Middle-distance runner David Torrence (Getty Images) © Copyright

Peruvian Olympian Torrence dies

The IAAF is deeply saddened to hear that Peruvian middle-distance David Torrence died on Monday (28) at the age of 31.

Born in November 1985 in Okinawa, Japan, Torrence was raised in California. A talented high school runner, he won the US junior 1500m title in 2004 and went on to compete at the IAAF World Junior Championships later that year.

After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, Torrence turned professional and won national titles at 3000m indoors and in the road mile in 2009.

At the start of 2014 Torrence formed part of a 4x800m team that broke the world indoor best in Boston. He also set a North American indoor record of 2:16.76 for 1000m and went on to break another North American record two months later when he ran the second leg on USA’s 4x1500m team at the IAAF World Relays. The USA finished second in 14:40.80 and Torrence’s 3:36.6 split was the fastest of the team.

Torrence bagged his first international medal at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto, taking silver in the 5000m and just missing out on the gold medal by 0.13. Towards the end of that year, he earned his fourth senior national title when winning the US 5km Championships in Rhode Island.

In 2016 Torrence switched allegiance to Peru, his mother’s home nation. In his first race as a Peruvian athlete, he set a national 1500m record of 3:34.95. He went on to reach the Olympic 5000m final later that summer, having set a national record of 13:23.20 in the heats.

More national and area records followed in 2017 and he competed at the IAAF World Championships in London.

A hugely popular athlete, Torrence’s sudden and unexpected death shocked the international athletics community.

“No one was more dedicated to their running than David Torrence,” tweeted Olympic bronze medallist Nick Willis. “He got 100% out of himself every day. So, so sad to hear of his passing.”