September 10, 1972 |
Born in the small Syrian city of Mhardeh in the Hama Governorate, Shouaa's first sport was basketball. She played on the Syrian national team for a few years, but then decided to compete in athletics. She did her first heptathlon in 1991, and was immediately sent to the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, where she placed last. She concluded her first athletics season with a silver medal in the Asian championships.
Shouaa debuted at the Olympics in the 1992 Barcelona Games, placing 25th in spite of an injury. Her breakthrough did not come until 1995, when she won the important heptathlon meet in Götzis, scoring 6715 points. This boosted her to one of the favourites for the title at the 1995 World Championships, held in Gothenburg. After co-favorite Sabine Braun dropped out with an injury, Shouaa won the title with a comfortable margin.
The following season, Shouaa again won the Götzis meet, bringing the still-standing Asian record to 6942 points. In Atlanta, three months later, she confirmed her status as the best heptathlete at the time, winning Syria's first Olympic gold medal.
A serious injury ruined the following season, and she was unable to make a serious comeback until 1999, when she placed third at the World Championships behind Eunice Barber. Shouaa attempted to defend her Olympic title in Sydney, but she again became injured and did not even finish the first event. After this disappointment, she decided to retire from athletics.
Civil War in Syria
During a visit to Syria in 2013 or 2014, Shouaa appeared in a picture with a heavy machine gun while accompanying the National Defence Forces (Syria), a branch of Syrian Armed Forces. In a speech, Shouaa greeted the Syrian Arab Army, saying the army's motto 'Homeland, Honor, Honesty' represents "each and every honest Syrian form which he/she draws the ability for steadfastness and making achievements for Syria's sake".
She now lives in Germany.
|1991||World Championships||Tokyo, Japan||24th||Heptathlon||5066 pts|
|Asian Championships||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||2nd||Heptathlon||5425 pts|
|Arab Championships||Latakia, Syria||1st||High jump||1.60 m|
|1st||Long jump||5.50 m|
|1st||Javelin throw||41.92 m|
|1992||Olympic Games||Barcelona, Spain||25th||Heptathlon||5278 pts|
|1993||Mediterranean Games||Narbonne, France||8th||Long jump||6.13 m|
|World Championships||Stuttgart, Germany||–||Heptathlon||DNF|
|Arab Championships||Latakia, Syria||1st||800 m||2:14.7|
|1st||100 m hurdles||14.44 s|
|1st||High jump||1.75 m|
|1st||Long jump||6.07 m|
|1st||Javelin throw||50.54 m|
|Asian Championships||Manila, Philippines||1st||Heptathlon||6259 pts|
|1994||Goodwill Games||St. Petersburg, Russia||3rd||Heptathlon||6361 pts|
|Asian Games||Hiroshima, Japan||1st||Heptathlon||6360 pts|
|1995||World Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||1st||Heptathlon||6651 pts|
|Arab Championships||Cairo, Egypt||1st||High jump||1.80 m|
|1st||Long jump||6.64 m|
|1st||Javelin throw||53.72 m|
|1996||Olympic Games||Atlanta, United States||1st||Heptathlon||6780 pts|
|1999||Pan Arab Games||Amman, Jordan||1st||High jump||1.78 m|
|2nd||Long jump||6.19 m|
|2nd||Shot put||16.25 m|
|1st||Javelin throw||55.14 m|
|World Championships||Seville, Spain||3rd||Heptathlon||6500 pts|
|2000||Olympic Games||Sydney, Australia||–||Heptathlon||DNF|
- "Ghada Shouaa". Damascus-Online.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
- Syrian sports heroine laments her country’s ill treatment Arab News, 30 August 2009.. Accessed 26 May 2016
|Women's Heptathlon Best Year Performance
|Flagbearer for Syria