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Medal record

Letitia Vriesde
Women's Athletics
Competitor for  Suriname
World Championships
Silver 1995 Gothenburg 800 m
Bronze 2001 Edmonton 800 m
Pan American Games
Gold 1999 Winnipeg 800 m
Central American and Caribbean Games
Gold 1990 Mexico City 1500 m
Gold 1993 Ponce 800 m
Gold 1993 Ponce 1500 m
Gold 1998 Maracaibo 800 m
Gold 2002 San Salvador 800 m

Letitia Alma Vriesde (born 5 October 1964 in Paramaribo) is a track and field athlete from Suriname. Her main event is the 800 m.

She started running in Suriname but after her National Olympic Committee failed to send her to the 1984 Summer Olympics. She decided to leave the country and went to train in the Netherlands. She gradually improved, competed in the 800 metres at the 1988 Summer Olympics, and broke into the highest echelons of her event in 1991, when she reached the finals of both 800 m and 1500 m at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Tokyo, finishing in fifth and ninth places respectively.

She won a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 1995 behind Ana Quirot. This was in addition to the bronze medal she had already achieved earlier that year at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics. These medals were the first to be won by a South American female athlete in world championship competition. She also won a bronze medal at the 2001 world outdoor championships, but has never managed to reach an Olympic final. At the 1992 Summer Olympics she set a record of sorts by recording the fastest ever non-qualifying time in an 800 m semi final. She has also won many medals at the Pan-American Games and Central American Games.

Vriesde is the most successful ever Surinamese track and field athlete and holds the South American records for 800 m, 1000 m and 1500 m (indoors and outdoors) and also for 3000 m (indoors). Her coach is Luiz de Oliveira.

She was disqualified and stripped of her gold medal after the 2003 Pan-American Games after testing positive for excessive caffeine levels. She was not banned however and went on to compete at that year's World Championships.

At the end of the 2005 season, having contested seven world championships and five Olympic Games, she declared that she would not run 800 m competitively anymore, and that she would instead focus on longer distances, including the 3000 m steeplechase.

Personal bests

400 m 52.01 (1997)

800 m 1:56.68 (1995)

1000 m 2:32.25 (1991)

1500 m 4:05.67 (1991)

Mile 4:30.45 (1992)

3000 m 9:15.64 (1991)

See also


Preceded by
Petra Kamstra
Rotterdam Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Petra Kamstra
Preceded by
Rotterdam Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Francis Hoenselaar


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