Olympic History


Zabala4“Zabalita” or “The Criollo Rhea” was born on September 21, 1911 (probable date) in Rosario. Being an orphan, he was educated and raised in Home Colonia Ricardo Gutierrez in Marcos Paz, where Professor Alexander Stirling-one of the great coaches of the national athletics-detected their athleticism. In 1929 and achieved its first naconales and South American titles. And two years later in Buenos Aires, was one of the figures of the South American to win the 10,000 meters and escort José Ribas in 5000. The following week broke the South American record of 3000 meters in Montevideo with 8m44s2.

Stirling took him to Europe to gain experience and after making his debut in a test of 10 000 before the famous Paavo Nurmi-coming third-, broke the world record for 30,000 meters in Vienna (1h42m30s4 on October 10, 1931) made his first marathon on October 28 Kosice, Slovak Republic today. 2h33m19s Zabala won, making him a favorite for next year’s Olympic Games.

He trained a few months in Buenos Aires and the April 30, 1932 became the first American distance runner in 15 minutes to down cometros 5,000 14m55s8 a record. He traveled to the United States well in advance to prepare the Games. True to his style and his promise, August 7, 1932, Zabala took the lead from the start and although at one point seemed exhausted, was a remarkable champion with Olympic record of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 36 seconds, ahead of Britain Sam Ferris (2h31m55s) and the Finnish Weapons Toivonen (2h32m12s).

After a pause in its powers, returned to look for the Berlin Games. On a cold and windy afternoon in Munich, improved the world record for the 20,000 meters in track with 1h04m00s2 (this is a record that then beat his compatriot Raul Ibarra and large global fund Zatopke, Clarke, Roelants or recently , Gebrselassie). On May 21, in Stuttgart, Zabala sudamericao broke the record of 10,000 meters with 30m56s2.

Zabala6Then for the Games, is also encouraged at this distance, finishing sixth in a test in which the Finns swept the podium. In the marathon again tried his tactic of “front runner” but this time there was no answer forces and overtaken at kilometer 30, had to leave. Two years later, after a brief period of competencies in Denmark and Finland, but World War lurking without Olympic prospects, “Zabalita” left athletics.

 He died on January 24, 1983


DelfoCabrera1He was born on April 2, 1919 in Armstrong. He resided at age 18 in Buenos Aires, he joined the Fire Department in the Federal Police and athletic campaign developed under the leadership of Professor Francisco Mura.

In his first season on the track achieved national titles 1500, 3000 and 5000 meters. He got his qualification for the London Olympics on a selective 30 kilometers. And those games marked his debut as a marathoner.

It is a legendary champion arrival at Wembley Stadium on August 7, 1948, breaking on the final lap to track the Belgian Etienne Gailly. Cabera marked 2h34m52s, followed by Britain with Tom richards and Gailly with 2h35m34s 2h35m08s.
Two other Argentine shone that day in the top 10 of the Olympic marathon: Eusebio Guíñez (fifth with 2h36m36s) and Armando Sensini (ninth with 2h39m30s).

In subsequent seasons, Cabrera confirmed as a major long-distance runner, achieving the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Buenos Aires (1951) with 2h35m01s, sixth in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics with her personal best (2h26m43s) and another sixth in the 1954 Boston Marathon with 2h27m50s.

He was also one of the figures of the Argentina during those decades South American Championships, earning five titles and excelling in 1952 in Buenos Aires con us wins 10,000 meters (31m05s7, personal best) and a half marathon.

Delfo died on August 2, 1981 in a car accident on Route 5, while returning from Alberdi (Buenos Aires Province), where he had been honored.


Gorno5llegadaHelsinkiThis exceptional runner born on June 18, 1918 in Yapeyú, the land of Libertador José de San Martín. He started running there and continued in Concordia, before arriving at a young age to Buenos Aires.
Under the leadership of the great Austrian Alexander Stirling coach who had also trained Zabala and subsequently did with Suarez finished runners-Gorno marathon Olympic Games in Helsinki with 2h25m35s, exceeded only by one of the greatest athletes of the history, the Czech Emil Zatopek (“The Human Locomotive”).
Gorno had debuted a year earlier as a marathoner, escorting Delfo Cabrera in the Pan American Games.
His Olympic atuación opened the doors to big international tests. In the spring of 1953, training in Austria, improved American stops 25 and 30 kilometers on the road, and then, on a very cold day, won the Vienna Marathon in 2h33m08s Dornbirn.

But his greatest triumph occurred on December 5, 1954 in the marathon Ashai Nakamura (Japan), now known as Fukuoka Marathon. Gorno became the first foreigner to win this event, which then dominated the first famous names worldwide as the Australian Derek Clayton and Robert De Castella (both world record holders), Americans Frank Shorter (Olympic champion) and Bill Rodgers, and Kenyan Sammy Wanjiiru, last and unfortunate Olympic champion.

Months later, Gorno finished fourth in the Boston Marathon in 2h20m58s (short course) and closed his campaign to win the August 27, 1955 in Marathon Enschede (Netherlands) with 2h26m33s, one second ahead of the then debutant Osvaldo Suarez distance.

GornoZatopek4Like Zabala, Cabrera and Suarez, Gorno Argentina brought him to many South American titles in track, cross country and road, in the golden ages of our athletics background.

Gorno died on April 10, 1994, the victim of an assault at the Sports Quilmes where he worked. This Sports today bears his name.


SuarezMedioMar19561Born March 17, 1934, Osvaldo is a living glory of our athletics. In the 2010 edition of the Buenos Aires International Marathon, Rhea Foundation presented him with a special plaque of recognition to the observed half a century of his exploits in the Ibero Santiago de Chile, where he won the titles of 5,000 and 10,000 meters, and the marathon.
Osvaldo Suárez could not participate in the 1956 Olympic marathon with both dreamed of political discrimination. But in 1960 took ninth place with 2h21m27s, a record that remained nearly two decades as a national record. Rome Race was won by legendary Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila, who ran barefoot, ushering African domain at long distances, which continues to this day.

Suarez’s popularity was cemented in his three wins at the Crossing San Silvestre in Sao Paulo (December 1958, December 1959 and December 1960) and its delivery permanent national colors.
For example, Argentina’s most successful athlete at the Games Panamericans, where he racked up four gold medals and two silver in its shares, which began with his double triumph (5000-10000) in Mexico 1955 and ended twelve years later in Winnipeg.
Suarez is also the athlete with the most individual titles in the history of South American Championships, where he debuted still young (1952) and retired in 1969. Won three gold (0500, 10 000 and half marathon) in Santiago de Chile (1956) and held two years later, in Montevideo. He won the 5000 and 10 000 in the following Sudamericaos (Lima 1961 and 1963 Cali) and won his last title received a standing ovation from the crowd, in Parque Chacabuco (1967).

On November 8, 1953 in one of his first participations marked 31m38s8 10,000 meters, junior world record.
And then got an “infinite” number of records in distances ranging from 1,500 meters to the marathon. Just to name some of the most relevant, we note that their brand of 5000 meters (14m05s0, achieved in 1960 in San Sebastián) remained twenty years as Argentine record. In the 10,000 meters, his personal best was 29m260s0, September 22, 1959 in Paraga, a record then placed him among the top ten world ranking. And twenty years remained Argentine stopper.



Juan Carlos Zabala            Gold Medal                          2,31,36                  olympic record

Fernando Ciccarelli            17°                                         2,55,49

José Ribas                           abandon


Juan Carlos Zabala           abandon

Luis Oliva                            abandon


Delfo Cabrera                     Gold Medal                          2,34,52

Eusebio Guíñez                  5°                                           2,36,36

Armando Sensini               9°                                           2,39,50


Reinaldo Gorno                  Silver Medal                       2,25,35

Delfo Cabrera                     6°                                           2,26,43

Corsino Fernández           abandon

ROMA 1960

Osvaldo Suárez                  9°                                           2,21,27                   Southamerican record

Gumersindo Gómez         15°                                         2,23,00

Walter Lemos                    50°                                         2,36,55

TOKIO 1964

Osvaldo Suárez                 abandon


Fernando Molina               53                                           2,38,19

Ramón Cabrera                  55                                           2,42,38

Nazario Araujo                   abandon


Rubén Aguiar                      59°                                         2,31,18


Antonio Fabián Silio          abandon


Griselda González             19ª.                                        2,35,12


Herman Oscar Cortinez    58°                                         2,25,01



Sandra Torres Alvarez       55ª.                                        2,54,48