Maritza Marten's first major success in her long and successful career
came when she won the discus title at the 1982 Pan-American Junior
Championships in Barquisimeto. Maritza continued this regional success
when she advanced to senior competition, finishing second at the 1983
Pan-American Games in Caracas, and then winning the gold at the 1987
edition held in Indianapolis. Later that year she competed at her first
World Championships in Rome where she finished ninth. Marten was
denied the opportunity of competing at the 1988 Olympic Games due to the
Cuban boycott, but in the following year, she tasted some international
success when she finished third at the World Cup in Barcelona,
repeating her result from Canberra four years earlier.
unable to defend her Pan-American title in early August 1991 due to a
herniated disc, although she did manage to compete at the World
Championships later that month where she finished in tenth place.
Maritza seemed due for a change of fortune, and this came her way at the
1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. In the final at Barcelona, on 3
August, Marten held the lead after round one with her opening throw of
65.66m. Tsvetanka Khristova (Bulgaria) took the lead in round two with a
throw of 67.78m, and even though Maritza (see photo above)
improved to 66.90m in round four, she still remained in second place.
Marten put the result beyond doubt on her next throw, when she hurled
the discus 70.06m to secure the gold medal.
On 27 September, Maritza
showed that this was no fluke, by winning the gold at the World Cup in
Havana with a throw of 69.30m. Maritza continued to compete for several
more years after that, gaining fourth places at both the 1993 and 1995
World Championships, and regaining her Pan-American title in 1995. (Ron Casey)
1996 60.08 Atlanta GA 28 JUL
1995 64.42 Göteborg 10 AUG
1993 64.62 Stuttgart 19 AUG
1992 70.68 Sevilla 18 JUL (PB)
1991 62.40 Tokyo 31 AUG
1987 62.00 Roma 31 AUG