Ludmila Engquist - Sweden - 100m Hurdles Gold at 1997 World Cahmpionships.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 25 August 1999

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      Tuesday, 21 April 1964
      Tambovskaya Oblast, Russia
  • Sweden

Ludmila ENGQUIST - Sweden - 100m Hurdles Gold at 1997 World Cahmpionships.


Ludmila Engquist had experienced more than her fair share of emotional highs and lows in both her athletics career and life in general up to the end of 1996. After reaching a high in 1991 when she won the 100m hurdles world title, Ludmila had gone through bouts of injury; a marriage breakup; a drug suspension, of which she was eventually vindicated; a remarriage, and then gaining citizenship of Sweden under whose colours she won the 100m hurdles gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.


With this amount of emotional turmoil behind her, Engquist was able to concentrate on her running in 1997, when she was once again the world's best 100m hurdler. She ably demonstrated this supremacy at the World Championships in Athens. In the 100m final, held on 10 August, Michele Freeman (Jamaica) got off to a fast start, but Engquist caught her by the 7th hurdle and continued on to easily win the gold medal. Ludmila's 1998 season got off to a good start, but she then sustained a calf injury which caused her to miss the remainder of the season, including the opportunity to compete at the European Championships. If that wasn't enough bad luck, fate dealt Ludmila an even crueller blow when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.


She underwent surgery for the cancer on 21 April 1999, her 35th birthday, and after a subsequent course of chemotherapy, Engquist made a courageous and emotional final appearance at the 1999 World Championships in Seville. After easily winning her heat on 25 August (see photo above), Ludmila wept tears of joy after her semi-final victory in 12.50sec, as she had believed that 12.60sec was then her limit. She had even more reason to celebrate after the final, when she won the bronze medal in an even faster time of 12.47sec. (Ron Casey)





1999    12.47    +0.7    Sevilla    28 AUG
1998    12.72     -0.6    Sevilla    30 MAY
1997    12.50     -0.3    Athína   10 AUG
1996    12.47    +1.4    Atlanta     29 JUL
1992    12.26    +1.7    Sevilla    06 JUN (personal best)
1991    12.28    +1.8    Kyiv    11 JUL
1990    12.64     -0.4    Volgograd    18 AUG
1989    12.69     -0.9    Volgograd    10 JUN
1988    12.62    +1.3    Seoul    29 SEP
1988    12.62    +0.9    Sochi    01 JUN
1987    12.98    +1.6    Krasnodar    03 OCT
1986    13.41    +1.9    Bryansk    14 AUG 



After a distinguished athletic career she retired from running but wanted to become the

first woman ever to win gold medals at both the summer and winter Olympics, by competing

in and winning the inaugural two-woman bobsleigh event at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In late 2001, however, she was found guilty of having recently used banned drugs and

barred from competition for two years.