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Blankers-Koen was born Francina Elsje Koen on 26 April 1918 in Lage Vuursche ( near Baarn ) to Arnoldus and Helena Koen.
Her father was a government official who competed in the shot put and discus.
She had five brothers.
As a teenager, she enjoyed tennis, swimming, gymnastics, ice skating, fencing and running.
Standing, she was a natural athlete.
It soon became clear she was a sports talent, but she could not decide which sport to pick.
A swimming coach advised her to do track because there were already several top swimmers in the Netherlands at that time ( such as Rie Mastenbroek ), and she would have a better chance to qualify for the Olympics in a track event.

1.795 seconds.