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Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games:

Men's Discus Throw

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue(s): National Stadium, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Date Started: October 15, 1964
Date Finished: October 15, 1964

Gold: USA Al Oerter
Silver: TCH Ludvík Daněk
Bronze: USA Dave Weill

Summary

On 18 May 1962, Al Oerter broke the world record for the first time. Further his throw of 61.10 (200-5½) was the first throw over 200 feet. He would set three more world records prior to the Tokyo Olympics. Over the last four years he had alternated winning the AAU Championship with Jay Silvester, who had twice set world records in 1961. Silvester also won the 1964 Olympic Trials, as Oerter qualified but for the third straight time, did not win the Trials. Then shortly before the Olympics, Czechoslovakian Ludvík Daněk broke Oerter’s world record. Oerter was further hampered because he had a cervical disc injury, and often competed wearing a neck collar in 1964. Then in Tokyo, he developed further problems when he slipped practicing on a wet ring, and tore rib cartilage. Everything seemed against him. Still he led the qualifying with 60.54 (198-7½). In the final, Daněk opened up with 59.73 (195-11¾) to take the lead. Oerter was in second with 57.65 (189-1¾) and improved in round two to 58.34 (191-5), but American Dave Weill recorded 59.49 (195-2¼) to move into second. In round four, Daněk increased his lead with 60.52 (198-6¾). Oerter was struggling with the pain of his injuries. He told friends that he had to win on his first throw or not at all. He decided to put everything into his fifth throw, feeling he had only one left in him. He sailed the disc out to 61.00 (200-1¾), an Olympic record and the first Olympic throw over 200 feet, and had his third consecutive gold medal. This had only been done in an individual athletics event at the Olympics by John Flanagan in the hammer throw back in 1904-1912.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Al Oerter 28 United States USA Gold OR
2 Ludvík Daněk 27 Czechoslovakia TCH Silver
3 Dave Weill 22 United States USA Bronze
4 Jay Silvester 27 United States USA
5 József Szécsényi 32 Hungary HUN
6 Zenon Begier 28 Poland POL
7 Edmund Piątkowski 28 Poland POL
8 Vladimir Trusenyov 33 Soviet Union URS
9 Kim Bukhantsov 32 Soviet Union URS
10 Roy Hollingsworth 30 Great Britain GBR
11 Hartmut Losch 21 Germany GER
12 Viktor Kompaniyets 27 Soviet Union URS
13 QR Fritz Kühl 29 Germany GER
14 QR Lothar Milde 29 Germany GER
15 QR Pentti Repo 33 Finland FIN
16 QR Dako Radošević 30 Yugoslavia YUG
17 QR Cees Koch 28 Netherlands NED
18 QR Jiří Žemba 24 Czechoslovakia TCH
19 QR Warwick Selvey 24 Australia AUS
20 QR Ernst Soudek 24 Austria AUT
21 QR Les Mills 29 New Zealand NZL
22 QR Georgios Tsakanikas 29 Greece GRE
23 QR Shohei Kaneko 27 Japan JPN
24 QR Denis Ségui Kragbé 26 Cote d'Ivoire CIV
25 QR Ignacio Reinosa 20 Puerto Rico PUR
26 QR Gideon Ariel 25 Israel ISR
27 QR Sayed Mirza Molimadail 26 Iran IRI
28 QR Kim Byeong-Gi 26 South Korea KOR
AC QR Lars Haglund 24 Sweden SWE