Roberto Hernández, recognized as one of the best runners Cuba has had, died at the age of 54, official media reports. The Cuban runner died on Monday after spending more than a year battling heart disease that led him to hospital on several occasions.
According to the JIT portal, Roberto Hernández’s illness considerably aggravated his state of health and his death came after being interned for several days in the therapy services of the Joaquín Albarrán surgical clinical teaching hospital, in the capital.
The president of the Cuban Athletics Federation, Alberto Juantorena, details that the death of Roberto Hernández is a “huge loss”, recalling that it was precisely he who snatched the national record of the 400 meters.
The Cuban runner was born in Camagüey, but his training as an athlete took place in the Matanzas town of Limonar, where he lived since he was a child and met another world star, the former high jumper Javier Sotomayor, with whom he became an inseparable friend.
Sotomayor spoke about the death of his colleague and friend, stating that he was very saddened by what happened.
“Today is a very sad day for me. A brother, a friend, a teammate left since we were children in Limonar. There are countless beautiful memories and experiences that we live together and that I will always keep with me, as a friend, as a colleague and as the extraordinary athlete that he was ”.
Roberto Hernández was part of the 4 × 400 relays that won the Olympic silver medal in Barcelona 1992 and reigned individually in world universities, world cups, and in the 1990 Goodwill Games.
The absolute national records of 44.14 seconds and 45.05 seconds still belong to him.