1996 Atlanta was marked with a domestic terrorist pipe bombing attack in Centennial Olympic Park. Sadly one person died and 111 were injured.
This didnt daunt the rise to stardom of Golden Girl Cathy Freeman OAM as she made her Silver Medal 400m Debut in 48.63 (her ultimate pb!)
Cathy’s build up was amazing.. she bettered the Australian national record 3 times prior to the Games with 49.59sec her best.
French Marie-Jose Perec, was the fiercest rival. She also had a good lead up to the Games with a best time of 49.45sec.
The stage was set for their showdown! Both won their semi-finals, Freeman in 50.32sec, and Perec in an amazing pb 49.19sec.
They lined up for the final with Freeman in lane 4 and Perec inside her in lane 3. Perec got off to her usual fast start, and quickly started eating in to the stagger between them, Freeman slowly started to reduce the gap and they entered the straight with Perec half a metre in front. Freeman attacked again, they were well ahead of the field...they battled each other all the way down the straight, with Perec 48.25 finally proving too strong, Freeman 48.83
Louise McPaul became our first female Javelin medalist with Silver 65.54m