Orlando Ortega

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Orlando Ortega
Pedros Cup 2015 Łódź, Orlando Ortega 02.jpg
Ortega in 2015
Personal information
Born (1991-07-29) July 29, 1991 (age 28)
Artemisa, Cuba
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight70 kg (154 lb)
Country Spain
Event(s)110 metre hurdles
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)110 m hurdles: 12.94 s (+0.5 m/s) (Paris Saint-Denis 2015)
60 m hurdles: 7.45 s (Lódz 2015)

Orlando Ortega Alejo (born 29 July 1991) is a Cuban-born Spanish track and field athlete who competes in the 110 metres hurdles. His personal best for the event is 12.94 seconds and he was the silver medallist at the 2016 Olympics.


Ortega gradually rose through Cuba's ranks from 2007 onwards, taking youth and junior national titles in the hurdles.[1] He was chosen to compete at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics, but did not finish his heat.[2] In his first year of senior competition in 2011, he established himself nationally with a win at the Barrientos Memorial meeting, winning with a personal best[3] of 13.56 seconds.[4] He improved further at a meeting in Havana running a time of 13.29 seconds.[5] He was one hundredth of a second off his best in the final at the 2011 Pan American Games and claimed the bronze medal while fellow Cuban Dayron Robles took the title.[6]

He competed on the European indoor circuit in early 2012, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the XL Galan and a 60 metres hurdles best of 7.57 seconds in Metz. He narrowly missed out on making the final at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, coming fifth in his heat.[5] He began training under hurdles coach Santiago Antúnez, alongside Dayron Robles, and defeated his partner for the first time in Havana in May, improving his 110 m hurdles time to 13.09 seconds to become the third fastest Cuban ever in the event.[7] He came third at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York in June.[8] He came in sixth in the final 110m hurdles at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

He was studying a degree in physical education in Cuba.[9]

During the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, he defected from Cuba[10] and competed for Spain since September 2013. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled he was not allowed to represent Spain officially until November 2016 — three full years after he officially became a Spanish resident – so he originally wasn't able to take part at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Eventually he was allowed to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics and took home a silver medal in the 110m hurdles behind Omar McLeod.[11]

Ortega won the bronze medal at the 2018 European Championships.[12]

At the 2019 World Championships, Ortega qualified for the final, but finished 5th after Omar McLeod stumbled into him and arrested his momentum. Ortega was in second place until the incident.[13] After the appeal of the Spanish Federation, the IAAF awarded him with a bronze medal.[14]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Cuba
2011 Pan American Games Guadalajara, Mexico 3rd 110 m hurdles 13.30
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 6th 110 m hurdles 13.26 (s)
World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 9th (s) 60 m hurdles 7.71
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 25th (h) 110 m hurdles 13.69
Representing  Spain
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2nd 110 m hurdles 13.17
2017 European Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia 7th 60 m hurdles 7.64
World Championships London, United Kingdom 7th 110 m hurdles 13.37
2018 European Championships Berlin, Germany 3rd 110 m hurdles 13.34
2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom 4th 60 m hurdles 7.64
World Championships Doha, Qatar 3rd 110 m hurdles 13.30


  1. ^ Orlando Ortega. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  2. ^ 2010 World Junior Championships Archived March 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. World Junior Athletics History (2012-04-21). Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  3. ^ Orlando Ortega Men's 110m Hurdles | Brussels Diamond League. Retrieved on 2016-09-10.
  4. ^ Robinson, Javier Clavelo (2011-05-29). New talents emerge at Barrientos Memorial in Havana Archived 2012-08-01 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  5. ^ a b Ortega, Orlando. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  6. ^ Robinson, Javier Clavelo (2011-10-29). Robles 13.10, Borges 5.80m and Ibarguen 14.92m in Guadalajara - Pan American Games, Day 6. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  7. ^ Robinson, Javier Clavelo (2012-05-28). Ortega upsets Robles at IAAF Centennial Anniversary meet in Havana. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  8. ^ 2012 Adidas Grand Prix 110 Metres Hurdles. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  9. ^ Niu, Sandra (2012-06-03). ESPECIAL: Vallista Orlando Ortega nueva joya del atletismo cubano. Xinhua. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  10. ^ "Federación Cubana de Atletismo deplora deserción de Orlando Ortega". Cuba Debate (in Spanish). Havana, Cuba: Cuba Debate. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Cuban defector banned from Olympics: not a Spanish resident long enough". foxnews.com. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  12. ^ "LIVE 110m Hurdles - Men - Final - European Championships - 10 August 2018 - Eurosport". Eurosport. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  13. ^ "World Athletics Championships 2019: Asher-Smith wins 200m gold –as it happened". The Guardian. 2 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Athletics: Spain's Ortega gets bronze after IAAF agree he was impeded". Reuters. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.

External links[edit]