Sara Simeoni

Sara Simeoni (born 19 April 1953) is an Italian former high jumper, who won a gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics and twice set a world record in the women's high jump.

Sara Simeoni
Sara Simeoni 1973.jpg
Sara Simeoni in 1973
Personal information
Born (1953-04-19) 19 April 1953 (age 68)
Rivoli Veronese, Italy
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight60 kg (132 lb)
CountryItaly Italy
Event(s)High jump
ClubCS Fiat Torino, Lib. Ligabò Verona, Fiat Iveco, Francesco Francia Bologna[1]
Coached byErminio Azzaro
Achievements and titles
Regional finals1974, 1978, 1982
Olympic finals1976, 1980, 1984
Personal best(s)2.01 m (1978)[1]


Sara Simeoni was born in Rivoli Veronese, in the province of Verona. She soon took up athletics, specialising in the high jump. Her first international result was at the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki, where she ended 9th with a 178 cm jump. Her first international success was at the 1976 in Montreal, where she won a silver medal, with a personal best of 1.91 m, and was beaten only by Rosemarie Ackermann's 1.93 m leap.

In August 1978, she set the new world record with 2.01 m in Brescia (this jump stood as a national record until Antonietta Di Martino jumped 2.02 in June 2007). Later in the same month she equalled it at Prague while winning the European title. In 1980, Simeoni set a new Olympic record of 1.97 m, when winning gold in Moscow.[1] Simeoni was the only woman athlete not from a Communist country able to win an athletics gold medal in Moscow.

Simeoni struggled to regain her form in the following years, with a series of tendon injuries. At 1984 Olympics, Simeoni carried the Italian flag at the opening ceremony in Los Angeles. Here, she cemented her reputation as one of the greatest female high jumpers ever, in a thrilling duel with West German Ulrike Meyfarth. Simeoni managed to reach the 2 meters measure for the first time since 1978. The ageing Meyfarth, however, replied with a notable 2.02 m jump, and Simeoni won a silver medal.

Simeoni's other titles include two bronze medals at the European Championships and 25 national titles. Her jump of 2.01 m was the Italian record for women for 29 years. On 8 June 2007, Antonietta Di Martino jumped 2.02 m, establishing the new Italian record for women.

Sara Simeoni is widely considered one of the best Italian female athletes ever. She is married to her coach Erminio Azzaro.[1] Their son Roberto Azzaro is also a high jumper.[2]

International competitionsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representintg   Italy
1970 European Junior Championships Colombes, France 5th 1.70 m
1971 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 9th 1.78 m
Mediterranean Games Izmir, Turkey 2nd 1.74 m
1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany 6th 1.85 m
1973 European Indoor Championships Rotterdam, Netherlands 9th 1.82 m
Universiade Moscow, Soviet Union 3rd 1.81 m
1974 European Indoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 11th 1.75 m
European Championships Rome, Italy 3rd 1.89 m
1975 European Indoor Championships Katowice, Poland 4th 1.80 m
Mediterranean Games Algiers, Algeria 1st 1.89 m
Universiade Rome, Italy 2nd 1.88 m
1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Canada 2nd 1.91 m
1977 European Indoor Championships San Sebastián, Spain 1st 1.92 m
Universiade Sofia, Bulgaria 1st 1.92 m
World Cup Düsseldorf, West Germany 2nd 1.92 m1
1978 European Indoor Championships Milan, Italy 1st 1.94 m
European Championships Prague, Czechoslovakia 1st 2.01 m
1979 World Cup Montreal, Canada 2nd 1.94 m1
Universiade Mexico City, Mexico 3rd 1.92 m
Mediterranean Games Split, Yugoslavia 1st 1.98 m
1980 European Indoor Championships Sindelfingen, West Germany 1st 1.95 m
Olympic Games Moscow, Soviet Union 1st 1.97 m
1981 European Indoor Championships Grenoble, France 1st 1.97 m
Universiade Bucharest, Romania 1st 1.96 m
1982 European Championships Athens, Greece 3rd 1.97 m
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 19th (q) 1.84 m
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 2nd 2.00 m
1986 European Championships Stuttgart, West Germany 13th (q) 1.86 m

1Representing Europe

National titlesEdit

She won 25 national championships at individual senior level.[3][4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Sara Simeoni". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ Roberto Azzaro.
  3. ^ "ITALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS". Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  4. ^ "ITALIAN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS". Retrieved 12 April 2012.

External linksEdit