Biography of Javier Sotomayor Sanabria (1967-VVVV)

Javier Sotomayor.

Cuban high jumper, born in October 1967 in Limonar (province of Matanzas). He started in athletics at an early age, and its excellent natural qualities for jumps races led him to opt for the mode of height, where soon showed the wisdom of his decision: with just fourteen years already exceeded regularly two meters, which helped him to get a scholarship at the school of sport development of Havana, with a view to complete their technical training and improve their performance. In the capital Center, he met José Godoy, who would be his trainer and the main driver of his athletic career.

Its great progression was highlighted in the World Championship 1986 junior, held in Athens, where a leap of 2.36 m served him for the gold medal and the world record for the category. He could not attend the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, due to the boycott promoted by Cuba and other countries of the bloc too pro-Soviet, although he took accomplished rematch that same summer, in which broke the absolute world record air, which set in 2.43 m, during the dispute of an athletic meeting in the Spanish city of Salamanca (Grand Prize Council). He confirmed this as the number one specialty, in addition to becoming the second athlete of color which established a universal stop in jump height, after American John Thomas (1960), and the second Cuban hold the status of world record-holder, preceded by where Alberto Juantorena (1976). A year later, in Budapest, city that hosted the World Championships in indoor track, became world champion and won the world record indoor, which also rose to 2.43 m. Also managed that season set a new world record outdoors, after jumping 8 feet over the course of the Central American Games and of the Caribbean, held in Puerto Rico. At the beginning of the following season, in 1990, suffered a foot injury that forced him to interrupt his activity, setback that took the opportunity to complete their studies of physical culture. That year brought sad news for the champion of killings: the death of his friend and coach, José Godoy, who was replaced by Guillermo de la Torre.

After his reappearance he won gold at the Central American Games and of the Caribbean, prelude to the Olympics of 1992. In the Barcelona games it honored its favorite status and not let out a gold medal that already may have been his four years earlier. Got the most precious titles, he concentrated his efforts on improving its brands; Thus, on 27 July 1993 managed to jump 2.45 m in summer appointment Salamanca already bound. That same season he added a new heading to his extensive record shows: the highest award in the World Championship to air free of Stuttgart, where he served as a valid attempt over 2.40 m to occupy first place. Thereafter, the long years of intense competition and the weight of injuries put into question its hitherto indisputable superiority, although he continued competing at a high level.

After his penalty for doping at the 1999 Pan American Games, the Cuban high jumper failed to recover its level and only got the silver medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Coinciding with his 34 birthday, the world record holder (2.45 m) high jump announced on 11 October 2001 its withdrawal. Few weeks later, the International Athletics Federation returned to report positive for nandrolone at a checkpoint made to jumper in the month of July.

Regarded as a hero in his country and intensely committed to the cause of the Cuban revolution, has won numerous awards for his incomparable career, among which included the following: best male world athlete of 1988 (Spanish Association of press sports), most outstanding athlete of Latin America in that same year (Cuban "Prensa Latina" News Agency), Latin American community trophy in 1988 (within the national sports awardsgranted by the Superior Council of sports of Spain) or second best athlete in the world in 1994 (Prize awarded by the International Federation of Amateur Athletics - IAAF-). The most important was the prize Prince of Asturias sports, which was awarded in 1992 in recognition of their human and sporting values. Married in 1989 to the jumping height Cuban María de el Carmen García, made by father of a girl, and maintained a relationship with the mediofondista Ana Fidelia Quirot, with whom he had a daughter who died prematurely.