Joyce Yakubowich
Personal information
Birth nameJoyce Sadowick
Born (1953-05-29) 29 May 1953 (age 68)
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Country Canada
SportWomen's athletics

Joyce Yakubowich (née Sadowick; born 29 May 1953) is a Canadian former track and field sprinter who competed mainly in the 200 metres and 400 metres. She was the 400 m gold medallist at the 1975 Pan American Games, where she also won relay medals. She twice represented Canada at the Summer Olympics (1972, 1976) and was a three-time Canadian national sprint champion.


Born in Burnaby, British Columbia,[1] she made her international debut at age seventeen at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. She was eliminated in the heats of the 400 m, but managed to secure a bronze medal with the Canadian women's 4 × 100 m relay team, which included Joan Hendry, Patty Loverock and Stephanie Berto.[2] She went on to attend the University of Victoria and broke several track records, including one for the 300 metres which remains unbeaten.[3]

Yakubowich ran at the 1971 Pan American Games and made her first individual final, taking sixth in the 400 m. With the Canadian relay team she missed a medal, taking fourth some distance behind bronze medallists Jamaica.[4] Her first national titles came at the 1972 Canadian Track and Field Championships, where she claimed both the 200 m and 400 m races – the latter in a championship record of 54.1 seconds.[5] An Olympic debut came the following year at the 1972 Munich Games, but the 19-year-old failed to make it out of the heats.[1] She gained her first individual medal a year later at the 1973 Pacific Conference Games, taking 400 m bronze.[6]

The 1975 season proved to be the peak of her career. First, she won the third and final national title of her career in the 200 m.[5] She was chosen to compete in four events at the 1975 Pan American Games. She placed sixth in the 200 m final, recording a lifetime best time of 23.34 seconds. She gave a dominant performance in the women's 400 m final, defeating American Debra Sapenter by over half a second to win the gold medal in 51.62 seconds – another lifetime personal record and also a games record. Another games record and gold medal came with the 4 × 400 m relay team of Margaret McGowen, Rachelle Campbell, and Joanne McTaggart, which she led off to victory to 3:30.36 minutes. A third medal of the games for Yakubowich came in the 4 × 100 metres relay: running the anchor leg off McTaggart and 100 m minor medallists Patty Loverock and Marjorie Bailey the team took the bronze.[7][8][9]

She made two further high-profile international appearances in her career following her Pan American success. She returned to the Olympic stage at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, running in the 400 m quarter-finals and placing eighth in the relay final on home turf alongside fellow Canadians Margaret Stride, Campbell and Yvonne Saunders.[1] Her last outing was for the Americas team at the 1977 IAAF World Cup: running with Cuba's Aurelia Pentón and Jamaicans Jacqueline Pusey and Helen Blake, she placed fifth.

International competitions

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Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1970 British Commonwealth Games Edinburgh, United Kingdom 6th (heats) 400 m 55.2
3rd 4 × 100 m relay 44.68
1971 Pan American Games Cali, Colombia 6th 400 m 54.88
4th 4 × 400 m relay 3:41.23
1972 Olympic Games Munich, Germany 6th (heats) 400 m 54.59
1973 Pacific Conference Games Toronto, Ontario, Canada 3rd 400 m 54.0
1975 Pan American Games Mexico City, Mexico 6th 200 m 23.34
1st 400 m 51.62 GR
3rd 4 × 100 m relay 43.68
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:30.36 GR
1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Quebec, Canada 7th (q-finals) 400 m 55.02
8th 4 × 400 m relay 3:28.91
1977 IAAF World Cup Düsseldorf, Germany 5th 4 × 400 m relay 3:31.0

National titles


  1. ^ a b c Joyce Yakubowich. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2016-02-13.
  2. ^ Games Results for Joyce Ladowick. Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved on 2016-02-13.
  3. ^ Vikes Men's and Women's Track 2010. Victoria Vikes. Retrieved on 2016-02-14.
  4. ^ 1971 Pan American Games. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 2016-02-14.
  5. ^ a b c Joyce Yakubowich. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2016-02-13.
  6. ^ Pacific Conference Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2016-02-14.
  7. ^ Pan American Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2016-02-14.
  8. ^ Joyce Yakubowich. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 2016-02-14.
  9. ^ 1975 Pan American Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2016-02-14.