Born as Lina Batschauer in Baden-Baden, she started competing in athletics in an era when women involved in sports were still frowned upon. Sports such as running where considered to be 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 lasted until 1934, quitting after the 1934 World Women's Games.
Radke died aged 79 in Karlsruhe, the city where she had grown up.
Olympic medalists in athletics (women) | Olympic Champions in Women's 800 m
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