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Athletics at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's 800 metres

Athletics at the 1972 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 31, 1972
Date Finished: September 2, 1972

Gold: USA Dave Wottle
Silver: URS Yevhen Arzhanov
Bronze: KEN Mike Boit


[Dave Wottle] had won the US Olympic Trials by equaling the world record with 1:44.3. But the 1971 European Champion, [Yevgeny Arzhanov] (URS), was favored especially as Wottle was nursing a minor knee injury. The final was led by the two Kenyans, [Mike Boit] and [Robert Ouko], going to the bell in 52.3. They then slowed the pace and Arzhanov took over at 500 metres. He held off Boit and Ouko over much of the final lap, but Wottle began to close quickly in the last 50 metres and moved ahead of Arzhanov in the last few strides, the Ukrainians dive at the line narrowly failing to get the gold medal. Wottle ran while wearing his trademark golf cap, and wore it again on the victory podium. Decorum in the United States usually mandates that hats are removed for the national anthem, and Wottle had not done that. The only person who really seemed upset by this was Wottle who apologized profusely to the media.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Dave Wottle 22 United States USA Gold
2 Yevhen Arzhanov 24 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Mike Boit 23 Kenya KEN Bronze
4 Franz-Josef Kemper 26 West Germany FRG
5 Robert Ouko 23 Kenya KEN
6 Andy Carter 23 Great Britain GBR
7 Andrzej Kupczyk 23 Poland POL
8 Dieter Fromm 24 East Germany GDR
3 h1 r2/3 Dave Cropper 26 Great Britain GBR
3 h2 r2/3 Jozef Plachý 23 Czechoslovakia TCH
4 h1 r2/3 Josef Schmid 19 West Germany FRG
4 h2 r2/3 Jože Međimurec 27 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h1 r2/3 Frank Murphy 25 Ireland IRL
5 h2 r2/3 Ivan Ivanov 24 Soviet Union URS
5 h3 r2/3 Manuel Gayoso 28 Spain ESP
6 h1 r2/3 Azzedine Azzouzi 24 Algeria ALG
6 h2 r2/3 Herman Mignon 21 Belgium BEL
6 h3 r2/3 Rolf Gysin 20 Switzerland SUI
7 h1 r2/3 Alain Sans 27 France FRA
7 h2 r2/3 Mansour Guettaya 22 Tunisia TUN
7 h3 r2/3 Mulugetta Tadesse 26 Ethiopia ETH
8 h1 r2/3 Yevhen Volkov 24 Soviet Union URS
8 h2 r2/3 Angelo Hussein Sudan SUD
AC h3 r2/3 Ken Swenson 24 United States USA
4 h1 r1/3 Rick Wohlhuter 23 United States USA
4 h2 r1/3 Fernando Mamede 19 Portugal POR
4 h3 r1/3 Roqui Sanchez 19 France FRA
4 h4 r1/3 Graeme Rootham 24 Australia AUS
4 h5 r1/3 Gheorghe Ghipu 17 Romania ROU
4 h6 r1/3 Sri Ram Singh 22 India IND
4 h7 r1/3 Byron Dyce 24 Jamaica JAM
4 h8 r1/3 Sjef Hensgens 24 Netherlands NED
5 h1 r1/3 Reza Entezari 26 Iran IRI
5 h2 r1/3 Mohamed Sid Ali Djouadi 20 Algeria ALG
5 h3 r1/3 Thomas Saisi 27 Kenya KEN
5 h4 r1/3 Lennox Stewart 22 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
5 h5 r1/3 Carlos Angel Dalurzo 19 Argentina ARG
5 h6 r1/3 Francis Gonzalez 20 France FRA
5 h7 r1/3 Benson Mulomba 22 Zambia ZAM
5 h8 r1/3 Donaldo Arza 26 Panama PAN
6 h1 r1/3 Édouard Rasoanaivo 25 Madagascar MAD
6 h2 r1/3 Colin Campbell 26 Great Britain GBR
6 h3 r1/3 András Zsinka 24 Hungary HUN
6 h4 r1/3 Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson 25 Iceland ISL
6 h5 r1/3 Héctor López 19 Venezuela VEN
6 h6 r1/3 Mehmet Tümkan 28 Turkey TUR
6 h7 r1/3 Jimmy Crampton 23 Myanmar MYA
6 h8 r1/3 Jaiye Abidoye 30 Nigeria NGR
7 h1 r1/3 Alphonse Mandonda 21 Congo (Brazzaville) CGO
7 h2 r1/3 Francisco Menocal 26 Nicaragua NCA
7 h3 r1/3 Daniel Andrade 22 Senegal SEN
7 h4 r1/3 Roger Kangni Togo TOG
7 h6 r1/3 Kassem Hamzé 22 Lebanon LIB
7 h7 r1/3 Fritz Pierre 23 Haiti HAI
7 h8 r1/3 Muhammad Siddique 23 Pakistan PAK
8 h2 r1/3 Thomas Howe 27 Liberia LBR
8 h6 r1/3 Harry Nkopeka 23 Malawi MAW
8 h8 r1/3 Shibrou Regassa 28 Ethiopia ETH
AC h1 r1/3 Mohamed Aboker 26 Somalia SOM
AC h5 r1/3 Antonio Fernández 24 Spain ESP
AC h5 r1/3 Walter Adams 27 West Germany FRG