Cuban Runner Marks World’s Second Best Time of 2008

Cuban Yeimer Lopez, the 2007 Rio Pan American Games winner in the 800-meters race, came up with the second best time ever for a Cuban, 1:43:07, to win the competition in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

>Not considered a top line contender in the international arena for his poor world championship performances (in Osaka he didn't make it past the first round), the 25-year-old athlete literally pulverized his previous best mark of 1:44:59 in Rio de Janeiro, reported Granma daily.

At the Andalusia meet of no great significance, Yeimer came close to the Cuban record of 1:42:85 by Norberto Tellez at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics. His time was also the second best recorded in the world during 2008.

South African Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (1:43:61) and Moroccan Mousshin Cheibi (1:46:10) were victims of the Cuban's fast trip twice around the track. Mulaudzi, a finalist in Osaka 2007, also improved on his best mark for the year, which had been 1:44:04. At this time the top competitor in the world is Abubaker Kaki Khamis of Sudan with a time of 1:42:69.

Yeimer is the second Cuban to break the world records (more than 30 years later) of Alberto Juantorena who recorded 1:43:44 (to win the University championship in 1977) and 1:43:50 (in winning the gold medal at the Montreal 1976 Olympics).

Meanwhile, the Sydney 2000 110-meter hurdles gold medal winner Anier Garcia, who also took bronze in Athens 2004, continues to see his efforts for a comeback to the top frustrated, finishing fourth with a 14:05 time.