Gisela Birkemeyer

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Gisela Birkemeyer
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-75139-0006, Gisela Birkemeyer.jpg
Gisela Birkemeyer in 1960
Born Gisela Köhler
(1931-12-22) December 22, 1931 (age 83)
Ore Mountains (Germany)
Nationality German
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  Germany
Women's Athletics
Silver 1956 Melbourne 80 metre hurdles
Bronze 1960 Rome 80 metre hurdles

Gisela Birkemeyer (born December 22, 1931 in Fasendorf/Ore Mountains, Saxony) is a former athlete and Olympic medal winner from Germany, who was born as Gisela Köhler. She was one of the top athletes in the 80m hurdling.


In the German Democratic Republic (GDR) championships, Birkemeyer won gold in the 80m hurdles in the years 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960. In the 200m sprint, she also won gold in the same years. In the 80m hurdles, she continuously won the GDR masters between years 1953 and 1961.[1] [2]

Birkemeyer competed for the United Team of Germany and won two medals, the silver medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, behind the Australian Shirley Strickland and ahead of the Australian Norma Thrower. At the European Athletics Championships meeting in Stockholm in 1958, she was third in the 80-meter hurdles.[3] In 1959, she was voted GDR Sportswoman of the Year. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, she won the bronze medal behind Briton Carole Quinton and Irina Press, who competed for the Soviet Union. In addition, Birkemeyer became GDR champion in the 100m and 200m sprint 40 times between 1951 and 1964.

Birkemeyer belonged to the Sport Club Dynamo. She is 1.62 metres tall and had a racing weight of about of 60 kg. After the end of her sports career, she worked as a coach and was a member of the SC Dynamo Berlin, in East Berlin. She now lives as a pensioner in Berlin Marzahn.[4]


Preceded by
East Germany Karin Beyer
East German Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
East Germany Ingrid Krämer