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Sunday, 24 September, 2000, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Lewis makes it six for Brits
Sally Gunnell - the golden girl of Barcelona
Sally Gunnell - the golden girl of Barcelona
Denise Lewis became only the sixth British woman to win an athletics gold medal at the Olympics - BBC Sport Online profiles her predecessors.

Sally Gunnell
(400m hurdles Barcelona 1992)
Essex farmer's daughter Sally Gunnell switched from the high hurdles to the longer, more stamina-sapping demands of one-lap hurdles.

Going into final bend of the 1992 final she was trailing favourite Sandra Farmer-Patrick of the USA.

But when the American clipped the seventh hurdle, disturbing her rhythm, Gunnell took ruthless advantage, first hauling Farmer-Patrick in before overtaking her at the ninth hurdle to win by three and a half metres.

She proved her Olympic title was no fluke by winning the World Championship title the following year, and the European and Commonwealth titles in 1994.

Tessa Sanderson wept tears of joy in '84
Tessa Sanderson wept tears of joy in '84
Tessa Sanderson
(Javelin Los Angeles 1984)
Sanderson's place in Olympic history is preserved as the first British athlete to win a throwing event gold and revenge in Los Angeles was sweet for the Jamaican-born athlete.

Having been forced to witness Tina Lillak snatch the 1983 World Championship with her last throw in front of an adoring home Helsinki crowd, Sanderson threw the gauntlet down by setting a new Olympic record with her first throw.

Lillak came within two feet of Sanderson before she was forced to pull out of the competition and nobody else got near, including British team-mate Fatima Whtibread who had beaten Sanderson in 21 of the first 22 confrontations.

Who will ever forget the enduring image of Tessa crying tears of joy on the winner's rostrum.

Mary Peters - on track for glory at Munich
Mary Peters - on track for glory at Munich
Mary Peters
(Pentathlon Munich 1972)
If Mary Peters had run one tenth of a second slower in the 200m, she would have lost the 1972 pentathlon, her margin of victory over home favourite Heidimarie Rosendahl was that close.

Victory for the 33-year-old secretary from Belfast was little short of a fairy tale, having finished fourth in Tokyo in 1964 and ninth four years later in Mexico City.

An immensely popular figure in Belfast, she was able to transcend sectarian differences in Northern Ireland and use her influence for peace.

Ann Packer with fiancÚ Robbie Brightwell
Ann Packer with fiancÚ Robbie Brightwell
Ann Packer
(800m Tokyo 1964)
After winning a silver medal in the 400m Ann Packer had no plans to run in the 800m final and had a shopping trip planned until fiancÚ Robbie Brightwell finished a disappointing fourth in the men's 400m.

She decided to run the 800m for him - and how it paid dividends.

With favourites Dan Shin-geum and Dixie Willis ruled out, the event was an open race, even after France's Maryvonne Dupureur set an Olympic record in the semi-final.

In another heart-warming tale, Packer - cheered on by her fiancÚ - produced a stunning finishing kick to pass Dupureur in the home stretch.

Mary Rand jumped for joy in 1964
Mary Rand jumped for joy in 1964
Mary Rand
(Long jump Tokyo 1964)
As Mary Bignal, she was ranked favourite to win the long jump in Rome in 1960, but after running through twice she had to settle for ninth place.

Four years later in Tokyo, there were no mistakes from the now Mary Rand who produced a consistent series of jumps.

Four of her six jumps were personal bests, and her worst leap would have been good enough to win silver.

Unfamiliar with the metric system she was unaware that her fifth jump of 6.76m was a world record, installing her as the first British woman to win an Olympic track and field gold.

She later married US decathlon champion Bill Twomey.

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See also:

24 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Field
Britain's Golden girl
24 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Field
Brave Lewis hangs on for gold
24 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Field
Lewis the toast of British stars
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