Virgilijus Alekna

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Virgilijus Alekna
Virgilijus Alekna by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Virgilijus Alekna at 2014 Lithuanian Championships in Athletics
Personal information
Nationality  Lithuanian
Born (1972-02-13) 13 February 1972 (age 42)
Lithuania
Height 2.02 m (6 ft 7 12 in)
Weight 130 kg (290 lb)
Sport
Sport Discus throw
Updated on 12 August 2012.

Virgilijus Alekna (Lithuanian pronunciation: ​[vʲɪrʲˈɡʲɪlʲɪjʊs ɐlʲɛkˈnɐ]; 13 February 1972 in Terpeikiai, near Kupiškis) is a Lithuanian discus thrower. He won medals at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, including two golds.

Career[edit]

Alekna has won two gold medals in the Summer Olympics in the discus throw, the first was in 2000 and the second in 2004. He also won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. In 2007, he was appointed as UNESCO Champion for Sport. His personal record is 73.88 meters (242 ft 4½ in), surpassed only by the world record (74.08 m.).

Performance in major competitions
Year Competition Place Distance (meters)
1994 European Championship 17 56.38
1995 World Championship 19 59.20
1996 Summer Olympics 5 65.30
1997 World Championship 2 66.70
1998 European Championship 3 66.46
1999 World Championship 4 67.53
2000 Lithuanian Athletics Championships 1 73.88 (NR)
2000 Summer Olympics 1 69.30
2001 World Championship 2 69.40
2002 European Championship 2 66.62
2003 World Championship 1 69.69
2003 World Athletics Final 1 68.30
2004 Summer Olympics 1[1] 69.89
2004 World Athletics Final 4 63.64
2005 World Championship 1 70.17
2005 World Athletics Final 1 67.64
2006 European Championship 1 68.67
2006 World Athletics Final 1 68.63
2007 World Championship 4 65.24
2007 World Athletics Final 2 65.94
2008 Summer Olympics 3 67.79
2008 World Athletics Final 8 61.03
2009 World Championship 4 66.36
2009 World Athletics Final 1 67.63
2010 European Championship 5 64.64
2011 World Championship 6 64.09
2012 Summer Olympics 4 67.38
2013 World Championship 16 61.91
2014 European Championship 21 59.35
Alekna at his eighth World Championships in 2009, Berlin.

Alekna was awarded the title of the Athlete of the Year for 2000 by Track and Field News. He was also awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas by the government of Lithuania. He became the Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year 4 times (2000, 2004, 2005, and 2006). Since 1995 Alekna has served as a bodyguard of the Lithuanian Prime Minister.

He is married to former long jumper Kristina Sablovskytė-Aleknienė and has two young sons named Martynas and Mykolas.

At a height of 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in), Alekna has an unusually long armspan, measured 2.22m (7 ft 3.5 in), which is helpful in discus throwing. He can make fingerprints on windows of two opposite sides of a bus simultaneously.[2]

During the 2007 World Championship Virgilijus Alekna competed with an injury. Having sustained the injury on 20 August, he competed in the World Championship's qualification on 28 August[3] and, as a result, suffered a defeat, which broke his 37 victories in a row over the past two years.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The 2004 Summer Olympics were marked by a scandal when Hungarian athlete Róbert Fazekas was stripped of his gold medal on the Men's discus event after being caught tampering with his urine sample and refusing to release it during his post-event doping exam. The gold medal was then awarded to Virgilijus Alekna. Although Fazekas set an Olympic Record, this was erased from all records, and consequently the Olympic Record was credited to Alekna (whose winning throw in Athens had beaten the old Olympic Record).
  2. ^ IAAF
  3. ^ a b (Lithuanian) Eglė Šilinskaitė. Nenugalimąjį metiką įveikė kojos trauma (Unbeatable thrower was defeat by leg injury). Retrieved on 2007-08-29

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Morocco Hicham El Guerrouj
Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
2000
Succeeded by
Morocco Hicham El Guerrouj
Preceded by
Sweden Christian Olsson
Men's European Athlete of the Year
2005
Succeeded by
Portugal Francis Obikwelu
Preceded by
Lithuania Edita Pučinskaitė
Best Lithuanian sportsman of the Year
2000
Succeeded by
Lithuania Rasa Polikevičiūtė
Preceded by
Lithuania Šarūnas Jasikevičius
Best Lithuanian sportsman of the Year
2004, 2005, 2006
Succeeded by
Lithuania Ramūnas Šiškauskas
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Šarūnas Jasikevičius
Flagbearer for  Lithuania
London 2012
Succeeded by
Incumbent