Internet search
Name News
English German German

Harald Norpoth

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHarald•Norpoth
Used nameHarald•Norpoth
Born22 August 1942 in Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen (GER)
Measurements184 cm / 62 kg
AffiliationsPreußen Münster, Münster (GER) / LG Ratio Münster, Münster (GER)
NOC(s) Germany West Germany
Ethnic nationFRG


Middle- and long-distance runner Harald Norpoth was one of the athletics stars in West Germany during the 1960s and early 1970s after winning a very surprising silver medal in the 5,000 metres at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. At Mexico City in 1968 he finished fourth in the 1,500 and did not finish the 5K. In 1972 in München he placed sixth in the 5K. Norpoth studied business administration and was later an insurance salesman, but also worked as a graduate sports and soccer teacher at the Bundeswehr Sports School in Warendorf.

Norpoth’s running style strongly recalled famous Czech runner Emil Zátopek. At the European Championships Norpoth won two bronzes (1966-1,500, 1971-5K) and one silver (1966-5K). In 1965, 1967 and 1970 Norpoth won European Cups in the 5,000. Indoors he won gold medals in the 3,000 metres in 1966, with the 3x1000 relay in 1969, and with the 4x4 rounds relay in 1972, adding a silver in the 3K in 1970.

Norpoth was given several awards: 1971 and 1973 Sportsman of the Year, 1970 Rudolf-Harbig-Gedächtnispreis, 1964 Silver Bay Leaf, 1971 Sports Badge of North Rhine Westfalia, 1973 The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, First Class, 1968 Ring of Honor and entry in the “Golden Book” of his hometown Telgte. For several years he was also an athlete’s spokesman and captain of the German athletics national team.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:37.8i (1971); 5000 – 13:20.49 (1973).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Germany    
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Olympic 4 Representing West Germany    
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic AC r2/2
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 6 Representing West Germany    

Special Notes