Luigi Beccali (19 November 1907 – 29 August 1990) was the first Italian to win an Olympic gold medal in running, in the 1500 metres at the 1932 Summer Olympics, and the first Italian to win a European Championship title in athletics.
|Born||19 November 1907|
Milan, Kingdom of Italy
|Died||29 August 1990 (aged 82)|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||63 kg (139 lb)|
|Club||Pro Patria Milano|
|Coached by||Dino Nai|
Luigi Beccali, an Italian champion in 1500 m from 1928 to 1931, became a national hero overnight when he won the Olympic 1500 m gold at Los Angeles.
In 1933, Beccali ran three world records. At first he equalled Jules Ladoumègue's world record 3:49.2, then lowered it to 3:49.0. At the end of the year he also set the 1,000 yd (910 m) world record of 2:10.0.
Beccali won the 1500 m at the first European Championships in 1934, but was outrun by Jack Lovelock at the 1936 Summer Olympics, settling for third place in 1500 m. He was again third in 1500 m at the European Championships in 1938. He also won the Italian championships from 1934 to 1938 in 1500 m and at 1935 in the 5000 m.
Beccali was originally a council surveyor, responsible for road maintenance. His work schedule allowed him to train twice a day. He eventually moved to the United States, and retired from running there in 1941, becoming a wine trader.
- Luigi Beccali. sports-reference.com
- Luigi Beccali at Italian Olympic Committee (in Italian)
- Luigi Beccali at Olympedia
- Luigi Beccali at World Athletics
- Luigi Beccali at European Athletic Association (archived)
- Luigi Beccali at Italian Athletics Federation (in Italian)
- Luigi Beccali at TrackField.brinkster.net
- Luigi Beccali at Munzinger Sports Archives (in German)
- Luigi Beccali at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com (archived)