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Olympic silver medallist Prokop dies at 65

Liese Prokop (AUT) (b. 27 Mar 1941 Tulln; née Sykora) died on Dec 31, aged 65, of a ruptured aorta.

A great all-rounder Prokop won the Olympic silver medal for pentathlon in 1968 with 4966 points, 132 behind the winner, Ingrid Mickler. She then had her greatest season in 1969, the year in which the 80mH was replaced by 100mH in the pentathlon, winning the European title with 5030 and setting a world record of 5352 points (4727 on the 1971 tables) at Südstadt, Vienna on Oct 4-5. She had also won the World University Games pentathlon in 1967.

In all she won 21 national titles at individual events: 100mH (2) 1969 & 1972, HJ (4) 1961-3, 1965; LJ 1975, SP (6) 1969, 1972-6; Pen (8) 1964-6, 1968-9, 1973-5. Austrian records: 100mH (6) to 13.4 and 13.81 auto (1973), LJ 6.43 & 6.48 (1969), SP (7) 14.61 (1968) to 16.04 (1975), Pen (with 80mH) (5) 4556 (1967) to 4966A (1968), Pen (with 100mH) 4575, 5089 and 5352 (1969). Other pbs (all 1969): 100m 12.3, 200m 24.6, 200mH 28.0, HJ 1.75, LJ 6.62w.

She was active in politics from 1969, becoming deputy governor of Lower Austria province and then Austrian minister of the interior in 2004. Her three children were born in 1966, 1970 and 1979.

Her sister Maria Sykora (b. 11 Oct 1946) won 16 Austrian titles and set 23 national records; she won the 800m at the European Indoors and World University Games in 1970 and was 3rd in the 1969 European 400m.

Peter Matthews and Mel Watman (Athletics International) for the IAAF