Devers gives the old shoulder to Ottey
Mike Rowbottom on the women's 100 metres and javelin finals
Monday 29 July 1996
The 36-year-old protested in vain against the decision to award the 100 metres gold to her US rival Gail Devers after both recorded the same time of 10.94sec.
But officials were in no doubt about giving the decision to Devers, who thus became the first woman to retain the Olympic 100m title since her fellow American Wyomia Tyus, who won in 1964 and 1968.
Ottey had said afterwards that the decision rested on the judging criterion - "If it's the head, Gail won. If it's the torso, I won." But in the end, it came down to the shoulder as Devers finished with her habitual dip and twist.
Daniel Lamare, the International Amateur Athletic Federation judge who referred the case to the jury of appeal, said: "It was an easy decision to make, it wasn't difficult. Once the picture was enhanced it clearly shows Devers was five centimetres ahead."
He displayed a computer-generated image of the two straining bodies on which a vertical red line indicated the finish. The top of Devers's shoulder, which constitutes part of her torso, impinged upon it; Ottey was five- thousandths of a second behind.
The long wait for the initial official announcement in the stadium brought back memories of the 1993 World Championship final in Stuttgart which also involved Devers and Ottey and a disputed finish.
Devers got the decision on that occasion also after both women had recorded 10.82. Bobby Kersee, Devers's coach, commented: "Gail gets her head and her torso in better than anybody."
Thus Ottey, who has been training this year with Linford Christie, added a silver rather than a gold to the four Olympic bronzes she has won since taking part in her first Games in Moscow 16 years ago.
If there was bitter frustration for the Jamaican, there was wild joy for Heli Rantanen, who brought back another javelin title to the country which loves the event more than any other, Finland. Rantanan, who just missed out on a medal at last year's World Championships, produced an opening throw of 67.94 metres to become the first Finnish woman to win the Olympic title.
Finnish men have won this event at the Games seven times since 1906, but until Rantanan's effort, the best their women had managed was the world title Tiina Lillak won in 1983.
Latest in Sport
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...
£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...
£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...
£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...