Amy Mbacké THIAM

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    Senegal Senegal
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    10 NOV 1976
    ATHLETE'S IAAF CODE
    133208
Amy Mbacké Thiam of Senegal, a season's best in Belem (Wander Roberto Oliveira/CBAt)

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
100 Metres 12.21 -3.9 St-Florentin (FRA) 12 SEP 2009
200 Metres 23.10 -0.7 Doha (QAT) 13 MAY 2005
300 Metres 36.37 Sydney (AUS) 14 SEP 2000
400 Metres 49.86 Edmonton (CAN) 07 AUG 2001
800 Metres 2:11.1h Dakar (SEN) 02 MAR 2002
4x400 Metres Relay 3:27.65 Athina (GRE) 17 SEP 2006

Legend

* Not legal.

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
60 Metres 7.77 Eaubonne (FRA) 19 DEC 2008
200 Metres 23.56 Liévin (FRA) 10 FEB 2009
300 Metres 39.13 Sherbrooke (CAN) 06 FEB 2004
400 Metres 52.48 Stockholm (SWE) 02 FEB 2006

Legend

* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2016

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
200 Metres 24.37 +0.7 Nogent-sur-Marne (FRA) 26 JUN 2016
400 Metres 53.94 Joinville-le-Point (FRA) 07 JUL 2016

Outdoor

100 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2009 12.21 -3.9 St-Florentin (FRA) 12 SEP 2009

Outdoor

200 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2016 24.37 +0.7 Nogent-sur-Marne (FRA) 26 JUN 2016
2015 24.58 0.0 Nogent-sur-Marne (FRA) 28 JUN 2015
2013 23.55 +1.5 La Chaux-de-Fonds (SUI) 07 JUL 2013
2011 23.63 +0.2 Forbach (FRA) 29 MAY 2011
2010 24.32 +1.4 La Roche-sur-Yon (FRA) 22 JUL 2010
2009 23.17 +1.7 Angers (FRA) 24 JUL 2009
2006 23.10 +1.6 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 14 MAY 2006
2005 23.10 -0.7 Doha (QAT) 13 MAY 2005
2004 23.54 -0.1 Dakar (SEN) 03 APR 2004
2003 23.23 +1.9 Sotteville (FRA) 08 JUL 2003
1999 23.20 -1.0 Réduit (MRI) 05 APR 1999

Outdoor

300 Metres

Performance Place Date
2000 36.37 Sydney (AUS) 14 SEP 2000

Outdoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 53.94 Joinville-le-Point (FRA) 07 JUL 2016
2015 55.41 St-Denis (FRA) 19 JUN 2015
2013 52.24 Moskva (RUS) 10 AUG 2013
2012 51.68 Porto Novo (BEN) 29 JUN 2012
2011 51.77 Maputo (MOZ) 13 SEP 2011
2010 51.32 Nairobi (KEN) 30 JUL 2010
2009 50.71 Roma (ITA) 10 JUL 2009
2008 53.48 Albi (FRA) 24 JUL 2008
2007 50.15 Roma (ITA) 13 JUL 2007
2006 50.54 Paris (FRA) 08 JUL 2006
2005 50.69 Monaco (MON) 10 SEP 2005
2004 50.82 La Chaux-de-Fonds (SUI) 08 AUG 2004
2003 49.95 Paris (FRA) 27 AUG 2003
2002 50.96 Monaco (MON) 19 JUL 2002
2001 49.86 Edmonton (CAN) 07 AUG 2001
2000 50.88 La Chaux-de-Fonds (SUI) 13 AUG 2000
1999 50.77 Sevilla (ESP) 24 AUG 1999
1998 51.60 Dijon (FRA) 05 JUL 1998
1997 53.25 Antananarivo (MAD) 04 SEP 1997

Outdoor

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2009 2:14.07 Tremblay-en-France (FRA) 03 MAY 2009

Outdoor

4x400 Metres Relay

Performance Place Date
2013 3:43.27 Villeneuve d'Ascq (FRA) 19 MAY 2013
2012 3:31.64 Porto Novo (BEN) 01 JUL 2012
2010 3:27.99 Split (CRO) 05 SEP 2010
2006 3:27.65 Athina (GRE) 17 SEP 2006
2005 3:29.03 Helsinki (FIN) 13 AUG 2005
2003 3:28.37 Paris (FRA) 30 AUG 2003
2001 3:30.03 Edmonton (CAN) 11 AUG 2001
2000 3:28.02 Sydney (AUS) 29 SEP 2000
1999 3:30.99 Sevilla (ESP) 28 AUG 1999
1998 3:35.28 Johannesburg (RSA) 11 SEP 1998

Indoor

60 Metres

Performance Place Date
2008/09 7.77 Eaubonne (FRA) 19 DEC 2008

Indoor

200 Metres

Performance Place Date
2008/09 23.56 Liévin (FRA) 10 FEB 2009
2005/06 23.78 Eaubonne (FRA) 27 JAN 2006

Indoor

300 Metres

Performance Place Date
2003/04 39.13 Sherbrooke (CAN) 06 FEB 2004

Indoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2012/13 55.02 Eaubonne (FRA) 07 FEB 2013
2008/09 52.51 Stockholm (SWE) 18 FEB 2009
2005/06 52.48 Stockholm (SWE) 02 FEB 2006
2004/05 53.45 Madrid (ESP) 24 FEB 2005

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres 49.86 Edmonton (CAN) 07 AUG 2001
3. 400 Metres 49.95 Paris (FRA) 27 AUG 2003
8. 400 Metres 52.22 Helsinki (FIN) 10 AUG 2005

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:27.99 Split (CRO) 05 SEP 2010
5. 400 Metres 51.46 Split (CRO) 04 SEP 2010
6. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:27.65 Athina (GRE) 17 SEP 2006
6. 400 Metres 51.39 Athina (GRE) 16 SEP 2006
7. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:35.28 Johannesburg (RSA) 11 SEP 1998

Honours - African Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres 52.22 Bambous (MRI) 11 AUG 2006
2. 400 Metres 51.32 Nairobi (KEN) 30 JUL 2010
3. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:31.64 Porto Novo (BEN) 01 JUL 2012
3. 400 Metres 51.68 Porto Novo (BEN) 29 JUN 2012
3. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:35.55 Nairobi (KEN) 01 AUG 2010
4. 400 Metres 52.39 Dakar (SEN) 20 AUG 1998

Honours - All-African Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 400 Metres 51.77 Maputo (MOZ) 13 SEP 2011
3. 400 Metres 50.95 Johannesburg (RSA) 16 SEP 1999

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. 400 Metres 50.33 Stuttgart (GER) 23 SEP 2007
4. 400 Metres 50.69 Monaco (MON) 10 SEP 2005
4. 400 Metres 51.06 Monaco (MON) 14 SEP 2003
6. 400 Metres 51.16 Stuttgart (GER) 10 SEP 2006

Honours - Francophone Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres 50.92 Ottawa (CAN) 21 JUL 2001

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres 52.98 Dakar (SEN) 27 JUN 2009
1. 400 Metres 53.85 Dakar (SEN) 10 JUL 2004
1. 400 Metres 52.35 Dakar (SEN) 30 MAY 1999
1. 400 Metres 53.48 Dakar (SEN) 28 JUN 1998
Results in:

200 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result Wind
26 JUN 2016 Nogent-sur-Marne FRAFRA F F1 3. 24.37 +0.7

400 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
15 JUN 2016 Avellino Trofea Citta' di Avellino ITAITA F F 1. 56.13
26 JUN 2016 Nogent-sur-Marne FRAFRA F F1 1. 54.91
29 JUN 2016 Paris FRAFRA F F 1. 55.16
07 JUL 2016 Joinville-le-Pont FRAFRA F F1 2. 53.94


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Updated 25 August 2010

Amy Mbacké THIAM, Senegal (400m)
Born 10 November 1976, Kaolack area
1.83m / 70kg
Coach: Hervé Stéphan

A child full of energy, Amy Mbacke Thiam is remembered for running around a lot and for her passion for football. Her potential was spotted in 1992 by her secondary school teacher, Mouhamadou Lamine Camara, who followed closely the girl able to defeat boys in middle-distance races wearing plastic shoes or running barefoot.

In 1995, for her second trip to the Senegalese capital, Dakar- about 180km away - Thiam finished 4th in the 400m at the national championships. Impressed by the 4x400m team of the Dal Diop club, she requested to join the group and soon moved to Dakar, where she stayed with her grandmother. After a year there, she dropped out from high school to focus only on sports.

Benefiting from emulation and better training conditions, Thiam lowered her best time from 56.0 in 1995 to 53.25 in 1997, which earned her a spot among the 12 athletes recruited for the launch of the Dakar High Performance Training Centre (HPTC), which was set up under the IAAF initiative to help budding African sprinters and jumpers develop into high level athletes on their home soil.

Under the supervision of Frenchman Dr. Hervé Stéphan and Cameroon's Emmanuel Bitanga, Thiam gained the opportunity to compete on the European circuit.  She broke the Senegalese record for the first time in July 1998 (51.60) and had a first taste of international competition when she was 4th in the African Championships in 1998.

In 2009, Thiam then went on to finish 7th in her semi-final at the World Championships in Sevilla (50.77) and 3rd at the All Africa Games. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Thiam again managed to be 7th in her semi-final despite a preparation hampered by shin splints.

Injured again in early 2001, she got back in the saddle by winning the Francophone Games, in Ottawa, with a 50.92 seasonal best just before heading to the World Championships in Edmonton.

In three days and three races, Thiam switched gears with two national records (50.21 and 49.86), dominating all her opponents and climaxed with an almost undreamed of last surge to clinch the World title over Jamaica's Lorraine Fenton (49.88) and Mexico's Ana Guevara (49.97). The first Senegalese to win a world title in any sport, instantly she became a national hero. The following month in Brisbane, she finished 3rd at the Goodwill Games.

2002 did not live up to expectations. Injuries again delayed Thiam’s debut and she failed to impress with a season's best of 50.96 in Monaco.  She could not even save her season with a selection for the World Cup, having to pull out of the Final of the African Championships, in Tunis, because her thigh was too painful.

As training in Senegal became more difficult because of too many distractions, Thiam decided to change her preparation. After winning her world title she was no longer merely an athlete but an instant national heroine, complete with advantages and drawbacks. Inevitably as a star, she was invited everywhere - wanted for radio, TV shows, and marketing operations.

Benefiting from an Olympic scholarship, she left Dakar HPTC and moved to Sherbrooke (Canada), where she stayed four months before linking up with her Dakar team mates and coaches at their French summer training base.

However, in the build-up to the 2003 World Championships in Paris, her prospects did not look good. She suffered Injury and the onset of tonsillitis – which would blight her in 2004 – and she lost precious training and recovery time while having to deal with visa procedures to travel abroad to compete. Yet, once again, Thiam surpassed herself to run her best race of the year when it mattered most, preserving the bronze medal in Paris on the finish line (49.95).

2004 was again a bad year. Suffering tonsillitis and dental problems, the Senegalese flag bearer was a shadow of herself in the heats of the Athens Olympics and had to pull out of the 4x400m after having two teeth taken out during the competition.

Following the fiasco, she put an end to her Canadian experience and reunited in Paris with her former coach Hervé Stéphan, retired from Dakar HPTC.  Under his direction, Thiam got back to 13th position in the 2005 World Top lists (50.69) and reached the Final of the World Championships in Helsinki (8th in 52.22). She then placed 4th in the World Athletics Final the following month in a seasonal best of 50.69 before she finally had surgery to solve her tonsillitis problem.

In 2006, her physical problems finally behind her, Thiam ran below 51 seconds three times (50.86 in Belem on 21 May, 50.54 in Saint-Denis on 8 July and 50.55 in Rome on 14 July).  Well above the others contestants in Africa, she was the expected winner of the African Championships in Bambous, Mauritius, on 11 August but the Senegalese confessed it was harder than expected because of the strong headwind and a thigh spasm sustained mid-race. She then pulled out of the remaining legs of the Golden League needing some rest to prepare for the World Cup in Athens, but the huge bends in lane 9, disturbed Thiam, who could place no higher than 6th in 51.39.

2007 had been one of Thiam’s most promising seasons. With 7 performances below 51 seconds and a season’s best of 50.15 from the Golden League meeting in Rome, she was ranked 7th in the World Top lists going to Osaka for the World Championships, a feat never recorded prior to a major world event. However, the year climaxed in drama with her premature exit in the heats in Japan.

Thiam’s regained shape had been derailed following her absence at the All-African Games in Algiers, in July, which she attributed to not being provided with a plane ticket on time. A suspended 6-month ban by the Senegalese federation just before the World Championship affected her psychologically to the point that she exploded during the heats, finishing a poor 7th in 54.31. Her subsequent slamming of Senegalese athletics authorities in front of the world media in the mixed zone landed her a one year suspension, annihilating her Olympic ambitions.

Thiam’s suspension was finally lifted in May 2008 after long negotiations and backstage maneuvers. However after 8 months without competition, it was too late for Thiam to get back into shape. After a couple pacemaking jobs for the 800m and a few poor outings in the 400m (53.48 SB mid July), the Senegalese drew the curtain on her season.

At 32, she could have called it a day, but with the support of long term coach Hervé Stéphan, she got back to serious training and achieved a solid 2009 indoor season (23.56 new national record in the 200m, and 52.51 on her best distance, three hundredths short of her indoor national record). Though her 2009 times were not up to the level of her best years, Thiam achieved some good performances (victory in Milano in 50.86 on 25 June, and two 3rd places in Rome on 10 July (50.71) and Athens on 13 July (50.72). She however had to settle for one second slower for 5th in her semi-final at the World Championships in Berlin (51.70).

In 2010, Thiam only went below 52 once before the African Championships (51.48 in Tomblaine on June 25). Moving away from world level, the Senegalese is no longer a match for African leader Amantle Montsho of Botswana, who claimed the continental title unchallenged in 50.03. But Thiam showed that she still remains a key player in Africa, claiming silver in 51.32 to earn a second selection in the African team for the Continental Cup.

Personal Best
49.86 (2001)

Yearly Progression
1995: 56.0; 1996: 54.40; 1997: 53.25; 1998: 51.60; 1999: 50.77; 2000: 50.88; 2001: 49.86; 2002: 50.96; 2003: 49.95; 2004: 50.82; 2005: 50.69; 2006: 50.54; 2007: 50.15; 2008: 53.48; 2009; 50.71; 2010: 51.32

Career Highlights
1999    sf    World Championships     (50.77)
1999    3rd    All Africa Games        (50.95)
2000    sf    Olympic Games         (51.60)
2001    1st    World Championships    (49.86)
2001    3rd    Goodwill Games         (51.25)
2003    3rd     World Championships     (49.95)
2004    h     Olympic Games        (52.44)
2005    8th     World Championships      (52.22)
2005    4th     World Athletics Final     (50.69) 
2006     1st     African Championships     (52.22)
2007    h     World Championships      (54.31)
2009    sf     World Championships     (51.70)
2010    2nd     African Championships    (51.32)

Prepared by Carole Fuchs for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. ©  IAAF 2006-2010.

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