Silke RENK

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

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 30 August 1990

Click on image to enlarge

      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)



   Photograph George Herringshaw 1st. August 1992. ©                                        


                                              Barcelona Olympic Javelin champion in 1992.

A significant factor in Silke Renk's early career as a javelin thrower was the excellent depth within that event amongst East Germany's female athletes. Consequently, although Silke was consistently amongst the top performers in the world up to 1990, she invariably always found herself behind one or more of her countrywomen, and indeed, found it difficult even gaining selection on national teams to international championships. This situation was exacerbated from 1991 onwards, following the unification of Germany, and the addition of former West German athletes to the pool from which national teams could be selected. Despite this added competition, Renk finished second at the national championships in 1991, ensuring her selection to compete at the World Championships in Tokyo, where she threw 66.80m to place third, winning her first medal at a major international championships. Renk finally achieved some ascendency within her own country when she won her first national title in 1992 with a throw of 64.40m.


This was also the year that Natalya Shikolenko (Belarus) emerged as a world-class javelin thrower. Shikolenko arrived at the Olympic Games in Barcelona as a firm favourite for the gold, with a season which included an undefeated record against Renk. Shikolenko confirmed this favouritism in the Olympic final on 1 August, when her 68.26m opening throw led the competition after round one. Renk's opening throw of 67.24m placed her in second place, and the two maintained these relative positions until the last round, when Renk (see photo above) produced a throw of 68.34m to just nip Shikolenko for the gold medal. That was Silke's last major success at a major international championships. She finished 6th at the 1993 World Championships, and did not qualify for the final at the 1995 and 1997 World Championships, nor at the 1996 Olympics. (Ron Casey)



Das bild oben zeigt den deutsche (DDR) sportler Silke Renk.

Silke Renk's record in major International championships.

Photo 7th. August 1992. © G. Herringshaw.

Speer Endrunde {Frauen}.

Olympische Spiele 1988

1. Petra Felke   GDR   74.68 OR
2. Fatima Whitbread   GBR   70.32
3. Beate Koch   DDR   67.30
4. Irina Kostiuchenkova   SOV   67.00
5. Silke Renk   GDR   66.38
6. Natalya Yermolovich   SOV   64.84
7. Donna Mayhew   USA   61.78
8. Ingrid Thyssen   FRG   60.76




Speer Endrunde {Frauen}

Europameisterschaft 1990

1. Paivi ALAFRANTTI   FIN   67.68m
2. Karen FORKEL   GDR   67.56m
3. Petra FELKE   GDR   66.56m
4. Silke RENK   GDR   64.76m
5. Katalin HARTAI   HUN   63.52m
6. Ingrid THYSSEN   FRG   61.84m



Speer Endrunde {Frauen}

Weltmeisterschaft 1991

1. Demei Xu   CHN   68.78m
2. Petra Felke-Meier   GER   68.68m
3. Silke Renk   GER   66.80m
4. Natalya Cherniyenko   SOV   65.22m
5. Trine Solberg-Hattestad   NOR   63.36m
6. Louise McPaul   AUS   63.34m
7. Dulce Garcia   CUB   62.68m
8. Peivi Alafrantti   FIN   62.26m




Speer Endrunde {Frauen}

Olympische Spiele 1992

1. Silke Renk   GER   68.34m
2. Natalya Shikolenko   CIS   68.26m
3. Karen Forkel   GER   66.86m
4. Tessa Sanderson   GBR   63.58m
5. Trine Hattestad   NOR   63.54m
6. Heli Rantanen   FIN   62.34m
7. Petra Meier   GER   59.02m
8. Dulce Garcia   CUB   58.26m




Speer Endrunde {Frauen}

Weltmeisterschaft 1993

1. Trine Solberg-Hattestad   NOR   69.18m
2. Karen Forkel   GER   65.80m
3. Natalya Shikolenko   BLR   65.64m
4. Tatyana Shikolenko   BLR   65.18m
5. Yekaterina Krasnikova-Ivakina   RUS   65.12m
6. Silke Renk   GER   64.00m
7. Claudia Isaila   ROM   61.54m
8. Felicia Tilea-Moldovan   ROM   61.24m