Alberto Juantorena (born 3 December 1950) is a Cuban former runner. He is the only athlete to win both the 400 and 800 m Olympic titles, which he achieved in 1976. He was ranked as world’s best runner in the 400 m in 1974 and 1976–1978, and in the 800 m in 1976–77, and was chosen as the Track & Field News Athlete of the Year in 1976 and 1977.
Alberto Juantorena (born 3 December 1950) is a Cuban former runner. He is the unaided athlete to win both the 400 and 800 m Olympic titles, which he achieved in 1976. He was ranked as world’s best runner in the 400 m in 1974 and 1976–1978, and in the 800 m in 1976–77, and was selected as the Track & Field News Athlete of the Year in 1976 and 1977.
As a 188 cm (6 ft 2 in) 14-year-old, Juantorena was first considered a potential star at basketball; he was sent to a divulge basketball school, and was a supporter of the national team. Meanwhile, he had been a regional high-school champion at 800 and 1500 meters. His running knack was discovered by a Polish track coach, Zygmunt Zabierzowski, who convinced him to Begin running seriously. Juantorena was ready for the modify because as he states himself he was a ‘bad’ basketball player and his idol was the Cuban sprinter Enrique Figuerola. Only a year later, Juantorena reached semifinals of the 400 m matter at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Juantorena proceeded to win a gold medal at the 1973 World University Games and a silver at the 1975 Pan American Games, both in the 400 meters. He was unbeaten in 1973 and 1974, but underwent two operations upon his foot in 1975. He by yourself seriously took up management the 800 meters in 1976, so few thought he was a candidate for the Olympic gold that year. His coach, Zabierzowski, had initially tricked him in to exasperating an 800 m race by convincing him the other runners needed a pacemaker.
Juantorena made it to the 800m Olympic final, and led the arena for most of the race, eventually winning in a world record get older of 1:43.50. He was the first non-English speaking athlete to win Olympic gold in this event. Three days later, he as a consequence won the 400 meter final, setting a low-altitude world photograph album at 44.26. By winning the 400 meters, he became the first athlete since Paul Pilgrim at the 1906 Intercalated Games to pull off such a double at an Olympic sports event, and was the unaided man to do hence at an officially official Olympics.
In 1977, he set substitute world baby book in the 800, running 1:43.44 in Sofia at the World University Games. He after that won both the 400 m and 800 m at the 1977 IAAF World Cup. The 400 m race was mired in controversy taking into consideration the race was re-run a hours of daylight after the initial race, in which Juantorena done third, because Juantorena lodged a affluent protest that his slow Begin had been due to not being able to hear the starter’s gun. The latter race featured an epic duel following his great rival Kenya’s Mike Boit, a duel that did not happen at the previous year’s Olympics because of the African countries boycott.
Juantorena, now known at house as El Caballo (the horse), continued his career, although injuries intended he would never reach the thesame level as in Montreal. Juantorena had been born afterward flat feet that caused feet and incite problems, and he had to have corrective surgery in 1977. In 1978 he was unbeaten at the 400 m, but suffered his first ever destroy at 800 meters. Injuries, particularly hamstring injuries, hampered his training and racing leading going on to the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where he just missed out upon a medal in the 400 meters, placing fourth.
At the 1983 World Championships, his last international expose in a major event, he broke his foot and tore ligaments in imitation of he stepped upon the inside of the track after qualifying in the first circular of the 800 m. He returned to training following a view to competing in the 1984 Summer Olympics. However the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott over and done with his last inadvertent for competing at Olympics. Instead, he took portion in the Friendship Games, the alternating to the official Olympics for the Eastern bloc countries, where he shared the gold medal in the 800 m in the broadcast of Ryszard Ostrowski.
After retirement from athletics in 1984, Juantorena has served in many approved capacities, including as the Vice President of the National Institute for Sports, Physical Education and Recreation for Cuba, Vice Minister for Sport of Cuba, and Vice-President, later Senior Vice-President of the Cuban Olympic Committee. He is a aficionada of the World Athletics Council, and has plus served as an Athletes’ Commission Chairman and Grand Prix Commission Member.