Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's 5000 metres

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Men's 5000 metres
at the Games of the XX Olympiad
Venue Olympic Stadium
Dates September 10
Gold medal    Finland
Silver medal    Tunisia
Bronze medal    Great Britain
«1968 1976»
Athletics at the
1972 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 women
5000 m men
10,000 m men
100 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men women
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 5.000 metres at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany took place on September 10, 1972.

Underdog Steve Prefontaine[1] took the lead in the final during the last mile and ended the slow pace of the first two miles. In second place at the start of the bell lap, he fell back to third with 200 meters to go. Lasse Virén took the lead in the final turn over silver medalist Mohammed Gammoudi. Prefontaine ran out of gas with 30 meters to go as Britain's hard-charging Ian Stewart caught him from behind and moved into third place within ten meters of the finish, depriving Prefontaine of an Olympic bronze medal.[2][3]

Virén also won the 10,000 metres a week earlier, and successfully defended both titles in 1976.



Med 1.png  Lasse Virén (FIN) 13:26.4
Med 2.png  Mohamed Gammoudi (TUN) 13:27.4
Med 3.png  Ian Stewart (GBR) 13:27.6
4.  Steve Prefontaine (USA) 13:28.4
5.  Emiel Puttemans (BEL) 13:30.8
6.  Harald Norpoth (FRG) 13:32.6
7.  Per Halle (NOR) 13:34.4
8.  Nikola Sviridov (URS) 13:39.4
9.  Frank Eisenberg (GDR) 13:40.8
10.  Javier Álvarez (ESP) 13:41.8
11.  Ian McCafferty (GBR) 13:43.2
12.  David Bedford (GBR) 13:43.2
13.  Juha Väätäinen (FIN) 13:53.8
 Mariano Haro (ESP) DNS


  1. ^ Newnham, Blaine (September 10, 1972). "It's Pre versus the Europeans". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1C. 
  2. ^ Newnham, Blaine (September 11, 1972). "Pre's warning for 1976: 'He'd better watch out'". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1B. 
  3. ^ Newnham, Blaine (June 1, 1975). "Only first". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1B.