Eckart Berkes

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameEckart•Berkes
Used nameEckart•Berkes
Born9 February 1949 in Worms, Rheinland-Pfalz (GER)
Died24 September 2014 in Leimen, Baden-Württemberg (GER)
Measurements180 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsUSC Mainz, Mainz (GER)
NOC West Germany


Eckart Berkes started his athletic career at age 15, initially starting for USC Mainz. In 1969 he was chosen for the 110 metre hurdles at the European Championships, but could not start due to the West German boycott. He won the 1971 European Indoor Championships in the 60 m hurdles and was eliminated in the second round in 1973. In 1973 he won the German championship in the high hurdles, having placed second in 1972. At the München Olympics in 1972 he was eliminated in the heats of the 110 hurdles, suffering from a bout of nephritis. He later studied sports and became a graduate sports teacher.

Berkes had an unusual career with many bizarre stories about it. In 1980 he won the Egyptian pole vault title in Cairo, where he had visited the National Championships by chance and was asked to participate as a track and field athlete. In 1971 he set an Indian all-comers record in the 110 hurdles at the Indian All-Comers Championships. The event was held on a lawn ground, with the athletes digging starting holes with a spade, as had been common prior to the 1940s. The starter was a Sikh, who shot with a real gun. Berkes asked him after the race whether he had shot with live ammunition, after which the Sikh showed him by blasting a hole into the ground next to him, creating a large crater, from which a stone flew up and struck the Berkes on the lower leg, causing a bleeding wound.

Personal Best: 110H – 13.8 (1969/1970).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics FRG Eckart Berkes
110 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 4 h1 r1/3

Special Notes