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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 January, 2004, 12:20 GMT
Blankers-Koen dies
Fanny Blankers-Koen
Blankers-Koen was known as the "flying housewife"
Legendary Dutch athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen has died at the age of 85.

The sprinter set 20 world records in her career and became the only female athlete to win four gold medals at a single Olympics, in London in 1948.

She triumphed in the 100 metres, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m relay at White City and also made appearances at the 1936 and 1952 Games.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) voted her female athlete of the 20th Century.

Blankers-Koen was a 30-year-old mother of two when she enjoyed her record haul in 1948.

And she came in for criticism from certain quarters for neglecting her duties at home.

Others, meanwhile, dismissed her chances, saying she was too old to compete.

But she set that record straight on the Wembley track.

IAAF president Lamine Diack paid tribute on Sunday to Blankers-Koen and her achievements.

"The whole athletics world mourns the parting of this great ambassador for our sport," he said.

"Her career feats have yet to be matched, a fact which was reflected in her election in 1999 as the greatest female athlete of the 20th century.".

Dutch Olympic and world judo champion Anton Geesink said Blankers-Koen would be remembered as one of the Netherlands' greatest athletes ever.

Fedde Zwanenburg, director of the FBK Games, the country's largest international track and field event, said Blankers-Koen would be commemorated at this year's event.

BBC Sport's John Rawling
"She rewrote perceptions of women's role in sport"

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