Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres

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Men's 1500 metres
at the Games of the XX Olympiad
Olympic Athletics
VenueOlympiastadion
Dates8–10 September
Competitors66 from 46 nations
Winning time3:36.3
Medalists
1st place, gold medalist(s) Pekka Vasala
 Finland
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Kipchoge Keino
 Kenya
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Rod Dixon
 New Zealand
← 1968
1976 →

The men's 1,500m metres was an event at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. The final was held on Sunday 10 September 1972 and was contested by 10 athletes. The semi-finals were held on Saturday 9 September 1972 and were contested by 27 athletes. The heats were held on Friday 8 September 1972 and 71 athletes entered, with 66 runners from 46 nations competing.[1] The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Pekka Vasala of Finland, the nation's first championship in the 1500 metres since back-to-back wins in 1924 and 1928. Kipchoge Keino of Kenya came half a second short of becoming the first man to successfully defend Olympic gold in the event; instead, his silver made him just the second man to win two medals of any color in the 1500 metres.

Background

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This was the 17th appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. All three medalists from 1968 (Kipchoge Keino of Kenya, Jim Ryun of the United States, and Bodo Tümmler of West Germany) returned, along with two other finalists: sixth-place finisher Jacky Boxberger of France and seventh-place finisher Henryk Szordykowski of Poland. Ryun "was no longer the dominant runner he had been in 1966–67," but was still the world record holder and had run the third-fastest mile ever between the Olympic trials and the Games. Keino and Ryun were favorites for the top two spots again, especially with their respective countrymen Ben Jipcho (who had played a strategic role helping Keino in the 1968 final, but was now a legitimate contender himself) and Marty Liquori out with injury. A third Kenyan, Mike Boit, was also a challenger, but was more of an 800 metres specialist. Rod Dixon of New Zealand and Pekka Vasala of Finland were also strong challengers.[2]

Sixteen nations made their 1500 metres debut in 1972: Algeria, Burma, Cameroon, East Germany, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Panama, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The United States made its 17th appearance, the only nation to have competed in the men's 1500 metres at each Games to that point.

Competition format

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The competition was again three rounds (used previously in 1952, 1964, and 1968). The "fastest loser" system introduced in 1964, but not used in 1968, returned; once again the semifinals were balanced. Now, however, the semifinal heats and final were set at 10 men each, rather than the 8 or 12 previously.

There were seven heats in the first round, each with 10 or 11 runners (before withdrawals). The top four runners in each heat, along with the next two fastest overall, advanced to the semifinals. The 30 semifinalists were divided into three semifinals, each with 10 runners. The top three men in each semifinal, plus the fastest fourth-placer, advanced to the 10-man final.[2][3]

Records

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These were the standing world and Olympic records prior to the 1972 Summer Olympics.

World record  Jim Ryun (USA) 3:33.1 Los Angeles, United States 8 July 1967
Olympic record  Kip Keino (KEN) 3:34.9 Mexico City, Mexico 20 October 1968

No new world or Olympic records were set during the competition.

Schedule

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All times are Central European Time (UTC+1)

Date Time Round
Friday, 8 September 1972 16:45 Round 1
Saturday, 9 September 1972 16:40 Semifinals
Sunday, 10 September 1972 15:35 Final

Results

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Round 1

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Heat 1

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Thomas Wessinghage  West Germany 3:40.6 Q
2 Dave Wottle  United States 3:40.7 Q
3 Jean-Pierre Dufresne  France 3:40.8 Q
4 Brendan Foster  Great Britain 3:40.8 Q
5 Donaldo Arza  Panama 3:41.8
6 Ivan Ivanov  Soviet Union 3:42.3
7 Mehmet Tümkan  Turkey 3:44.0
8 Mohamed Kacemi  Algeria 3:45.2
9 Daniel Andrade  Senegal 3:59.2
10 Dafallah Sultan Farah  Sudan 4:02.9

Heat 2

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Franco Arese  Italy 3:44.0 Q
2 Herman Mignon  Belgium 3:44.2 Q
3 Bodo Tümmler  West Germany 3:44.5 Q
4 Gerd Larsen  Denmark 3:44.7 Q
5 John Kirkbride  Great Britain 3:45.3
6 Filbert Bayi  Tanzania 3:45.4
7 Josef Horčic  Czechoslovakia 3:45.7
8 William Smart  Canada 3:49.2
Bram Wassenaar  Netherlands DNS
Kassem Hamze  Lebanon DNS

Heat 3

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Shibrou Regassa  Ethiopia 3:43.6 Q
2 Spilios Zakharopoulos  Greece 3:43.8 Q
3 Henryk Szordykowski  Poland 3:44.2 Q
4 Pekka Paivarinta  Finland 3:44.4 Q
5 André de Hertoghe  Belgium 3:44.6
6 Petre Lupan  Romania 3:44.8
7 Mohamed Makdouf  Morocco 3:48.4
8 Abdul Wahab Naser Al-Safra  Saudi Arabia 4:14.5
Benson Mulomba  Zambia DNS
Robert Leborgne  France DNS

Heat 4

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Both Ryun and Fordjour fell when the latter clipped the former's heel, knocking both out of contention for advancement. The United States appealed, asserting that Ryun was tripped. Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged that a foul had occurred, U.S. appeals to have Ryun reinstated in the competition were denied.[2]

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Kipchoge Keino  Kenya 3:40.0 Q
2 Rod Dixon  New Zealand 3:40.0 Q
3 Gunnar Ekman  Sweden 3:40.4 Q
4 Klaus-Peter Justus  East Germany 3:40.4 Q
5 Gianni del Buono  Italy 3:40.8 q
6 Werner Meier  Switzerland 3:43.2
7 Mohamad Younas  Pakistan 3:44.1
8 Vitus Ashaba  Uganda 3:45.2
9 Jim Ryun  United States 3:51.5
10 Billy Fordjour  Ghana 4:08.2
Yevgeniy Arzhanov  Soviet Union DNS

Heat 5

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Hailu Ebba  Ethiopia 3:41.6 Q
2 Paul-Heinz Wellmann  West Germany 3:41.8 Q
3 Ray Smedley  Great Britain 3:42.1 Q
4 Chris Fisher  Australia 3:42.5 Q
5 Frank Murphy  Ireland 3:43.4
6 Byron Dyce  Jamaica 3:45.9
7 Cosmas Silei  Kenya 3:52.0
8 Joze Medjimurec  Yugoslavia 3:52.1
9 Harry Nkopeka  Malawi 4:00.9
10 Edward Kar  Liberia 4:21.4

Heat 6

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Pekka Vasala  Finland 3:40.9 Q
2 Tom Hansen  Denmark 3:41.1 Q
3 Bob Wheeler  United States 3:41.3 Q
4 Haico Scham  Netherlands 3:41.4 Q
5 Ulf Högberg  Sweden 3:41.5 q
6 Edgard Salvé  Belgium 3:42.1
7 Anthony Colon  Puerto Rico 3:44.6
8 Edouard Rasoanaivo  Madagascar 3:48.5
9 Jaiye Abidoye  Nigeria 3:48.8
10 Mohamed Aboker  Somalia 3:59.5

Heat 7

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Mike Boit  Kenya 3:42.2 Q
2 Tony Polhill  New Zealand 3:42.3 Q
3 Volodymyr Panteley  Soviet Union 3:42.3 Q
4 Jacques Boxberger  France 3:42.6 Q
5 Mansour Guettaya  Tunisia 3:43.9
6 Fernando Eugenio Mamede  Portugal 3:45.1
7 Azzedine Azzouzi  Algeria 3:46.4
8 Kenneth Elmer  Canada 3:46.6
9 Esaie Fongang  Cameroon 3:54.5
10 Jimmy Crampton  Burma 4:06.9

Semifinals

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Semifinal 1

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Mike Boit  Kenya 3:41.3 Q
2 Volodymyr Panteley  Soviet Union 3:41.6 Q
3 Tom Hansen  Denmark 3:41.6 Q
4 Dave Wottle  United States 3:41.6
5 Chris Fisher  Australia 3:42.0
6 Gianni del Buono  Italy 3:42.0
7 Thomas Wessinghage  West Germany 3:43.4
8 Spilios Zacharopoulos  Greece 3:43.5
9 Ulf Högberg  Sweden 3:43.6
10 Hailu Ebba  Ethiopia 3:43.7

Semifinal 2

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Kipchoge Keino  Kenya 3:41.2 Q
2 Herman Mignon  Belgium 3:41.7 Q
3 Tony Polhill  New Zealand 3:41.8 Q
4 Shibrou Regassa  Ethiopia 3:41.9
5 Jacques Boxberger  France 3:42.4
6 Henryk Szordykowski  Poland 3:42.5
7 Haico Scharn  Netherlands 3:44.4
8 Pekka Päivärinta  Finland 3:45.1
9 Ray Smedley  Great Britain 3:45.8
10 Bodo Tümmler  West Germany 3:50.0

Semifinal 3

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Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Rod Dixon  New Zealand 3:37.9 Q
2 Pekka Vasala  Finland 3:37.9 Q
3 Brendan Foster  Great Britain 3:38.2 Q
4 Paul-Heinz Wellmann  West Germany 3:38.4 q
5 Gunnar Ekman  Sweden 3:39.4
6 Bob Wheeler  United States 3:40.4
7 Franco Arese  Italy 3:41.1
8 Jean-Pierre Dufresne  France 3:41.6
9 Klaus-Peter Justus  East Germany 3:44.6
10 Gerd Larsen  Denmark 3:59.4

Final

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Rank Athlete Nation Time
1st place, gold medalist(s) Pekka Vasala  Finland 3:36.3
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Kipchoge Keino  Kenya 3:36.8
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Rod Dixon  New Zealand 3:37.5
4 Mike Boit  Kenya 3:38.4
5 Brendan Foster  Great Britain 3:39.0
6 Herman Mignon  Belgium 3:39.1
7 Paul-Heinz Wellmann  West Germany 3:40.1
8 Volodymyr Panteley  Soviet Union 3:40.2
9 Tony Polhill  New Zealand 3:41.8
10 Tom Hansen  Denmark 3:46.6

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1972 Munich Games: Men's 1500 metres". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "1500 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  3. ^ Official Report, vol. 3, pp. 51–52.