Maricica Puică

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Maricica Puică
Maricica Puică 1982.jpg
Puică in 1982
Personal information
Born (1950-07-29) 29 July 1950 (age 67)
Iaşi, Romania[1]
Height 168 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Weight 54 kg (119 lb)
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 1000–3000 m
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 1000 m – 2:31.5 (1986)
1500 m – 3:57.22 (1984)
3000 m – 8:27.83 (1985)[2]

Maricica Puică (née Luca on 29 July 1950) is a retired Romanian middle-distance runner. 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.[2]


Puicǎ was born in Iași, Romania and competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where she finished seventh in the 1500 m. In 1978, she placed fourth in the 3000 m 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 remembered more for the collision of Mary Decker and Zola Budd. At those Games, she also won a bronze medal in the 1500 m behind Italy's Gabriella Dorio and Romanian teammate Doina Melinte.[1]

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.[2]

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.[1]

In 1989, she spoke on Romanian television in support of the revolutionaries fighting against the regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu.

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Romania
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 European Indoor Championships Milan, Italy 2nd 3000 m 8:54.26
World Cross Country Championships Rome, Italy 1st
European Championships Athens, Greece 4th 1500 m 3:59.31
2nd 3000 m 8:33.33
1984 World Cross Country Championships New York, United States 1st
Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 3rd 1500 m 4:04.15
1st 3000 m 8:35.96
1986 European Championships Stuttgart, Germany 5th 1500 m 4:03.90
2nd 3000 m 8:35.92
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


  1. ^ a b c Maricica Puică. Sports Reference
  2. ^ a b c Maricica Puică profile at IAAF
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Soviet Union Yelena Sipatova
Women's 3000 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Svetlana Ulmasova