Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics

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At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, 36 athletics events were contested, 24 for men and 12 for women. There were a total number of 1031 participating athletes from 93 countries.

These games were notable for a number of Olympic firsts and numerous world records, attributable to the high altitude of Mexico City. These included:

  • Dick Fosbury introduced the Fosbury Flop to the high Jump by jumping over backwards, whereas the prevailing methods involved jumping forwards or sideways.
  • The first African Gold Medallists in the 1500m and 3000m Steeplechase, as well as many other medals in middle and long distance events. Particularly symbolic of Africa's new found dominance was the victory by Kenyan athlete Kip Keino over American World Record Holder and hot favourite Jim Ryun in the 1500m final.
  • Bob Beamon broke Ralph Boston's 1965 and Igor Ter-Ovanesyan's 1967 World Record in the Men's Long Jump by 55 cm (22 in). This record was not broken until 1991. It remains the second best "legal" jump in history.
  • The World Record was broken in the Men's Triple Jump five times by three athletes, including the final jump of the event. Surprisingly the Top 6 jumpers in the final jumped further than the pre-Olympic world record.
  • The Black Power salute: Tommie Smith and John Carlos wore black gloves and bowed their heads on the medal podium after their medals in the 200m, sparking huge controversy.
  • Jim Hines became the first sprinter to officially break the 10-second barrier in the 100 metres.[1]

This was the first Olympics to use an all weather track surface now used in every major international athletics competition.

Medal summary[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres
details
Jim Hines
 United States
9.95 WR Lennox Miller
 Jamaica
10.04 Charles Greene
 United States
10.07
200 metres
details
Tommie Smith
 United States
19.83 WR Peter Norman
 Australia
20.06 NR John Carlos
 United States
20.10
400 metres
details
Lee Evans
 United States
43.86 WR Larry James
 United States
43.97 Ron Freeman
 United States
44.41
800 metres
details
Ralph Doubell
 Australia
1:44.40 WR Wilson Kiprugut
 Kenya
1:44.57 Tom Farrell
 United States
1:45.46
1500 metres
details
Kipchoge Keino
 Kenya
3:34.91 OR Jim Ryun
 United States
3:37.89 Bodo Tümmler
 West Germany
3:39.08
5000 metres
details
Mohammed Gammoudi
 Tunisia
14:05.01 Kipchoge Keino
 Kenya
14:05.16 Naftali Temu
 Kenya
14:06.41
10,000 metres
details
Naftali Temu
 Kenya
29:27.40 Mamo Wolde
 Ethiopia
29:27.75 Mohammed Gammoudi
 Tunisia
29:34.2
110 metres hurdles
details
Willie Davenport
 United States
13.33 OR Ervin Hall
 United States
13.42 Eddy Ottoz
 Italy
13.46
400 metres hurdles
details
David Hemery
 Great Britain
48.12 WR Gerhard Hennige
 West Germany
49.02 John Sherwood
 Great Britain
49.03
3000 metres steeplechase
details
Amos Biwott
 Kenya
8:51.02 Benjamin Kogo
 Kenya
8:51.56 George Young
 United States
8:51.86
4×100 metres relay
details
 United States (USA)
Charles Greene
Mel Pender
Ronnie Ray Smith
Jim Hines
38.24 WR  Cuba (CUB)
Hermes Ramírez
Juan Morales
Pablo Montes
Enrique Figuerola
38.40  France (FRA)
Gérard Fenouil
Jocelyn Delecour
Claude Piquemal
Roger Bambuck
38.43
4×400 metres relay
details
 United States (USA)
Vincent Matthews
Ron Freeman
Larry James
Lee Evans
2:56.16 WR  Kenya (KEN)
Daniel Rudisha
Munyoro Nyamau
Naftali Bon
Charles Asati
2:59.64  West Germany (FRG)
Helmar Müller
Manfred Kinder
Gerhard Hennige
Martin Jellinghaus
3:00.57
Marathon
details
Mamo Wolde
 Ethiopia
2:20:27 Kenji Kimihara
 Japan
2:23:31 Mike Ryan
 New Zealand
2:23:45
20 kilometres walk
details
Volodymyr Holubnychy
 Soviet Union
1:33:58 José Pedraza
 Mexico
1:34:00 Nikolay Smaga
 Soviet Union
1:34:03
50 kilometres walk
details
Christoph Höhne
 East Germany
4:20:14 Antal Kiss
 Hungary
4:30:17 Larry Young
 United States
4:31:55
Long jump
details
Bob Beamon
 United States
8.90 m WR Klaus Beer
 East Germany
8.19 m Ralph Boston
 United States
8.16 m
Triple jump
details
Viktor Saneyev
 Soviet Union
17.39 m WR Nelson Prudêncio
 Brazil
17.27 m Giuseppe Gentile
 Italy
17.22 m
High jump
details
Dick Fosbury
 United States
2.24 m OR Ed Caruthers
 United States
2.22 m Valentin Gavrilov
 Soviet Union
2.20 m
Pole vault
details
Bob Seagren
 United States
5.40 m OR Claus Schiprowski
 West Germany
5.40 m Wolfgang Nordwig
 East Germany
5.40 m
Shot put
details
Randy Matson
 United States
20.54 m OR George Woods
 United States
20.12 m Eduard Gushchin
 Soviet Union
20.09 m
Discus throw
details
Al Oerter
 United States
64.78 m OR Lothar Milde
 East Germany
63.08 m Ludvík Daněk
 Czechoslovakia
62.92 m
Hammer throw
details
Gyula Zsivótzky
 Hungary
73.36 m OR Romuald Klim
 Soviet Union
73.28 m Lázár Lovász
 Hungary
69.78 m
Javelin throw
details
Jānis Lūsis
 Soviet Union
90.10 m OR Jorma Kinnunen
 Finland
88.58 m Gergely Kulcsár
 Hungary
87.06 m
Decathlon
details
Bill Toomey
 United States
8193 OR Hans-Joachim Walde
 West Germany
8111 Kurt Bendlin
 West Germany
8064

Women[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres
details
Wyomia Tyus
 United States
11.08 WR Barbara Ferrell
 United States
11.15 Irena Szewińska
 Poland
11.19
200 metres
details
Irena Szewińska
 Poland
22.58 WR Raelene Boyle
 Australia
22.74 Jenny Lamy
 Australia
22.88
400 metres
details
Colette Besson
 France
52.03 Lillian Board
 Great Britain
52.12 Natalya Pechonkina
 Soviet Union
52.25
800 metres
details
Madeline Manning
 United States
2:00.92 OR Ilona Silai
 Romania
2:02.58 Maria Gommers
 Netherlands
2:02.63
80 metres hurdles
details
Maureen Caird
 Australia
10.39 OR Pam Kilborn
 Australia
10.46 Chi Cheng
 Republic of China
10.51
4×100 metres relay
details
 United States (USA)
Margaret Bailes
Barbara Ferrell
Mildrette Netter
Wyomia Tyus
42.88 WR  Cuba (CUB)
Violetta Quesada
Miguelina Cobián
Marlene Elejarde
Fulgencia Romay
43.36  Soviet Union (URS)
Galina Bukharina
Lyudmila Samotyosova
Vera Popkova
Lyudmila Zharkova
43.41
Long jump
details
Viorica Viscopoleanu
 Romania
6.82 m WR Sheila Sherwood
 Great Britain
6.68 m Tatyana Talysheva
 Soviet Union
6.66 m
High jump
details
Miloslava Rezková
 Czechoslovakia
1.82 m Antonina Okorokova
 Soviet Union
1.80 m Valentina Kozyr
 Soviet Union
1.80 m
Shot put
details
Margitta Gummel
 East Germany
19.61 m WR Marita Lange
 East Germany
18.78 m Nadezhda Chizhova
 Soviet Union
18.19 m
Discus throw
details
Lia Manoliu
 Romania
58.28 m OR Liesel Westermann
 West Germany
57.76 m Jolán Kleiber-Kontsek
 Hungary
54.90 m
Javelin throw
details
Angéla Németh
 Hungary
60.36 m Mihaela Peneş
 Romania
59.92 m Eva Janko
 Austria
58.04 m
Pentathlon
details
Ingrid Becker
 West Germany
5098 Liese Prokop
 Austria
4966 Annamária Tóth
 Hungary
4959

Medal table[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 15 6 7 28
2  Soviet Union (URS) 3 2 8 13
3  Kenya (KEN) 3 4 1 8
4  Australia (AUS) 2 3 1 6
 East Germany (GDR) 2 3 1 6
6  Romania (ROU) 2 2 0 4
7  Hungary (HUN) 2 1 4 7
8  West Germany (FRG) 1 4 3 8
9  Great Britain (GBR) 1 2 1 4
10  Ethiopia (ETH) 1 1 0 2
11  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 1 0 1 2
 France (FRA) 1 0 1 2
 Poland (POL) 1 0 1 2
 Tunisia (TUN) 1 0 1 2
15  Cuba (CUB) 0 2 0 2
16  Austria (AUT) 0 1 1 2
17  Brazil (BRA) 0 1 0 1
 Finland (FIN) 0 1 0 1
 Jamaica (JAM) 0 1 0 1
 Japan (JPN) 0 1 0 1
 Mexico (MEX) 0 1 0 1
22  Italy (ITA) 0 0 2 2
23  Netherlands (NED) 0 0 1 1
 New Zealand (NZL) 0 0 1 1
 Republic of China (ROC) 0 0 1 1

References[edit]

External links[edit]