Evelyn Ashford

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Evelyn Ashford (born April 15, 1957 in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American athlete, the 1984 Olympic champion in the 100 m.

As a 19-year-old, Ashford finished 5th in the 100 m event at the 1976 Summer Olympics. After beating the World Record holders in the 100 m and 200 m in 1979, Ashford was one of the potential gold medalists for the 1980 Summer Olympics, but these Games were boycotted by the United States.

In 1983, she first set the World Record in the 100 meters at 10.79 seconds and wanted to win the 100 meter title at the inaugural World Championships in Helsinki. In the final, however, she pulled a hamstring muscle and fell.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics, Ashford finally had a chance to win a gold medal, especially since the East Germans boycotted the Olympics. But Ashford became injured shortly before the Games and had to withdraw from the 200 m heats. She did compete in the 100 m, and with success, winning the event in a new Olympic Record. As the final runner for the relay team, she won a second gold medal. Later in the season, she defeated the East German women while setting a World Record.

At the 1988 Summer Olympics, she was beaten in the 100 m by Florence Griffith Joyner, who had broken her World Record earlier at the Olympic Trials. In the 4 x 100 m, she again ran the final leg, winning her third Olympic gold medal in spite of a sloppy exchange.

At her last Olympics, in 1992, Ashford was eliminated in the 100 m semi-finals, but won her third straight Olympic 4 x 100 m relay title.

See also

Olympic medalists in athletics (women) | Olympic Champions in Women's 100 m
Betty Robinson | Stanislawa Walasiewicz | Helen Stephens | Fanny Blankers-Koen | Marjorie Jackson | Betty Cuthbert | Wilma Rudolph | Wyomia Tyus | Renate Stecher | Annegret Richter | Lyudmila Kondratyeva | Evelyn Ashford | Florence Griffith Joyner | Gail Devers | Marion Jones | Yulia Nesterenko
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