Full Name: Hassiba Boulmerka
Date of Birth: 10 th July, 1968
Sport involved in: Athletics
Gold medal winner in the World Athletics Championships at Tokyo in 1991
Olympic gold medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games
Bronze medal winner in the World Athletics Championships at Stuttgart in 1993
Gold medal winner in the World Athletics Championships at Gothenburg in 1995
Career: Hassiba Boulmerka is a former middle distance athlete from Algeria. Boulmerka started running at an early age. She was specialized in the 800 meter sprint and 1500 meter sprint events. Boulmerka was successful in the national and regional level. The 1988 Seoul Olympics was the first major international tournament in her athletic career. However, Boulmerka could not win any title in the 1988 Games. She improved with the passing time. Her first major win was in 1991, at the Golden Gala Race in Rome. Boulmerka won the 800 meter sprint. The same year, she participated at the World Athletics Championships. There she won gold medal in the 1500 meter sprint event. With this win, Boulmerka became the first African woman to win an athletics world title. Boulmerka was one of the top contenders for the gold medal in the 1500 meter sprint event in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games. She was the winner in the event, and thus became the first Algerian to win an Olympic title. Boulmerka was not so successful in the next two seasons. She won only a bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships at Stuttgart in 1993. In 1995, Boulmerka won her second world title at the World Athletics Championships at Gothenburg. It was her last major victory. She competed at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but was injured during the semi-finals. After the 1997 season, Boulmerka retired from sports. Boulmerka was one of the first persons, who were directly elected to the Athlete's Commission of the International Olympic Committee.
Performance at the Olympics: Hassiba Boulmerka participated at the 1988 Seoul Olympics for the first time. There she was eliminated in the preliminary heat of both the 800 meter sprint and 1500 meter sprint events. In her second appearance in the Summer Games in 1992, Boulmerka won gold medal in the 1500 meter sprint. In the 1992 Olympic final, Boulmerka beat the Russian athlete Lyudmila Rogacheva. The race was the first, in which four women reached the finishing line in less than four minutes. Boulmerka became the first Algerian to win an Olympic title. Boulmerka also competed at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games. She sprained her ankle during the semi-finals of the Games, and was out of the competition.