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| Event type

3,000 metres, Women

Date8 – 10 August 1984
StatusOlympic
LocationLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Participants30 from 21 countries

The heavy favorite in this event was America’s Mary Decker who had shocked the Europeans when she won the 1,500 and 3,000 at the inaugural World Championships in 1983. But Decker was not running as well in 1984, and she elected to drop out of the 1,500 after finishing second at the Olympic Trials, deciding to concentrate on the 3,000. Her biggest challenge was expected to come from Romania’s Maricica Puică, who had been the world best in this event in 1981. Much of the pre-race hype, however, focused on South African Zola Budd, an 18-year-old prodigy who had been ranked #1 in the world in 1983 in the 5,000 metres. Budd also ran barefooted, which added to her allure. The problem was that in 1984 South Africa was not affiliated with the IOC, having been banned in 1968 because of apartheid and the fact that South Africa would not allow blacks to compete equally in sports. But Budd had an out. Her father’s father was British so she could legally apply for citizenship there if she set up residence in Great Britain. A few months before the Olympics she and her parents moved to Britain and shortly thereafter, she was granted British citizenship.

The stage was set for a top race, and all three runners made the final easily. In the final, Decker led the field thru the first 1,000. At 1,700 metres, she and Budd collided and Decker fell to the track. She had injured her hip and was unable to continue, crying on the infield, as the field continued. Budd was shaken, as Decker had been her idol, and she was further shaken when the American crowd booed her mercilessly throughout the race. Puică and Wendy Sly (GBR) went to the fore just before the bell and Budd could not respond. Puică took the lead on the final backstretch and won quite comfortably, with Sly holding on for the silver medal. Budd would finish seventh. After the race, Budd tried to apologize to Decker, who was quite angry, and ungraciously refused her apology. Budd was initially disqualified for the incident but after review of race tapes, it was determined that she was not at fault and her place was allowed to stand.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1Final
1316Maricica PuicăROU8:43.32 (1 h3)8:35.96 (1)GoldOR
2175Wendy SlyGBR8:58.66 (3 h2)8:39.47 (2)Silver
367Lynn WilliamsCAN8:45.77 (2 h1)8:42.14 (3)Bronze
4363Cindy BremserUSA8:43.97 (2 h3)8:42.78 (4)
5324Cornelia BürkiSUI8:45.82 (4 h3)8:45.20 (5)
6300Aurora CunhaPOR8:46.38 (4 h1)8:46.37 (6)
7151Zola BuddGBR8:44.62 (3 h3)8:48.80 (7)
8382Joan HansenUSA8:58.64 (2 h2)8:51.53 (8)
9294Dianne RodgerNZL8:47.90 (5 h1)8:56.43 (9)
10232Agnese PossamaiITA8:45.84 (3 h1)9:10.82 (10)
AC r2/2125Brigitte KrausFRG8:57.53 (1 h2)– (AC)
AC r2/2373Mary DeckerUSA8:44.38 (1 h1)– (AC)
4 h2 r1/2302Albertina MachadoPOR9:01.77 (4 h2)
5 h2 r1/213Donna GouldAUS9:05.56 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/2213Monica JoyceIRL8:54.34 (5 h3)
6 h1 r1/2156Jane FurnissGBR8:48.00 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/2329Eva ErnströmSWE9:06.54 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/242Geri FitchCAN9:07.18 (6 h3)
7 h1 r1/2261Hellen KimaiyoKEN8:57.21 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/2114Annette SergentFRA9:15.82 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/2411Marcianne MukamurenziRWA9:27.08 (7 h3)
8 h1 r1/2218Róisín SmythIRL9:01.69 (8 h1)
8 h2 r1/243Sue FrenchCAN9:24.66 (8 h2)
8 h3 r1/2212Geeta ZutshiIND9:40.63 (8 h3)
9 h1 r1/2252Raida Abdallah BaderJOR10:48.00 (9 h1)
9 h2 r1/29Liliana GóngoraARG9:41.14 (9 h2)
9 h3 r1/289Kriscia GarcíaESA9:42.28 (9 h3)
10 h2 r1/2335Mwinga MwanjalaTAN9:42.66 (10 h2)
AC h3 r1/272Mónica RegonesiCHI– (AC h3)
AC h3 r1/2303Rosa MotaPOR– (AC h3)
DNS271Helen RitterLIE– (DNS h1)

Round One (8 August 1984 — 19:20)

Top three in each heat and next three fastest advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1373Mary DeckerUSA8:44.38QOR
267Lynn WilliamsCAN8:45.77Q
3232Agnese PossamaiITA8:45.84Q
4300Aurora CunhaPOR8:46.38q
5294Dianne RodgerNZL8:47.90q
6156Jane FurnissGBR8:48.00
7261Hellen KimaiyoKEN8:57.21
8218Róisín SmythIRL9:01.69
9252Raida Abdallah BaderJOR10:48.00
DNS271Helen RitterLIE

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1125Brigitte KrausFRG8:57.53Q
2382Joan HansenUSA8:58.64Q
3175Wendy SlyGBR8:58.66Q
4302Albertina MachadoPOR9:01.77
513Donna GouldAUS9:05.56
6329Eva ErnströmSWE9:06.54
7114Annette SergentFRA9:15.82
843Sue FrenchCAN9:24.66
99Liliana GóngoraARG9:41.14
10335Mwinga MwanjalaTAN9:42.66

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1316Maricica PuicăROU8:43.32QOR
2363Cindy BremserUSA8:43.97Q
3151Zola BuddGBR8:44.62Q
4324Cornelia BürkiSUI8:45.82q
5213Monica JoyceIRL8:54.34
642Geri FitchCAN9:07.18
7411Marcianne MukamurenziRWA9:27.08
8212Geeta ZutshiIND9:40.63
989Kriscia GarcíaESA9:42.28
AC72Mónica RegonesiCHIDNF
AC303Rosa MotaPORDNF

Final (10 August 1984 — 18:40)

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1316Maricica PuicăROU8:35.96OR
2175Wendy SlyGBR8:39.47
367Lynn WilliamsCAN8:42.14
4363Cindy BremserUSA8:42.78
5324Cornelia BürkiSUI8:45.20
6300Aurora CunhaPOR8:46.37
7151Zola BuddGBR8:48.80
8382Joan HansenUSA8:51.53
9294Dianne RodgerNZL8:56.43
10232Agnese PossamaiITA9:10.82
AC125Brigitte KrausFRGDNF
AC373Mary DeckerUSADNF

Splits

1000 m2:50.5Zola Budd-Pieterse
2000 m5:44.1Zola Budd-Pieterse