Venanzio Ortis

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Venanzio Ortis (born 29 January 1955) is an Italian retired long-distance runner who won two medals at the 1978 European Championships.


Ortis was born in Paluzza, province of Udine.

He started racing in 1969 (for a period he also practiced cross-country skiing), and later won the Italian junior titles in the 1000 and 3000 m races. On 16 August1978, aged 23, he set a new Italian record in the 5000 m at the Weltklasse Z├╝rich, obtaining a third place behind Henry Rono and Markus Ryffel.

In the fast 10,000-metre race of the European Championships, held in Prague two weeks later, he broke 28 minutes for the first time while finishing second in 27 minutes 31.48 seconds, just four one-hundredths of a second ahead of Martti Vainio. In the slow and tactical 5,000-metre final, he managed to squeeze through the narrow space between Ryffel and Soviet Union's Alexander Fedotkin to sprint to the lead and win by 0.1 seconds. He missed the 1980 Moscow Olympics due to injury. His last major international track race was the 1981 IAAF World Cup event in Rome, where he placed fourth in 10,000. Plague by physical problems, Ortis retired in 1983.

He is the cousin of the Italian cross-country skier Manuela Di Centa.




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