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Gaston Reiff

Full name: Gaston Étienne Ghislaine Reiff
Gender: Male
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
Weight: 134 lbs (61 kg)
Born: February 24, 1921 in Braine-l'Alleud, Brabant Wallon, Belgium
Died: May 6, 1992 in Braine-l'Alleud, Brabant Wallon, Belgium
Affiliations: USG
Country: BEL Belgium
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

The first Belgian to win an Olympic track and field gold, Gaston Reiff did so in the 1948 5,000 m. In a long sprint, he defeated the legendary Emil Zátopek by a mere two tenths. Apart from that race, Reiff competed in three more international 5,000 m finals: the 1946 European Championships (sixth), the 1950 Europeans (bronze) and the 1952 Olympics. In Belgian championships, Reiff won the 5,000 m title six times, adding eight more titles in the 1,500 m, 3,000 m, 10,000 m and cross-country. He also held 26 national records and set three world records in infrequently run distances (2,000 m – 1948; 3,000 – 1949; 2 miles – 1952). In Braine-l'Alleud, Reiff's home town, a street and the town's stadium have been named after the town's Olympic champion.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:45.2 (1952); Mile – 4:02.8 (1952); 5000 – 14:10.8 (1951); 10000 – 30:18.8 (1951).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Men's 5,000 metres Belgium BEL 1 Gold OR
1952 Summer 31 Helsinki Athletics Men's 5,000 metres Belgium BEL AC

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) ATM T(A)
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Belgium Final 1 OR 14:17.6
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Belgium Round One Heat Three 2 QU 15:07.0 at 0.66
1952 Summer 31 Helsinki Athletics Belgium Final AC DNF
1952 Summer 31 Helsinki Athletics Belgium Round One Heat One 3 QU 14:23.8 14:23.92