Irena Szewińska

Poland POL

Athletics

  • Olympic Medals
    3 G
    2 S
    2 B
  • Games participations
    5
  • First Olympic Games
    Tokyo 1964
  • Year of Birth
    1946
Olympic Results

Biography

Irena Szewińska

Born to Polish parents in Leningrad in the Soviet Union, Irena Kirszenstein first competed in the Olympic Games as an 18-year-old at the 1964 Tokyo Games. She finished second in the long jump and the 200m and ran the second leg for the Polish 4x100m relay team that scored an upset victory in final.

Breaking the 50 second barrier

In 1967 she married Janusz Szewiński and arrived at the 1968 Games in Mexico City as Irena Szewińska. She failed to qualify for the final in the long jump and picked up a bronze medal in the 100m. Then she overcame a slow start to win the gold medal in the 200m in world record time. After adding a bronze medal in the 200 at the 1972 Munich Games, Szewińska switched to the 400m in 1973 and the following year she became the first woman to break the 50-second barrier.

IOC Member after an incredible sports career

At the 1976 Olympic Games, Szewińska won the 400m with another world record to bring her career total to seven medals in five different events. Between 1974 and 1978 she won 34 straight 400m finals. In 1980 she participated in the Olympic Games in Moscow, but pulled a muscle in the semifinals of the 400 and was eliminated. Szewińska was named a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1998.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Moscow 1980

#8 h2 r2/3
400 metres
400 metres Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Montreal 1976

G
400 metres
400 metres Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Munich 1972

#6 h2 r3/4
100 metres
100 metres Athletics
B
200 metres
200 metres Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Mexico City 1968

B
100 metres
100 metres Athletics
G
200 metres
200 metres Athletics
#7 h2 r1/2
4 x 100 metres Relay
4 x 100 metres Relay Athletics
#16 QR
Long Jump
Long Jump Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Tokyo 1964

S
200 metres
200 metres Athletics
G
4 x 100 metres Relay
4 x 100 metres Relay Athletics
S
Long Jump
Long Jump Athletics