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A Dutch Woman the star

The 14th Olympic Games, London, 1948

As Jesse Owens was the star of the Olympic Games, it was the Dutch woman Fanny Blankers-Koen who was the star of the 1948 Games.

By the times the Games began she was already 30 years old and the mother of two children. It later transpired she was pregnant with her third time when she participated at the Games.

Here she won the Gold Medal in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, the 80 meter hurdles and the 4 x 100 meter relay. At the end of the 20th century she was voted the women athlete of the century.

In London 4 099 athletes from 59 countries participated. This was the most athletes, as well as the most countries ever to have participated in an Olympic Games.

Only one woman was included in the South African team of 34 athletes. She was the sprinter Daphne Robb.

As was the case in 1932, the stars in the South African team were once again the boxers. Gerald Dreyer and George Hunter both won Gold Medals. Hunter was also adjudged to be the most scientific boxer at the Games.