Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's 3000 metres steeplechase

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Men's 3000 metres steeplechase
at the Games of the XIX Olympiad
Venue Estadio Olímpico Universitario
Dates October 14 (heats)
October 16 (final)
Competitors 39 from 22 nations
1st, gold medalist(s) Amos Biwott
2nd, silver medalist(s) Benjamin Kogo
3rd, bronze medalist(s) George Young
 United States
← 1964
1972 →
Video on YouTube @ 7:10 Official Video

The men's 3000 metres steeplechase was the only steeplechase on the Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics program in Mexico City. It was held on 14 October and 16 October 1968.[1]

Four years earlier, Benjamin Kogo was the only Kenyan in the field, not making it out of the qualifying round. On the final lap, Kogo was in third place and his teammate was back in fifth behind Soviet Aleksandr Morozov with 200 metres to go. George Young had a few metres lead on Kerry O'Brien. In the 50 metres going into the water jump, Kogo passed O'Brien and pulled even with Young. Kogo took that water jump so much faster than Young, he gained a foot and had the momentum to carry him several metres into the lead. Young was straining to hold off O'Brien over the final barrier. O'Brien even checked over his left shoulder to make sure Morozov was not coming. Simultaneously Biwott was about to pass him on right. Biwott took the hurdle awkwardly, almost landing on both feet. But Biwott had more speed, leaving O'Brien and Young then sprinting past Kogo on to a three-metre victory.

Since this 1-2 victory, Kenya has gone on to dominate the event in the Olympics. Except for the two boycott years of 1976 and 1980, Kenya has won more than 2/3 of all medals offered, usually going 1-2 and sweeping the event twice.


Round One[edit]

The first rounds were held on October 14. The fastest four athletes in each of the three heats advanced to the Final Round.

Heat One

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Benjamin Kogo  Kenya 8:57.80Q
2 Javier Álvarez  Spain 9:03.74Q
3 Bengt Persson  Sweden 9:06.43Q
4 Arne Risa  Norway 9:07.31Q
5 John Jackson  Great Britain 9:11.33
6 Conrad Nightingale  United States 9:13.23
7 Tadesse Wolde-Medhin  Ethiopia 9:13.24
8 Manuel de Oliveira  Portugal 9:19.22
9 Klaus-Ludwig Brosius  West Germany 9:23.98
10 János Szabó  Hungary 9:25.82
11 Pedro Miranda  Mexico 9:25.95
12 Domingo Amaizón  Argentina 9:43.06
Larbi Oukada  Morocco DNF

Heat Two

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Jean-Paul Villain  France 9:01.12Q
2 George Young  United States 9:01.49Q
3 Kerry O'Brien  Australia 9:02.31Q
4 Viktor Kudinskiy  Soviet Union 9:05.25Q
5 Willi Wagner  West Germany 9:24.49
6 Labidi Ayachi  Tunisia 9:24.62
7 Nobuyoshi Miura  Japan 9:32.95
8 Maurice Herriott  Great Britain 9:34.68
9 Albertino Etchechury  Uruguay 9:35.61
10 Eddy Van Butsele  Belgium 9:38.79
11 Jan Cych  Poland 9:50.78
12 Hans Menet  Switzerland 10:02.06
13 Efraín Cordero  El Salvador 11:19.23
AC Mariano Haro  Spain [9:15.93]DQ

Heat Three

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Amos Biwott  Kenya 8:49.39Q
2 Mikhail Zhelev  Bulgaria 9:01.96Q
3 Gaston Roelants  Belgium 9:08.29Q
4 Aleksandr Morozov  Soviet Union 9:08.45Q
5 Bill Reilly  United States 9:10.35
6 Peter Welsh  New Zealand 9:13.80
7 Gareth Bryan-Jones  Great Britain 9:16.86
8 Jan-Erik Karlsson  Sweden 9:19.64
9 Taketsugu Saruwatari  Japan 9:26.30
10 Heinz-Gerd Mölders  West Germany 9:32.22
11 Umberto Risi  Italy 9:43.97
12 Julio Quevedo  Guatemala 9:48.37
AC Guy Texereau  France DNF


The final was held on October 16. Biwott amazed the crowd leaping over the water jump using long jump-type technique, completely clearing the water. His barrier technique was also unique and he jumped with both feet together rather than in a hurdling technique. Benjamin Kogo led the final thru the kilometer but at the bell George Young joined him. Young took the lead with 300 to go, but Biwott ran down everybody in the final straight to win the gold medal. This began the Kenyan dominance of the steeplechase event.

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Amos Biwott  Kenya 8:51.02
2nd, silver medalist(s) Benjamin Kogo  Kenya 8:51.56
3rd, bronze medalist(s) George Young  United States 8:51.86
4 Kerry O'Brien  Australia 8:52.08
5 Aleksandr Morozov  Soviet Union 8:55.61
6 Mikhail Zhelev  Bulgaria 8:58.41
7 Gaston Roelants  Belgium 8:59.50
8 Arne Risa  Norway 9:08.98
9 Jean-Paul Villain  France 9:16.27
10 Bengt Persson  Sweden 9:20.61
11 Javier Álvarez  Spain 9:24.51
Viktor Kudinskiy  Soviet Union DNF


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1968 Mexico City: Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase". Retrieved 21 November 2017.