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Athletics at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's Discus Throw

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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 15, 1968

Gold: USA Al Oerter
Silver: GDR Lothar Milde
Bronze: TCH Ludvík Daněk


In 1968 the best thrower for the year was [Jay Silvester]. He would win 20 of 22 meets, including the US Olympic Trials for the second consecutive time. He set three world records during 1968, two of them ratified. In the qualifying round, he led with 63.34 (207-9¾). In round one of the final, two GDR throwers took the lead – [Lothar Milde] with 62.44 over [Hartmut Losch] with 62.12 (203-9¾). Milde improved in round two to 63.08 (206-11½) to increase his lead. After two rounds, Silvester and three-time defending champion [Al Oerter] were tied for third with 61.78 (202-8¼). Then in round three, Oerter broke the Olympic record with 64.78 (212-6½) to move into the lead. It would be good enough for the gold medal, but he continued to throw well, producing two more throws beyond Milde’s silver-medal winning 63.08 (206-11½). The silver medalist from 1964, [Ludvík Daněk] (CZE), won the bronze medal.

Oerter had won his fourth consecutive gold medal, never accomplished before in track & field athletics. At four Olympics, he had produced his PR to win the gold medal. At four Olympics, he had never won the US Olympic Trials. At four Olympics, he was not the world record holder. At four Olympics, he was never a heavy favorite, and was probably only a slight favorite in 1960. But he was likely the greatest competitor the sport had yet known. He was once quoted as saying, “These are the Olympics. You die for them,” and “There is no job, no amount of power, no money, to approach the Olympic experience.” His like will not be seen again.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Al Oerter 32 United States USA Gold OR
2 Lothar Milde 33 East Germany GDR Silver
3 Ludvík Daněk 31 Czechoslovakia TCH Bronze
4 Hartmut Losch 25 East Germany GDR
5 Jay Silvester 31 United States USA
6 Gary Carlsen 23 United States USA
7 Edmund Piątkowski 32 Poland POL
8 Ricky Bruch 22 Sweden SWE
9 Hein-Direck Neu 24 West Germany FRG
10 Günter Schaumburg 25 East Germany GDR
11 Ferenc Tégla 21 Hungary HUN
12 Robin Tait 28 New Zealand NZL
13 QR Guram Gudashvili 26 Soviet Union URS
14 QR George Puce 27 Canada CAN
15 QR Namakoro Niaré 25 Mali MLI
16 QR János Faragó 22 Hungary HUN
17 QR Denis Ségui Kragbé 30 Cote d'Ivoire CIV
18 QR Lech Gajdziński 22 Poland POL
19 QR Jens Reimers 27 West Germany FRG
20 QR Joe Kashmiri 29 Iran IRI
21 QR Klaus-Peter Hennig 21 West Germany FRG
22 QR Heimo Reinitzer 25 Austria AUT
23 QR Modesto Mederos 26 Cuba CUB
24 QR Bill Tancred 26 Great Britain GBR
25 QR Edy Hubacher 28 Switzerland SUI
26 QR Rolando Mendoza 29 Nicaragua NCA
27 QR Mauricio Jubis 22 El Salvador ESA