After disappointing results at the Atlanta Games (18th and last in the final of the 10.000 m and eliminated in the semi-finals of the 5000 m), Stefano Baldini found that his strength was in marathons, a discipline in which he started in Venice in 1995. He wasn't in top condition at the 2000 Sydney Games and dropped out at the 18th km, whereas in Athens he obtained his greatest accomplishment, becoming the second Italian to win the Olympic marathon after Gelindo Bordin. Baldini held back from the other competitors in the main stages of the race, then attacked at the 36th km, closing the gap on the American Meb Keflezighi and the Brazilian Vanderlei de Lima, reaching the Panathinaiko Stadium first. Earlier in the race, leader de Lima lost seven seconds when he was attacked and shoved to the ground by Cornelius Horan, an ex-Irish priest. In addition to his Olympic gold medal, Baldini won two European titles (1998 and 2006) and 2 World Championship bronze medals (2001 and 2003) in the marathon, a half-marathon world title (1996), six Italian titles in the 10.000 m and five in the half-marathon, in addition to winning the marathons of Rome (1998) and Madrid (2001).
Personal Bests: 5000 – 13:23.43 (1996); 10000 – 27:43.98 (1996); Mar – 2-07:22 (2006).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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