Athlete Profile

Yoel Hernandez

  • COUNTRY Cuba Cuba
  • DATE OF BIRTH 12 DEC 1977
Cuban sprint hurdler Yoel Hernandez (Getty Images)
Cuban sprint hurdler Yoel Hernandez (Getty Images)
  • COUNTRY Cuba Cuba
  • DATE OF BIRTH 12 DEC 1977


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 28 February 2008

Yoel HERNANDEZ Reyes, Cuba (110m hurdles)

Born 12 December 1977, Manacas, Villa Clara, 1.84m/77kg

Manager: Javier Sotomayor/Jesús Molina; Coach: Santiago Antunez

In a country which has produced three of the world’s most talented sprint hurdlers of recent times - Anier Garcia and Dayron Robles are the other two – Cuba’s Yoel Hernandez has developed a notable career over the barriers.

Hernandez took up athletics in his spare time in his native town in 1988 and his physical education teacher soon discovered his speed, developing him into a competitive sprinter at the National Youth Games. In 1993, he joined the national junior team and learned from experienced hurdlers such as World Championships finalists, Emilio Valle and Erick Batte.

In 1994 Hernandez reached the semi-finals of the World Junior Championships, in Lisbon, and a year later broke the 14-seconds barrier, going on to win the Central American and Caribbean Junior and World Junior titles in 1996. These results thrust him into the national senior team before the age of 19.

Hernandez made huge progress in 1999 when he emerged on the international scene with the silver medal at the Pan American Games, in Winnipeg, where he ran a PB 13.24. He regards Winnipeg as one of the most important achievements in his career. In the same year, he was sixth at the World Championships, in Sevilla.

He equalled his PB a year later but failed to qualify for the final at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. In 2001, he came close to the medals with fifth place at the World Indoor Championships, in Lisbon, and fourth at the World outdoors, in Edmonton.

Overshadowed by Garcia, the 2000 Olympic champion, Hernandez had to wait a few years to enjoy new international victories at the 2004 Ibero-American Championships, in Spain, and the 2005 Central American and Caribbean Championships, in Nassau.

In 2006, Robles emerged as the island’s new hurdling star, but Hernandez maintained a consistent performance and finished third at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Cartagena, Colombia. In 2007, after years trying to lower his PB of 13.24 from 1999, he finally managed it with 13.23, in Athens, in July. He secured his second Pan American Games medal with the bronze in Rio de Janeiro, but failed to reach his fourth World Championships final, in Osaka.

Hernandez goes into the 2008 World Indoor Championships, in Valencia, having run three finals in his four World Indoor Championships so far. With a gradual performance this winter, Hernandez has what it takes to make it again among the top eight, as he did in 2001 and 2004.


Athletics is his family’s favourite sport as Yoel has two brothers - Ernesto and Olelaisis - who also practise track and field. He is married to the Olympian and former 400m runner, Idalmis Bonne, and the couple have one child.


Personal Bests

110m hurdles: 13.23 (2007), 60m hurdles: 7.40 (2000)


Yearly Progression

1994 - 14.20; 1995 - 13.81; 1996 - 13.81/13.72w; 1997 - 13.70; 1998 - 13.45; 1999 -13.24; 2000 - 13.24/13.20w; 2001 - 13.30; 2002 - 13.30; 2003 - 13.49; 2004 -13.29/13.28w; 2005 - 13.39/13.32w; 2006 - 13.39; 2007 - 13.23.
Indoors
2000 - 7.45; 2000 - 7.40; 2001 - 7.58; 2002 - 7.56; 2003 - 7.57; 2004 - 7.59; 2005 -7.71; 2006 - 7.62; 2008 - 7.60.


Career Highlights

1996 1st  Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships
1996  1st   World Junior Championships 
1999 2nd    Pan American Games
1999 6th   World Championships
2001 5th   World Indoor Championships
2001 4th   World Championships
2003 7th   World Championships
2004 7th    World Indoor Championships
2004 1st   Ibero-American Championships
2005  1st  Central American and Caribbean Championships
2006    8th      World Indoor Championships
2006 3rd  Central American and Caribbean Games
2007 3rd  Pan American Games


Prepared by Javier Clavelo for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright  IAAF  2008.

Personal Best - Outdoor
Performance Wind Place Date
110 Metres Hurdles 13.23 +0.4 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 02 JUL 2007
Personal Best - Indoor
Performance Wind Place Date
50 Metres Hurdles 6.42 Liévin 13 FEB 2000
60 Metres Hurdles 7.40 Madrid 16 FEB 2000
Progression - Outdoor showShow All Graphs
110 Metres Hurdles Show Graphshow
Performance Wind Place Date
2009 13.89 +1.4 La Habana (Estadio Panamericano) 12 JUN
2007 13.23 +0.4 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 02 JUL
2006 13.39 +0.2 Alcalá de Henares 24 JUN
2005 13.39 +1.9 Zaragoza 23 JUN
2004 13.29 +0.8 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 25 AUG
2003 13.49 0.0 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 29 AUG
2002 13.30 0.0 La Habana 08 MAR
2001 13.30 -0.3 Edmonton 09 AUG
2000 13.24 +0.5 Bruxelles 25 AUG
1999 13.24 +1.1 Winnipeg 30 JUL
1998 13.45 +0.3 La Habana 31 JUL
1997 13.70 +1.8 La Habana 16 MAY
1996 13.81 -1.1 Sydney (SOPAC) 25 AUG
1996 13.81 +0.9 Camagüey 01 MAR
1995 13.81 +0.1 La Habana 26 JUN
1994 14.20 +1.7 Lisboa 21 JUL
Progression - Indoor showShow All Graphs
50 Metres Hurdles Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2008 6.60 Stockholm 21 FEB
2004 6.58 Liévin 28 FEB
2003 6.51 Liévin 23 FEB
2001 6.51 Liévin 25 FEB
2000 6.42 Liévin 13 FEB
60 Metres Hurdles Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2008 7.60 Karlsruhe 10 FEB
2006 7.62 Moskva (Olimpiyskiy Stadion) 11 MAR
2005 7.71 Stockholm 15 FEB
2004 7.59 Budapest (Sportarena) 06 MAR
2003 7.57 Karlsruhe 28 FEB
2002 7.56 Stuttgart 03 FEB
2001 7.58 Lisboa (Atlantic Pavillion) 09 MAR
2001 7.58 Wien 12 FEB
2000 7.40 Madrid 16 FEB
Honours - 60 Metres Hurdles
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
12th IAAF World Indoor Championships 8 7.91 Valencia (Velódromo Luis Puig), ESP 08 MAR 2008
11th IAAF World Indoor Championships 8 7.62 Moskva (Olimpiyskiy Stadion) 11 MAR 2006
10th IAAF World Indoor Championships 7 7.78 Budapest (Sportarena) 06 MAR 2004
9th IAAF World Indoor Championships 6h4 7.86 Birmingham (NIA), GBR 15 MAR 2003
8th IAAF World Indoor Championships 5 7.58 Lisboa (Atlantic Pavillion) 09 MAR 2001
Honours - 110 Metres Hurdles
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 4sf2 13.37 -0.3 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 30 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 4sf1 13.54 -0.5 Helsinki 11 AUG 2005
28th Olympic Games 6sf1 13.37 -0.1 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 26 AUG 2004
9th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 7 13.57 +0.3 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 30 AUG 2003
8th IAAF World Championships 4 13.30 -0.3 Edmonton 09 AUG 2001
27th Olympic Games 5sf2 13.41 +0.1 Sydney 25 SEP 2000
7th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 6 13.30 +1.0 Sevilla 25 AUG 1999
6th IAAF World Junior Championships 1 13.83 +1.8 Sydney (SOPAC) 25 AUG 1996


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 28 February 2008

Yoel HERNANDEZ Reyes, Cuba (110m hurdles)

Born 12 December 1977, Manacas, Villa Clara, 1.84m/77kg

Manager: Javier Sotomayor/Jesús Molina; Coach: Santiago Antunez

In a country which has produced three of the world’s most talented sprint hurdlers of recent times - Anier Garcia and Dayron Robles are the other two – Cuba’s Yoel Hernandez has developed a notable career over the barriers.

Hernandez took up athletics in his spare time in his native town in 1988 and his physical education teacher soon discovered his speed, developing him into a competitive sprinter at the National Youth Games. In 1993, he joined the national junior team and learned from experienced hurdlers such as World Championships finalists, Emilio Valle and Erick Batte.

In 1994 Hernandez reached the semi-finals of the World Junior Championships, in Lisbon, and a year later broke the 14-seconds barrier, going on to win the Central American and Caribbean Junior and World Junior titles in 1996. These results thrust him into the national senior team before the age of 19.

Hernandez made huge progress in 1999 when he emerged on the international scene with the silver medal at the Pan American Games, in Winnipeg, where he ran a PB 13.24. He regards Winnipeg as one of the most important achievements in his career. In the same year, he was sixth at the World Championships, in Sevilla.

He equalled his PB a year later but failed to qualify for the final at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. In 2001, he came close to the medals with fifth place at the World Indoor Championships, in Lisbon, and fourth at the World outdoors, in Edmonton.

Overshadowed by Garcia, the 2000 Olympic champion, Hernandez had to wait a few years to enjoy new international victories at the 2004 Ibero-American Championships, in Spain, and the 2005 Central American and Caribbean Championships, in Nassau.

In 2006, Robles emerged as the island’s new hurdling star, but Hernandez maintained a consistent performance and finished third at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Cartagena, Colombia. In 2007, after years trying to lower his PB of 13.24 from 1999, he finally managed it with 13.23, in Athens, in July. He secured his second Pan American Games medal with the bronze in Rio de Janeiro, but failed to reach his fourth World Championships final, in Osaka.

Hernandez goes into the 2008 World Indoor Championships, in Valencia, having run three finals in his four World Indoor Championships so far. With a gradual performance this winter, Hernandez has what it takes to make it again among the top eight, as he did in 2001 and 2004.


Athletics is his family’s favourite sport as Yoel has two brothers - Ernesto and Olelaisis - who also practise track and field. He is married to the Olympian and former 400m runner, Idalmis Bonne, and the couple have one child.


Personal Bests

110m hurdles: 13.23 (2007), 60m hurdles: 7.40 (2000)


Yearly Progression

1994 - 14.20; 1995 - 13.81; 1996 - 13.81/13.72w; 1997 - 13.70; 1998 - 13.45; 1999 -13.24; 2000 - 13.24/13.20w; 2001 - 13.30; 2002 - 13.30; 2003 - 13.49; 2004 -13.29/13.28w; 2005 - 13.39/13.32w; 2006 - 13.39; 2007 - 13.23.
Indoors
2000 - 7.45; 2000 - 7.40; 2001 - 7.58; 2002 - 7.56; 2003 - 7.57; 2004 - 7.59; 2005 -7.71; 2006 - 7.62; 2008 - 7.60.


Career Highlights

1996 1st  Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships
1996  1st   World Junior Championships 
1999 2nd    Pan American Games
1999 6th   World Championships
2001 5th   World Indoor Championships
2001 4th   World Championships
2003 7th   World Championships
2004 7th    World Indoor Championships
2004 1st   Ibero-American Championships
2005  1st  Central American and Caribbean Championships
2006    8th      World Indoor Championships
2006 3rd  Central American and Caribbean Games
2007 3rd  Pan American Games


Prepared by Javier Clavelo for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright  IAAF  2008.