Eamonn Christopher Coghlan (born 21 November 1952) is an Irish Senator and former athlete, who specialised in middle distance track events and the 5000 metres. He is a 3-time Olympian and former World Champion in the 5000 m.
Born in Drimnagh, a successful amateur running career in Ireland led to a scholarship in the United States, where he won four NCAA titles in track running and ran a sub-four minute mile to set an Irish record at 22 years of age. He soon set the European record over the distance. His speciality was the indoor mile run – he gained his nickname, "The Chairman of the Boards", as a result of his great success on the US indoor circuit. He broke the indoor mile world record on three occasions, and also set the world record over 1500 and 2,000m m.
He finished fourth in the 1500 m at the 1976 Summer Olympics, finished fourth again in the 5000 m at the 1980 Summer Olympics, and made the 5000 m semi-final in his last Olympic appearance at the 1988 Summer Games. He experienced greater success in the 1500 m at the European Athletics Championships: he won the 1500 m at the 1979 European Athletics Indoor Championships, and outdoors took silver in the event at the 1978 European Athletics Championships. He was also the 5000 m champion at the IAAF World Cup in 1981 and he became the world 5000 metres champion at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics.
After competitive retirement, he continued to race and became the first man over 40 years old to run a sub-four minute mile. He has appeared as a panellist on Irish broadcaster RTÉ and released his autobiography, Chairman of the Boards, Master of the Mile, in 2008.
In May 2011, Coghlan was appointed as a Senator by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
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