1982 European Athletics Championships – Men's 5000 metres

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Events at the 1982 European
Athletics Championships

Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men women
3000 m women
5000 m men
10,000 m men
100 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men women
3000 m
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men women
Road events
Marathon men women
20 km walk men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Heptathlon women
Decathlon men

These are the official results of the Men's 5,000 metres event at the 1982 European Championships in Athens, Greece, held at Olympic Stadium "Spiros Louis" on 8 and 11 September 1982.[1]


Gold Thomas Wessinghage
 West Germany
Silver Werner Schildhauer
 East Germany
Bronze Dave Moorcroft
 United Kingdom


11 September The 5,000-metre final was characterized by a variable, but mostly slow, pace and by heavy rain. The strongest pre-final favourite and the fresh world record holder at this distance, David Moorcroft, took the lead shortly after the start. Before the 600-metre mark, his team mate Mike McLeod went into the lead, perhaps to spare Moorcroft from leading too long. McLeod passed 1,000 metres in a sluggish time of 2:46.91. Before the 1,200-metre mark, Finland's tall Martti Vainio accelerated into the lead. He was passed after 1,900 metres by Moorcroft, who led the 15-man field through 2,000 metres in 5:28.89. For some reason, however, Moorcroft slowed the pace down, with 3,000 metres being passed in a slow time of 8:16.55. As the tightly bunched group of runners was approaching 3,200 metres, East Germany's Hansjörg Kunze, one of the pre-race favourites, was pushed, lost his rhythm for a moment, and accidentally ran a few steps on the field. McLeod went into the lead again, somewhat increasing the pace. At 3,400 metres, Vainio accelerated into the lead, and sprinted the following 200 metres in under 31 seconds. However, his legs were tired of the 10,000-metre final and his rather fast 5,000-metre heat, and he was forced to slow down. Around 3,800 metres, there was another shoving match, involving Italy's Alberto Cova and Austria's Dietmar Millonig. Cova pushed Millonig so strongly, after having been pushed or elbowed by a third runner, that he was disqualified after the final. At 4,000 metres, Vainio still led the field in 10:57.19. Around this time, Sweden's Mats Erixon began gradually to lose contact with the main group. Before the 4,200-metre mark, Moorcroft went into the lead again, intending to gradually increase the pace before the final lap. After 4,400 metres, West Germany's Christoph Herle dropped from the lead group. Before 4,500 metres, the Soviet Union's Dmitriy Dmitriyev passed Moorcroft, who was soon surrounded by several other runners. Also Switzerland's Markus Ryffel dropped from the lead group before 4,600 metres, while Cova, McLeod and Kunze began to struggle. At 4,600 metres, Dmitriyev still led the main group in 12:34.25. Soon after that, East Germany's Werner Schildhauer passed him. Before 4,750 metres, West Germany's Thomas Wessinghage sprinted past Schildhauer, and already opened a five-metre gap by 4,800 metres. Moorcroft accelerated into the second place, followed by his other team mate Tim Hutchings. By the start of the home straight, Wessinghage's lead was at least eight or nine metres. With over 20 metres left, Schildhauer passed Moorcroft, to claim the silver medal. Hutchings faded into seventh place, while Bulgaria's Evgeni Ignatov rose to fourth place with a strong final kick. (Two Finnish sports books: Our Sports' Face/Urheilumme kasvot, Helsinki: c.1982; Sports Information/Urheilutieto, Helsinki: c.1982; YouTube: user tommytempo1's two videos: European Athletics Championships 3,000m Steeplechase & 5,000m Finals Athens 1982; Thomas Wessinghage - European Athletics Championships 5,000m Athens 1982.)

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Thomas Wessinghage  West Germany 13:28.90
2nd, silver medalist(s) Werner Schildhauer  East Germany 13:30.03
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Dave Moorcroft  United Kingdom 13:30.42
4 Evgeni Ignatov  Bulgaria 13:30.95
5 Dietmar Millonig  Austria 13:31.03
6 Valeriy Abramov  Soviet Union 13:31.26
7 Tim Hutchings  United Kingdom 13:31.83
8 Martti Vainio  Finland 13:33.69
9 Hansjörg Kunze  East Germany 13:35.71
10 Markus Ryffel   Switzerland 13:36.11
11 Dmitriy Dmitriyev  Soviet Union 13:37.91
12 Mike McLeod  United Kingdom 13:38.99
13 Christoph Herle  West Germany 13:45.54
14 Mats Erixon  Sweden 13:52.39
15 Alberto Cova  Italy DQ


8 September

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Dave Moorcroft  United Kingdom 13:30.28 Q
2 Werner Schildhauer  East Germany 13:30.49 Q
3 Dietmar Millonig  Austria 13:30.61 Q
4 Markus Ryffel   Switzerland 13:30.75 Q
5 Valeriy Abramov  Soviet Union 13:30.98 Q
6 Christoph Herle  West Germany 13:31.06 Q
7 António Leitão  Portugal 13:31.89
8 Salvatore Antibo  Italy 13:34.43
9 Viktor Chumakov  Soviet Union 13:34.50
10 Knut Kvalheim  Norway 13:41.85
11 Hans Segerfeldt  Sweden 13:44.07
12 Alex Hagelsteens  Belgium 13:50.03
13 Philippe Legrand  France 13:55.04
14 Henrik Jørgensen  Denmark 14:14.05
15 Pär Wallin  Sweden DNF

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Thomas Wessinghage  West Germany 13:26.48 Q
2 Hansjörg Kunze  East Germany 13:27.45 Q
3 Tim Hutchings  United Kingdom 13:27.58 Q
4 Alberto Cova  Italy 13:27.65 Q
5 Evgeni Ignatov  Bulgaria 13:27.78 Q
6 Mats Erixon  Sweden 13:28.08 Q
7 Dmitriy Dmitriyev  Soviet Union 13:28.45 q
8 Martti Vainio  Finland 13:29.20 q
9 Mike McLeod  United Kingdom 13:29.90 q
10 Fotios Kourtis  Greece 14:22.18
11 Francis Gonzalez  France DNF


According to an unofficial count, 26 athletes from 16 countries participated in the event.

See also[edit]