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26 Jul 1980
Moscow 1980

Jahl takes discus gold again

When Evelin Schlaak came out of nowhere to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, she not only crushed her East German team mates but also left the world’s best trailing in her wake.

She had barely turned 20 yet stunned the crowd in Canada with an Olympic record throw of 69 metres to capture the gold medal.

Her success was dismissed as a flash in the pan by some of the media in her homeland, and the coverage only added fuel to her desire to retain the title at the Olympic Games in Moscow four years later.

She got married and enjoyed a succession of promotions in the East German army, but gold in Moscow was the focal point of her training regime.

She snared her second major world title at the World Cup, again in Moscow, and as the Games neared it was clear the spoils were going to be fought for by her and Bulgaria’s Maria Petkova.

Having finished World Cup runner-up in Moscow, Petkova seized the world record and went into the heart of battle at the Grand Arena as the slight favourite.

Schlaak, now competing under the married name of Jahl, qualified with the minimum of effort, just clearing the 60-metre mark with her best throw.

Petkova sent an effort over 65 metres to go through and the scene was set for a terrific showdown.

However, Jahl produced a sequence of throws never seen before in Olympic competition, recording the four biggest efforts in the event.

She won with yet another Olympic record mark of 69.96 metres, with Petkova again having to settle for the silver medal. Jahl retired two years later.

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