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Former 200 metre Olympic champion Pietro Mennea has died in a Rome clinic at the age of 60.

No cause of death has so far been announced.

The Italian set a new 200m world record at altitude in Mexico City in 1979 with a time of 19.72 seconds.

It was a record that stood for 17 years until Michael Johnson beat the mark in 1996.

His record does however remain a European best.

The Barletta-born sprinter known as the ‘Arrow of the South’ produced one of his most impressive performances en route to Olympic glory in Moscow.

Mennea made a remarkable comeback in the final few metres to pip Britain’s Alan Wells to gold.

He competed in five Olympics, appearing in four consecutive 200m finals.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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