Heinrich Köberle

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Heinrich Köberle
Medal record
Paralympic athletics
Representing  Germany
Paralympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Stoke Mandeville / New York Marathon 1A
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Marathon 1A
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Marathon TW1
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta Marathon T50
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney Marathon T51

Heinrich Köberle, born in 1946,[1] is a German athlete. He competes in wheelchair marathons in a handcycle,[2] and has won four gold medals in marathons at the Paralympic Games - more than any other athlete.[3] He holds the record for the fastest men's marathon in his disability category (the most severe for wheelchair athletes), set in Berlin in 1995, in 2:23:08.[4][5]


Köberle first participated in the Paralympic Games when the marathon was introduced in 1984. He competed in category 1A (wheelchair marathon for athletes with the most severe level of disability). Only three athletes began the race, and only Köberle reached the finish line, obtaining his first Paralympic gold medal with a time of 3:41:47.[6] He defended his title in 1988, in a more competitive event, in which all four starters reached the finish line. Köberle came first, drastically improving his previous performance, completing the marathon in 2:50:39 - almost seven minutes ahead of second-placed Rainer Kueschall (of Switzerland).[7] In 1992, the number of competitors increased to ten. Köberle won in 2:32:56, this time only twenty-four seconds ahead of Kueschall - but setting a Paralympic record which still stands.[8] In 1996, he won gold for the fourth consecutive time, in 2:49:11. The slower time was sufficient for gold, as four of his six opponents failed to complete the race.[9] Those four gold medals established a record which remains unbeaten in the Paralympic marathon, in any disability category.[3] In 2000, he competed for the fifth and final time, and completed the race in 2:48:45, well short of his personal best achieved five years earlier. His performance was sufficient for a silver medal ; Alvise de Vidi of Italy won gold, just over a minute ahead of him.[10]

Though he no longer competes at the Paralympic Games, Köberle still takes part in marathons as of 2010.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Int. Heidelberger Rollstuhl, handbike.de
  2. ^ a b "BG Kliniktour 2010 im Marathonfieber: Das Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin präsentierte eigenes Team", Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin, September 30, 2010
  3. ^ a b "Medallists by Event: Athletics: Men's Marathon", International Paralympic Committee
  4. ^ List of IPC world records in the marathon, International Paralympic Committee
  5. ^ "World best times for wheelchair marathon", etzlstorfer.com
  6. ^ Men's Marathon 1A in 1984, International Paralympic Committee
  7. ^ Men's Marathon 1A in 1988, International Paralympic Committee
  8. ^ Marathon TW1 in 1992, International Paralympic Committee
  9. ^ Marathon T50 in 1996, International Paralympic Committee
  10. ^ Marathon T51 in 2000, International Paralympic Committee