Olympic Medals
Games Participations1
First Olympic GamesBarcelona 1992
Year of Birth1966


Ellen van Langen had a relatively short athletics career, which was hampered by many injuries. Van Langen played football in her youth and took up athletics and middle-distance running seriously in 1987, when she was already 21-years-old. She rose to prominence in 1989, when she won a Universiade silver in the 800 m. At the 1990 European Championships, van Langen finished fourth in the 800 m and at the 1991 World Championships she did not advance from the first round heat of the 800.

At the 1992 Olympics, van Langen was not considered a favorite in the 800, despite leading the 1991 world list, that role going to 1991 World champion Liliya Nurutdinova. But in the Olympic final, van Langen outsprinted Nurutdinova in the final stretch to win gold. For this she was selected as 1992 Dutch Sportswoman of the Year. After her Olympic triumph, van Langen’s career was plagued by injuries, her most notable finish being sixth in the 800 at the 1995 Worlds. She was also Dutch 800 m champion in 1989-90, 1992 and 1996 and 1,500 m champion in 1990. Van Langen retired from sports in 1998 and later worked as an athletics manager. She has also been ambassador of both Right to Play International and Hartekind Foundation.

Olympic Results

Athlete Olympic Results Content

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