July 1, 1967 |
Hodošan, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Event(s)||1500 metres, 3000 metres|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||1500 metres: 3:33.30
3000 metres: 7:48.72
5000 metres: 13:43.04
Branko Zorko (born July 1, 1967) is a Croatian retired middle distance runner who specialized in the 1500 metres. Zorko competed in the 1500 metres in five Olympic Games, from 1988 to 2004, making it through to the semi-finals in 1992 and 1996. He won bronze medals at the 1993 World Indoor Championships in Toronto and the 1994 European Championships in Helsinki. In 1992 he was awarded the Franjo Bučar State Award for Sport. He was born in Hodošan.
Before the breakup of Yugoslavia, Zorko was a formidable long-distance runner who was very competitive in the 3000 metres and 5000 metres disciplines. At his first major international competition, Zorko finished sixth in the men's 3000 metres race at the 1989 IAAF World Indoor Championships. In 1990, he won his first major medal, winning bronze at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Zorko began specializing in middle-distance disciplines, and eventually found his talent in the 1500 metres. In 1992, Zorko won the first international medal for the newly independent Croatia, winning a bronze medal at the 1992 European Indoor Athletics Championships. A year later he won the bronze medal for the men's 1500 metres at the 1993 IAAF World Indoor Championships, finishing only 0.39 seconds behind winner Marcus O'Sullivan. Next year, Zorko finished second in the 1500 at the 1994 European Athletics Indoor Championships, and third at the 1994 European Championships in Athletics.
By the late 1990s, Zorko was increasingly suffering from injuries, which prompted him to turn to professional pacemaking. As a pacemaker, he assisted in setting several world records, both indoors and outdoors, most notably for Haile Gebrselassie.
On July 11, 2005 at IAAF Grand Prix Zagreb, Zorko announced his retirement from competitive running.
As of 2012[update].
|1500 m||3:33.30 NR||1998-08-08||Monte Carlo|
|2000 m||4:58.02 NR||1996-07-10||Nice|
|3000 m||7:48.72 NR||1998-06-01||Hengelo|
|1000 m||2:20.35 NR||1998-02-04||Erfurt|
|1500 m||3:38.05 NR||1997-02-02||Stuttgart|
|3000 m||7:49.29 NR||1990-03-07||Piraeus|
|Event||Men's 1500 metres|
|1988 Seoul||heats (36th)||3:45.52|
|1992 Barcelona||SF (18th)||3:39.71|
|1996 Atlanta||SF (14th)||3:35.14|
|2000 Sydney||heats (37th)||3:46.16|
|2004 Athens||heats (31st)||3:48.28|
Note: Result in brackets, indicates overall placement.