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1985: Budd smashes 5,000m record
The controversial athlete, Zola Budd, has broken the world 5,000m record.

The bare-footed runner completed the distance in a time of 14 minutes and 48.07 seconds - 10 seconds faster than the previous record.

Budd came in nine seconds ahead of second-placed Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway - the former 5,000m record holder.

It is the second time she has broken the 5,000m world record.

The first time was in her homeland of South Africa last year when her achievement could not be recognized as the country is banned from international sport because of its policy of apartheid.

Her participation in the race at Crystal Palace in London was not publicised beforehand to avoid protests by anti-apartheid campaigners.


The fast-tracking of South African-born and bred Budd's application for British citizenship - on the strength of a British grandfather - caused uproar last year.

Critics said it was a ruse to allow her to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games.

Controversy followed her to the event in Los Angeles in 1984 when she collided in the 3,000m with US favourite, Mary Decker, who fell and failed to finish.

Budd came in seventh.

Since then Budd's cause has not been helped by her refusal to publicly condemn apartheid.

Protests at her British citizenship have not abated with time and anti-apartheid campaigners have sometimes forced Budd off the course during races.

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Zola Budd
Zola Budd came home well in front

In Context
Budd broke several British and world records but could never outrun the controversy that dogged her.

She returned to South Africa in 1988 and did not compete again on the world stage until 1992 after South Africa's had abolished apartheid and been re-admitted to international sport.

A long-anticipated "re-match" with Mary Decker in a road race in 1992 ended in an anti-climax, with Decker winning easily.

Difficulties in Budd's running career were accompanied by some in her private life.

In 1989 she argued over money with her father, Frank, and refused to let him give her away when she married Mike Pieterse later that year.

Five months after his daughter's wedding Frank Budd was shot dead by a hitchhiker who claimed he had made a homosexual pass at him.

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