|Born||29 July 1950|
Maricica Puică (née Luca, born 29 July 1950) is a Romanian former middle distance athlete. She is the 1984 Olympic champion in the 3000 metres. One of the greatest female middle-distance runners of the 1980s, she also twice won the World Cross Country Championship (1982, 1984) and broke the world record for the mile in 1982.
Puicǎ was born in Iasi, Romania and competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where she finished seventh in the 1500 m final. In 1978, she had finished fourth in the 3000 m final at the European Championships.
In March 1982, she won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. In August, she won a silver medal in the 3000 m at the European Championships behind Svetlana Ulmasova. She also finished fourth in the 1500 m final. A month later in September, she broke Mary Decker's world mile record of 4:18.08 with 4:17.44 in Rieti.
Puicǎ missed the 1983 World Championships due to injury, but returned in early 1984 to win her second World Cross Country Championship title. Then in the Summer, she won the inaugural 3000 m title at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, a race also remembered for the collision of Mary Decker and Zola Budd. At those Games, she also won a bronze medal in the 1500 m final behind Italy's Gabriella Dorio and Romanian team-mate Doina Melinte.
In July 1986, at the London Grand Prix, she broke Tatyana Kazankina'a world 2000 m record of 5:28.72, with a time of 5:28.69. At the 1986 European Championships in Stuttgart, she won a silver medal in the 3000 m, behind Olga Bondarenko. She was also fifth in the 1500 m final. 1987 began with her winning a bronze medal in the 3000 m at the World Indoor Championships in Indianapolis, finishing behind the Soviet pair of Tatyana Samolenko and Bondarenko. Later that year, aged 37, she won a silver medal in the 3000 m at the World Championships in Rome, again behind Samolenko.
Puica competed at her fourth and final Olympic Games in Seoul 1988, where she dropped out of her 3000 m heat with just 200 metres to go.
In 1989, she spoke on Romanian television in support of the revolutionaries fighting against the regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu.
|1976||Olympic Games||Montreal, Canada||heats||1500 m||4:12.62|
|1978||World Cross Country Championships||Glasgow, Scotland||3rd|
|European Championships||Prague, Czech Republic||4th||3000 m||8:40.9|
|1980||Olympic Games||Moscow, Russia||7th||1500 m||4:01.26|
|1981||World Cup||Rome, Italy||2nd||3000 m||8:55.80|
|1982||World Cross Country Championships||Rome, Italy||1st|
|European Championships||Athens, Greece||4th||1500 m||3:59.31|
|1984||World Cross Country Championships||New York, United States||1st|
|Olympic Games||Los Angeles, United States||3rd||1500 m||4:04.15|
|1986||European Championships||Stuttgart, Germany||5th||1500 m||4:03.90|
|1987||World Indoor Championships||Indianapolis, United States||3rd||3000 m||8:47.92|
|World Championships||Rome, Italy||2nd||3000 m||8:39.45|
|1988||Olympic Games||Seoul, South Korea||heats||3000 m||DNF|
|1989||European Indoor Championships||The Hague, Netherlands||3rd||3000 m||9:15.49|
|Women's 3000 m Best Year Performance
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