Luguelín Santos

Athlete Profile

    Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
    12 NOV 1992
Luguelin Santos at the Pan American Games (Getty Images)

Personal Best - Outdoor

Performance Wind Place Date
200 Metres 20.55 +0.5 Morelia 07 JUL 2013
300 Metres 32.56 Uppsala 28 JUL 2012
400 Metres 44.11 Beijing (National Stadium) 26 AUG 2015
500 Metres 1:15.58 Río Piedras 19 MAR 2016
600 Metres 1:15.15 San Germán 07 MAR 2015
800 Metres 1:49.18 Carolina, PUR 22 MAR 2014

Personal Best - Indoor

Performance Wind Place Date
300 Metres 33.26 Gent (Topsporthal) 09 FEB 2014
400 Metres 45.80 Madrid (Gallur) 24 FEB 2017
500 Metres 1:01.76 New York (Ocean Breeze), NY 14 JAN 2017
600 Metres 1:16.01 Montréal (CR) 21 FEB 2015

Progression - Outdoor

200 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2017 20.95 +1.3 Santa Marta (Bureche) 22 NOV
2016 20.70 +0.8 Mayagüez 02 APR
2013 20.55 +0.5 Morelia 07 JUL
2012 20.73 +0.8 Mayagüez 05 MAY

300 Metres

Performance Place Date
2012 32.56 Uppsala 28 JUL

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017 45.24 Taipei City 25 AUG
2016 44.71 Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico) 13 AUG
2015 44.11 Beijing (National Stadium) 26 AUG
2014 44.53 Ponce 17 MAY
2013 44.52 Moskva (Luzhniki) 13 AUG
2012 44.45 Hengelo (Blankers-Koen Stadion) 27 MAY
2011 44.71 Guadalajara, MEX 26 OCT
2010 46.19 Santo Domingo 26 JUN
2009 47.58 Santo Domingo 20 JUN

500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 1:15.58 Río Piedras 19 MAR

600 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017 1:15.90 Gurabo 18 MAR
2015 1:15.15 San Germán 07 MAR

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2014 1:49.18 Carolina, PUR 22 MAR

Progression - Indoor

300 Metres

Performance Place Date
2014 33.26 Gent (Topsporthal) 09 FEB

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017 45.80 Madrid (Gallur) 24 FEB
2014 45.89 Stockholm (Globe Arena) 06 FEB
2013 46.79 Stockholm 21 FEB
2012 46.83 Istanbul (Ataköy Arena) 09 MAR

500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017 1:01.76 New York (Ocean Breeze), NY 14 JAN

600 Metres

Performance Place Date
2015 1:16.01 Montréal (CR) 21 FEB
2014 1:16.90 Montréal (McG) 25 JAN

Honours - 200 Metres

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
14th IAAF World Championships 7h5 21.13 -0.6 Moskva (Luzhniki) 16 AUG 2013

Honours - 400 Metres

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
IAAF World Championships London 2017 5h4 45.73 London (Olympic Stadium) 05 AUG 2017
The XXXI Olympic Games 4sf1 44.71 Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico) 13 AUG 2016
15th IAAF World Championships 4 44.11 Beijing (National Stadium) 26 AUG 2015
2nd IAAF Continental Cup 2014 5 45.34 Marrakech (Le Grande Stade) 13 SEP 2014
IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014 4sf2 46.37 Sopot (Ergo Arena) 07 MAR 2014
14th IAAF World Championships 3 44.52 Moskva (Luzhniki) 13 AUG 2013
The XXX Olympic Games 2 44.46 London (Olympic Stadium) 06 AUG 2012
14th IAAF World Junior Championships 1 44.85 Barcelona (Estadio Olímpico) 12 JUL 2012
IAAF World Indoor Championships 2012 4sf3 46.83 Istanbul (Ataköy Arena) 09 MAR 2012
1st Youth Olympic Games (athletics) 1r4 47.11 Singapore 21 AUG 2010
13th IAAF World Junior Championships 6 46.90 Moncton (Moncton Stadium) 22 JUL 2010

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Created 26 July 2012

Luguelín Miguel SANTOS Aquino

Dominican Republic  (400m)

Born 12 November 93 in Bayaguana

Height: 1.77m   Weight: 60kg

Coach: José Ludwig Rubio

Luguelín Miguel Santos Aquino has rapidly risen as a world class 400m runner and has the Dominican Republic dreaming of Olympic joy again after Felix Sanchez’s gold in Athens 2004.

The oldest of three brothers, Luguelín was born to Juan Santos Santos, a freight lift operator, and Irma Aquino Méndez, a housewife, in Bayaguana, provice of Monte Plata, an hour’s drive northeast of Santo Domingo.

An older cousin Ceila Aquino, a long jumper and sprinter, introduced him to athletics in 2002. He combined athletics and cycling until he chose to focus on the former in 2003. His first coach was Rosa Tiburcio.

With no track in his hometown, his training was done at the baseball stadium. He initially ran longer distances, but eventually came down to the middle distances. He once tried the 400m in 2008 and ran 1:13. After a few months of training, he tried again and ran 53 seconds.

He was then seen by coach and former president of the Dominican Athletics Federation José Ludwig Rubio, who took him to his group in 2008.

And his career immediately started to improve. In 2009, he ran 47.58 in June and made the national team for the Pan American Junior Championships in Port of Spain. 

“I remember Grenada’s Rondell (Bartholomew) ran past me in the north straight and I felt as I was not moving. I did not make it to the final but was still very proud to represent my country for the first time”, recalled Santos with a smile.

He finished fifth in his heat with 47.88 and ran the second leg of the 4x400m relay team who set a national junior record of 3:13.18 for sixth. He missed the World Youth Championships in Italy due to visa problems.

The following season meant more international participation. He first won the Youth Olympic Games trials in San Salvador with a personal best of 47.22. At only 16, he improved over a second to set a new national youth and junior record of 46.16 in Santo Domingo.

He then collected his first regional medal by taking individual silver and the relay bronze at the Central American Junior Championships on home soil and followed with a sixth place finish at the World Junior Championships in Moncton.

Such results earned him a spot on the Dominican team for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010, where he made his country proud by winning the 400m.

“Singapore was a memorable experience for me,” he recalled. Not only winning gold, but also making new friends, the cultural activities at the Village and also learning about the Olympics. I really felt what the Olympic spirit was all about.”

The year 2011 did not start as promising, as he suffered a left hamstring injury that did not allow him to train properly for five months. He qualified to the Central American and Caribbean Championships final, in Puerto Rico, but suffered a minor muscle injury in his left leg and did not finish the race. For that reason, he missed the World Championships in Daegu.

Fully recovered, he broke the 46-second barrier (45.97, 13 August in Bogotá) for the first time and confirmed his training for the Pan American Games was on the right track.

In Guadalajara, he benefited from a fast race and a rivalry with Costa Rica’s Nery Brenes and Bahamas’ Ramon Miller to set a national junior record of 45.41 in the semifinals.

That set the stage for the final a day later. He was determined to fight for gold and he did, leading the race in the first 300m, before he was overtaken by Brenes in the homestretch. “I was expecting a low 45 second, but when I saw the clock at 44.71, I put my hands on my head and said ‘wow’. I could not believe it,” commented Santos on his breakthrough performance in the Mexican city.

The time eclipsed Felix Sanchez’s 10-year old national record of 44.90 and ranked him sixth on the all-time world junior lists. Two days later, he anchored the 4x400m relay squad to silver and national record of 3:00.44 minutes, a time that put his country in contention for an Olympic spot.

In 2011, he moved to San German, Puerto Rico, where his coach José Ludwig Rubio works at Universidad Interamericana. Many of the top Dominican track athletes are attending and training at that university.

Fully healthy in 2012, he experienced his first indoor races at the World Championships in Istanbul, where he made it to the semifinals.

“It is different running indoors and there’s a lot of room for improvement. The more I run, the most comfortable I will be. I plan to run indoors in the US in 2013,” he said of his first experience running under the roof.

The summer season started early with a win and season’s best (45.29, 18 February) in his new home of San German, Puerto Rico, followed by a national junior record in the 200m (20.73, Mayagüez, 5 May).

His performance at the Pan American Games opened the doors for invitations to the Diamond League circuit and he did not disappoint, with a second place in Doha (44.88) and a victory in New York. In between, he ran the best race of his life so far in Hengelo (44.45) to confirm his status a major medal contender for the Olympic Games.

“I was so relaxed and it was a perfect day. I felt very strong running the homestretch. I was expecting a low 45s, but could not believe it was 44.45,” it really surprised me.

Santos improved his national record and in the process moved to the second place in the 2012 world lists. He also improved to third on the all-time junior lists.

The young Dominican has had a busy season, including a trip to the Iberoamerican Championships in Venezuela one day after his Diamond League win in New York to secure his country’s qualification for the Olympic Games in the 4x400m relay.

After a month of training in Alicante, Spain, he claimed his second global title by taking the world junior gold in Barcelona in comfortable fashion.

“I wanted to set a new championships record (44.66), but I had a slow first 200m and could not break it. Overall, it was a great experience standing on top of the podium and making my country proud of my win.”

He ended his pre-Olympic tune-up with a fourth place finish at the Diamond League stop in Monaco, in a race featuring World champion Kirani James and Olympic gold medallist Lashawn Merrit, as well as Belgian twins Jonathan and Kevin Borlee.

“They will be my main rivals in London. It was good to meet them before the Games and assess how my preparation is going,” he commented.

After Monaco, Santos joined the Dominican track team in a training camp in Leverkusen, Germany.

The young Dominican is well aware of his medal hopes and the high expectations back home, but he is trying to keep composed and continue to enjoy camaraderie with his teammates.

“We have trained well to run three good races in London. I am a fighter and when you fight, we can achieve anything. After the experience in Singapore, I look forward to enjoying my first Olympic Games in London and giving joy to my country. The track will have the final word.”

Santos draws inspiration from his compatriot Felix Sanchez, the two-time World and 2004 Olympic 400m hurdles champion.

“We first met at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayaguez in 2011 and he has been following my career. ‘You will take all my records’, he told me jokingly. We have been in touch through facebook and I follow his advice,” he said of Dominican Republic’s only Olympic champion in any sport.

Santos gives a lot of credit to his coach and his family for his success. “He has helped me realized my potential and I have full confidence in him. We get along very well and he is like a second father to me.”

Santos loves to spend quality time with his girlfriend, 400m hurdler Lilibeth Lileth Ramos, who is also part of Rubio’s training squad. The group includes 400m hurdler Winder Cuevas (49.20), 2011 Pan American Games 200m bronze medallist Mariely Sanchez and sprinter Raysa Sánchez.

In his limited time, he loves eating out and going to movies with his girlfriend and friends after training. He loves superheroes movies like Superman and Spiderman.


Personal Bests

200m- 20.73 NJR (2012)

400m- 44.45 NR (2012)


400- 46.83 (2012)

Yearly Progression

2007-  54.99, 2008-50.75, 2009- 47.88, 2010-46.19 NYR NJR, 2011-44.71A NR, 2012-44.45 NR

Career Highlights

2009   h   Pan American Junior Championships (Port of Spain) 47.88

2009   6th    Pan American Junior Championships (Port of Spain) (4x400)  3.13.18

2010   1st   Youth Olympic Trials (San Salvador) 47.22

2010   2nd   Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (Santo Domingo) 46.94

2010   3rd    Central American and Caribbean Junior Ch. (Santo Domingo)  (4x400) 3.10.55

2010  6th  World Junior Championships (Moncton) 46.90

2010  1st  Youth Olympic Games (Singapore) 47.11

2010  1st  Youth Olympic Games (Singapore) (Medley Relay) 1.51.38

2011   DNF  Central American and Caribbean Championships (Mayagüez)

2011  2nd  Pan American Games (Guadalajara) 44.71

2011  2nd  Pan American Games (Guadalajara)  (4x400) 3.00.44 

2012  SF  World Indoor Championships (Istanbul) 46.83

2012   3rd   Iberoamerican Championships (Barquisimeto)  (4x400)  3.03.02

2012   1st  World Junior Championships (Barcelona) 44.85

Prepared by Javier Clavelo for the IAAF “Focus on Athletes” project. Copyright IAAF 2012