Silke RENK

Silke Renk - East Germany - 1992 Olympic Games javelin champion.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 30 August 1990

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      Friday, 30 June 1967
      Querfurt, Germany.
  • East Germany
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Silke RENK - East Germany - 1992 Olympic Games javelin champion.


Silke Renk's rise to become an Olympic gold medallist was one of gradual improvement, successfully finishing 5th, 4th and 3rd at major international championships before finally breaking through for gold at Barcelona in 1992. Due to the depth of East German women's javelin throwing in the 1980's, the young Silke found it difficult to gain international representation in her early years, despite the fact that she was steadily moving up the annual world rankings. A big breakthrough occurred in 1986, when Silke improved her pre-season best of 64.74m on a number of occasions, ultimately achieving a career best of 71.00m when she finished second to world record holder Petra Felke at the national championships in Rostock on 25 June.


This ensured Renk's selection on the East German team to her first Olympic Games in Seoul later that year. At Seoul, Renk finished third amongst the three East German competitors, although fifth overall, advancing one place in the order with her final throw of 66.38m. The following year she achieved her most significant victory thus far, when she easily won the gold medal at the World University Games in Duisburg on 30 August with a throw of 66.10m. This was just short of her longest throw of the year, 66.16m, which she achieved six days later in an international match between East Germany, Italy and Czechoslovakia. This performance placed Renk sixth on the world list that year, but again, due to the East German depth, only fourth in the national rankings. At the 1990 European Championships in Split, on 30 August 1990, Renk (see photo above) finished behind her two teammates as she had done at the Seoul Olympics, but this time she advanced her overall position from fifth to fourth with a best throw of 64.76m. (Ron Casey)