acs rec

Marie-José Pérec

Marie-José Pérec (born May 9, 1968) is a French athlete, specialised in the 200 and 400 m, and a triple Olympic champion.

She was born in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe and moved to Paris when she was 16 years old.

Her first major international success in 1991, when she became World Champion in the 400 m in Tokyo. She then became the favourite for the Olympic 400 m title in 1992 in Barcelona which she went on to win, becoming the first Frenchwoman to win an athletics Olympic gold medal since 1968 when Colette Besson won the same event in Mexico City.

Four years later--again, as the defending 400 m World Champion--she entered in the 200 m at the Olympics in Atlanta. Surprisingly, she did win both events achieving the rare 200/400 m double gold medal. She won the 400 m in the Olympic record time of 48.25 seconds. Perec was the first athlete of either sex to win the 400 m title twice and to accomplish the 200/400 gold medal double at a non-boycotted Olympics; she completed her double 20 minutes before Michael Johnson matched the feat.

In addition to the Olympic and World titles, Pérec also won the European Championship 400 m individual and 4x400 m relay titles in Helsinki in 1994.

The 1996 two Olympic titles were Pérec's last international titles prior to the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. She was prepared to compete against Australia's Cathy Freeman in those Olympics, but just before the Games Pérec left the Olympic village in controversy and did not compete. She claimed to have been harassed by the Australian press since her arrival in Sydney.

Personal bests

Event Time (seconds) Wind (m/s) Date Venue All-time ranking
100 m 10.96 +1.2 27 July 1991 Dijon, France 43rd (15th)
200 m 21.99 (FR) +1.1 02 July 1993 Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France 21st (9th)
400 m 48.25 (FR), (OR) 29 July 1996 Atlanta, Georgia, USA 3rd (3rd)
400 m hurdles 53.21 (FR) 16 August 1995 Zürich, Switzerland 16th (6th)

  • Rankings outside the brackets are world rankings.
  • Rankings inside the brackets are European.
  • FR = French record
  • OR = Olympic record

External links

  • BBC Sport 21/9/2000:Perec out of Olympics:

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