MUTOLA Maria (1972) Mozambique / Track and field
This petite Mozambican runner got her revenge at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Unbeaten between 1992 and the Olympic final in Atlanta in 1996, she was a strong favourite to win the 800m, but was surprisingly beaten by Russia's Masterkova. It was her first defeat in 50 races.There followed a series of failures. Beaten at the world championships in 1997, robbed of her world indoor championship title, defeated at the 1999 world championships in Seville, Maria Mutola finally won the event in Sydney on the national holiday in Mozambique, her home country. This was the small African nation's first gold medal.Having got the recognition she wanted, the athlete - who lives in the United States - can now devote herself to football, her second passion.