1971: first broadcast of German classic 'show with the mouse' and 800m world record
In the year before the Munich Olympic Games, Falck-Kimmich pulled off the ultimate coup. Together with her trainer, she opted to lead the 800m at the German Championships from gun to tape. Et voilà, world record! No pace, no calculations, just running. The then 22-year-old tackled the first 200 metres in a brisk 28.5 seconds. "It's common nowadays, but it wasn't so common back then." From the side-line, her coach shouted her split times. It soon became apparent she would not be hampered for starting so quickly. The three remaining 200m sections were each completed in around 30 seconds. And with that Falck-Kimmich had done it! She broke the previously unthinkable two-minute barrier, a goal she herself didn’t think achievable: "This world record in Stuttgart, with 1:58.5 minutes, came as a great surprise to me."
The training beforehand and the performance in other competitions were good and the barrier was shattered. She undercut Nikolić’s world record by almost 2.5 seconds. A quantum leap! With Ellen Tittel, Sylvia Schenk and Christa Merten, Falck-Kimmich was also able to celebrate a 4x800m relay world record.
The result of the European Championships in Helsinki was less pleasant. Getting tangled up with Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR), Falck-Kimmich fell in the final in a scramble on the back straight. She would like to clarify rumours about the fall, as she has repeatedly been asked whether her East German competitor knowingly pushed her with malicious intent: "We both wanted to win, so you don't get involved in jostling. It was just a very unfortunate coincidence.”
1972: Star Trek and summer Olympics countdown
Before the highlight of the season, Falck-Kimmich was hoping for a third consecutive title at the German Championships with another start-to-finish victory. This time she tackled the first 400 metres in the Olympiastadium in Munich in a brisk 57.5 seconds, one second faster than at her world record performance from the previous year: "That didn't do me any good – I was overtaken by Sylvia Schenk in the last few metres on the home straight."