Inge Helten

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Inge Helten athletics
nation GermanyGermany Germany
birthday 31st December 1950 (age 69)
place of birth Westum , today SinzigRhineland-Palatinate
size 171 cm
Weight 58 kg
discipline 100-meter run , 4 x 100-meter relay
society DJK Andernach , OSC Dortmund
status resigned
End of career 1976
Medal table
Olympic games 0 × gold 1 × silver 1 × bronze
European championships 1 × gold 1 × silver 0 × bronze
European championships
gold FinlandFinland 1971 Helsinki 43.3 s ER
silver FranceFrance 1974 Rome 42.75 s NO
Olympic rings Olympic games
silver CanadaCanada 1976 Montreal 42.59 s
bronze CanadaCanada 1976 Montreal 11.17 s
last change: September 4, 2019

Inge Helten (born December 31, 1950 in Westum , today Sinzig , in Rhineland-Palatinate ) is a former German athlete who was one of the world's best 100-meter runners in the 1970s, set the world record in 1976 and shortly afterwards at the Olympic Playing in Montreal that same year won silver and bronze .


Inge Helten started for the DJK Andernach in the neighborhood of her hometown until the end of 1973 and already achieved world-class times for it at the age of 20. With the national relay she won the gold medal at the European Championships in Helsinki in a new European record time of 43.3 seconds, ahead of the GDR team . In the final, she met the later Olympic champion Renate Stecher , who, like her, ran in second position on the back straight. Stecher had won the title in the individual race four days earlier , where Helten was only four hundredths behind without a medal and had to make do with the unpleasant fourth place behind her relay partners Ingrid Mickler-Becker and Elfgard Schittenhelm in 11.55 s.

One month later in Bonn, with hand-stopped 11.1 seconds, she even missed Renate Stecher's world record by just a tenth of a second , which remains a club record for the DJK to this day. In winter she then moved from Andernach to the larger top club OSC Dortmund .

Despite her previous achievements, she was not nominated for participation in the Munich Games in the 1972 Olympic year . There Ingrid Mickler cleared the home straight for Heide Rosendahl and ran the back straight instead of Helten.

Two years later at the European Championships in Rome in 1974 she was back in the relay team, as in 1971, after Mickler and Rosendahl had ended their careers, and ran her position on the home straight while Annegret Kroniger took the back straight. Despite the new West German record in 42.75 s, they were defeated in the final of the GDR relay, which set a new world record in 42.51 s. Renate Stecher ran differently than in Munich, where she was defeated by Rosendahl, as in 1971 on the back straight, but this time not against Helten. In the 100 meter individual race , Helten did not reach the final and was eliminated in 11.65 s like teammate Schittenhelm in the second semi-final.

In 1976, with the new world record time of 11.04 s in June and the individual Olympic medal in the 100 meter final, she achieved two crowning highlights of her athletic career. She just had to let Renate Stecher go first and, as so often, Annegret Richter , to whom she was always defeated in important races and who not only won the 100 meters here, but also beat the young world record in the semi-finals in 11.01 s and also took silver over 200 meters. At the end of the Games, Helten and Richter also won the silver medal together when they were only barely defeated by the GDR in 42.59 s in the season finale , which set a new Olympic record in 42.55 s . While Kroniger crossed the finish line in fourth place, unlike in 1974, Helten met Stecher on the back straight as in 1971. Inge Helten ended her sports career in the same year.

On April 14, 1972, she was awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf for her athletic achievements.

In her active days she was 1.71 m tall and weighed 58 kg.


International major tournament Competition placements
European Championships 1971
European Championships 1974
1976 Olympic Games
1 Annegret Richter's maiden name

Top performances

discipline Best performance U21 date and location Best performance date and location
100 meters 11.1 s September 11, 1971, Bonn WR  11.04 s June 13, 1976, Fürth
200 metres 23.1 s August 29, 1971, Augsburg 22.68 s July 28, 1976, Montreal
Long jump 6.08 m September 6, 1970, Höhr-Grenzhausen ?
4 x 100 meter relay , national ER  43.28 s August 15, 1971, Helsinki 42.59 s July 31, 1976, Montreal
4 x 100 meter relay , club 45.6 s July 11, 1971, Stuttgart ?
Sources: Eternal best lists LG Rhein-Wied and Eternal best lists DLV

Individual evidence

  1. 100 m women. Eternal leaderboard discipline. LG Rhein-Wied , accessed on September 4, 2019 .
  2. Sports report of the federal government of September 29, 1973 to the Bundestag - printed matter 7/1040 - page 66
  3. Eternal leaderboard. Overview page with list of links. LG Rhein-Wied , accessed on September 4, 2019 .
  4. ^ "Eternal" list of the best in German athletics. (PDF) PDF. DLV , August 19, 2019, accessed on September 4, 2019 .