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Thomas Wessinghage

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThomas•Wessinghage
Used nameThomas•Wessinghage
Born22 February 1952 in Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen (GER)
Measurements181 cm / 68 kg
AffiliationsUSC Mainz, Mainz (GER)
NOC West Germany


Thomas Wessinghage was the son of a cousin of former IOC member Willi Daume. Wessinghage was a West German middle- and long-distance runner who was named 1981 German Athlete of the Year. He was also awarded the Silver Bay Leaf in 1980, the Sports Badge of North Rhine Westphalia in 1981 and the Rudolf Harbig Memorial Award in 1985.

By profession Wessinghage was an orthopedic surgeon, trained in Lüdenscheid, Los Angeles and Köln (Cologne). In 1988 he became medical manager in the rehabilitation center in Norderstedt near Hamburg, in 1996 he became Medical Director / Chief Physician of the Reha clinicum Saarschleife, and in 2002 he was named Medical Director of the German Centre for Preventive Medicine and Rehaklinik in Damp. In 1977 Wessinghage married Ellen Tittel-Wellmann, formerly married to his teammate Paul-Heinz Wellmann. He later served as a marathon coach and consultant for everyday runners and published a series of fitness and marathon textbooks.

Wessinghage competed at the Olympic Games in 1972 in the 1,500 and four years later in Montréal in the 800 and 1,500, but was eliminated in the semifinals in each race. He was also nominated for the next two Olympics, but in Moskva he could not start due to the US-led boycott and just before the Los Angeles Games he broke his ankle. In West Germany he earned 22 national titles over different distances. In 1983 he was sixth in the 5K at the World Championships. He won the 1979 World Cup in the 1,500 and placed second in 1977. Wessinghage had his greatest moments at the Europeans, winning the 1974 bronze medal in the 1,500 and the 1982 gold medal over 5K. He also won the 1975 European Cup in the 1,500 and the 1983 5,000. He added six golds, five silvers and one bronze at the European Indoors.

Personal Bests: 800 – 1:46.56 (1976); 1500 – 3:31.58 (1980).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics FRG Thomas Wessinghage
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 7 h1 r2/3
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics FRG Thomas Wessinghage
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 7 h1 r2/3
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h1 r2/3

Olympic family relations

Special Notes