Renate Stecher

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Renate Stecher
Medal record
Women's Athletics
Competitor for  East Germany
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1972 Munich 100 metres
Gold medal – first place 1972 Munich 200 metres
Gold medal – first place 1976 Montreal 4x100 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich 4x100 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1976 Montreal 100 metres
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Montreal 200 metres
European Athletics Championships
Gold medal – first place 1969 Athens 4x100m relay
Gold medal – first place 1971 Helsinki 100 metres
Gold medal – first place 1971 Helsinki 200 metres
Gold medal – first place 1974 Rome 4x100 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1969 Athens 200 metres
Silver medal – second place 1971 Helsinki 4x100 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1974 Rome 100 metres
Silver medal – second place 1974 Rome 200 metres

Renate Stecher (born 12 May 1950 in Süptitz) is a German (former East German) athlete and a triple Olympic champion.


Born as Renate Meißner, she was a very talented athlete, also competing in the high jump and pentathlon. She debuted internationally at the 1969 European Championships, where she - as a last minute substitute - won a silver medal in the 200 m and a gold in the 4 x 100 m relay.

In 1970 she was the World Student Games Champion in both the 100 metres and 200 metres.

At the next European Championships, in 1971, she won both the 100 and 200 m and the silver in the relay. At that time, she was already competing as Renate Stecher, having married hurdler Gerd Stecher the previous year.

At the 1972 Summer Olympics, Stecher repeated that performance. She won the 100 m in time of 11.07, which was only in 1976 recognised as world record, which had been measured in tenths of seconds before (the times in tenths were later corrected). She also equalled the world record in the 200 meters with a time of 22.40. The following year, Stecher set (hand timed) world records in both sprint events, also becoming the first woman to beat 11 seconds. She clocked 10.9 and 10.8 for the 100 metres and 22.1 for the 200 metres.

In Rome at the 1974 European Championships she was defeated in both the 100 m and 200 m, by Irena Szewińska of Poland and had to settle for silver in both distances. However the GDR 4 x 100 m relay team, in which Stecher ran the second leg, won the Gold in world record time.

At the 1976 Summer Olympics, Stecher again competed in the three sprint events, winning medals in all three once again. She was beaten for the 100 m title by Annegret Richter, and came third in a 200 m race with five German women in the first five positions. With the 4 x 100 m relay team they beat West Germany, taking revenge for the race four years earlier.

She competed for the club SC Motor Jena during her active career.

Following the release of East German secret service files, it was revealed that many of the country's athletes were involved with a state-sponsored drug program. The files document that Stecher had wanted to step down her drug use after the 1972 Olympics, so that she could safely have children.[1] Raelene Boyle, who had finished second to Stecher in both the 100 and 200 metres at the Olympics, stated that she felt cheated, but that Stecher may still have bested her over the 100 m without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.[2]


  1. ^ McDonald, Margie (2009-04-15). Too little too late, as Raelene Boyle slams East German drug coaches. The Australian. Retrieved on 2009-05-22.
  2. ^ Raelene Boyle. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2004-02-26). Retrieved on 2009-05-22.
Preceded by
Czechoslovakia Eva Glesková
Women's 100 m World Record Holder
30 June 1973 – 13 June 1976
Succeeded by
West Germany Inge Helten
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Women's 200 m Best Year Performance
1972 – 1973
Succeeded by
Poland Irena Szewińska
Preceded by
Poland Irena Szewińska
Women's 200m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
East Germany Bärbel Wöckel