Amel Tuka

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Amel Tuka
083 800m series tuka (32505894374) (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Born (1991-01-09) 9 January 1991 (age 29)
Kakanj, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Height1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight77 kg (170 lb)
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
Event(s)800 metres
Coached byGianni Ghidini
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)400m: 46.15 NR (2019)
800m: 1:42.51 NR (2015)
Updated on 28 January 2019.

Amel Tuka (born 9 January 1991) is a Bosnian middle-distance runner who specializes in the 800 metres. Tuka holds national records of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 400-metre and 800-metre disciplines.

On 17 July 2015, with a time of 1:42.51, Tuka positioned himself as the world leader in the men's 800 metres for the year 2015.[1][2] He subsequently earned his country's first medal in a major athletics championship with his third-place finish in the men's 800 metres at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics. He earned his second medal at the World Championships in 2019, finishing second in the men's 800 metres. His personal best is 1:42.51 in the 800 metres.

Running career[edit]

Tuka was recruited by Atletski Klub Zenica to train full-time in track and field after winning a low-profile 400m race in Zenica.[3] He soon became one of the most competitive middle-distance runner in the country, having competed and won medals in numerous regional and continental (European) championships.

In June 2013, Tuka won the 800 metres race at the 2013 European Team Championships Third League, running a time of 1:51.11. Less than a month later, Tuka earned third place at the 2013 European Athletics U23 Championships in the 800 metres, running a national record time of 1:46.29.[4] After the championships, Tuka moved from his native Bosnia to Verona, Italy to train with coach Gianni Ghidini.[5]

At the 2014 European Athletics Championships, Tuka placed sixth in the men's 800 metres final, breaking his record by running a new personal best of 1:46.12.[6]

On 1 July 2015, Tuka won the men's 800 metres at the 20th Annual International Meeting in Velenje, Slovenia and qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics by running 1:44.19.[7] On 11 July 2015, he ran even faster, winning the men's 800m in Madrid with a time of 1:43.84.[8] Just six days later at the high-profile Herculis meet in Monaco, Tuka made another major improvement with a win of 1:42.51, making him the eleventh fastest 800 metres runner of all time and the fastest one in the world at the time.[2] In the process, he earned a head to head victory over Olympic silver medalist Nigel Amos and defending World Champion Mohammed Aman.[9]

2015 World Championships[edit]

At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, Tuka's finishing speed against conventional 800-meter runners caused world record holder David Rudisha to try a rarely used strategy of slowing the pace until the final 200 metres of the race. Tuka was perfectly positioned for his normal finish but Rudisha's exceptionally fast finish and strategic positioning by his Kenyan teammate Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich took Tuka out of his game. Tuka finished in bronze medal position, earning Bosnia its first medal in a major athletics championship.

2016 Summer Olympics[edit]

Tuka competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he finished 12th overall in 800-meter race[10] By reaching the semi-finals in Rio, Tuka became the first runner from Bosnia and Herzegovina to advance from the Heats stage at the Olympics. Amel Tuka was also the Bosnian flag bearer for his country at the opening ceremony of the games.[11]

2019 World Championships[edit]

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Tuka earned his second medal at a World Athletics Championships, finishing in silver medal position with a season best time of 1:43.47 behind Donavan Brazier.[12]

Running style[edit]

Tuka (left) competing in the 800m at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships

In the 800 metres, Tuka has developed a reputation for being a kicker because of his apparent speed at the end of the race, when in reality he runs even splits. Most of that speed is relative to the exhaustion as his opponents slow. Tuka takes the beginning of the race out slowly, re-gaining contact with the rest of the field near the last 200 metres and ends with a strong finishing kick.

Amel Tuka has said when he was younger he idolized the running style of track athlete Jeremy Wariner, who influenced him to run the 400m (instead of the more popular 100m), before subsequently switching to the 800m.[13]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2010 European Team Championships – 3rd League Marsa, Malta 1st 800 m 1:51.43
9th 4 × 400 m 3:21.49
2011 European Team Championships – 3rd League Reykjavík, Iceland 9th 400 m 49.91
3rd 4 × 400 m 3:17.16
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 24th (sf) 800 m 1:51.14
2013 European Team Championships – 3rd League Banská Bystrica, Slovakia 3rd 400 m 47.73
1st 800 m 1:51.11
European U23 Championships Tampere, Finland 3rd 800 m 1:46.29
2014 European Championships Zürich, Switzerland 6th 800 m 1:46.12
2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 21st (h) 800 m 1:49.92
European Games – 3rd League[a] Baku, Azerbaijan 1st 800 m 1:50.16
World Championships Beijing, China 3rd 800 m 1:46:30
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 4th 800 m 1:45.74
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 12th (sf) 800 m 1:45.24
2017 European Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia 12th (h) 800 m 1:49.841
World Championships London, United Kingdom 21st (h) 800 m 1:46.54
2018 European Championships Berlin, Germany 13th (sf) 800 m 1:47.24
2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom 6th 800 m 1:47.91
World Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 800 m 1:43.47

Note: This table only includes major athletics championships and does not include Diamond League or IAAF World Challenge meets.
1 Did not start in the semi-finals


  1. ^ The third league of the 2015 European Team Championships
  1. ^ [1] IAAF: Beijing 2015 – Men's 800m heats
  2. ^ a b Zaccardi, Nick (17 July 2015). "NBC OlympicTalk: Justin Gatlin stays hot; Genzebe Dibaba breaks world record in Monaco.".
  3. ^ Elmedin Bišić. "Amel Tuka, otkriće bh. atletike: "Moramo vjerovati u sebe"". Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  4. ^ EAA. "2013 European U23 Championships Results". Archived from the original on 20 August 2013.
  5. ^ (17 July 2015). "Rest of Monaco: A Guy You've Never Heard of From Bosnia Runs 1:42.51, Boris Borian Runs 1:43.34, The Clean World Record in the Shot Put by Kovacs? and Ghribi Runs World Leading Steeple".
  6. ^ Klix: Amel Tuka šesti na Evropskom prvenstvu, oborio lični i bh. rekord, (in Bosnian) 15 August 2014
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Zenica blog: Novi rekord: Amel Tuka ide na olimpijadu u Rio! 2 July 2015
  8. ^ [2] IAAF: Tuka times his finish to perfection. 11 July 2015
  9. ^ [3] IAAF: Herculis Monaco Men's 800 meters results
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Amel Tuka nosi bh. zastavu na otvorenju Olimpijskih igara" (in Bosnian). 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  12. ^ "800 metres men IAAF World Athletics Championships, Doha 2019 - Results". 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Amel Tuka – interview 20". Sanela Prašović Gadžo. Retrieved 29 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Amel Mekić
Flagbearer for  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Succeeded by
[to be determined]