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Haile Gebrselassie defeats Paul Tergat at the 2000 Olympics

Top 10 contests from the Sydney Olympics

  • 1 October 20201 October 2020

We look back at the events from the Games of the XXVII Olympiad that have stood the test of time as close contests.

This isn’t necessarily a list of the most significant wins at the Games (so although Cathy Freeman’s 400m run features, it doesn’t top the list), but rather those where the competition was tight for the victory and/or the medals. By it’s nature, it’s a subjective list, but a good way to refresh your memory of the action from Sydney (or experience it for the first time!).

The Sydney Olympics were notable in there not being any world records set in the athletics program. That said, Olympic Records were set in nine events.

#10 – Women’s 400m

It would almost be sacrilegious from an Australian perspective to have any summary of Sydney 2000 that doesn’t mention Cathy Freeman‘s 400m victory. It sneaks into this list, for although the winning margin in the end was comfortable (almost half a second), it wasn’t assured with 100m to go.

Embed from Getty Images

Entering the straight alongside Jamaica’s Lorraine Fenton and Great Britain’s Katherine Merry, and with the weight of the nation’s expectations on her shoulders, Freeman was supreme in pulling away for a famous victory.

Although Bruce McAveney’s call of the race on Australian TV was great, this clip below, with only the atmosphere of the crowd, is infinitely better.

Next -> #9 – Women’s Hammer Throw
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