Alberto Cova

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Description:
Alberto Cova (born December 1, 1958) is a retired Italian athlete, winner of the 10,000 m at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Career

Born in Inverigo, province of Como<!--PLEASE LEAVE THIS SPELLING. "COMO PROVINCE" SOUNDS AWFUL TO AN ITALIAN-->, Italy, Alberto Cova was characterized by his superiority in the sprint finish, and the only way to nullify this was to set a very fast pace from the start to finish.Cova got his first fame at the 1982 European Championships in Athens, where he surprisingly outsprinted the main favourite Werner Schildhauer from East Germany, to win his first international championship title. In the next year, Cova wasn't the main favourite at the first World Championships held in Helsinki, being considered only as a possible medal winner. The 10,000 m final at Helsinki was run in slow pace, with thirteen runners still in a leading pack at the bell. With only 30 metres to go, Cova was only in fifth place, but then sprinted forward to win. Schildhauer finished in second place. The top four runners sprinted to the finish line in 0.33 seconds (see Yleisurheilun MM-kisat Helsingissä / Athletics World Championships in Helsinki, edited by the Juoksija/Runner magazine, Helsinki: 1983).

The 10,000 m final at the Los Angeles Olympics began at an even slower pace than at Helsinki. At the 6 km mark, Martti Vainio from Finland, picked up the speed. Cova managed to follow him, and Vainio couldn't sustain his own pace, so Cova swept past him after the...
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