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| Event type

10,000 metres, Men

Date14 October 1964 — 16:00
StatusOlympic
LocationKokuritsu Kyogijo, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Participants38 from 23 countries
FormatFinal only.
Olympic Record 28:32.2 / Pyotr Bolotnikov URS / 8 September 1960

The favorite was Australian Ron Clarke, the world record holder known for his fast times, but who had difficulty winning major titles. He was expected to be challenged by the defending champion, Pyotr Bolotnikov, the 1962 European Champion, and twice a world-record setter, and the 1960 5K champion, Murray Halberg of New Zealand. Clarke set a fast pace, surging every other lap. At 5K, only five leaders remained, but it was not who was expected. Besides Clarke, the pack included Tunisia’s Mohamad Gammoudi, Ethiopia’s Mamo Wolde, Japan’s Kokichi Tsuburaya, and a surprise American, Billy Mills. Tsuburaya was dropped in the sixth kilometer. At the bell, Clarke led, with Mills to his outside. But a lapped runner was between them, so Clarke moved out, pushing Mills into an outer lane, as Gammoudi moved past them both on the inside, quickly opening up a 10-metre lead. Clarke moved up to Gammoudi’s shoulder at the top of the stretch and passed him, but Gammoudi fought back. Then suddenly, as if an apparition had come upon them, Billy Mills sprinted past both and won by three metres over Gammoudi, Clarke getting the bronze medal.

Mills was completely unknown prior to the race. Asked if he was concerned about Mills, Clarke replied, “Concerned about him, I never heard of him.” One Japanese reporter asked Mills, “Who are you?” His victory is often considered the greatest upset in Olympic track & field history. Mills was part Sioux Indian, and worked for years after his victory as an inspirational leader for the betterment of Native Americans. He was also given warrior status by the Oglala Sioux, and an Indian name – Makoce Teh’la.

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1722Billy MillsUSA28:24.4GoldOR
2615Mohamad GammoudiTUN28:24.8Silver
312Ron ClarkeAUS28:25.8Bronze
498Mamo WoldeETH28:31.8
5654Leonid IvanovURS28:53.2
6795Kokichi TsuburayaJPN28:59.4
7469Murray HalbergNZL29:10.8
813Tony CookAUS29:15.8
9721Gerry LindgrenUSA29:20.6
10782Franc ČervanYUG29:21.0
11212Siegfried HerrmannGER29:27.0
1239Henri ClerckxBEL29:29.6
13127Jean FayolleFRA29:30.8
14793Teruo FunaiJPN29:33.2
15128Jean VaillantFRA29:33.6
16293József SütőHUN29:43.0
1785Josef TomášTCH29:46.4
18166Ron HillGBR29:53.0
19458Pål BenumNOR30:00.8
20213Siegfried RotheGER30:04.6
21165Mike BullivantGBR30:12.0
22167Fergus MurrayGBR30:22.4
23471Barry MageeNZL30:32.0
24720Ron LarrieuUSA30:42.6
25653Pyotr BolotnikovURS30:52.8
2660Bruce KiddCAN30:56.4
27211Arthur HannemannGER30:56.6
28794Kazumi WatanabeJPN31:00.6
2967Ranatunge KarunanandaSRI34:21.2
AC594Pascal MfyomiTANDNF
AC390Naftali TemuKENDNF
AC292János PintérHUNDNF
AC324Jim HoganIRLDNF
AC622Muharrem DalkılıçTURDNF
AC533Andrei BarabașROUDNF
AC557Fernando AguilarESPDNF
AC616Mohamed Hadheb HannachiTUNDNF
AC651Nikolay DutovURSDNF
DNS40Gaston RoelantsBEL
DNS79Álvaro MejíaCOL
DNS468Bill BaillieNZL
DNS522Armando AldegalegaPOR
DNS565Bengt NåjdeSWE

Splits

1000 m2:42.0Gerry Lindgren
2000 m5:29.6Ron Clarke
3000 m8:20.0Gerry Lindgren
4000 m11:13.0Ron Clarke
5000 m14:04.6Billy Mills
6000 m16:57.8Ron Clarke
7000 m19:52.0Ron Clarke
8000 m22:47.0Ron Clarke
9000 m25:42.8Ron Clarke