Juantorena, El Caballo, gallops into IAAF Centenary Hall of Fame
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
June 13 - Alberto Juantorena, Cuba's prodigious double Olympic champion at the 1976 Montreal Games, is the latest athletics legend to be named as one of the 24 inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Hall of Fame which has been created to mark the year of the IAAF Centenary.
The announcement of this honour comes followed the Ibero-American Championships in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, where the Cuban team won eight titles and a total of 18 medals for second place on the medal table behind Brazil.
Juantorena (pictured above and below), now known at home as El Caballo, holds the unique distinction of being the only man during the IAAF era to win both the 400 and 800-metre Olympic titles at the same Games, a feat he achieved at Montreal 1976.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the longer distance, Juantorena crossed the line with a 1min 43.50sec world record at the Games, a mark he lowered to 1:43.44 the following year.
"It gives me the greatest pleasure on the closing of the Ibero-American Championships to announce the inclusion of Alberto Juantorena to the IAAF Hall of Fame," IAAF President Lamine Diack said.
"The 1976 Olympic 400 and 800m double created the Cuban legend of 'White Lightning' thanks to the powerful stride of 'El Caballo', the two famous nicknames of one of our greatest ever champions."
Juantorena is President of the Cuban Athletics Federation and a member of the IAAF Council.