Death of athlete Michel Jazy, late strides – Libération

Double European champion and Olympic vice-champion, the middle-distance runner was a national star in the 1960s. He died at the age of 87, according to information published this Thursday, February 1.

Michel Jazy is no more. Star of French athletics in the 1960s, the half-distance runner died at the age of 87, a few hours after being admitted to Dax hospital (Landes), according to information revealed this Thursday, February 1 by the newspaper L’Equipe and confirmed by the French Athletics Federation (FFA). Throughout the 1960s, Michel Jazy had accumulated exploits, from the 800 meters to the 1,500 meters, to the point of generating immense popular enthusiasm and becoming a national star, in the same way as the cyclist Jacques Anquetil.

Born in 1936 in Oignies, in Pas-de-Calais, into a family of Polish miners, Michel Jazy obtained French nationality at the age of 18 before participating in his first Olympic Games at the age of 20, in 1956. Holder of nine records of the world in the middle distance during his career, he was crowned European champion in 1962 (over 1,500 meters) then in 1966 (over 5,000 meters), and Olympic vice-champion (over 1,500 meters) in 1960. His record is missing only an Olympic title, which he narrowly missed in 1960 in Rome (second, therefore) and in 1964 in Tokyo (fourth) – at the time, the World Championships did not exist Not yet.

“I am devastated. For the world of athletics and for the FFA, it is a huge loss for everything it represented, particularly in this year of the Olympic Games in Paris,” underlines the president of the French Athletics Federation, André Giraud. . Former director of the FFA and close friend of the family of the deceased, Pierre Weiss agrees: “Michel Jazy left his mark on our sport with his results and his world records, he was a great figure in French sport. With [le patineur artistique] Alain Calmat, he moved the crowds into the bistros, where there were TV screens, it was something.”


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