Renate Stecher (born 15 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.
At the next European Championships, in 1971, she won both the 100 m 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). The following year, Stecher set world records in both sprint events, also becoming the first woman to beat 11 seconds.
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 year 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. 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.
1928: Betty Robinson (USA) • 1932: Stanisława Walasiewicz (POL) • 1936: Helen Stephens (USA) • 1948: Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED) • 1952: Marjorie Jackson (AUS) • 1956: Betty Cuthbert (AUS) • 1960: Wilma Rudolph (USA) • 1964: Wyomia Tyus (USA) • 1968: Wyomia Tyus (USA) • 1972: Renate Stecher (GDR) • 1976: Annegret Richter (FRG) • 1980: Lyudmila Kondratyeva (URS) • 1984: Evelyn Ashford (USA) • 1988: Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA) • 1992: Gail Devers (USA) • 1996: Gail Devers (USA) • 2000: Vacant • 2004: Yulia Nestsiarenka (BLR) • 2008: Shelly-Ann Fraser (JAM)
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