A legend has passed: Michel Jazy, double European champion and Olympic silver medalist in the 1500m, has died


Michel Jazy, a legend of French sports, has passed away at the age of 87. As a long-distance and middle-distance runner, he became the European champion in the 1,500m in 1962 and the 5,000m in 1966.

He also won the silver medal in the 1,500m at the 1960 Rome Olympics and broke four world records in 1965, solidifying his status as a legend in French athletics. It is a momentous occasion for French sports, as Michel Jazy, a national athletics legend, has passed away at the age of 87.

His death is a sad loss for track and field enthusiasts, especially with the Paris Olympics just months away. Though his achievements may not resonate with younger generations, he left a lasting impact with his exceptional performances, world records, titles, and his rivalry with Michel Bernard.

Alongside Jacques Anquetil, Jazy was a leading figure in French sports during the 1960s. He had obtained French nationality at 18 and participated in his first Olympic Games at 20 in 1956, captivating France with his performances for years.

Throughout his career, Jazy set 32 French records and broke nine world records in middle-distance running. His silver medal victory at the 1960 Olympics, his records, and his medals captured the hearts of the French.

Despite not winning gold in Rome, his remarkable performance in the 1,500 meters final behind Herb Elliott won over the French audience. He continued to showcase his talent at the 1962 European Championships, solidifying his reputation in France.

Although he narrowly missed an Olympic medal in Tokyo in 1964, finishing fourth in the 5,000m, Jazy bounced back and set multiple world records in 1965. In 1966, he claimed another European title in Budapest in the 5,000m and won silver in the 1,500m in his last international competition.

With three cross-country titles in his name, Jazy retired two years before the 1968 Olympics, acknowledging that he wouldn’t be able to pursue the missing Olympic gold medal. His departure marks a significant loss for French athletics, leaving an indelible mark on the sport in France, which now mourns its legend just months before the upcoming Olympics.

“I am devastated,” said André Giraud, the president of the French Athletics Federation, to AFP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *