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Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games:

Men's Marathon

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue(s): National Stadium, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Date Started: October 21, 1964
Date Finished: October 21, 1964
Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.

Gold: ETH Abebe Bikila
Silver: GBR Basil Heatley
Bronze: JPN Kokichi Tsuburaya

Summary

Defending champion Abebe Bikila was back and was considered the favorite, having lost only one marathon in his career to that point – the 1963 Boston race. But he had several strong contenders, among them the American Buddy Edelen, who in 1963 had broken the world record with 2-14:28 in the Polytechnic race in Britain, and had also won the Košice marathon in Czechoslovakia in 2-15:09.6. Britain had two top marathoners in Basil Heatley and Brian Kilby. Japan was led by Toru Terasawa, who had won the 1963 Fukuoka Marathon, and broken the world record early in 1963 at the Beppu Marathon.

But there was only Bikila. The race began at 1 PM, and was contested over a very flat straight out-and-back course. Bikila ran in the lead pack right from the start. By the turnaround point, this time running in shoes, he was leading by 15 seconds, and from there to the finish, he simply extended the lead, winning by over four minutes. Heatley finished second, but had been third entering the stadium. Third went to a native son, not Terasawa, but rather Kokichi Tsuburaya. Brian Kilby finished fourth, and Buddy Edelen, hampered by a sciatic nerve injury, placed sixth.

Tsuburaya was crushed that he had been passed on the track by Heatley in front of the Japanese crowd. He vowed to improve and pushed himself in training, but it resulted in multiple injuries. Finally, in early January 1968, he committed suicide by slashing his carotid artery with a razor blade. The note he left said simply, “Cannot run anymore.”

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Abebe Bikila 32 Ethiopia ETH Gold 2-12:11.2 WB
2 Basil Heatley 30 Great Britain GBR Silver 2-16:19.2
3 Kokichi Tsuburaya 24 Japan JPN Bronze 2-16:22.8
4 Brian Kilby 26 Great Britain GBR 2-17:02.4
5 József Sütő 27 Hungary HUN 2-17:55.8
6 Buddy Edelen 27 United States USA 2-18:12.4
7 Aurèle Vandendriessche 32 Belgium BEL 2-18:42.6
8 Kenji Kimihara 23 Japan JPN 2-19:49.0
9 Ron Clarke 27 Australia AUS 2-20:26.8
10 Demissie Wolde 27 Ethiopia ETH 2-21:25.2
11 Lee Sang-Hun 26 South Korea KOR 2-22:02.8
12 Bakir Ben Aissa 33 Morocco MAR 2-22:27.0
13 Eino Oksanen 33 Finland FIN 2-22:36.0
14 Billy Mills 26 United States USA 2-22:55.4
15 Toru Terasawa 29 Japan JPN 2-23:09.0
16 Kim Yeon-Beom 29 South Korea KOR 2-24:40.6
17 Giorgio Jegher 27 Italy ITA 2-24:45.2
18 Václav Chudomel 32 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-24:46.8
19 Ron Hill 26 Great Britain GBR 2-25:34.4
20 Paavo Pystynen 32 Finland FIN 2-26:00.6
21 Fidel Negrete 32 Mexico MEX 2-26:07.0
22 Nikolay Tikhomirov 33 Soviet Union URS 2-26:07.4
23 Peter McArdle 35 United States USA 2-26:24.4
24 Heinrich Hagen 28 Germany GER 2-26:39.8
25 Pavel Kantorek 34 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-26:47.2
26 Nikolay Abramov 30 Soviet Union URS 2-27:09.4
27 Ray Puckett 28 New Zealand NZL 2-27:34.0
28 Eino Valle 32 Finland FIN 2-27:34.8
29 Jeff Julian 29 New Zealand NZL 2-27:57.6
30 Ricardo Vidal 34 Chile CHI 2-28:01.6
31 Bob Vagg 24 Australia AUS 2-28:41.0
32 Guido Vögele 26 Switzerland SUI 2-29:17.8
33 Balkrishan Akotkar 27 India IND 2-29:27.4
34 Jean Aniset 30 Luxembourg LUX 2-29:52.6
35 Thin Sumbwegam 34 Myanmar MYA 2-30:35.8
36 Constantin Grecescu 35 Romania ROU 2-30:42.6
37 János Pintér 27 Hungary HUN 2-30:50.2
38 Gerhard Hönicke 34 Germany GER 2-33:23.0
39 Manfred Naumann 31 Germany GER 2-33:42.0
40 Antonio Ambu 28 Italy ITA 2-34:37.6
41 Oskar Leupi 31 Switzerland SUI 2-35:05.4
42 Ivan Keats 27 New Zealand NZL 2-36:16.8
43 Harbans Lal 26 India IND 2-37:05.8
44 Armando Aldegalega 26 Portugal POR 2-38:02.2
45 Chrisantus Nyakwayo Kenya KEN 2-38:38.6
46 Constantino Kapambwe 24 Zambia ZAM 2-39:28.4
47 Omari Abdallah 21 Tanzania TAN 2-40:06.0
48 Muhammad Youssef 26 Pakistan PAK 2-40:46.0
49 Naftali Temu 19 Kenya KEN 2-40:46.6
50 Ju Hyeong-Gyeol 25 South Korea KOR 2-41:08.2
51 Mathias Kanda 22 Zimbabwe ZIM 2-41:09.0
52 Tony Cook 28 Australia AUS 2-42:03.6
53 Víctor Peralta 22 Mexico MEX 2-44:23.6
54 Trev Haynes 34 Zambia ZAM 2-45:08.6
55 Abraham Fornés 25 Puerto Rico PUR 2-46:22.6
56 Robson Mrombe 23 Zimbabwe ZIM 2-49:30.8
57 Laurent Chifita 21 Zambia ZAM 2-51:53.2
58 Chanom Sirirangsri 29 Thailand THA 2-59:25.6
AC Viktor Baykov 29 Soviet Union URS DNF
AC Bhupendra Silwal 28 Nepal NEP DNF
AC Hedhili Ben Boubaker Tunisia TUN DNF
AC Ganga Bahadur Thapa Nepal NEP DNF
AC Mohamed Hadheb Hannachi 26 Tunisia TUN DNF
AC Jim Hogan 31 Ireland IRL DNF
AC Nguyễn Văn Lý 22 South Vietnam VNM DNF
AC Andrew Soi Kenya KEN DNF
AC Osvaldo Suárez 30 Argentina ARG DNF
AC Mamo Wolde 32 Ethiopia ETH DNF