#10. Joaquim Cruz (Brazil)
Born March 12, 1963, Taguatinga, Brazil
The heights of Cruz' career were great; his 1984 season was one of the best the event has ever seen. But with only four world rankings spread out over six seasons, there's just not enough there to merit being placed above the tenth spot.
Cruz was great almost from the start. At age 15 he ran 1:51, and in 1981 he set a World Junior Record of 1:44.3 (good enough for #2 on the world list, but not a world ranking). He went to the University of Oregon in the fall of 1982 and over the next three years he rarely lost. His best time, 1:41.77, is still #3 on the all-time world list some 22 years later.
But after that three-year run his achilles tendons began to give him trouble. He regained form enough to pick up a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics, but that was the end of the line for him. Cruz now lives in the San Diego area and coaches track.
|1984||1||1:41.77||1)Oly Gms, 1)Weltklasse; undefeated|
|1986||--||-- ||did not compete|
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