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Athletics at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's 20 kilometres Walk

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): University Olympic Stadium, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 14, 1968
Date Finished: October 14, 1968

Gold: URS Volodymyr Holubnychiy
Silver: MEX José Pedraza
Bronze: URS Mykola Smaha

Summary

Vladimir Golubnichy won his third consecutive medal in the event, repeating his gold medal from 1960. But it did not come easy and the finish was the closest ever in the Olympics for this race. Entering the stadium, Golubnichy had a slight lead over his teammate, Nikolay Smaga, but Mexico’s José Pedraza was only 30 metres behind as they got onto the track. The Mexican fans went crazy, cheering for Pedraza, who began closing quickly on the Soviets, with a technique that was of marginal legality. But no judge would have been brave enough to red flag Pedraza in front of 80,000 cheering spectators. Pedraza caught Smaga on the last turn and then began closing on Golubnichy, and was by now in almost a full sprint. But Golubnichy held off Pedraza, saving the officials from making a difficult decision. The three medalists finished within five seconds of one another.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Volodymyr Holubnychiy 32 Soviet Union URS Gold 1-33:58.4
2 José Pedraza 31 Mexico MEX Silver 1-34:00.0
3 Mykola Smaha 30 Soviet Union URS Bronze 1-34:03.4
4 Rudy Haluza 37 United States USA 1-35:00.2
5 Gerhard Sperling 30 East Germany GDR 1-35:27.2
6 Otto Barch 24 Soviet Union URS 1-36:16.8
7 Hans-Georg Reimann 27 East Germany GDR 1-36:31.4
8 Stefan Ingvarsson 21 Sweden SWE 1-36:43.4
9 Leonida Caraiosifoglu 23 Romania ROU 1-37:07.6
10 Peter Frenkel 29 East Germany GDR 1-37:20.8
11 Arthur Jones 30 Great Britain GBR 1-37:32.0
12 Pasquale Busca 19 Italy ITA 1-37:32.0
13 José Oliveros 20 Mexico MEX 1-38:17
14 Antal Kiss 32 Hungary HUN 1-38:24
15 Stig Lindberg 37 Sweden SWE 1-40:03
16 Frank Clark 25 Australia AUS 1-40:06
17 Tom Dooley 22 United States USA 1-40:08
18 Karl-Heinz Merschenz 31 Canada CAN 1-40:11
19 Charel Sowa 35 Luxembourg LUX 1-40:17
20 Eladio Campos 32 Mexico MEX 1-41:52
21 Örjan Andersson 25 Sweden SWE 1-41:58
22 John Webb 31 Great Britain GBR 1-42:51
23 René Pfister 25 Switzerland SUI 1-43:36
24 Bob Hughes 20 Great Britain GBR 1-43:50
25 Ron Laird 30 United States USA 1-44:38
26 Mieczysław Rutyna 37 Poland POL 1-47:29
27 Euclides Calzado 24 Cuba CUB 1-49:27
28 Julio Ortíz 21 Guatemala GUA 1-54:48
29 Roberto Castellanos 18 El Salvador ESA 1-58:48
AC Julius Müller 29 West Germany FRG DQ
AC José Esteban Valle 26 Nicaragua NCA DNF
AC Carlos Vanegas 22 Nicaragua NCA DNF
AC Felix Cappella 38 Canada CAN DNF
AC Kazuo Saito 26 Japan JPN DNF