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Jürgen May

Full name: Jürgen May
Gender: Male
Height: 5-9 (176 cm)
Weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
Born: June 18, 1942 in Nordhausen, Thüringen, Germany
Affiliations: SC Turbine Erfurt, Erfurt (GER) / LG Kreis Hanau, Hanau (GER)
Country: GER Germany, FRG West Germany
Sport: Athletics


Middle- and long-distance runner Jürgen May was elected GDR-Athlete of the Year in 1965. At the Olympics he ran the 1,500 in 1964 and the 5K in 1972, losing out in the semis both times. He competed at the 1966 European Championships in the 800 and 1,500, and in 1971 in the steeplechase. May was East German Champion in the 1,500 in 1962 and 1965-66, and in 1962-64 in cross-country. In West Germany he won another three outdoor and four indoor titles in different distances.

During the 1966 European Athletics Championships May bribed his East German teammate [Jürgen Haase] to wear Puma shoes in the 10K final. Adidas became aware of this and reported the incident. As a punishment, May was ostracized in the GDR, lost his job at the Erfurt newspaper The People, and henceforth worked as a sports teacher. In 1967, when he had the opportunity, May defected to the West. At the 1969 Europeans the GDR blocked him from competing because of his defection. West Germany then boycotted the European Championships and only took part symbolically in the relays. In West Germany May became head of the office for Education, Culture and Sport in the Main-Kinzig-Kreis.

Personal Bests\: 1500 – 3:36.4 (1965); 5000 – 13:33.0 (1969).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Athletics Men's 1,500 metres Germany GER 8 h2 r2/3
1972 Summer 30 München Athletics Men's 5,000 metres West Germany FRG 9 h5 r1/2

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H)
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Athletics Germany Semi-Finals Heat Two 8 3:46.8
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Athletics Germany Round One Heat Two 2 QU 3:44.2

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A)
1972 Summer 30 München Athletics West Germany Round One Heat Five 9 14:06,6
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