Lina Radke

Karoline ("Lina") Radke-Batschauer (October 18, 1903 – February 14, 1983) was a German runner. She was the first Olympic champion in the 800 m for women.

Born as Lina Batschauer in Baden-Baden, she started competing in athletics in an era when it was frowned upon for women to participate in sports. Sports such as running were considered far too exhausting for women. This vision was shared by many, including the originator of the modern Olympic movement, Pierre de Coubertin.

Together with her husband and coach, Georg Radke, Lina Radke was one of the pioneers of female athletics in the mid-1920s. Competitions for women were not held frequently, but Radke nevertheless won several regional and national titles. She first specialised in the 1000 m, but when this was changed into the 800 m (because that distance would be held at the upcoming 1928 Summer Olympics), she switched to that event. The highlight of Radke's career were those 1928 Summer Olympics, as she won the inaugural title in the 800 m. Along the way, she set the first officially recognised world record in that event, 2.16,8, which would last until 1944.

The IOC was however not pleased with the fact that several of Radke's competitors had been totally exhausted after the race, and decided to banish the event from the Games; it would not be included again until 1960. Radke's career ended after the 1934 World Women's Games.

Radke died aged 79 in Karlsruhe, the city where she had grown up.

Preceded by
Mary Lines
Women's 800 metres World Record Holder
1927-08-07 – 1928-06-16
Succeeded by
Inga Gentzel
Preceded by
Inga Gentzel
Women's 800 metres World Record Holder
1928-07-01 – 1944-08-28
Succeeded by
Anna Larsson
Olympic Champions in Women's 800 m
  • 1928: Lina Radke (GER)
  • 1960: Lyudmila Shevtsova (URS)
  • 1964: Ann Packer (GBR)
  • 1968: Madeline Manning (USA)
  • 1972: Hildegard Falck (FRG)
  • 1976: Tatyana Kazankina (URS)
  • 1980: Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS)
  • 1984: Doina Melinte (ROU)
  • 1988: Sigrun Wodars (GDR)
  • 1992: Ellen van Langen (NED)
  • 1996: Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)
  • 2000: Maria Mutola (MOZ)
  • 2004: Kelly Holmes (GBR)
  • 2008: Pamela Jelimo (KEN)
  • 2012: Mariya Savinova (RUS)
Authority control
  • VIAF: 100397946
Name Radke, Lina
Alternative names
Short description German middle distance runner
Date of birth 1903-10-18
Place of birth
Date of death 1983-02-14
Place of death