Ulrike Bruns

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Ulrike Bruns
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1984-0506-006, Ulrike Bruns.jpg
Medal record
Women's Athletics
Representing  East Germany
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Montreal 1500 m
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1987 Rome 3000 m

Ulrike Bruns (born 17 November 1953 in Cottbus, maiden name Klapezynski) is a retired East German athlete who competed mainly in the 1500 metres and 3000 metres.


She competed for East Germany in the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the 1500 metres where she won the bronze medal.

She was third in 10000 metres run at 1986 European Championships. She took the same place at 1987 World Championships. Bruns also won 800 m at 1978 European Indoor Championships in Athletics.

Olympic and World middle-distance bronzes

Ulrike received first public attention while still competing under her maiden name of Klapezynski when performing at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. That year, she set her personal bests of 1:57.06min for the 800m and 3:59.9min for the 1500m, but opted to confine only to the 1500m in Montreal eventually winning the bronze medal behind the winner, Tatyana Kazankina (USSR).[1] Ulrike again finished behind Kazankina when winning 1500m silver at the inaugural World Cup in Düsseldorf next year. She than won a title by her own, finishing first over 800m at the 1978 European Indoor Championships in Milan. Later that year, Bruns set the World Record at 1000m on 18 August at Berlin, clocking 2:31.95min, but lost that record only two days later. She was considerably disappointed after that to finish 7th at both 800m/1500m at the European Championships in Prague. It seemed that her career stagnated after 5th 1500m place finishes at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and 1982 European Championships in Athens, but Ulrike turned to longer distances in the early eighties, and although she didn't compete at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, due to the Eastern European boycott, she recorded her lifetime best at 3000m that year, clocking 8:36.38min in July.

After the Olympics, she visited Zurich to beat star-studded field over 3000m. She finished third at the European Cup Final next year and than even won the gold over 3000m at the World Cup in Canberra. During 1985, she lowered her one-mile PB to 4:21.59min at the Weltklasse meet, finishing 4th behind Mary Decker's World Record of 4:16.70min. Bruns extended her medal haul in 1986, contesting new major distance for women, 10000m, at the European Championships in Stuttgart and again won the bronze medal in 31:19.76min, losing only to long-distance legends, Ingrid Kristiansen (Norway) and Olga Bondarenko (Soviet Union). Ulrike represented East Germany at many European Cup Finals, but did not win any until 1987 in Prague where she was victorious at 3000m. She confirmed her smooth form later that summer at second World Championships in Rome, taking the bronze in the 3000m final and winning her final international medal.

She remains one of only several women athletes capable of winning medals at 800m, as well at 10000m.


  1. ^ "BMW BERLIN-MARATHON". Retrieved 2017-11-22. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Soviet Union Olga Bondarenko
Women's 3.000m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Tatyana Samolenko