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Athletics at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's Marathon

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: September 10, 1972
Date Finished: September 10, 1972
Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.

Gold: USA Frank Shorter
Silver: BEL Karel Lismont
Bronze: ETH Mamo Wolde

Summary

For the first time since the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, the marathon favorite in 1972 was an American, Frank Shorter. A former track and cross-country runner at Yale, he had won the Pan-American Games marathon and the Fukuoka race in 1971, establishing him as the favorite. The race was held on the last day of the München Olympics, five days after the tragedy involving the Israeli Olympic team, which made all competitions seem meaningless. It started in the Olympic Stadium at 3 PM, and was run over an out-and-back course. Shorter won the race fairly comfortably, moving into the lead by 15 km., and was never challenged. The silver medal went to Belgium’s Karel Lismont while defending champion Mamo Wolde won the bronze medal.

Unfortunately, Shorter was not the first “runner” to enter the Olympic stadium. A West Germany student, Norbert Südhaus, decided to pull a prank and ran onto the Olympic course just outside the stadium. He ran around the track and was not pulled by officials until he neared the finish line. When Shorter entered the stadium, he saw Südhaus running on the track and did not know who he was. Shorter became the third American to win the Olympic marathon, and none of them was actually the first runner in the stadium at the end of the race. In 1904, Tom Hicks won the race, but Fred Lorz, who had dropped out, hitched a car ride, and decided to run into the stadium. In 1908, Italy’s Dorando Pietri led the race in the last half and entered the stadium first. But he was on the verge of collapse, and though officials helped him across the line, he was disqualified for illegal assistance, allowing America’s Johnny Hayes to win the gold medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Frank Shorter 24 United States USA Gold 2-12:19.8
2 Karel Lismont 23 Belgium BEL Silver 2-14:31.8
3 Mamo Wolde 40 Ethiopia ETH Bronze 2-15:08.4
4 Kenny Moore 28 United States USA 2-15:39.8
5 Kenji Kimihara 31 Japan JPN 2-16:27.0
6 Ron Hill 33 Great Britain GBR 2-16:30.6
7 Don Macgregor 33 Great Britain GBR 2-16:34.4
8 Jack Foster 40 New Zealand NZL 2-16:56.2
9 Jack Bacheler 28 United States USA 2-17:38.2
10 Lengissa Bedane 22 Ethiopia ETH 2-18:36.8
11 Seppo Nikkari 24 Finland FIN 2-18:49.4
12 Akio Usami 29 Japan JPN 2-18:58.0
13 Derek Clayton 29 Australia AUS 2-19:49.6
14 Yury Velikorodnykh 30 Soviet Union URS 2-20:02.2
15 Anatolijus Baranovas 32 Soviet Union URS 2-20:10.4
16 Paul Angenvoorth 27 West Germany FRG 2-20:19.0
17 Richard Mabuza 26 Swaziland SWZ 2-20:39.6
18 Demissie Wolde 35 Ethiopia ETH 2-20:44.0
19 Reino Paukkonen 26 Finland FIN 2-21:06.4
20 Colin Kirkham 27 Great Britain GBR 2-21:54.8
21 Antonio Brutti 27 Italy ITA 2-22:12.0
22 Dave McKenzie 29 New Zealand NZL 2-22:19.2
23 Dan McDaid 31 Ireland IRL 2-22:25.2
24 Renato Martini 22 Italy ITA 2-22:41.4
25 Eckhard Lesse 23 East Germany GDR 2-22:49.6
26 Jacinto Sabinal 30 Mexico MEX 2-22:56.6
27 Gyula Tóth 36 Hungary HUN 2-22:59.8
28 Fernand Kolbeck 27 France FRA 2-23:01.2
29 Hernán Barreneche 33 Colombia COL 2-23:40.0
30 Jørgen Jensen 28 Denmark DEN 2-24:00.2
31 Manfred Steffny 31 West Germany FRG 2-24:25.4
32 Lutz Philipp 31 West Germany FRG 2-24:25.4
33 Ferenc Szekeres 25 Hungary HUN 2-25:17.6
34 Terry Manners 32 New Zealand NZL 2-25:29.2
35 Ihor Shcherbak 29 Soviet Union URS 2-25:37.4
36 Yoshiaki Unetani 27 Japan JPN 2-25:59.0
37 Kim Chang-Son 20 North Korea PRK 2-26:45.6
38 Franco De Menego 27 Italy ITA 2-26:52:2
39 Agustín Fernández 34 Spain ESP 2-27:14.2
40 Edward Stawiarz 32 Poland POL 2-28:12.4
41 Armando Aldegalega 34 Portugal POR 2-28:24.6
42 Des McGann 27 Ireland IRL 2-28:31.6
43 Carlos Cuque 26 Guatemala GUA 2-28:37.0
44 Alfons Sidler 37 Switzerland SUI 2-29:09.2
45 Alfredo Peñaloza 25 Mexico MEX 2-29:51.0
46 Walter Van Renterghem 28 Belgium BEL 2-29:58.4
47 Donie Walsh 24 Ireland IRL 2-31:12.0
48 Álvaro Mejía 32 Colombia COL 2-31:56.4
49 Ryu Man-Hyong 31 North Korea PRK 2-32:29.4
50 Carlos Pérez 37 Spain ESP 2-33:22.6
51 Rafael Tadeo 22 Mexico MEX 2-35:48.4
52 Víctor Mora 27 Colombia COL 2-37:34.6
53 Fernando Molina 34 Argentina ARG 2-38:18.6
54 Julio Quevedo 32 Guatemala GUA 2-40:38.6
55 Ramón Cabrera 34 Argentina ARG 2-42:37.2
56 Matthews Kambale 19 Malawi MAW 2-45:50.0
57 Hla Thein 28 Myanmar MYA 2-48:53.2
58 Ricardo Condori 22 Bolivia BOL 2-56:11.4
59 Fulgence Rwabu 24 Uganda UGA 2-57:04.4
60 Bhakta Bahadur Sapkota Nepal NEP 2-57:58.8
61 Crispin Quispe 26 Bolivia BOL 3-07:22.8
62 Maurice Charlotin 27 Haiti HAI 3-29:21.0
AC İsmail Akçay 30 Turkey TUR DNF
AC Nazario Araújo 27 Argentina ARG DNF
AC Jama Awil Aden 23 Somalia SOM DNF
AC Jit Bahadur Khatri Chhetri Nepal NEP DNF
AC Rodolfo Gómez 26 Nicaragua NCA DNF
AC Richard Juma 27 Kenya KEN DNF
AC Juvenal Rocha 24 Bolivia BOL DNF
AC Gaston Roelants 35 Belgium BEL DNF
AC Lucien Rosa 28 Sri Lanka SRI DNF
AC Shag Musa Medani 23 Sudan SUD DNF
AC Pekka Tiihonen 25 Finland FIN DNF
AC Julius Wakachu 24 Tanzania TAN DNF