Juan Carlos Zabala

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Juan Carlos Zabala, 1931

Juan Carlos Zabala (born October 11, 1911 in Rosario , † January 24, 1983 in Buenos Aires ) was an Argentine long-distance runner and Olympic champion in the 1932 marathon .

He initially played football , basketball and swimming before meeting his future coach Alexander Stirling in 1927 . At club level, he competed for Sportivo Barracas .

At the end of October 1931 he won the Košice marathon , and ten days later he set a world record over 30 km (1: 42: 30.4 h).

His sporting highlight was the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles . Zabala ran almost the entire distance in the leading group. When there were only 4 km left to run, he broke away from the group and crossed the finish line 20 seconds ahead of the Briton Sam Ferris .

At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin he came sixth in the 10,000 meter run , but was unable to defend his marathon title. He took the lead after the start, but was overtaken by the later gold and silver medalists Son Kitei and Ernie Harper at kilometer 30 and gave up shortly afterwards.

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