At a glance

18 Feb 1947 Vildemoinhos, Portugal
167 cm / 55 kg 5'6'' / 121 pounds
Male
At age 29, Carlos Lopes, until then considered only an average international runner, made a big breakthrough. Lopes first won the 1976 International Cross-Country Championships, and then at the 1976 Montréal Olympics, Lopes set the pace from 4 km onwards and was only outsprinted by defending champion Lasse Virén, with Lopes taking silver.After that superb season Lopes did not maintain that level over the next few seasons. He failed to qualify for the 1980 Olympics due to injuries and won no major races. In 1982 he turned to the marathon, but did not finish his first one. In his second...

At age 29, Carlos Lopes, until then considered only an average international runner, made a big breakthrough. Lopes first won the 1976 International Cross-Country Championships, and then at the 1976 Montréal Olympics, Lopes set the pace from 4 km onwards and was only outsprinted by defending champion Lasse Virén, with Lopes taking silver.

After that superb season Lopes did not maintain that level over the next few seasons. He failed to qualify for the 1980 Olympics due to injuries and won no major races. In 1982 he turned to the marathon, but did not finish his first one. In his second marathon he improved, beaten only by Australian marathon star Rob de Castella. After finishing sixth in the 10K at the 1983 World Championships, Lopes decided to concentrate solely on the marathon. The 1984 Los Angeles Olympic marathon was run in hot and humid conditions, and after the favorites gradually dropped off the pace, including de Castella and American Alberto Salazar, the 37-year-old Lopes led the field into the stadium to win the gold medal. In his last major race, the 1985 Rotterdam Marathon, Lopes took almost a minute off the world’s best marathon time, setting a new standard of 2-07:12.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 13:16.38 (1984); 10000 – 27:17.48 (1984); Mar – 2-07:12 (1985).

Carlos in numbers

3
Olympics
Olympics
2
medals
Gold medal:1 Silver medal:1 Bronze medal:
  • Los Angeles
    Los Angeles 1984
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles 1984
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      Marathon
  • Montreal
    Montreal 1976
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Montreal
    Montreal 1976
    • 2 Silver medal
      Athletics
      10,000 metres
  • Munich
    Munich 1972
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Munich
    Munich 1972
    • 9 h1 r1/2
      Athletics
      5,000 metres
    • 9 h3 r1/2
      Athletics
      10,000 metres

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