Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics – Men's 5000 metres

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Men's 5000 metres
at the Games of the XVIII Olympiad
Harald Norpoth, Bob Schul, Bill Dellinger 1964.jpg
Harald Norpoth, Bob Schul and Bill Dellinger on the podium
Venue Olympic Stadium
Dates 16–18 October
Competitors 54 from 35 nations
Gold medal    United States
Silver medal    United Team of Germany
Bronze medal    United States
1960 1968
Athletics at the
1964 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
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
Pentathlon women
Decathlon men

The men's 5000 metres was the second-longest of the seven men's track races in the Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics program in Tokyo. It was held on 16 October and 18 October 1964. 54 athletes from 35 nations entered, with 6 not starting the first round. The first round was held on 16 October and the final on 18 October.

The world record holder Vladimir Kuts had retired five years earlier. Defending champion Murray Halberg didn't make the final. Halberg and Pyotr Bolotnikov had dominated the event the previous four years but neither was in the final. The top runner of the year was Bob Schul from the Compton Invitational. This was Kip Keino's first Olympic final, but he would gain fame four years later.

In the slow, strategic race held in a light rain on a muddy dirt track Michel Jazy was more of a 1500 meter runner and expected to be ready for a fast finish. He kept himself in the lead or close to the lead throughout. Schul found himself on the curb boxed in by a loping Keino who seemed to be marking the field on the outside of the pack that also included future world record holder Ron Clarke. With 600 metres to go, the future coach of Steve Prefontaine, Bill Dellinger made the first move coming around the entire pack and into the lead. At age 30, old for an amateur athlete in this era, Dillinger came out of retirement to make one last attempt after failing to make the Olympic final the previous two Olympiads. Dillinger's move was marked by Jazy as the pace quickened. Nikolay Dutov came around the entire pack to challenge Jazy and Dillinger. Shortly after the bell, Jazy decided to take off, jumping to the lead with Harald Norpoth coming from mid pack to become his closest pursuer 5 metres back as the field stretched out. A one speed runner, Clarke had no answer for the speedsters. With 300 to go, Schul came from fifth place to start picking off runners to get to Norpoth with 200 to go. Through the turn he passed Norpoth with Jazy constantly looking over his shoulder to check his pursuer. Jazy still had a two metres lead as they reached the final straight. But that lead disappeared rapidly as Schul sprinted by to take the gold medal. Jazy now watched Norpoth as he slowly edged by just before the finish. Given all he could, Jazy tried to maintain and glide across the finish line, but Dellinger, in full sprint, caught Jazy at the line to take the bronze medal.

Schul's victory was the first and only American victory in the event. His was only the second medal in the history of the event, Dellinger's bronze became the third and so far, last American medal at 5000 metres, men or women.


First round[edit]

The top three runners in each of the 4 heats advanced.

First round, heat 1[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
1 Michel Jazy France 13:55.4
2 Bill Baillie New Zealand 13:55.4
3 Stepan Baidiuk Soviet Union 14:00.2
4 Andrei Barabas Romania 14:00.2
5 Anthony Cook Australia 14:02.4
6 John Bryan Herring Great Britain 14:07.2
7 Muharrem Dalkilic Turkey 14:12.0
8 Lutz Philipp United Team of Germany 14:15.2
9 Bruce Kidd Canada 14:21.8
10 Janos Pinter Hungary 14:41.0
11 Jean Randrianjatovo Madagascar 15:50.4
Pascal Mfyomi Tanganyika DNS
Gaston Roelants Belgium DNS

First round, heat 2[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
1 Michael Edwin Wiggs Great Britain 13:51.0
2 Bill Dellinger United States 13:52.2
3 Thor Helland Norway 13:52.4
4 Lech Boguszewicz Poland 13:52.8
5 Kestutis Orentas Soviet Union 13:54.0
6 Eugene Allonsius Belgium 13:55.0
7 Jean Vaillant France 14:05.8
8 Manfred Letzerich United Team of Germany 14:06.2
9 Thomas O'Riordan Ireland 14:08.8
10 Jorgen Nielsen Dam Denmark 14:20.4
11 Albert George Thomas Australia 14:27.8
12 Fernando Aguila Spain 14:29.2
13 Alvaro Mejia Florez Colombia 14:41.4
Ebrahim Yazdanpanah Iran DNS

First round, heat 3[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
1 Mohammed Gammoudi Tunisia 14:10.2
2 Bob Schul United States 14:11.4
3 Harald Norpoth United Team of Germany 14:11.6
4 Murray Halberg New Zealand 14:12.0
5 Josef Tomas Czechoslovakia 14:12.6
6 Bengt Najde Sweden 14:13.4
7 Franc Cervan Yugoslavia 14:16.6
8 Simo Sakari Saloranta Finland 14:24.6
9 Lajos Mecser Hungary 14:35.4
10 Jean Fayolle France 14:44.6
11 Sermsak Keocanta Thailand 16:08.8
12 Ranatunge Karunananda Ceylon 16:22.2
13 Nguyen Van Ly Vietnam 17:28.0

First round, heat 4[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
1 Ron Clarke Australia 13:48.4
2 Kipchoge Keino Kenya 13:49.6
3 Nikolay Dutov Soviet Union 13:50.6
4 Francisco Aritmendi Spain 14:05.0
5 Sven-Olov Larsson Sweden 14:10.2
6 Iwashita Satsuo Japan 14:18.4
7 Derek Graham Great Britain 14:21.6
8 Oscar W. Moore United States 14:24.0
9 Simo Vazic Yugoslavia 14:33.8
10 Henri Clerckx Belgium 14:40.0
11 Neville Ian Scott Netherlands 15:01.0
Ben Assou El Ghazi Morocco DNS
Manuel Oliveira Portugal DNS
Mamo Wolde Ethiopia DNS


Place Athlete Nation Time 1000 2000 3000 4000
1 Bob Schul United States 13:48.8 2:51.4 5:40.0 8:25.0 11:16.2
2 Harald Norpoth United Team of Germany 13:49.6 2:51.0 5:39.8 8:22.8 11:15.8
3 Bill Dellinger United States 13:49.8 2:51.8 5:40.6 8:25.8 11:16.4
4 Michel Jazy France 13:49.8 2:50.4 5:39.6 8:22.4 11:15.6
5 Kipchoge Keino Kenya 13:50.4 2:50.8 5:40.4 8:25.6 11:16.0
6 Bill Baillie New Zealand 13:51.0 2:50.6 5:39.8 8:24.2 11:16.0
7 Nikolay Dutov Soviet Union 13:53.8 2:51.6 5:40.4 8:23.2 11:15.8
8 Thor Helland Norway 13:57.0 2:51.6 5:40.2 8:26.0 11:16.6
9 Ron Clarke Australia 13:58.0 2:50.2 5:39.4 8:22.2 11:15.8
10 Stepan Baidiuk Soviet Union 14:11.2 2:51.0 5:40.0 8:25.6 11:19.2
11 Michael Edwin Wiggs Great Britain 14:20.8 2:52.8 5:40.8 8:28.6 11:28.6
Mohammed Gammoudi Tunisia Did not start -


  • Official Report