Joaquim CRUZ

Brazil BRA

Athletics

  • Olympic Medals
    1 G
    1 S
  • Games participations
    3
  • First Olympic Games
    Los Angeles 1984
  • Year of Birth
    1963
Olympic Results

Biography

Joaquim CRUZ

Joaquim Cruz began running as a 13-year-old, and soon set a junior world record of 1:44.3 for 800 metres in 1981. In 1983 he received a scholarship to the University of Oregon and won the NCAA 800 metre title that same year, adding a bronze medal at the 1983 World Championships. In 1984, Cruz won a rare 800 m/1,500 m double at the NCAA Championships and went to the 1984 Olympics as a favorite in the 800 m, along with world record holder Seb Coe of Great Britain. In the 800 metre final, Cruz crossed the line in 1:43.00, breaking Alberto Juantorena’s Olympic record and making him the first Brazilian Olympic track and field gold medalist since triple jumper Adhemar Ferreira da Silva, who won gold in 1952 and 1956.

After the Olympics, on a European tour, Cruz had one of the great stretches in 800 metre running. At the Weltklasse meet in Zurich he won in 1:42.34, becoming only the second runner in history to break 1:43, and setting a Brazilian record. Two days later he ran 1:42.41 at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels, and then two days after that, at a meeting in Köln (Cologne), Cruz ran the second fastest 800 meters in history, his time of 1:41.77 only four hundredths of a second short of Coe’s world record. By the end of 1984, Cruz was NCAA champion, Olympic champion, undefeated in all seven of his 800 metre finals, had run the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th fastest 800 metre times in history, and easily ranked #1 in the world for 800 meters in 1984 by Track & Field News. In 1985 Cruz continued to impress, winning six of his eight 800 metre races, the last three of which were won under 1:43, and again ranked #1 in the world for the year.

Injuries later hindered his training and he never again reached the peaks of 1984-85. He won gold at the 1987 Pan American Games in the 1,500 and a silver in the 800 at the 1988 Olympics, but Achilles’ tendon problems kept him out of competition for several years. He returned to international meets in 1993, with little success, although he did win the 1,500 metres at the 1995 Pan American Games.

Personal Bests: 800 – 1:41.77 (1984); 1500 – 3:34.63 (1988).

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Atlanta 1996

#8 h2 r1/3
1,500 metres
1,500 metres Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Seoul 1988

S
800 metres
800 metres Athletics
#7 h3 r1/3
1,500 metres
1,500 metres Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Los Angeles 1984

G
800 metres
800 metres Athletics
#1 h4 r1/3
1,500 metres
1,500 metres Athletics