Sara Simeoni

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Sara Simeoni
Sara Simeoni 1973.jpg
Personal information
Born (1953-04-19) 19 April 1953 (age 64)
Rivoli Veronese, Italy
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 60 kg (132 lb)
Country Italy Italy
Sport Athletics
Event(s) High jump
Club CS Fiat Torino, Lib. Ligabò Verona, Fiat Iveco, Francesco Francia Bologna[1]
Coached by Erminio Azzaro
Achievements and titles
Regional finals 1974, 1978, 1982
Olympic finals 1976, 1980, 1984
Personal best(s) 2.01 m (1978)[1]

Sara Simeoni (born 19 April 1953) is an Italian former high jumper, who won a gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics and twice set a world record in the women's high jump.


Sara Simeoni was born in Rivoli Veronese, in the province of Verona. She soon took up athletics, specialising in the high jump. Her first international result was at the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki, where she ended 9th with a 178 cm jump. Her first international success was at the 1976 in Montreal, where she won a silver medal, with a personal best of 1.91 m, and was beaten only by Rosemarie Ackermann's 1.93 m leap.

In August 1978, she set the new world record with 2.01 m in Brescia (this jump stood as a national record until Antonietta Di Martino jumped 2.02 in June 2007). Later in the same month she equalled it at Prague while winning the European title. In 1980, Simeoni set a new Olympic record of 1.97 m, when winning gold in Moscow.[1] Simeoni was the only woman athlete not from a Communist country able to win an athletics gold medal in Moscow.

Simeoni struggled to regain her form in the following years, with a series of tendon injuries. At 1984 Olympics, Simeoni carried the Italian flag at the opening ceremony in Los Angeles. Here, she cemented her reputation as one of the greatest female high jumpers ever, in a thrilling duel with German Ulrike Meyfarth. Simeoni managed to reach the 2 meters measure for the first time since 1978. The ageing Meyfarth, however, replied with a notable 2.02 m jump, and Simeoni won a silver medal.

Simeoni's other titles include two bronze medals at the European Championships and 25 national titles. Her jump of 2.01 m was the Italian record for women for 29 years. On 8 June 2007, Antonietta Di Martino jumped 2.02 m, establishing the new Italian record for women.

Sara Simeoni is widely considered one of the best Italian female athletes ever. She is married to her coach Erminio Azzaro.[1] Their son Roberto Azzaro is also a high jumper.[2]


Year Competition Venue Position
1970 European Junior Championships 5th
1971 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 9th
1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany 6th
1973 European Indoor Championships Rotterdam, Netherlands 9th
Universiade Moscow, Russia 3rd
1974 European Indoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 11th
European Championships Rome, Italy 3rd
1975 European Indoor Championships Katowice, Poland 4th
Mediterranean Games Algiers, Algeria 1st
Universiade Rome, Italy 2nd
1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Canada 2nd
1977 European Indoor Championships San Sebastián, Spain 1st
Universiade Sofia, Bulgaria 1st
1978 European Indoor Championships Milan, Italy 1st
European Championships Prague, Czechoslovakia 1st
1979 Mediterranean Games Split, Croatia, Yugoslavia 1st
Universiade Mexico City, Mexico 3rd
1980 European Indoor Championships Sindelfingen, West Germany 1st
Olympic Games Moscow, Soviet Union 1st
1981 European Indoor Championships Grenoble, France 1st
Universiade Bucharest, Romania 1st
1982 European Championships Athens, Greece 3rd
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland Qual.
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 2nd
1986 European Championships Stuttgart, West Germany Qual.

National championships[edit]

  • 14 wins in high jump at the Italian Athletics Championships (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985)[3]
  • 1 win in pentathlon at the Italian Athletics Championships (1972)[3]
  • 10 wins in high jump at the Italian Indoor Athletics Championships (1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1986)[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Sara Simeoni.
  2. ^ Roberto Azzaro.
  3. ^ a b "ITALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS". Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "ITALIAN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS". Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
Preceded by
Roberta Felotti
Dorina Vaccaroni
Italian Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Roberta Felotti
Dorina Vaccaroni
Maria Canins
Preceded by
East Germany Rosemarie Ackermann
Women's High Jump World Record Holder
4 August 1978 – 8 September 1982
Succeeded by
West Germany Ulrike Meyfarth
Sporting positions
Preceded by
East Germany Rosemarie Ackermann
Women's High Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
East Germany Rosemarie Ackermann
Preceded by
East Germany Rosemarie Ackermann
Women's High Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
United States Pam Spencer
Summer Olympics
Preceded by
Klaus Dibiasi
Italy Flag bearer for Italy
1984 Los Angeles
Succeeded by
Pietro Mennea