Evelyn Ashford - U.S.A. - A third relay Olympic gold in 1992

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 14 July 1991

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      Monday, 15 April 1957
      Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.A.
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Evelyn ASHFORD - U.S.A. - A third relay Olympic gold in 1992

Evelyn Ashford's old rival Marlies Gohr (East Germany) had retired after the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, as had Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA), who had defeated Evelyn in the 100m final at Seoul. Despite their departures, Ashford continued to compete on equal terms against new and younger opponents on the world sprinting scene. She raced sparingly in 1989, although only three women recorded faster times over 100m than her season's best of 11.05sec. The following year Evelyn slipped to 7th on the yearly list, and finished third at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich, which brought together all of the world's top sprinters.

In 1991, the major meet of the year was the World Championships in Tokyo. Ashford had an unlucky history in this competition, tearing her right hamstring and failing to finish in 1983, and missing the 1987 edition due to injury. At Tokyo, Ashford finished 5th in the 100m final, but her run of bad luck at World Championships continued to dog her in the 4 x 100m relay. As three members of their team had made the individual 100m final, it was expected that the USA would win a medal in the relay, but they were eliminated in the heats with a dropped baton, ruining Evelyn's final chance to win a World Championships medal.

Ashford's last major championships was the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, 16 years after her first Olympic appearance in Montreal. Evelyn comfortably won her quarter-final of the 100m, but was eliminated in the semi-finals when she finished fifth, only 0.01sec behind the fourth-placed qualifier. However, her Olympic story had a happy ending, when the 35 year-old Ashford ran the opening leg on the victorious USA 4 x 100m relay team, earning Evelyn her third consecutive Olympic relay gold medal. (Ron Casey)

Women's 4x100m. relay Final.
 Olympic Games 1992.
1. United States (E. ASHFORD, E. Jones, C. Guidry, G. Torrence) 42.11
2. CIS (O.Bogoslovskaya, G.Malchugina, M.Trandenkova, I.Privalova) 42.16
3. Nigeria (B. Utondu, F. Idehen, O. Thompson, M. Onyali) 42.81
4. France 42.85
5. Germany 43.12
6. Australia 43.77
Jamaica DNF
Cuba DNF