Letitia Vriesde

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Letitia Vriesde
Personal information
Born 5 October 1964

Letitia Alma Vriesde (born 5 October 1964 in Coronie) is a female former track and field athlete from Suriname, who specialised in the 800 m but was also successful over 1500 m. She is the first (and as of 2014, only) sportsperson from Suriname to compete at five Olympic Games.[1] Vriesde holds the South American records for 800 m, 1000 m and 1500 m (indoors and outdoors) and also for 3000 m (indoors).

Career[edit]

She started running in Suriname but after her National Olympic Committee failed to send her to the 1984 Summer Olympics. Her coach was Luiz de Oliveira. She left Suriname after the 1984 Olympics to train in the Netherlands. She competed in the 800 metres at the 1988 Summer Olympics, and broke into the highest echelons of her event in 1991, when she reached the finals of both 800 m and 1500 m at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Tokyo, finishing in fifth and ninth places respectively.

She won a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 1995 behind Ana Quirot. This was in addition to the bronze medal she had already achieved earlier that year at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics. These medals were the first to be won by a South American female athlete in world championship competition. She also won a bronze medal at the 2001 world outdoor championships, but has never managed to reach an Olympic final. At the 1992 Summer Olympics she set a record of sorts by recording the fastest ever non-qualifying time(1:58.29) in an 800 m semi final. She has also won many medals at the Pan-American Games and Central American Games.

She was disqualified and stripped of her gold medal after the 2003 Pan-American Games after testing positive for excessive caffeine levels. She was said to have the equivalent of 5 gallons of coffee in her system, a PASO official said, and admitted her guilt. She was not banned however and went on to compete at that year's World Championships.

Drinking too much coffee or taking a common cold tablet would no longer get athletes disqualified. A new global list of banned substances was drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency, following more than two years of research, analysis and debate. Experts now had drawn up an all-encompassing list of prohibited steroids, stimulants, blood-boosters, narcotics and other drugs. On January 1, 2004 it was applied to all sports and all countries covered by WADA's global anti-doping code.

At the end of the 2005 season, having contested seven world championships and five Olympic Games, she declared that she would not run 800 m competitively anymore, and that she would instead focus on longer distances, including the 3000 m steeplechase.

She ended her career though. In Paramaribo a street formerly known as Cultuurtuinlaan was changed into Letitia Vriesdelaan. The Surinamese Government also gave her a piece of land as an appreciation.

She married Bas van Veen on 9 September 2005 in Middelburg, Holland. Her daughter Joi Vienna was born on 19 March 2007.

Personal bests[edit]

400 m 52.01 (1997)

800 m 1:56.68 (1995)

1000 m 2:32.25 (1991)

1500 m 4:05.67 (1991)

Mile 4:30.45 (1992)

3000 m 9:15.64 (1991)

IAAF ALL TIME BEST #58(as of November 5, 2014)[edit]

1:56.68 Letitia VRIESDE

5 OCT 1964 SUR 2 Göteborg (Ullevi Stadium) 13 AUG 1995

http://www.iaaf.org/records/toplists/middlelong/800-metres/outdoor/women/senior http://www.alltime-athletics.com/w_800ok.htm

Letitia’s Top 10 800m performances[edit]

  • 1:56.68 AR 2 WCh Göteborg 13.08.95
  • 1:57.07 3rA WK Zürich 16.08.95
  • 1:57.09 3 Her Montecarlo 10.08.96
  • 1:57.16 4= GPF Montecarlo 09.09.95
  • 1:57.35 3 WCh Edmonton 12.08.01
  • 1:57.86 4 Her Montecarlo 16.08.97
  • 1:57.96 AR 5 APM Hengelo 28.06.92
  • 1:57.98 2 Nikaïa Nice 16.07.97
  • 1:58.11 2 ISTAF Berlin 01.09.95
  • 1:58.12 4 WCh Athína 09.08.97

http://www.surathletics.com/SurAthletics/Letitia%20Vriesde.html

World Rankings — Women’s 800[edit]

http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/images/stories/Rankings/04-w800rank1.pdf

  • 1991 #9
  • 1992 #9
  • 1995 #4
  • 1996 #8
  • 1997 #4
  • 1998 #7
  • 1999 #9
  • 2001 #4

Best Women’s Non-Qualifying Marks[edit]

compiled by Jim Rorick, as of August 4, 2014 http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/index.php/archivemenu/13-lists/989-best-womens-non-qualifying-marks

800m 1:58.28 Letitia Vriesde (Surinam) Olympic Games 1992

At the 1992 Summer Olympics she set a record of sorts by recording the fastest ever non-qualifying time in an 800 m semi final.

Summer Olympics[edit]

Results Glossary


  • Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
  • 1988 Summer 23 Seoul Athletics Women's 800 metres Suriname SUR 8 h2 r2/3
  • 1988 Summer 23 Seoul Athletics Women's 1,500 metres Suriname SUR 12 h2 r1/2
  • 1992 Summer 27 Barcelon Athletics Women's 800 metres Suriname SUR 5 h1 r2/3
  • 1992 Summer 27 Barcelona Athletics Women's 1,500 metres Suriname SUR 8 h1 r2/3
  • 1996 Summer 31 Atlanta Athletics Women's 800 metres Suriname SUR 5 h2 r2/3
  • 2000 Summer 35 Sydney Athletics Women's 800 metres Suriname SUR 4 h2 r1/3
  • 2004 Summer 39 Athina Athletics Women's 800 metres Suriname SUR 8 h3 r2/3


  • Women's 800 metres Event History
  • Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A) L
  • 1988 Summer 23 Seoul Athletics Suriname Semi-Finals Heat Two 8 2:02.34 5
  • 1988 Summer 23 Seoul Athletics Suriname Round One Heat Four 4 QC 2:01.83 1
  • 1992 Summer 27 Barcelona Athletics Suriname Semi-Finals Heat One 5 1:58.28 3
  • 1992 Summer 27 Barcelona Athletics Suriname Round One Heat Three 2 QU 1:59.93 4
  • 1996 Summer 31 Atlanta Athletics Suriname Semi-Finals Heat Two 5 1:58.29 5
  • 1996 Summer 31 Atlanta Athletics Suriname Round One Heat One 2 QU 1:59.71 5
  • 2000 Summer 35 Sydney Athletics Suriname Round One Heat Two 4 2:02.09 2
  • 2004 Summer 39 Athina Athletics Suriname Semi-Finals Heat Three 8 2:06.95 6
  • 2004 Summer 39 Athina Athletics Suriname Round One Heat Three 4 QC 2:01.70 7


  • Women's 1,500 metres Event History


  • Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A)
  • 1988 Summer 23 Seoul Athletics Suriname Round One Heat Two 12 4:19.58
  • 1992 Summer 27 Barcelona Athletics Suriname Semi-Finals Heat One 8 4:09.64
  • 1992 Summer 27 Barcelona Athletics Suriname Round One Heat Two 5 QU 4:10.63

Results and Palmares[edit]

Please note, results and palmares of Letitia Vriesde are based on data from The-Sports.org and may be incomplete.

  • 2005
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 2 7 07/08/2005
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Heat 5 6 06/08/2005
  • THALES FBK-Games 800 m Women 7 29/05/2005
  • Grande Premio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo 800 m Women 3 22/05/2005


  • 2004
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • Olympic Games Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 3 8 21/08/2004
  • Norwich Union British Grand Prix 800 m Women 6 30/07/2004
  • THALES FBK-Games 800 m Women 6 31/05/2004
  • Grande Premio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo 800 m Women 3 23/05/2004


  • 2003
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • Rieti 2003 Women's 800 m 9 07/09/2003
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 1 4 24/08/2003
  • IAAF Grand Prix Zagreb Women's 800 m 5 07/07/2003


  • 2002
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • GE Money Grand Prix Women's 800 m 2 13/08/2002
  • Athletissima 800 m Women 8 02/07/2002
  • THALES FBK-Games Women's 800 m 4 02/06/2002


  • 2001
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • IAAF Grand Prix Final Women's 800 m 8 09/09/2001
  • ISTAF Berlin 800 m Women 5 31/08/2001
  • Van Damme Memorial 800 m Women 7 24/08/2001
  • Norwich Union Classic Women's 800 m 5 19/08/2001
  • World Championships Women's 800 m 3 12/08/2001
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 2 2 10/08/2001
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Heat 3 1 09/08/2001
  • Norwich Union British Grand Prix Women's 800 m 5 22/07/2001
  • DN Galan Women's 1000 m 7 17/07/2001
  • Bislett Games 800 m Women 3 13/07/2001
  • Nikaia Women's 1000 m 6 09/07/2001
  • Athletissima 2001 Women's 800 m 5 04/07/2001
  • Golden Gala 800 m Women 4 29/06/2001
  • Asics Grand Prix Helsinki Women's 800 m 2 14/06/2001
  • Atletismo Sevilla 2001 Women's 800 m 1 First 08/06/2001
  • Adidas Oregon Track Classic Women's 800 m 2 03/06/2001
  • Prefontaine Classic Women's 800 m 3 27/05/2001
  • Grand Prix Brasil de Atletismo Women's 800 m 3 06/05/2001


  • 2000
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • Olympic Games Women's 800 m - Heat 2 4 22/09/2000
  • Van Damme Memorial Women's 800 m 2 25/08/2000
  • Prefontaine Classic Women's 800 m 6 24/06/2000


  • 1999
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 2 6 22/08/1999
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Heat 1 3 21/08/1999


  • 1998
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • World Cup Women's 800 m 3 11/09/1998


  • 1997
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • World Championships Women's 800 m 4 09/08/1997
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 2 2 07/08/1997
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Heat 3 1 06/08/1997
  • World Indoor Championships Women's 800 m 4 09/03/1997


  • 1995
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • World Championships Women's 800 m 2 13/08/1995
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 1 4 11/08/1995
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Heat 2 1 10/08/1995
  • World Indoor Championships Women's 800 m 3 10/03/1995


  • 1991
  • Event Discipline Pos Date
  • World Championships Women's 1500 m 9 31/08/1991
  • World Championships Women's 1500 m - Heat 2 3 29/08/1991
  • World Championships Women's 800 m 5 26/08/1991
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Semi-Final 2 2 25/08/1991
  • World Championships Women's 800 m - Heat 5 2 24/08/1991

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Petra Kamstra
Rotterdam Sportswoman of the Year
1991
Succeeded by
Petra Kamstra
Preceded by
None
Rotterdam Sportswoman of the Year
1995
Succeeded by
Francis Hoenselaar
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Enrico Linscheer
Flagbearer for  Suriname
Athens 2004
Beijing 2008
Succeeded by
Anthony Nesty