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Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Date Started: October 14, 1964
Date Finished: October 21, 1964
Events: 36

Participants: 1,018 (782 men and 236 women) from 80 countries
Youngest Participant: GHA Alice Annum (15 years, 360 days)
Oldest Participant: SWE John Ljunggren (45 years, 40 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 3 medals
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (24 medals)

Overview

The 1964 Olympics were awarded to Tokyo, Japan, which hoped to use the Games as a coming out party to show the world it had recovered from World War II. The Japanese spent lavishly on the Games, with per capita costs per athlete higher than any Games before or since, measured in constant dollars. Signifying where they had been, the final torch bearer was a Japanese runner, Yoshinori Sakai, who had been born in Hiroshima on the day the atomic bomb immolated that city. The star of the Games on the track was Peter Snell, the New Zealand middle distance runner. He had won the 800 metres in 1960 in something of an upset, but was by 1964 the best miler in the world. He chose to run both the 800 and 1,500 and won both races rather comfortably. The other double winner was Soviet Tamara Press in the shot put and discus. There were several repeat winners, in addition to Snell in the 800. Al Oerter won his third consecutive discus gold medal, despite being injured and competing in pain. Józef Szmidt (POL) defended his triple jump title, and Abebe Bikila (ETH) again won the marathon. Australian Betty Cuthbert had won the 100 and 200 in Melbourne in 1956. She was back and moved up a bit to win the 400 metres, contested by women for the first time. She narrowly defeated Britain’s Ann Packer, who moved up to the 800 and won in world record time. The biggest upsets occurred in the distance races. Americans had rarely performed well in these but they won both the 5K and 10K. Bob Schul in the 5,000 was not unexpected as he was a top runner with an outstanding kick. But in the 10K, Billy Mills won what may still be considered the biggest upset in Olympic track & field history. Australian world record holder Ron Clarke finished third behind Mills, and was later asked if he had been worried about Mills, “Worried about him? I never heard of him.”

Medalists

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's 100 metres USA Bob Hayes CUB Enrique Figuerola CAN Harry Jerome
Men's 200 metres USA Henry Carr USA Paul Drayton TTO Edwin Roberts
Men's 400 metres USA Mike Larrabee TTO Wendell Mottley POL Andrzej Badeński
Men's 800 metres NZL Peter Snell CAN Bill Crothers KEN Wilson Kiprugut
Men's 1,500 metres NZL Peter Snell TCH Josef Odložil NZL John Davies
Men's 5,000 metres USA Bob Schul GER Harald Norpoth USA Bill Dellinger
Men's 10,000 metres USA Billy Mills TUN Mohamad Gammoudi AUS Ron Clarke
Men's Marathon ETH Abebe Bikila GBR Basil Heatley JPN Kokichi Tsuburaya
Men's 110 metres Hurdles USA Hayes Jones USA Blaine Lindgren URS Anatoly Mikhaylov
Men's 400 metres Hurdles USA Rex Cawley GBR John Cooper ITA Salvatore Morale
Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase BEL Gaston Roelants GBR Maurice Herriott URS Ivan Bieliaiev
Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay USA United States POL Poland FRA France
Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay USA United States GBR Great Britain TTO Trinidad and Tobago
Men's 20 kilometres Walk GBR Ken Matthews GER Dieter Lindner URS Volodymyr Holubnychiy
Men's 50 kilometres Walk ITA Abdon Pamich GBR Paul Nihill SWE Ingvar Pettersson
Men's High Jump URS Valery Brumel USA John Thomas USA John Rambo
Men's Pole Vault USA Fred Hansen GER Wolfgang Reinhardt GER Klaus Lehnertz
Men's Long Jump GBR Lynn Davies USA Ralph Boston URS Igor Ter-Ovanesyan
Men's Triple Jump POL Józef Szmidt URS Oleg Fedoseyev URS Viktor Kravchenko
Men's Shot Put USA Dallas Long USA Randy Matson HUN Vilmos Varjú
Men's Discus Throw USA Al Oerter TCH Ludvík Daněk USA Dave Weill
Men's Hammer Throw URS Romuald Klim HUN Gyula Zsivótzky GER Uwe Beyer
Men's Javelin Throw FIN Pauli Nevala HUN Gergely Kulcsár URS Jānis Lūsis
Men's Decathlon GER Willi Holdorf URS Rein Aun GER Hans-Joachim Walde
Women's 100 metres USA Wyomia Tyus USA Edith McGuire POL Ewa Kłobukowska
Women's 200 metres USA Edith McGuire POL Irena Szewińska-Kirszenstein AUS Marilyn Black
Women's 400 metres AUS Betty Cuthbert GBR Ann Packer AUS Judy Amoore-Pollock
Women's 800 metres GBR Ann Packer FRA Maryvonne Dupureur NZL Marise Chamberlain
Women's 80 metres Hurdles GER Karin Richert-Balzer POL Teresa Ciepły-Wieczorek AUS Pam Kilborn-Ryan
Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay POL Poland USA United States GBR Great Britain
Women's High Jump ROU Iolanda Balaş AUS Michele Mason-Brown URS Taisiya Chenchik
Women's Long Jump GBR Mary Bignal-Rand POL Irena Szewińska-Kirszenstein URS Tatyana Shchelkanova
Women's Shot Put URS Tamara Press GER Renate Boy-Garisch-Culmberger URS Galina Zybina
Women's Discus Throw URS Tamara Press GER Ingrid Lotz ROU Lia Manoliu
Women's Javelin Throw ROU Mihaela Peneş HUN Márta Antal-Rudas URS Yelena Gorchakova
Women's Pentathlon URS Irina Press GBR Mary Bignal-Rand URS Galina Bystrova