Cornelia Bürki, a committed athlete
Cornelia Bürki, 15 years of international career at high level but also a strong character which will lead her to commit to the inclusion of women in sport by wearing the Spiridon jersey in important criteriums. At the time it was not very well seen by the federations to wear this jersey which claimed free running for all. Besides, we are looking for a triumphant full page from the Geneva tribune where she wears a Spiridon tank top after her Swiss record. We found a video of this record in Spiridon.
Cornelia Bürki was born in Humansdorp, South Africa, she moved to Switzerland in 1973. She started training for athletics competitions in April 1974. After only three months of training, she already represented Switzerland at of an event against Italy and France. A year later, she broke the Swiss records for the 1500m and 3000m wearing the SPIRIDON jersey. In 1978, she finished 5th at the world cross-country championships in Glasgow. At the European Championships in Prague, she finished 6th in the 3000m and 8th in the 1500m, breaking Swiss records each time.
In her Olympic debut at the 1980 Summer Games, she finished 7th in her 1500 meter semi-final. That year she also won the women's 7 km race in the first edition of the Greifenseelauf.
Recovery after a break for personal reasons
She competed at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics, finishing 10th and 11th in the 1500m and 3000m respectively. She finished 5th in the 3000m at the 1984 Summer Olympics and also took 5th place in the long distance at the 1985 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She was selected to represent Switzerland at the championships 1986 European Championships in Athletics, finishing 7th in the 3000m final and 8th in the 1500m. This season, she was ranked 3rd in the 1500m at the IAAF Grand Prix Final.
She finished 7th in the long distance at the 1987 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and narrowly missed out on a world podium on the track that same year, taking 4th place in the 1500m and 3000m at the athletics world in 1987. She managed to break the 4-minute barrier in the 1500m. Despite a serious upper thigh injury, she managed to qualify for her final Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul, where she competed in the 1500m and 3000m events. She was eliminated in the preliminary rounds.
Cornelia is a bit like Spiridon's Prefontaine. We would like to interview him one day to complete this article. To be continued.