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Since women were first allowed to compete in the track and field events at the 1928 Olympic Games, Britain has produced just seven gold medallists.

It took until 1964 to register a first gold, when Mary Rand set a new long jump world record to become Britain's first "golden girl".

Kelly Holmes wins gold in Athens

Ann Packer added 800m gold to her 400m silver at the same Tokyo Games to quickly become the second.

Dame Mary Peters claimed the next gold eight years later in Munich in the now defunct pentathlon and it was another 12 years before Tessa Sanderson's javelin triumph at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Sally Gunnell was Britain's fifth gold medallist, taking the 400m hurdles title at the 1992 Barcelona Games before Denise Lewis ended another eight-year run without a gold by winning the heptathlon in Sydney.

But it is Britain's seventh gold medallist that is the real subject of today's penultimate countdown piece.

In the space of 10 days at the last Olympics in Athens, Dame Kelly Holmes became the most successful female British track and field Olympian by winning two golds at the same Games.

Holmes became only the third female to win the 800m and 1500m at the same Olympics and only the second Brit to complete the feat, emulating Albert Hill in 1920 and outshining legendary middle distance runners Steve Ovett and Seb Coe.

And while Holmes was always among the favourites in Athens, she still had to beat three-time 800m world champion and training partner Maria Mutola, before taking on Russia's 1500m world champion Tatyana Tomashova.

She timed her sprint finish to perfection in both races, coming from behind on the final straight to win almost on the line.

So, with the Games just hours away, will any of the class of 2008 join the magnificent seven?

Perhaps Kelly Sotherton has the best chance in the heptathlon.

Will Christine Ohuruogu replicate her world 400m gold or can Nicola Sanders reverse that result in Osaka?

Or will Paula Radcliffe finally take that elusive marathon gold?

It looks as strong a female team as Britain has ever had, but who will be our golden girl this time?

Peter Scrivener is a BBC Sport Journalist. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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