Gaston Reiff

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameGaston Étienne Ghislaine•Reiff
Used nameGaston•Reiff
Born24 February 1921 in Braine-l'Alleud (BEL)
Died6 May 1992 in Braine-l'Alleud (BEL)
Measurements173 cm / 61 kg
AffiliationsUSG
NOC Belgium

Biography

The first Belgian to win an Olympic track and field gold, Gaston Reiff did so in the 1948 5,000 m. In a long sprint, he defeated the legendary Emil Zátopek by a mere two tenths. Apart from that race, Reiff competed in three more international 5,000 m finals: the 1946 European Championships (sixth), the 1950 Europeans (bronze) and the 1952 Olympics. In Belgian championships, Reiff won the 5,000 m title six times, adding eight more titles in the 1,500 m, 3,000 m, 10,000 m and cross-country. He also held 26 national records and set three world records in infrequently run distances (2,000 m – 1948; 3,000 – 1949; 2 miles – 1952). In Braine-l’Alleud, Reiff’s home town, a street and the town’s stadium have been named after the town’s Olympic champion.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:45.2 (1952); Mile – 4:02.8 (1952); 5000 – 14:10.8 (1951); 10000 – 30:18.8 (1951).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics BEL Gaston Reiff
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1952 Summer Olympics Athletics BEL Gaston Reiff
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) AC r2/2

Special Notes