Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Alberto Juantorena to visit UK

Alberto Juantorena, Cuban world champion middle distance runner and Vice President of INDER, the Cuban Institute of Sport, will be coming to the UK as a guest of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. He will be attending a number of events and meetings around that time with a focus on parliament and the upcoming London Olympics.
At the 1976 Summer Olympics, Juantorena became the first and so far only athlete to win both the 400 and 800m Olympic titles setting world records at both events.   With his famous sprint and his unique middle distance combination he seemed to have heralded a new era and style for middle distance runners. In the 1970’s Juantorena was often referred to as ‘White Lightening’ or ‘El Caballo’ (the horse).
Current UK Olympic chief Sebastian Coe is a friend and admirer of Juantorena and they ran against each other on a number of occasions in the late 1970s.  In 1979 Sebastian Coe finally broke Juantorena’s 800m record

"I remember seeing him in Montreal and thinking, 'I'm in the wrong distance.' This was a record that was sensational." - Sebastian Coe
With the 2012 London Olympics fast approaching his visit is a timely reminder of the strength of Cuban sporting achievement, reflecting the open participatory nature of sport and culture within Cuban society.
Juantorena is one of the most prominent of Cuban sporting figures and travels the world in his role as a council member of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF). He has always maintained the highest standards in support of athletics and sports in general and is a great exponent of the Cuban sports ethos.

“We want to promote the great qualities of athletics - and maintain its integrity - all over the world.”
Juantorena will be one of the special guest speakers at the Latin America Conference on December 3rd at Congress House. He will speak alongside three of the mothers of the Miami Five as well as over 50 speakers from Latin America and Cuba.

Juantorena's visit is a real opportunity for people to hear first hand from this true great of world athletics

For media enquiries and hi-res photos contact Cuba Solidarity Campaign via telephone 0208 800 0155 or email

Watch Juantorena discuss the 800m with Sebastian Coe, Wilson Kipketer, and David Rudisha

Watch Juantorena win the 800m at 1976 Olympic games

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