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Emil Zátopek

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 4
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 5
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameEmil•Zátopek
Used nameEmil•Zátopek
Born19 September 1922 in Kopřivnice (CZE)
Died21 November 2000 in Praha (Prague) (CZE)
Measurements182 cm / 72 kg
AffiliationsTJ Gottwaldov, Zlín (CZE) / Dukla Praha, Praha (CZE)
NOC(s) Czechoslovakia
Ethnic nationCZE

Biography

Emil Zátopek of Czechoslovakia was a supreme distance runner whose rugged training regimen was rewarded with unprecedented success. At the 1948 Olympics he won the gold medal in the 10,000 metres and finished second in the 5,000 metres. At Helsinki in 1952 he produced one of the greatest performances in distance running history, when he won the 5,000 metres, successfully defended his 10,000 metres title and then took his third gold medal in his first-ever marathon race to complete a “triple” that remains unique in Olympic history. Zátopek closed his Olympic career four years later when he placed 6th in the marathon in Melbourne, running only a few weeks after undergoing hernia surgery. At the European Championships he finished fifth in the 5,000 metres (1946) and won gold in the 5,000 metres (1950) and 10,000 metres (1950, 1954) and bronze in the 5,000 metres (1954). Between 1949 and 1954, he set 18 world records at every distance from 5,000 metres to 30,000 metres, a remarkable display of versatility at the very highest level. He was the first great distance runner to popularize the concept of interval training and his training efforts were legendary. His wife, Dana (né Ingrová), was the Olympic gold medalist in the javelin in 1952.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 13:57.0 (1954); 10000 – 28:54.2 (1954); Mar – 2-23:04 (1952).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Czechoslovakia    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
1952 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold Representing Czechoslovakia    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  Marathon, Men Olympic 1 Gold
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic DNS Representing Czechoslovakia    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic DNS
  Marathon, Men Olympic 6

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1948 Summer Olympics 30 July 1948 Athletics 10,000 metres, Men Final Standings 29:59.6 1
1952 Summer Olympics 20 July 1952 Athletics 10,000 metres, Men Final Standings 29:17.0 1
1952 Summer Olympics 24 July 1952 Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Final 14:06.6 1
1952 Summer Olympics 27 July 1952 Athletics Marathon, Men Final Standings 2-23:03.2 1

Olympic family relations

Special Notes