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Monday, July 10, 2006

All-Time Top Tens -- Men's 800 meters

Here's the first installment of the all-time rankings.

#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.

Year Rank Mark Meets, Etc
1981 -- 1:44.3 6)W Cup
1982 -- 1:46.0
1983 2 1:44.04 3)W Ch
1984 1 1:41.77 1)Oly Gms, 1)Weltklasse; undefeated
1985 1 1:42.29 2)Weltklasse
1986 -- --
did not compete
1987 -- 1:45.00
1988 4 1:43.90 2)Oly Gms

Links: Official site - Wikipedia - Sporting Heroes

3 comments:

tom said...

yeesh -- Joaquim Cruz is only #10 on your top 10 list of 800m runners? I am now very interested in hearing your one through nine!

The Track & Field Superfan said...

Follow the link:
http://track-superfan.blogspot.com/2007/02/all-time-top-tens-mens-800-meters.html

Based on the criteria set forth at the beginning:
http://track-superfan.blogspot.com/2006/07/all-time-top-tens-in-track-field.html
that's where he stands. Whether or not the others are better than him is a debatable point; that theirs is more accomplished than his is less so.

The Track & Field Superfan said...

EDIT: That last sentence should have finished with "that their careers are more accomplished than his is less debatable".