Alberto Juantorena

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAlberto•Juantorena Danger
Used nameAlberto•Juantorena
Nick/petnamesEl Caballo, El elegante de las pistas
Born21 November 1950 in Santiago de Cuba (CUB)
Measurements190 cm / 84 kg
NOC Cuba


Alberto Juantorena, known as El Caballo, or The Horse, began as a basketball player but was discovered as a sprinter and competed at the 1972 Olympics, making the semi-finals of the 400 metres. In 1973, Juantorena won the 400 at the Universiade and in 1975 won two silver medals - 400 metres and 4×400 metres relay (with Eddy Gutiérrez, Carlos Álvarez, and Dámaso Alfonso) - at the Pan American Games. In 1976 he increased his range and won the 400 and 800 at the Montréal Olympics, the 800 in a world-record time of 1:43.50 and the 400 in a low-altitude world record of 44.26. In 1977, Juantorena won the 400 and 800 at the first World Cup of Athletics, and in that year set another world record in the 800, running 1:43.44 in Sofia at the Universiade. In 1979 he won again silver in 400 metres and bronze with the 4×400 metres relay team (with Carlos Álvarez and the non-Olympians Pedro Tanis and Frank Montiéh) at the Pan American Games. At the Central American and Caribbean Games, Juantorena won the 400 in both 1974 and 1978, and the 800 in 1978 and 1982.

He was World Ranked #1 in the 400 in 1974, 1976, 1977, and 1978, and in the 800 in 1976-77, and was voted World Athlete of the Year in 1976 and 1977. Juantorena competed at the 1980 Olympics with less success and competed at the first World Athletics Championships in 1983, where he broke his foot after finishing his heat in the first round of the 800 when he stepped on the inner track border, after which he retired from competition. He has since become the Vice-Minister of Sports in Cuba.

Personal Bests: 400 – 44.26 (1976); 800 – 1:43.44 (1977).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics CUB Alberto Juantorena
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h2 r3/4
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics CUB Alberto Juantorena
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Cuba 7
1980 Summer Olympics Athletics CUB Alberto Juantorena
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 4

Olympic family relations

Special Notes


Date of birth also seen as 3 December but Cuban sources, notably and both support the 21 November DOB.