Luo Wenao

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLuo•Wenao
Used nameLuo•Wenao
Name orderOriental
Original name樓•文敖
Born1919 in Shanghai, Shanghai (CHN)
Diedin Hong Kong (HKG)
NOC People's Republic of China


Lou Wenao was born into a family from Zhejiang Province. After suffering from typhoid, he became deaf and dumb at the age of three. In 1943, he was attracted to long distance running. After a period of hard training, Lou broke the national 10,.000 m record with a time of 32:56.4 min during a meeting in Nanjing in 1947. In early 1948, Lou had his first successful appearance in the United States, winning 5 and 10 km, as well as 10 mile races in California.

In May 1948, at the 7th National Games held in Shanghai, Lou took the title in the 5,000 m with yet another national record of 16:00.8. A few days later, he clocked 32:37.0 clinching the 10,000 m and breaking the Asian record and subsequently, he further improved his PB. This earned him a place on the Chinese team for the 1948 London Olympics. Unaccustomed to wearing spikes, Lou was injured by a spike piercing the sole of his foot in 10,000 m race. Nevertheless, he participated in the heat of the 5000 m, but failed to qualify. Although he never trained for a marathon, he was entered into the Olympic race and was second at the 20 km mark, but when his foot started to bleed, he fainted and had to be carried to an ambulance.

Later that year, together with his tutor Wang Zhenglin Lou took part in long distance runs and marathons in the US. They both went back to Hong Kong by boat, but did not dare to go to Shanghai where the People’s Liberation Army had just taken control. Lou stayed in Hong Kong, allegedly working as a cleaner in a swimming pool of the Hong Kong South China Sports Association. There are no confirmed news about his later life. Rumour has it that he died in Hong Kong in the 1960s.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 16:00.8 (1948); 10000 – 32:37.0 (1948); Mar – unknown.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics CHN Luo Wenao
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 8 h2 r1/2
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) TNK
Marathon, Men (Olympic) DNF

Special Notes