Monday, November 1, 2010

Margitta Gummel

Margitta Gummel (née Helmbold; born 29 June 1941 in Magdeburg) is a German former shot putter Olympic gold medalist. She competed for the Unified German team in the 1964 Summer Olympics, East Germany in the 1968 Summer Olympics, and East Germany again at the 1972 Summer Olympics. One of the details characterising Gummel was her rivalry with Nadezhda Chizhova of the Soviet Union.

Margitta Gummel did not win any medals in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where she competed in the shot put event. Later, at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, she won a gold medal in the shot put event, and, four years later, a silver medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, having been beaten by her rival Nadezhda Chizhova. In the 1968 shot put event, she became the first woman to throw more than 19 metres.

Gummel also competed for East Germany in the European Indoor Championships. In 1966, at Dortmund, she placed first in the shot put event. In 1968, this time at Madrid, she placed second in the shot put, beaten by Nadezhda Chizhova. At Sofia, in 1971, she also placed second in shot put, beaten again by Chizhova.

She also competed in the European Championships. In the 1966 Championships, held in Budapest, she placed second in the women's shot put. Chizhova placed first. She later competed in the 1969 Championships, held in Athens, with the same results. She also participated in the 1971 Championships, held in Helsinki, but this time received third as her rival Chizhova placed first.

It was later revealed that Gummel was one of the first East Germans to be administered steroids though she was not given her first dose of Turinabol until 28 July 1968, just under three months before the 1968 Games. A 1997 paper from the journal Clinical Chemistry reproduces charts from a 1973 DVfl scientific report that plot her Turinabol doses and competition distances for 1968, 1969 and 1972. The 1968 results show a 2 metre improvement in the space of the 3 months leading to her Olympic gold, in a fully trained athlete whose previous results had been consistent.

Full name: Margitta Gummel-Helmbold
Gender: Female
Height: 5'10" (177 cm)
Weight: 198 lbs (90 kg)
Born: June 29, 1941 in Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
Affiliations: SC DHfK, Leipzig (GER)
Country: GER Germany, GDR East Germany

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