Joaquim Cruz wins the 1984 Olympic 800m title (Getty Images) © Copyright
Press Release

Celebrating South America’s most memorable athletes - ConSudAtle’s Centenary celebration, ten days to go

Ten days from now, ConSudAtle, the South American Athletics Federation, will celebrate its 100th anniversary at a gala dinner jointly hosted by IAAF President Sebastian Coe and ConSudAtle President Roberto Gesta de Melo at the Hotel Panamericano Buenos Aires.

To help mark the countdown, we’re recalling, chronologically, ten legendary South American athletes whose achievements stand out from the rich history of the IAAF’s oldest Area federation. 

Juan Carlos Zabala, Argentina
Zabala won the marathon at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles to became the first South American athlete to win an Olympic gold medal.

Delfo Cabrera Gómez, Argentina
Inspired by Zabala's triumph, Gómez turned to athletics and went on to win the 1948 Olympic marathon title in a dramatic come from behind performance over the final 400 metres.

Adhemar Ferreira da Silva, Brazil
One of the greatest triple jumpers of all time, da Silva took back-to-back gold at the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, won three Pan-American Games titles and set four world records.

Joaquim Carvalho Cruz, Brazil
The 1984 Olympic champion, 1988 Olympic silver medallist and 1983 World Championships bronze medallist at 800m. The South American record holder at 1:41.77, Cruz remains one of only five men to run the distance in under 1:42.00.

Robson da Silva, Brazil
A three-time 200m winner at the IAAF World Cup, 1988 Olympic silver medallist at 200m and 4x100m relay. Da Silva has held the Area 100m record of 10.00 since 1988.

Jefferson Leonardo Pérez Quezada, Ecuador
1996 Olympic champion and three-time world champion in the 20km race walk. After back-to-back fourth place finishes at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, Perez took silver in 2008 in his fourth Olympic appearance.

Fabiana de Almeida Murer, Brazil
The 2011 world champion and 2010 world indoor champion in the pole vault. A three-time Olympian, Murer also took the 2007 Pan American Games gold medal and four South American titles.

Thiago Braz da Silva, Brazil
Won the 2016 Olympic title in the pole vault after a dramatic competition before a home crowd in Rio de Janeiro, clearing 6.03m, and Olympic record.

Caterine Ibargüen Mena, Colombia
The 2016 Olympic champion and two-time world champion in the triple jump. Her other accolades include Olympic silver in 2012 and gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games.

Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela
The 2017 World champion, two-time world indoor champion and 2016 Olympic silver medallist in the triple jump.

IAAF