 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/4129Gladys TaylorGBR53.46 (5 h4)53.71 (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/4115Verona ElderGBR52.60 (2 h1)52.70 (5 h3)
5 h4 r2/4122Donna MurrayGBR52.75 (2 h2)52.29 (5 h4)
6 h1 r2/43Judy CantyAUS52.88 (3 h3)52.65 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/496Marika LindholmFIN53.64 (6 h4)54.07 (6 h2)
6 h3 r2/433Rosine WallezBEL52.94 (5 h3)53.04 (6 h3)
6 h4 r2/4216Rita BottiglieriITA53.37 (6 h6)52.51 (6 h4)
7 h1 r2/425Lorna FordeBAR53.93 (4 h1)53.62 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/477Joyce YakubowichCAN53.35 (4 h4)55.02 (7 h2)
7 h3 r2/4175Silvia HollmannFRG53.73 (5 h2)53.77 (7 h3)
7 h4 r2/427Regina BergBEL53.66 (4 h2)53.14 (7 h4)
8 h1 r2/461Rachelle CampbellCAN54.54 (5 h1)54.16 (8 h1)
8 h3 r2/4237Ruth SimpsonJAM54.07 (5 h5)53.88 (8 h3)
8 h4 r2/471Marg StrideCAN53.21 (5 h6)53.14 (8 h4)
4 h3 r1/4234Marilyn NeufvilleJAM52.93 (4 h3)– (DNS h2)
6 h2 r1/4230Helen BlakeJAM53.93 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/4393Jelica PavličićYUG54.11 (6 h3)
6 h5 r1/4248Helen RitterLIE58.52 (6 h5)
7 h2 r1/4281Ileana HockingPUR57.85 (7 h2)
7 h4 r1/479Céléstine N'DrinCIV54.13 (7 h4)
7 h6 r1/4197Rose-Marie GauthierHAI1:13.27 (7 h6)
DNS35Debbie JonesBER– (DNS h5)
DNS214Rita HendricksISV– (DNS h1)
DNS300Marième BoyeSEN– (DNS h1)
DNS303Chee Swee LeeSGP– (DNS h3)

Round One (25 July 1976 — 15:00)

Top five in each heat and next two fastest advanced to the quarter-finals.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
15Christina BrehmerGDR52.45Q
26Verona ElderGBR52.60Q
33Rita WildenFRG53.08Q
42Lorna FordeBAR53.93Q
54Rachelle CampbellCAN54.54Q
DNS7Rita HendricksISV
DNS1Marième BoyeSEN

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
16Debra SapenterUSA52.33Q
25Donna MurrayGBR52.75Q
34Marita KochGDR52.78Q
42Regina BergBEL53.66Q
53Silvia HollmannFRG53.73Q
67Helen BlakeJAM53.93
71Ileana HockingPUR57.85

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
12Ellen StreidtGDR52.56Q
24Christiane WildschekAUT52.65Q
36Judy CantyAUS52.88Q
43Marilyn NeufvilleJAM52.93Q
55Rosine WallezBEL52.94Q
67Jelica PavličićYUG54.11
DNS1Chee Swee LeeSGP

Heat Four

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
16Sheila IngramUSA51.83Q
25Nataliya SokolovaURS52.45Q
31Irena SzewińskaPOL52.75Q
44Joyce YakubowichCAN53.35Q
57Gladys TaylorGBR53.46Q
63Marika LindholmFIN53.64q
72Céléstine N'DrinCIV54.13

Heat Five

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
11Rosalyn BryantUSA52.01Q
23Riitta SalinFIN52.57Q
34Lyudmila AksyonovaURS52.90Q
42Beth NailAUS52.98Q
55Ruth SimpsonJAM54.07Q
67Helen RitterLIE58.52
DNS6Debbie JonesBER

Heat Six

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
17Nadezhda IlyinaURS51.97Q
26Verna BurnardAUS52.10Q
32Dagmar FuhrmannFRG52.58Q
41Pirjo HäggmanFIN52.73Q
55Marg StrideCAN53.21Q
63Rita BottiglieriITA53.37q
74Rose-Marie GauthierHAI1:13.27

Quarter-Finals (26 July 1976 — 16:20)

Top four in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
13Sheila IngramUSA51.31Q
22Ellen StreidtGDR51.33Q
35Pirjo HäggmanFIN51.35Q
41Lyudmila AksyonovaURS51.73Q
54Dagmar FuhrmannFRG52.02
68Judy CantyAUS52.65
76Lorna FordeBAR53.62
87Rachelle CampbellCAN54.16

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
18Nataliya SokolovaURS51.63Q
25Christina BrehmerGDR51.67Q
34Verna BurnardAUS51.79Q
43Rita WildenFRG52.41Q
57Gladys TaylorGBR53.71
62Marika LindholmFIN54.07
71Joyce YakubowichCAN55.02
DNS6Marilyn NeufvilleJAM

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
14Debra SapenterUSA51.23Q
23Nadezhda IlyinaURS51.32Q
35Beth NailAUS51.71Q
47Christiane WildschekAUT52.25Q
52Verona ElderGBR52.70
68Rosine WallezBEL53.04
76Silvia HollmannFRG53.77
81Ruth SimpsonJAM53.88

Heat Four

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
17Riitta SalinFIN51.62Q
26Rosalyn BryantUSA51.74Q
38Marita KochGDR51.87Q
45Irena SzewińskaPOL52.00Q
51Donna MurrayGBR52.29
64Rita BottiglieriITA52.51
73Regina BergBEL53.14
82Marg StrideCAN53.14

Semi-Finals (26 July 1976 — 18:55)

Top four in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
15Irena SzewińskaPOL50.48QOR
22Ellen StreidtGDR50.51Q
38Sheila IngramUSA50.90Q
44Riitta SalinFIN51.26Q
57Beth NailAUS51.44
66Lyudmila AksyonovaURS51.55
71Christiane WildschekAUT52.20
DNS3Marita KochGDR

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
13Rosalyn BryantUSA50.62Q
24Christina BrehmerGDR50.86Q
32Pirjo HäggmanFIN51.03Q
48Debra SapenterUSA51.34Q
56Nadezhda IlyinaURS51.42
61Verna BurnardAUS51.71
77Rita WildenFRG51.82
85Nataliya SokolovaURS51.95

Final (29 July 1976 — 16:20)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
14Irena SzewińskaPOL49.28WR
22Christina BrehmerGDR50.51
38Ellen StreidtGDR50.55
41Pirjo HäggmanFIN50.56
57Rosalyn BryantUSA50.65
63Sheila IngramUSA50.90
76Riitta SalinFIN50.98
85Debra SapenterUSA51.66