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Livio Berruti

Italian athlete Livio Berruti was born on May 19, 1939. He became the surprising winner of the 200 m in the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Born in Turin, Berruti, a chemistry student, was only 21 when he competed in the 1960 Olympics, which were held in front of his home crowd in Rome. In the semi-finals of the 200 m, he suddenly ran 20.5, equalling the standing world record for that distance. This made him a surprise outsider for the final, later that day. In that race, Berruti, who was noted for always running with black glasses and white socks, once again clocked 20.5, beating the American favourites to the gold medal. Anchoring the Italian 4 x 100 m relay team, Berruti narrowly missed out on a second Olympic medal, finishing in 4th.

His Olympic victory, in the beginning of his career, would remain his best achievement. His three appearances at the European Championships only brought him a 7th place in the 1966 200 m final. He did, however, win Italian titles in both the 100 and 200 m from 1957 until 1962, and two more 200 m titles in 1965 and 1968. Berruti also made two more Olympic appearances, in 1964 and 1968. On both occasions, he reached the final of the 4 x 100 m relay, and also placed 5th in the 200 m final of 1964.

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