Yeimer Lopez

Athlete Profile

    Cuba Cuba
    28 AUG 1982
Yeimer López of Cuba looks on during the men's 800m heats at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics (Getty Images)

Personal Best - Outdoor

Performance Wind Place Date
400 Metres 45.11 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 24 AUG 2003
800 Metres 1:43.07 Jerez de la Frontera 24 JUN 2008

Progression - Outdoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2014 46.16 Florø 07 JUN
2006 45.24 La Habana 03 JUN
2005 45.19 La Habana 19 MAY
2004 45.21 Huelva (Estadio Iberoamericano) 07 AUG
2003 45.11 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 24 AUG
2002 45.42 La Habana 29 NOV

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 1:45.75 Oslo (Bislett) 09 JUN
2015 1:46.13 Oslo (Bislett) 11 JUN
2014 1:43.71 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 05 JUL
2013 1:46.90 Riga 30 MAY
2012 1:45.89 Daegu 16 MAY
2011 1:45.90 Reims 05 JUL
2010 1:44.18 Doha (Hamad Bin Suhaim) 14 MAY
2009 1:44.10 La Habana (Estadio Panamericano) 30 MAY
2008 1:43.07 Jerez de la Frontera 24 JUN
2007 1:44.58 Rio de Janeiro 28 JUL
2006 1:48.92 Fort-de-France 29 APR
2005 1:46.61 La Habana 18 MAR
2002 1:47.2 La Habana 20 JUN

Honours - 400 Metres

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
28th Olympic Games 4sf2 45.52 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 21 AUG 2004
9th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 4sf3 45.11 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 24 AUG 2003

Honours - 800 Metres

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 10 1:47.80 Berlin (Olympiastadion) 23 AUG 2009
The XXIX Olympic Games 6 1:45.88 Beijing (National Stadium) 23 AUG 2008
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 5h3 1:46.28 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 30 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 8h2 1:52.24 Helsinki (Olympic Stadium) 11 AUG 2005

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Updated 20 August 2007

Yeimer LOPEZ Garcia, Cuba (800m)

Born 28 August 1982
Buey Arriba, Granma 1.85m 78kg

Manager: Javier Sotomayor/Jesús Molina 

Coach: Amarilis Hernández

Considered at home as one of the most talented Cuban runners to step on a track in the last few years, Yeimer Lopez is in a solid position to excel at the world level. And the World Championships, in Osaka, is a good opportunity to make the decisive leap after he produced a commanding race to win the Pan American Games, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1:44.58 this season.

Lopez took up athletics at the age of 10, but lost motivation and quit four years later. However, his twin sister, Ana, carried on and her 200m bronze medal at the 1999 World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, prompted him to return to the sport at the age of 17.

Two years later, Lopez joined the national team and made his first impact on home soil when achieving the 400m/800m double at the National Olympics in 2002, including a promising 45.42 over the one-lap race. In 2003, he won his first international medal when second in the 400m at the Pan American Games, in Santo Domingo, with 45.11. He went on to reach the semi-finals in his debut at the World Championships, in Paris, in 2003.

Although Lopez ran some 800m races, he focused on the one-lap race and reached the semi-finals on his Olympic debut in Athens in 2004. In 2005, he gave the 800m a try and won the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Nassau and improved his best to 1:46.61. But a poor outing took him out of contention in the first round of the World Championships in Helsinki.

Lopez returned to the 400m in 2006 and enjoyed his first international victory at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Cartagena, Colombia. In 2007, he focused again on the two laps and posted four races in the 1:46-1:47 range as a preparation for the Pan American Games.

On a rainy final in Rio, Lopez was propelled by Brazilians Kleberson Davide and Fabiano Peçanha as well as Canada’s defending champion Achraf Tadili, before launching an impressive quarter miler attack to cross the finish line in 1:44.58, two seconds faster than his previous best, for a new Pan American Games record.

“Things turned out in my favour,” Lopez said. “It was a fast race and that helped me clock a fast time. I have been waiting for this time. My room-mate Guillermo (Martinez) boosted my confidence ahead of the Rio final.”

The time ranks him third in the Cuban all-time lists, confirming him as a top contender in Osaka. “I am very motivated and more mature for my third World Championships. My training has gone well and my goal is to reach the final. Once there, anything can happen. I look forward to racing with the world’s best.”

Lopez trains under the guidance of Amarilis Hernandez, who led Norberto Tellez to the silver medal at the 1997 World Championships and the national record of 1:42.85 at the 1996 Olympics. Off the track, Lopez is a quiet person and prefers to spend time with his girlfriend, 2005 CAC Pole Vault champion Katiuska Lopez.

Yearly Progression

400m: 2001-47.51; 2002-45.42; 2003-45.11; 2004-45.21; 2005-45.19; 2006-45.24; 2007-46.50.
800m: 2001-1:50.75; 2002-1:47.2, 2003-1:47.94; 2005-1:46.61, 2006-1:48.92; 2007-1:44.58

Personal Bests

400m: 45.11 (2003)
800m: 1:44.58 (2007)

Career Highlights

2005 1st  Central American and Caribbean Championships
2007  1st  Pan American Games

2003 2nd Pan American Games
2006 1st Central American and Caribbean Games


Prepared by Javier Clavelo for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. ©  IAAF 2007.

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