Aguida Amaral

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Águida Fátima Amaral
Personal information
Born (1972-05-27) 27 May 1972 (age 50)
CountryEast Timor
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals2000, 2004
Personal best(s)Marathon;: 3:03:53

Aguida (or Agueda) Amaral (born 27 May 1972) is an East Timorese athlete. She was one of the first athletes to represent East Timor at the Olympic Games, and the first woman to represent the nation,[1] when she ran the marathon at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. She technically competed as an individual athlete because East Timor was newly independent and had not yet been formally recognized by the International Olympic Committee.[2] With a time of 3:10:55, she finished 43rd out of the 45 runners who completed the race, although eight other runners failed to finish.

The Associated Press reported:

Not realizing she had one more lap to run, Amaral stopped near the finish line and placed her hands together as she knelt to the track. An official gently informed Amaral she was not done, and she took one more lap to rousing applause.[3]

The Independent likewise reported that Amaral "completed the course to a standing ovation".[4]

The Sydney Olympics followed East Timor's declaration of independence from Indonesia in 1999, and the ensuing violence. Amaral had fled her home in Dili, stayed in a refugee camp,[5] and returned eventually to find it looted and burned. Along with her home and other belongings, her only pair of running shoes had been destroyed in the arson attack. She trained for the Olympics by running barefoot, until shoes were donated to her by Australia.[6][7]

CNN described her arrival in the stadium as "the most moving moment" of the race.[8] The New York Times wrote that her "performance in the Sydney Games inspired the world", and described her as "a source of national pride".[5]

Amaral competed again at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, this time formally representing East Timor – the only one aside from fellow marathonist Gil da Cruz Trindade.[9] She finished with a time of 3:18:25, being 65th of the 66 runners who completed the marathon – her time over half an hour faster than that of Mongolia's Luvsanlkhündegiin Otgonbayar.[10]

Amaral is a police officer, and as of 2004, has four children.[11]


  • All results regarding marathon, unless stated otherwise
Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Competed as an  Individual Olympic Athletes
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 43rd 3:10:55
Representing  Timor-Leste
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 65th 3:18:25
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland DNF


  1. ^ "First female competitors at the Olympics by country". Olympedia. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  2. ^ Malvern, Jack (27 July 2012). "From the bottom of the leaderboard". The Australian. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Takahashi breaks women's marathon record". ESPN. Associated Press. 24 September 2000. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Olympic Games: Athletics: Takahashi has rivals gasping in her wake". The Independent. 25 September 2000.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b Metzl, Jamie F. (27 May 2001). "Runners of East Timor Have Emerged as Symbols of Independence". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010 – via the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network.
  6. ^ Longman, Jere (9 September 2000). "OLYMPICS; East Timor Athletes Enjoy Independence". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012.
  7. ^ Beech, Hannah (16 August 2004). "And in 54th place, it's..." Time. Archived from the original on 8 February 2008.
  8. ^ "Breakaway: Takahashi outruns pack en route to marathon mark". CNN Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. 23 September 2000. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009.
  9. ^ Beech, Hannah (23 August 2004). "For Asia's smallest nations, chance in the Olympics already amounts to victory". Time. Vol. 164, no. 8. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010 – via the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network.
  10. ^ "Women's Marathon Final". CNN Sports Illustrated. 22 August 2004. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  11. ^ "Tiny East Timor limbers up for Olympic debut". CBC Sports. 3 June 2004. Archived from the original on 14 January 2020.

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