Gabriela Szabo

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Stats Birthdate: 11/14/75 (Bistrita, Romania) Height: 5-2 1/2 Coach: Zsolt Gyongyossy Current Residence: Bucharest, Romania Junior World Champion for 3000 meters - Lisbon 1994; Bronze medal for 3000 meters - Helsinki 1994; Cross World Champion - team - Durham 1995; World Champion - 3000 meters - Barcelona 1995, Paris -Bercy 1997, Maebashi 1999 and 1500 meters - Maebashi 1999; Olympic Vice Champion 1500 meters - Atlanta 1996; World Champion for 5000 meters - Athens 1997 and Sevilla 1999; Winner of the Golden League Circuit in 1997 and 1999; European Vice Champion for 5000 meters - Budapest 1998; World Record for 2000 meters in 1998; Best Athlete of the World in 1999; World Record for 5000 meters - Dortmund 1999; European Champion for 3000 meters - Gent 2000; Olympic Champion for 5000 meters - Sydney 2000. For distance running fans in the U. S., their lasting memory of Gabriela Szabo may be watching her make up a seemingly unsurmountable gap to outlean Suzy Favor Hamilton in the 1, 500m at the 2000 Prefontaine Classic. However, the 24-year-old Romanian was simply protecting her more than two-year-old winning streak - a streak that indicates her place among the top runners in the world. Though that streak has since been broken, Szabo is unquestionably one of the best middle distance/distance runners in the sport today, if not the best.
Szabos resume includes a silver medal in the 1, 500m at the 1996 Olympics, gold in the 5, 000m at the 1997 World Championships, gold at 1, 500m and 3, 000m at the 1999 World Indoor Championships, gold in the 5, 000m at the 1999 World Outdoor Championships, and most recently, gold in the 5, 000m and bronze in the 1, 500m at the 2000 Olympic Games. In 1999, she was named Athlete of the Year by the IAAF, Track & Field News and Athletics International. She currently holds two world indoor records: 2, 000m (5: 30. 53) and 5, 000m (14: 47. 35). In 1999, Szabo swept all the 3, 000m races in the seven-meet Golden League series, earning half of the $1 million jackpot awarded to athletes who remain undefeated through the series. She and Danish 800m runner, Wilson Kipketer each earned $500, 000, and by the end of the year, Szabo had become the first female athlete to win more than $1 million in prize money in one year.
As a child, Szabo participated in swimming and gymnastics. When it became apparent that she wasnt going to be good enough to make the Olympics, she switched to track. At the age of 13, Szabo was discovered Gyongyossy Zsolt while dominating a 600m race.
She then left her native Bistrita to train at the prestigious Rapid Bucharest Sports Club. As a 15-year-old in 1991, Szabo won the European Junior 3, 000m title, then went on to repeat that win in 92, 93 and 94. She also won gold (1994) and silver (1992) medals at that distance at the World Junior Championships. She made a smooth transition to the senior level, winning bronze medals at the European Championships and the World Cup. And at ...


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