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  • Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

    There has been quite a bit of discussion on another thread about Marita Koch and Jarmila Kratochvilova, however what about that other great women's sprint rivalry of the 70s/80s, that between Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford?

    I thought they were both wonderful athletes, fascinating to watch. Ashford had one of the most dynamic actions I ever saw, however for some-one who focussed increasingly on the 10m during her career, I think her greatest run was possibly over 200m, when she won the World Cup in 1979. I believe that had she concentrated on that event a time of 21.5 was possible for her.

    As for Gohr, her level of consistency over 100m was astonishing, her list of victories speaking for itself. After 1979 she was pretty much a straight 100m specialist, yet in 1984 ran a 21.74 200m, 0.09 faster than Ashford's best, and just 0.03 slower than Marita Koch's world record!

    My personal opinion is that rivalries of that intensity and distinction are necessary in fuelling the athletes concerned to drive towards ever greater performances. I don't think Gohr, Ashford, Koch and Kratochvilova would ever have run as fast as they did had they not known that constant improvement would be necessary to keep pace with/beat their adversaries. I suspect that this awareness also contributed to the longevity of these athletes' careers. What does anyone else think?

    With regard to the Zurich 100m in 1984, heats were held before the final, and whilst Gohr appeared to have to qualify (thereby running two races), the record I have does not give a performance for Ashford in the heats. Was she given a straight bye to the final, does anyone know?

    Rog

  • #2
    Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

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    • #3
      Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

      >Rog makes some good points regarding the head-to-head competitions that took
      >place in the same era between pairs of well-matched athletes, and the
      >subsequent effect it had on the continued improvement of their performances, as
      >well as the longevity of their careers.

      Ashford was a fine sprinter, but I
      >would always side with Göhr. Ashford won on just enough occasions to make it
      >an interesting duel, but in my view Marlies was the superior sprinter. I guess
      >with being European myself, and seeing the impact that the likes of Göhr and
      >Koch had at three European Championships, in addition to the World
      >Championships and Olympic Games, it leaves the memories of their performances
      >uppermost in my mind. This is not to undermine the World Cup or Pan-Am Games,
      >but they didn't really command the same respect in my view.

      well i would have to disagree

      ashford was a better 100m sprinter than the DDR girls - she set the WR with a fantastic 10.76 - set in an epic race against gohr in zurich - thrashing her into 2nd with gohr running 10.84.
      have you forgotten this race already?

      on top of that gohr's PB was "only" 10.81 - a full 0.05s behind ashford's.

      head to head,i can think of 3 races: WC '79 - the epic double where ashford beat gohr over 100m & koch over 200m.
      gohr winning in '83 WC,beating ashford (who i think pulled up injured)

      then zurich '84 which was to be the decider after gohr couldn't go to LA because of boycott.
      what more could ashford do than crush her main rival in a fabulous WR,beating the old altitiude one by 0.03s & the previous sea-level best by 0.05s !!!
      this was ZURICH,not some Pan-Am games!

      ashford quite clearly was the faster 100m sprinter & supreme competitor over that distance (gohr even got beat by kondrateyeva in 11.00+ in moscow - i p!ssed myself laughing after seeing that - the gold was being handed to her on a plate & she still couldn't take it!)

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      • #4
        Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

        Actually, on consideration, maybe it's a bit shortsighted to focus so narrowly on Marlies Gohr's rivalry with Evelyn Ashford, for in actual fact the one athlete who deprived Marlies of championship gold was the Soviet Ludmila Kondratyeva, who pipped her in both the 1978 European 200m and 1980 Olympic 100m, on both occasions by just one-hundredth of a second.

        Rob, have you any insight into how Marlies herself felt about this matter?

        Rog

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        • #5
          Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

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          • #6
            Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

            Incidentally, Göhr also beat Ashford when winning
            >the 1977 World Cup in Düsseldorf (in case someone is counting).


            what was that won in?

            a WR? a ER?

            does it have the same resonance as 10.76 WR ?

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            • #7
              Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

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              • #8
                Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

                here is a very interesting link to a very well respected journal,from the brave couple who busted the DDR doping scandal in the early '90's:

                http://www.clinchem.org/cgi/content/ful ... e=clinchem

                it is long,but outlines in detail the DDR's systematic doping programme.if you have the time,read it.

                of relevance to this topic is Footnote 3, at the bottom of the page

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                • #9
                  Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

                  That's the list of all Evelyn Ashford and Marlies Göhr matches:

                  Montreal'76 (OG sf) 2.EA 11.21, 4.MG 11.29
                  Montreal'76 (OG) 5. EA 11.24, 8.MG 11.34
                  Dusseldorf'77 (WCp) 1.MG 11.16, 5.EA 11.48
                  Montreal'79 (WCp) 1. EA 11.06, 2. MG 11.17
                  Roma'81 (WCp) 1.EA 11.02, 3.MG 11.13
                  Los Angeles'83 (60yi) 1.EA 6.55, 2.MG 6.69
                  Los Angeles'83 (USAvsGDR) 1.MG 11.39, 2.EA 11.53
                  Helsinki'83 (WCh qf) 1.EA 11.11, 2.MG 11.16
                  Helsinki'83 (WCh) 1.MG 10.97, EA dnf
                  Zürich'84 1.EA 10.76, 2.MG 10.84
                  Rieti'86 1.EA 10.88, 2.MG 11.01
                  Sestrières'88 1.EA 10.94, 6.MG 11.23
                  Seoul'88 (OG qf) 1.EA 10.88, 3.MG 10.99
                  Seoul'88 (OG sf) 1.EA 10.99, 6.MG 11.13
                  Tokyo'88 2.EA 11.14, 3.MG 11.30

                  Their 10 best 100m times:
                  Ashford
                  10.76 (+1.7) Zürich'84
                  10.79A (+0.6) Colorado Springs'83
                  10.81 (+1.2) Indianapolis'88
                  10.85 (+1.6) Indianapolis'88
                  10.88 (+1.9) Rieti'86
                  10.88 (+1.6) Seoul'88
                  10.90A (+0.6) Colorado Springs'81
                  10.91 (+0.2) Moskva'86
                  10.92 (+1.2) Berlin'84
                  10.93 (+0.1) Westwood'82
                  Avg 10.863
                  Göhr
                  10.81 (+1.7) Berlin'83
                  10.84 (+1.7) Zürich'84
                  10.86 (+0.4) Potsdam'84
                  10.86 (+2.0) Berlin'85
                  10.87 (+1.8) Dresden'84
                  10.88 (+2.0) Dresden'77
                  10.88 (+1.9) Karl-Marx-Stadt'82
                  10.89 (+0.7) Erfurt'84
                  10.89 (+2.0) Neubrandenburg'88
                  10.90 (+1.1) Karl-Marx-Stadt'83
                  Avg 10.868

                  Evelyn Ashford beat Marlies Göhr 12 times on 15 occasions. Their 10 best times are pretty similar, but Göhr had more sub11sec times than Ashford (33 vs 23), although Ashford had a longer international career than Göhr (1976-1992 vs 1976-1988). Fortunately, they ran a race where they were both at their top form in 1984, it was in Zürich, where Ashford produced that superb 10.76 in spite of that missed start.

                  Göhr was the clear favourite in Moskva 1980 Olympics, she said her blocks ripped, but don't forget that Kondratyeva had to slow down a little because of her injury in the last meters of the race. The fact is that Kondratyeva was in great shape, and i think she deserved her 10.87 (wind +1.9) in Leningrad. The WR was then held by Göhr with 10.88 since Dresden'77, and for those who watched the race, it's clear that Göhr had a "perfect" start, she clearly reacted before her oponents, but there was no electronic false-start apparatus anyway...

                  About 200m, it was Ashford's favourite events, but injuries prevented her to run it more often, in 1981, she and coach Connolly said that 21.50 was definitively on the plans.
                  Marlies Göhr ran 200m even more sparingly, and apparently, she was stunned to run 21.74, but like MJ who ran 19.32, if they ran it, they worthed it!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

                    PJ: what was that "missed" start in her 10.76 about?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

                      >PJ: what was that "missed" start in her 10.76 about?

                      Probably a bad reaction.
                      You can see it from this video:
                      http://bubonicfilms.com/flicks/TnF/ashford100m.WMV

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                      • #12
                        Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

                        Rob,

                        That point you make about possible Soviet cheating in Moscow 1980 is one I've heard before, what about the men's triple jump and the throwing events?

                        It was also pretty blatant in connection with the long relays, when the top Soviet runners didn't appear in the heats, then medical certificates were produced for weaker teammates before the final, enabling the leading athletes to be brought in as substitutes (this was before it was possible to vary team composition). In both cases the USSR were able to marginally pip the GDR teams, that margin of victory probably ensured by the freshness of the "new" runners.

                        I thought that women's 4x400m was a fabulous race, both teams ran tremendously apart from Christina Brehmer/Lathan's injury on the third leg. Does anyone know if it occurred spontaneously, or did she hit her foot on the kerb? I have wondered since whether this sub-par run was the cause of her premature exit from the GDR squad.

                        Rob, given what you've said about USSR-GDR team relations, how did the GDR squad cope with being upstaged by their bitter rivals on Soviet soil? Did they feel any extra pressure to succeed, and how did they view the significant upsurge in standards of the home team?

                        Rog

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                        • #13
                          Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

                          Probably a bad
                          >reaction.
                          You can see it from this
                          >video:
                          http://bubonicfilms.com/flicks/TnF/ashford100m.WMV

                          thanks very much X-King!

                          ottey also was in that race.

                          am i mistaken,or are heike & koch in there as well?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

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                            • #15
                              Re: Marlies Gohr and Evelyn Ashford

                              GDR wasn't USSR's only target in those Games, actually the target was any strong competitor suposed to win medals ahead USSR athletes. Joao de Oliveira and Luis Delis were robed during the TJ and DT finals.

                              Eldrick:
                              Ottey and Drechsler didn't competed in Zürich 1984. Koch ran (and won) 200m and 4x100m.
                              The result for that race were:
                              1. Evelyn ASHFORD 10.76 WR
                              2. Marlies GÖHR 10.84 SB
                              3. Diane WILLIAMS 11.04 SB
                              4. Ingrid AUERSWALD 11.04 PB
                              5. Silke GLADISCH 11.11
                              6. Angela BAILEY 11.25 SB
                              7. Rose-Aimée BACOUL 11.34 SB
                              8. Grace JACKSON inj
                              Quote after the race, Ashford: "it was nice of Göhr (to grab her hands after the race), i don't think i could have done the same thing".
                              I think Göhr could have run 10.76 as an ultimate best during her career, but never put all things together to do so. Her 1984 season was beautiful anyway, assuming she knew she won't run in Los Angeles.

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