In 1991, Hassiba Boulmerka of Algeria scored a stunning upset victory in the 1,500m run at the World Athletics Championships. When she returned to Algiers, she was hailed as a national heroine and as a model for Arab women who wanted to break away from restrictive roles.
Holding on for victory
In the 1992 Olympic final, Lyudmila Rogacheva of Russia set a torrid pace and burned away the rest of the field ... except for Boulmerka. Two hundred metres from the finish, Boulmerka drove past Rogacheva and cruised to victory. The race was the first in which four women finished in less than four minutes. Later, Hassiba was one of the first people to be directly elected to the Athletes' Commission of the International Olympic Committee.