Amel Tuka

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Amel Tuka
Amel Tuka, 2015 World Championships in Athletics Beijing.jpg
Personal information
Born (1991-01-09) 9 January 1991 (age 28)
Kakanj, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFRY
Height1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight77 kg (170 lb)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)800 metres
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)400m: 46.41[1]
800m: 1:42.51[2]
Updated on January 28, 2019.

Amel Tuka (born 9 January 1991) is a Bosnian middle-distance runner who specializes in the 800 metres. Tuka holds two national records of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the 400 metre and 800 metre disciplines. On July 17, 2015, With his time of 1:42.51, Tuka positioned himself as the world leader in the men's 800 metres in Monaco for the year 2015.[3][4] He subsequently earned his country's first medal in a major athletics championship with his third-place finish in the men's 800 meters at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics.

Running career[edit]

Tuka was recruited by Atletski Klub Zenica to train full-time in track and field after winning a low-profile 400-m race in Zenica.[5] Since then he has become 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 metre 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 metre, running a national record time of 1:46.29.[6] After the championships, Tuka moved from his native Bosnia to Verona, Italy to train with coach Gianni Ghidini.[7]

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.[8]

On July 1, 2015, Tuka won the men's 800 meters at the 20th Annual International Meeting in Velenje, Slovenia and qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics by running 1:44.19.[9] On July 11, 2015, he ran even faster, winning the men's 800 in Madrid with a time of 1:43.84.[10] The result in Madrid put Tuka as the seventh fastest 800 meter runner in the world at the time, tied with Boris Berian.[11] 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 meter runner of all time and the fastest one in the world at the time.[4] In the process he gained a head to head victory over Olympic silver medalist Nigel Amos and defending World Champion Mohammed Aman.[12]

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.

2016 Summer Olympics[edit]

He competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics where he finished 12th overall in 800 meter race[13] By reaching semifinals in Rio, Tuka became the first runner from Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify from the Heats stage at the Olympics after Jasmin Salihović was eliminated in the heats at 2004 Summer Olympics. Amel Tuka was the Bosnian flag bearer for his country at the opening ceremony of the games.[14]

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

1Did not start in the semifinals

Personal best[edit]

Performance Date Place
800 m 1:42.51 17 July 2015 Monaco

Running style[edit]

Amel Tuka has said when he was younger he idolized the running style of track athlete Jeremy Wariner, which influenced him to run the 400 m (instead of the more popular 100 m).[15]


  1. ^ The third league of the 2015 European Team Championships
  1. ^ [1] Kenan Kaloper. Amel Tuka oborio lični rekord na mitingu u Sarajevu (in Bosnian). June 11, 2016.
  2. ^ "Amel TUKA - Athlete Profile". IAAF.
  3. ^ [2] IAAF: Beijing 2015 – Men's 800m heats
  4. ^ a b Zaccardi, Nick (July 17, 2015). "NBC OlympicTalk: Justin Gatlin stays hot; Genzebe Dibaba breaks world record in Monaco.".
  5. ^ Elmedin Bišić. "Amel Tuka, otkriće bh. atletike: "Moramo vjerovati u sebe"".
  6. ^ EAA. "2013 European U23 Championships Results". Archived from the original on 2013-08-20.
  7. ^ (July 17, 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".
  8. ^ Klix: Amel Tuka šesti na Evropskom prvenstvu, oborio lični i bh. rekord, (in Bosnian) 15 August 2014
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2015-07-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Zenica blog: Novi rekord: Amel Tuka ide na olimpijadu u Rio! 2 July 2015
  10. ^ [3] IAAF: Tuka times his finish to perfection. 11 July 2015
  11. ^ [4] 33rd Meeting Madrid 2015 Track and Field Results – July 11, 2015
  12. ^ [5] IAAF: Herculis Monaco Men's 800 meters results
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2016-08-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^
  15. ^ "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
Elvedina Muzaferija