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Athletics at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Marathon

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki
Date Started: July 27, 1952
Date Finished: July 27, 1952
Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.

Gold: TCH Emil Zátopek
Silver: ARG Reinaldo Gorno
Bronze: SWE Gustaf Jansson

Summary

For the first time in several years, the Olympic marathon had a favorite in the person of Britain’s Jim Peters. Peters had run the 10K at the London Olympics but had since turned to the marathon. He had won the 1951 Polytechnic race in 2-29:24 and in June 1952, he ran the Windsor-to-Chiswick marathon, the British trial race, in 2-20:42.2, shattering the world record. In Helsinki he faced a straight out-and-back course, starting and finishing at the Olympic Stadium.

The race started at 3:28 PM on a fairly cool day. In the race, making his marathon début, was Czechoslovakian Emil Zátopek. Zátopek had been the star of the Helsinki Olympics, winning the 5,000 and 10K on the track. He had also won the 10K at the 1948 Olympics. Although he had never run the marathon before, his presence was auspicious. As the race started, Peters took the field thru a suicidal pace for 5 km. Zátopek stayed back. Peters led thru 20 km. when he was caught by Zátopek and Sweden’s Gustaf Jansson. At just after two hours, Peters had to withdraw with a muscle cramp. Zátopek never looked back and gradually pulled away from Jansson to the finish, completing his remarkable distance Triple Crown with a margin of 2½ minutes. Argentina’s Reinaldo Gorno passed Jansson at about 39 km. and won the silver medal, with Jansson third.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Emil Zátopek 29 Czechoslovakia TCH Gold 2-23:03.2 OB
2 Reinaldo Gorno 33 Argentina ARG Silver 2-25:35.0
3 Gustaf Jansson 30 Sweden SWE Bronze 2-26:07.0
4 Choi Yun-Chil 23 South Korea KOR 2-26:36.0
5 Veikko Karvonen 26 Finland FIN 2-26:41.8
6 Delfo Cabrera 33 Argentina ARG 2-26:42.4
7 József Dobronyi 35 Hungary HUN 2-28:04.8
8 Erkki Puolakka 27 Finland FIN 2-29:35.0
9 Geoff Iden 37 Great Britain GBR 2-30:42.0
10 Wally Hayward 44 South Africa RSA 2-31:50.2
11 Syd Luyt 26 South Africa RSA 2-32:41.0
12 Gustav Östling 37 Sweden SWE 2-32:48.4
13 Vic Dyrgall 34 United States USA 2-32:52.4
14 Luis Celedón 25 Chile CHI 2-33:45.8
15 Janus van der Zande 27 Netherlands NED 2-33:50.0
16 Viktor Olsen 28 Norway NOR 2-33:58.4
17 Mikko Hietanen 40 Finland FIN 2-34:01.0
18 Charles Dewachtere 24 Belgium BEL 2-34:32.0
19 Bill Keith 26 South Africa RSA 2-34:38.0
20 Yakov Moskachenkov 35 Soviet Union URS 2-34:43.8
21 Mihály Esztergomi 40 Hungary HUN 2-35:10.0
22 Doroteo Flores 30 Guatemala GUA 2-35:40.0
23 Jean Simonet 25 Belgium BEL 2-35:43.0
24 Jakob Kjersem 26 Norway NOR 2-36:14.0
25 Katsuo Nishida 23 Japan JPN 2-36:19.0
26 Keizo Yamada 25 Japan JPN 2-38:11.2
27 Feodosy Vanin 38 Soviet Union URS 2-38:22.0
28 Grigory Suchkov Soviet Union URS 2-38:28.8
29 Henry Norrström 34 Sweden SWE 2-38:57.4
30 Dieter Engelhardt 26 Germany GER 2-39:37.2
31 Cristea Dinu 40 Romania ROU 2-39:42.2
32 Jean Leblond 32 Belgium BEL 2-40:37.0
33 Choi Chung-Sik 20 South Korea KOR 2-41:23.0
34 John Systad 39 Norway NOR 2-41:29.8
35 Jaroslav Šourek 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-41:40.4
36 Tom Jones 35 United States USA 2-42:50.0
37 Bob Prentice 35 Australia AUS 2-43:13.4
38 Muhammad Havildar Aslam 30 Pakistan PAK 2-43:38.2
39 Dolfi Gruber 32 Austria AUT 2-45:02.0
40 Paul Collins 25 Canada CAN 2-45:58.0
41 Vasile Teodosiu 35 Romania ROU 2-46:00.8
42 Erik Simonsen 36 Denmark DEN 2-46:41.4
43 Ludwig Warnemünde 35 Germany GER 2-50:00.0
44 Ted Corbitt 32 United States USA 2-51:09.0
45 Claude Smeal 33 Australia AUS 2-52:23.0
46 Asfò Bussotti 26 Italy ITA 2-52:55.0
47 Winand Osiński 38 Poland POL 2-54:38.2
48 Olaf Sørensen 34 Denmark DEN 2-55:21.0
49 Joe West 27 Ireland IRL 2-56:22.8
50 Rudolf Morgenthaler 26 Switzerland SUI 2-56:33.0
51 Hassan Abdel Fattah 31 Egypt EGY 2-56:56.0
52 Surat Mathur 21 India IND 2-58:09.2
53 Artidoro Berti 31 Italy ITA 2-58:36.2
AC Ahmet Aytar Turkey TUR DNF
AC Muhammad Ben Aras 21 Pakistan PAK DNF
AC Lionel Billas 23 France FRA DNF
AC Hong Jong-O 27 South Korea KOR DNF
AC Stan Cox 33 Great Britain GBR DNF
AC Corsino Fernández 31 Argentina ARG DNF
AC Raúl Inostroza 30 Chile CHI DNF
AC Franjo Krajcar 37 Yugoslavia YUG DNF
AC Egilberto Martufi 26 Italy ITA DNF
AC Jim Peters 33 Great Britain GBR DNF
AC Constantin Radu 40 Romania ROU DNF
AC Yoshitaka Uchikawa 21 Japan JPN DNF
AC Luis Velásquez 32 Guatemala GUA DNF