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Athletics at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's 5,000 metres

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 28, 1976
Date Finished: July 30, 1976

Gold: FIN Lasse Virén
Silver: NZL Dick Quax
Bronze: FRG Klaus-Peter Hildenbrand

Summary

The defending champion was Lasse Virén but he had not done much since München, other than breaking the world record the week after the 1972 Olympics at an International in Helsinki. He placed third at the 1974 Europeans, behind Britain’s Brendan Foster. Virén was known, however, as a master at peaking. Some thought he was too much of a master at that, and rumors abounded that he one of the first to use blood doping to increase his endurance for the Olympics. This was never proven. In Montréal he had already defended his 10K gold medal. In the 5K final, Foster led for the first 2,000 metres when Virén went to the front. A pack of seven runners was together at the bell, with New Zealanders Rod Dixon and Dick Quax known for their finishing speed. But Virén held them off, winning the gold over Quax in second. Virén became the only man to win the 5K/10K double twice at the Olympics.

Both bronze medal winner Klaus-Peter Hildenbrand and 6th place finisher Willy Polleunis had difficult passages to the final. Both men were initially disqualified for impeding home favourite Grant McLaren in their heat but were reinstated after appeal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Lasse Virén 26 Finland FIN Gold
2 Dick Quax 28 New Zealand NZL Silver
3 Klaus-Peter Hildenbrand 23 West Germany FRG Bronze
4 Rod Dixon 26 New Zealand NZL
5 Brendan Foster 28 Great Britain GBR
6 Willy Polleunis 28 Belgium BEL
7 Ian Stewart 27 Great Britain GBR
8 Aniceto Simões 30 Portugal POR
9 Knut Kvalheim 26 Norway NOR
10 Detlef Uhlemann 26 West Germany FRG
11 Enn Sellik 21 Soviet Union URS
12 Paul Geis 23 United States USA
13 Pekka Päivärinta 27 Finland FIN
AC Boris Kuznetsov 29 Soviet Union URS
5 h1 r1/2 Jean Conrath 24 France FRA
5 h2 r1/2 Rodolfo Gómez 25 Mexico MEX
6 h1 r1/2 Luis Hernández 21 Mexico MEX
6 h2 r1/2 Grant McLaren 27 Canada CAN
7 h1 r1/2 Ilie Floroiu 23 Romania ROU
7 h2 r1/2 Duncan MacDonald 27 United States USA
7 h3 r1/2 Lasse Orimus 26 Finland FIN
8 h1 r1/2 Toshiaki Kamata 24 Japan JPN
8 h2 r1/2 Domingo Tibaduiza 25 Colombia COL
8 h3 r1/2 Marc Smet 25 Belgium BEL
9 h1 r1/2 Dave Black 23 Great Britain GBR
9 h2 r1/2 Venanzio Ortis 21 Italy ITA
9 h3 r1/2 Dick Buerkle 28 United States USA
10 h1 r1/2 Edmundo Warnke 25 Chile CHI
10 h2 r1/2 Hossein Rabbi 29 Iran IRI
10 h3 r1/2 Jacky Boxberger 27 France FRA
11 h1 r1/2 Eddie Leddy 24 Ireland IRL
11 h2 r1/2 John Kokinai 25 Papua New Guinea PNG
11 h3 r1/2 Markus Ryffel 21 Switzerland SUI
12 h1 r1/2 Fernando Cerrada 21 Spain ESP
13 h1 r1/2 Dieudonné Lamothe 21 Haiti HAI
AC h1 r1/2 Miel Puttemans 28 Belgium BEL