Pekka Vasala in 1972
|Born||17 April 1948 (age 71)|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||63–65 kg (139–143 lb)|
|Event(s)||1500 m, 800 m|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||1500 – 3:36.33 (1972) 800 – 1:44,5 (1972)|
At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City he failed to advance from the first round of heats in the 1500 m. His later success is partly attributed to his legendary hill training of which he said "[it] is suicidal for other runners to copy my hill sessions without adequate background".
In Munich he won the 1500 m race in a time of 3 minutes 36.3 seconds, ahead of the legendary Kip Keino and Rod Dixon. This marked a memorable day for Finnish athletics because his countryman Lasse Virén had won the 5,000 m earlier in the day, in addition to winning the 10,000 m in world record time earlier in the games. With a medal in every track event from 1500 to 10,000 meters, three gold and one bronze (Tapio Kantanen in the 3000 meter steeplechase) Finnish athletes achieved a level of success not seen since the era of the "Flying Finns" (1912–1936).
- Pekka Vasala. sports-reference.com
| European Record Holder Men's 800m
20 August 1972 – 26 June 1973