Athletics at the 1952 Summer Olympics

Dates 20 – 27 July 1952
Medal Events 33

The world had not recovered somewhat from the ravages of World War II, and the level of athletics competition was increasing yearly. The 1952 Olympics saw the début of athletes from the Soviet Union, who had competed at the 1946 and 1950 European Championships, but had passed on the 1948 Olympics, for rather Byzantine reasons. Germany also competed again, after they were not invited in 1948. Titularly Germany was to be represented by a combined team from East and West Germany, but the German team was entirely from West Germany, as the East Germans refused to compete alongside their Western counterparts. The 1952 Olympics were opened by two Finnish track legends. The torch was brought into the stadium at the Opening Ceremony by Paavo Nurmi, the greatest athletic star in the Finnish pantheon. He then handed it to Hannes Kolehmainen , winner of the 5K and 10K in 1912 and the marathon in 1920, who lit the Olympic Flame. Having been opened by distance runners, it was fitting that the Helsinki Olympics were the private party of the great Czechoslovakian runner, Emil Zátopek. Zátopek won the 5,000/10,000 double in dominating fashion. He had never before run a marathon, but elected to enter that race as well, and won quite easily, completeing a unique Olympic distance triple. His family did quite well, as his wife, Dana Zátopková, won the women’s javelin gold medal. The German team won no events, but collected two silvers and three bronze medals. The Soviet men did won any gold medals, but Galina Zybina won the shot put and Nina Romashkova-Ponomaryova the discus throw.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 20 – 21 July 1952 72 33
200 metres, Men Olympic 22 – 23 July 1952 71 35
400 metres, Men Olympic 24 – 25 July 1952 71 35
800 metres, Men Olympic 20 – 22 July 1952 50 32
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 24 – 26 July 1952 52 26
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 22 – 24 July 1952 45 24
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 20 July 1952 33 21
Marathon, Men Olympic 27 July 1952 66 32
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 23 – 24 July 1952 30 20
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 20 – 21 July 1952 40 24
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 23 – 25 July 1952 35 19
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 26 – 27 July 1952 88 22
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 26 – 27 July 1952 72 18
10 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 24 – 27 July 1952 23 12
50 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 21 July 1952 31 16
High Jump, Men Olympic 20 July 1952 36 24
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 21 – 22 July 1952 28 18
Long Jump, Men Olympic 21 July 1952 27 19
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 23 July 1952 35 23
Shot Put, Men Olympic 21 July 1952 20 14
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 22 July 1952 32 20
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 24 July 1952 33 18
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 23 July 1952 26 16
Decathlon, Men Olympic 25 – 26 July 1952 28 16
100 metres, Women Olympic 21 – 22 July 1952 56 27
200 metres, Women Olympic 25 – 26 July 1952 38 21
80 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 23 – 24 July 1952 34 22
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 27 July 1952 60 15
High Jump, Women Olympic 27 July 1952 17 10
Long Jump, Women Olympic 23 July 1952 34 22
Shot Put, Women Olympic 26 July 1952 20 13
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 20 July 1952 20 16
Javelin Throw, Women Olympic 24 July 1952 21 13
963 (776/187) 57 (55/37)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Lindy RemiginoUSA Herb McKenleyJAM McDonald BaileyGBR
200 metres, Men Andy StanfieldUSA Thane BakerUSA Jimmy GathersUSA
400 metres, Men George RhodenJAM Herb McKenleyJAM Ollie MatsonUSA
800 metres, Men Mal WhitfieldUSA Arthur WintJAM Heinz UlzheimerGER
1,500 metres, Men Josy BarthelLUX Bob McMillenUSA Werner LuegGER
5,000 metres, Men Emil ZátopekTCH Alain MimounFRA Herbert SchadeGER
10,000 metres, Men Emil ZátopekTCH Alain MimounFRA Aleksandr AnufriyevURS
Marathon, Men Emil ZátopekTCH Reinaldo GornoARG Gustaf JanssonSWE
110 metres Hurdles, Men Harrison DillardUSA Jack DavisUSA Art BarnardUSA
400 metres Hurdles, Men Charlie MooreUSA Yury LituyevURS John HollandNZL
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Horace AshenfelterUSA Vladimir KazantsevURS John DisleyGBR
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA Soviet UnionURS HungaryHUN
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men JamaicaJAM United StatesUSA Unified Team of GermanyGER
10 kilometres Walk, Men John MikaelssonSWE Fritz SchwabSUI Bruno JunkURS
50 kilometres Walk, Men Pino DordoniITA Josef DoležalTCH Antal RókaHUN
High Jump, Men Buddy DavisUSA Ken WiesnerUSA José da ConceiçãoBRA
Pole Vault, Men Bob RichardsUSA Don LazUSA Ragnar LundbergSWE
Long Jump, Men Jerome BiffleUSA Meredith GourdineUSA Ödön FöldessyHUN
Triple Jump, Men Adhemar da SilvaBRA Leonid ShcherbakovURS Asnoldo DevonishVEN
Shot Put, Men Parry O'BrienUSA Darrow HooperUSA Jim FuchsUSA
Discus Throw, Men Sim InessUSA Adolfo ConsoliniITA Jim DillionUSA
Hammer Throw, Men József CsermákHUN Karl StorchGER Imre NémethHUN
Javelin Throw, Men Cy YoungUSA Bill MillerUSA Toivo HyytiäinenFIN
Decathlon, Men Bob MathiasUSA Milt CampbellUSA Floyd SimmonsUSA
100 metres, Women Marjorie JacksonAUS Daphne HasenjägerRSA Shirley Strickland de la HuntyAUS
200 metres, Women Marjorie JacksonAUS Puck BrouwerNED Nadezhda Khnik'inaURS
80 metres Hurdles, Women Shirley Strickland de la HuntyAUS Mariya GolubnichayaURS Maria SanderGER
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women United StatesUSA Unified Team of GermanyGER Great BritainGBR
High Jump, Women Esther BrandRSA Sheila LerwillGBR Aleksandra ChudinaURS
Long Jump, Women Yvette WilliamsNZL Aleksandra ChudinaURS Shirley CawleyGBR
Shot Put, Women Galina ZybinaURS Marianne WernerGER Klavdiya TochonovaURS
Discus Throw, Women Nina RomashkovaURS Yelizaveta BagryantsevaURS Nino DumbadzeURS
Javelin Throw, Women Dana ZátopkováTCH Aleksandra ChudinaURS Yelena GorchakovaURS

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 15 10 6 31
Czechoslovakia TCH 4 1 0 5
Australia AUS 3 0 1 4
Soviet Union URS 2 8 7 17
Jamaica JAM 2 3 0 5
Italy ITA 1 1 0 2
South Africa RSA 1 1 0 2
Hungary HUN 1 0 4 5
Sweden SWE 1 0 2 3
Brazil BRA 1 0 1 2
New Zealand NZL 1 0 1 2
Luxembourg LUX 1 0 0 1
Germany GER 0 3 5 8
France FRA 0 2 0 2
Great Britain GBR 0 1 4 5
Argentina ARG 0 1 0 1
Netherlands NED 0 1 0 1
Switzerland SUI 0 1 0 1
Finland FIN 0 0 1 1
Venezuela VEN 0 0 1 1