Luigi Facelli

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Luigi Facelli
Luigi Facelli.jpg
Personal information
Nationality Italian
Born (1898-05-10)May 10, 1898
Acqui Terme, Italy
Died 4 May 1991(1991-05-04) (aged 92)
Milan, Italy
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 70 kg (150 lb)
Country Italy Italy
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Hurdles
Club SG Gallaratese
GSOM Milanolano
SS Ambrosiana
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • 110 m hs: 15.0 (1930)
  • 400 m hs: 52.4 (1929)
  • 400 m: 48.1 (1931)

Luigi Facelli (10 May 1898 - 4 May 1991) was an Italian hurdler. He was born in Acqui Terme and died in Milan.

He was one of the greatest Italian hurdlers of the past.[1] His rivalry with the British champion David Burghley between the 1920s and 1930s is famous.[2]


Olympic appearances[edit]

Luigi Facelli participated at four editions of the Summer Olympics (1924, 1928, 1932, 1936), he reached in three editions and four competitions, finished 8th at the 1924 Summer Olympics with the 4x400 metres relay, 6th at the 1928 Summer Olympics in the 400 metres hurdles and 5th and 6th at the 1932 Summer Olympics respectively in the 400 metres hurdles and in the 4x400 metres relay. He has 30 caps in national team from 1924 to 1936.[3]

Facelli-Burghley rivalry[edit]

Lord Burghley (left) shakes hands with his Italian rival Facelli

During his rivalry with David Cecil, 6th Marquess of Exeter (Lord David Burghley), won 6 of the 11 contests.[4] Because of the noble origins of Burghley their epic was renamed "The Prince and the Pauper." At the time were British Athletics Championships were considered a kind of European Athletics Championships (that would have held for the first time only in 1934), he won three of the five contests against Burghley.[5]

Despite the different walks of life, Lord Burghley considered Facelli a friend for years and invalidates, so that during the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, invited him to the opening ceremony, but when Facelli received the letter, he did not know the English language, if had it translated by a friend who brought back the greeting but simply was not able to translate even the invitation.[4]

Burghley in the letter explained that Facelli would find a plane ticket to British Consulate in Milan and was able to sleep a home in London, but all this was "lost in translation".[4]

European record[edit]

Facelli set a European record in the 400 metres hurdles with the time of 52.4, set in Bologna, Italy on 6 October 1929. He was holder of the record till 9 July 1939.[6]

After sport career[edit]

In 1985 for his sporting merits, the Italian government assigned to him an annuity of a resolution of the Council of Ministers (Legge Bacchelli).[7] In 1988, on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, the Italian stylist Ottavio Missoni gave a party in his honor. Facelli resided in Corsico, and died in a clinic in Milan in 1991 at the age of 93 years.[8]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Performance Note
1924 Olympic Games France Paris 8th 4x400 m relay 3:28.0 [9]
1928 Olympic Games Netherlands Amsterdam 6th 400 metres hurdles 55.8 [10]
Heat 4x400 m relay 3.17.8
1932 Olympic Games United States Los Angeles 5th 400 metres hurdles 53.0
6th 4x400 m relay 3:17.8
1934 European Championships Italy Turin 6th 400 metres hurdles DNF [11]

National championships[edit]

Luigi Facelli has won 17 times the individual national championship.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Testimonianze: Luigi Facelli, Giovanni Frangipane, Ugo Frigerio, Ottavio Missoni" (in italian). Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "LA84 Foundation - Los Angeles 1932". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Annuario dell'Atletica 2009. FIDAL. 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Luigi Facelli (1898-1991)" (in italian). Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "British Athletics Championships". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "European Record Progression, men 400m hurdles". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Luigi Facelli - Associazione Medaglie d'oro al Valor Atletico" (in italian). Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "ADDIO, ARTISTA DEL PASSO" (in italian). Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  9. ^ The national relay team run in 3:22.6 in round one.
  10. ^ He ran in 54.2 in semifinal.
  11. ^ "I European Championship, Turin 1934". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  12. ^ ""CAMPIONATI "ASSOLUTI" ITALIANI SUL PODIO TRICOLORE – 1906 2012". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 

External links[edit]