Doug Padilla

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Most Influential Person

American long-distance runner

Why Is Doug Padilla Influential?

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According to Wikipedia, Douglas Padilla is a former middle and long distance runner from the United States, who won the overall Grand Prix 1985 and the World Cup 5000m race in 1985. He finished fifth in the 5000m final at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, and seventh in the 5000m final at the 1984 Summer Olympics. In the 1983 World Championships 5,000-metre final, Padilla was among the favourites, but he succumbed to the radically accelerating pace of top runners, such as Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan, East Germany's Werner Schildhauer and Finland's Martti Vainio, during the last lap. He lost to the winner, Coghlan, by 3.55 seconds, but managed to defeat another unlucky favourite, West Germany's Thomas Wessinghage, by 0.38 seconds. By contrast, the fast 1984 Olympic 5,000-metre final was tough for Padilla already after 3,000 metres, and he painstakingly defeated New Zealand's John Walker who finished eighth. He was ranked number 1 in the world in 1983 for the 3000-meter distance.

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