Tiina Lillak

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Tiina Lillak
Tiina Lillak, EC 1983 - Sittard.1.jpg
Lillak in 1983
Personal information
Full name Ilse Kristiina Lillak
Born (1961-04-15) 15 April 1961 (age 56)
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 74 kg (163 lb)

Ilse Kristiina Lillak (born 15 April 1961) is a Finnish former javelin thrower, a world champion and an Olympic medalist.

Lillak finished fourth in the 1982 European Athletics Championships, which were held in Athens. On July 29, 1982, she threw a new world record in Helsinki of 72.40 meters. The record lasted until September when Greek thrower Sofia Sakorafa reached 74.20 meters. The following year, Lillak again broke the world record, throwing 74.76 meters in Tampere on June 13. This distance remained a world record until June 1985, and also stood as a national record for Finland until 1999, when the javelin type was altered and the former records were wiped clean.

At the 1983 World Championships in Athletics held in Helsinki, Lillak became the champion in front of her home crowd when she threw for 70.82 meters on her last attempt leaving Britain's second placed Fatima Whitbread in tears at track side as she went running off down the track celebrating with the ecstatic crowd. The whole season was a success for Lillak, who threw over 70 meters in 16 separate competitions and didn't lose a single time.

Although Lillak had only taken part in three competitions earlier in the year, she still managed to earn an Olympic silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Medals did not materialise at the 1986 European Athletics Championships (fourth) or the 1987 World Championships in Athletics (sixth).

She failed in an attempt to reach the Olympic podium a second time at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where Lillak did not pass the qualifying round. She participated in five competitions in 1989, but no major events. In 1990 she won the last of her seven Finnish national championships and came tenth in the 1990 European Athletics Championships. In the 1991 World Championships in Athletics, Lillak did not pass the qualifying round (in fact, she did not throw over 62 meters the entire season). She retired from athletics in 1992 and became a masseuse.

International competitions[edit]

  • All results regarding Javelin.
  • Results with a (q) indicate overall position in qualifying round.
Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing Finland
1980 Olympic Games Moscow, Soviet Union 14th (q) 56.26 m
1982 European Championships Athens, Greece 4th 66.26 m
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 70.82 m
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 2nd 69.00 m
1986 European Championships Stuttgart, Germany 4th 66.66 m
1987 World Championships Rome, Italy 6th 66.82 m
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 15th (q) 60.06 m
1990 European Championships Split, Yugoslavia 10th 58.80 m
1991 World Championships Tokyo, Japan 15th (q) 58.42 m


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sofia Sakorafa
Women's Javelin Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Petra Felke