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
1st, gold medalist(s) Bob Schul  United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Harald Norpoth  United Team of Germany
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Bill Dellinger  United States
← 1960
1968 →

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.[1]

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 Kęstutis 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 Jørgen Dam  Denmark 14:20.4
11 Albert George Thomas  Australia 14:27.8
12 Fernando Aguilar  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 Tomáš  Czechoslovakia 14:12.6
6 Bengt Najde  Sweden 14:13.4
7 Franc Červan  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 Somsak Keaokanta  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 Satsuo Iwashita  Japan 14:18.4
7 Derek Graham  Great Britain 14:21.6
8 Oscar Moore  United States 14:24.0
9 Simo Vazic  Yugoslavia 14:33.8
10 Henri Clerckx  Belgium 14:40.0
11 Neville Ian Scott  New Zealand 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 -


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Games: Men's 5000 metres". Retrieved 8 November 2017.