Mary Decker

Mary Decker (Mary Teresa Decker, briefly Tabb, from 1985 Slaney; * August 4, 1958 in Flemington, New Jersey) is a former American track and field athlete who, according to both the duration of their career as well as after the successes, to the best middle and long distance runners is one at all.

Mary Decker was already 14 -year-old known as Little Mary Decker. In 1981 she married the American marathon runner Ron Tabb, from which they, however, soon divorced. On January 1, 1985, she married British discus thrower Richard Slaney and started from that date as Mary Slaney. Mary and Richard Slaney have a daughter. Mary Slaney is 1,68 m tall and weighed at the time of its greatest successes 51 kg.


Teenage years (until 1977 )

The age of 12 Mary Decker was the first time a marathon, she graduated with 3:09:27 hours. When Mary Decker in 1973 when Hall Länderkampf United States ran against the Soviet Union in the mile run, she was 14 years and 224 days, the youngest American woman who had ever represent the USA in an international match. In the summer of 1973, she won the outdoor meet against the Soviet Union, the 800 -meter run. In the indoor season in 1974, she ran a world record over 880 yards. In the years 1975 to 1977 Mary Decker did not occur to them since they was suffering from injuries.

World leader (1978-1985)

1978 Mary Decker came back on and immediately reached times of under 4:10 minutes in the 1500 meter race. In 1979 she won this distance at the Pan American Games. In 1980 she won the U.S. Trials for the Olympic Games in Moscow, where they not allowed to participate because of the Olympic boycott. Also in 1980 she put on her first mile world record. After she failed again in 1981 due to injury, she presented in 1982, now as Mary Tabb starting, world records in the 5000 -meter run and 10,000 -meter run on.

At the World Championships 1983 in Helsinki these two distances, however, were not on the program. Now she came back as Mary Decker in the 1500 -meter run and the 3000 -meter run. On August 10, she won the final over 3000 meters in 8:34,62 minutes before the West German Brigitte Kraus and the Russian Tatjana Kasankina. The first six runners remained under 8:38 minutes. Two days later, Mary Decker was lead best over 1500 meters. In the final on 14 August, she was able to keep in 4:00,90 minutes, the three representatives of the Soviet Union at bay. In recognition of her two world championship titles Decker was chosen by the magazine Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year 1983. A year earlier, she was honored with the Athlete of the Year Award from the Associated Press.

The blond darling of the American media was thus automatically moved into the favorites for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. They convincingly won the Trials in the 3000 -meter run. After excluding Romania, all countries of the Eastern bloc boycotted the Games, was the UK An incoming South African Zola Budd as their main competitor. In the first forward Mary Decker presented with 8:44,38 minutes to an Olympic record, which, however, was undercut in the third lead of the Romanian Maricica Puica. In the final, Mary Decker and Zola Budd competed for the tip, Decker fell after it collided with Budd's heel. The race was won in a time of 8:35,96 Puica minutes before the Briton Wendy Sly. Decker felt betrayed for gold, and the American media had their story.

In 1985 Mary Decker came again, but now as Mary Slaney. She put on her third mile world record and could not be beaten in the outdoor season in fourteen races. She won the IAAF Grand Prix in 1985 before the high jumper Stefka Kostadinowa.

Late career ( since 1987)

On May 30, 1986, a daughter was born. Although the mother took the end of the season in some races in part, but fell throughout the season 1987 because of injuries. At the U.S. Trials for the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 Mary Slaney won both the 1500-meter and 3000 meters. She reached over both distances the final, but 8th place over 1500 meters in 4:02,49 minutes and 10th place over 3000 meters in 8:47,13 min did not correspond to what they had imagined.

The following years were mostly affected by injuries. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta it was still once at the start, but resigned in the run over 5000 meters from. In the hall 1997 World Championships, she suddenly turned back in top form and finished second in 4:05,22 minutes into second place, just three hundredths of a second behind the Russian Jelena Podkopajewa.

Already at the U.S. Trials for the 1996 Olympic Games Mary Decker had been tested positive in a doping test. The ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone exceeded the specified maximum values ​​. This result was announced in summer 1997. It developed a long legal dispute in which Mary Slaney represented the high value as a natural consequence of their age and the use of contraceptives. The U.S. Association supported Mary Slaney, during the World Association insisted on a ban. In summer 1999, an arbitration panel of the IAAF ruled that Mary Slaney was retroactively to terminate in June 1996 and recognized her silver medal from 1997. Mary Slaney tried by ordinary courts to challenge this decision, but the courts declared themselves ultimately not responsible.

Personal best

  • 800 m: 1:56,90 min, August 16, 1985 Bern
  • 1500 m: 3:57,12 min, July 26, 1983 Stockholm
  • 1 miles: 4:16,71 min, August 21, 1985, Zurich
  • 2000 m: 5:32,7 min, August 3, 1984, Eugene
  • 3000 m: 8:25,83 min, September 7, 1985, Rome
  • 5000 m: 15:06,53 min, June 1, 1985, Eugene
  • 10,000 m: 31:35,3 min, July 16, 1982 Eugene