Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics

Dates 14 – 21 October 1964
Medal Events 36

The 1964 Olympics were awarded to Tokyo, Japan, which hoped to use the Games as a coming out party to show the world it had recovered from World War II. The Japanese spent lavishly on the Games, with per capita costs per athlete higher than any Games before or since, measured in constant dollars. Signifying where they had been, the final torch bearer was a Japanese runner, Yoshinori Sakai, who had been born in Hiroshima on the day the atomic bomb immolated that city. The star of the Games on the track was Peter Snell, the New Zealand middle distance runner. He had won the 800 metres in 1960 in something of an upset, but was by 1964 the best miler in the world. He chose to run both the 800 and 1,500 and won both races rather comfortably. The other double winner was Soviet Tamara Press in the shot put and discus. There were several repeat winners, in addition to Snell in the 800. Al Oerter won his third consecutive discus gold medal, despite being injured and competing in pain. Józef Szmidt (POL) defended his triple jump title, and Abebe Bikila (ETH) again won the marathon. Australian Betty Cuthbert had won the 100 and 200 in Melbourne in 1956. She was back and moved up a bit to win the 400 metres, contested by women for the first time. She narrowly defeated Britain’s Ann Packer, who moved up to the 800 and won in world record time. The biggest upsets occurred in the distance races. Americans had rarely performed well in these but they won both the 5K and 10K. Bob Schul in the 5,000 was not unexpected as he was a top runner with an outstanding kick. But in the 10K, Billy Mills won what may still be considered the biggest upset in Olympic track & field history. Australian world record holder Ron Clarke finished third behind Mills, and was later asked if he had been worried about Mills, “Worried about him? I never heard of him.”

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 14 – 15 October 1964 73 49
200 metres, Men Olympic 16 – 17 October 1964 57 42
400 metres, Men Olympic 17 – 19 October 1964 50 33
800 metres, Men Olympic 14 – 16 October 1964 47 32
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 17 – 21 October 1964 43 33
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 16 – 18 October 1964 48 29
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 14 October 1964 38 23
Marathon, Men Olympic 21 October 1964 68 35
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 17 – 18 October 1964 37 23
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 14 – 16 October 1964 39 25
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 15 – 17 October 1964 29 19
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 20 – 21 October 1964 85 21
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 20 – 21 October 1964 68 17
20 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 15 October 1964 30 15
50 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 18 October 1964 34 19
High Jump, Men Olympic 20 – 21 October 1964 28 19
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 15 – 17 October 1964 30 19
Long Jump, Men Olympic 18 October 1964 32 20
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 16 October 1964 34 21
Shot Put, Men Olympic 17 October 1964 22 13
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 15 October 1964 29 21
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 17 – 18 October 1964 24 13
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 14 October 1964 25 15
Decathlon, Men Olympic 19 – 20 October 1964 22 14
100 metres, Women Olympic 15 – 16 October 1964 44 27
200 metres, Women Olympic 18 – 19 October 1964 36 24
400 metres, Women Olympic 15 – 17 October 1964 23 17
800 metres, Women Olympic 18 – 20 October 1964 23 15
80 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 18 – 19 October 1964 27 19
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 20 – 21 October 1964 60 15
High Jump, Women Olympic 15 October 1964 26 18
Long Jump, Women Olympic 14 October 1964 31 20
Shot Put, Women Olympic 20 October 1964 16 11
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 19 October 1964 21 15
Javelin Throw, Women Olympic 16 October 1964 16 10
Pentathlon, Women Olympic 16 – 17 October 1964 20 15
1018 (782/236) 80 (78/41)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Bob HayesUSA Enrique FiguerolaCUB Harry JeromeCAN
200 metres, Men Henry CarrUSA Paul DraytonUSA Edwin RobertsTTO
400 metres, Men Mike LarrabeeUSA Wendell MottleyTTO Andrzej BadeńskiPOL
800 metres, Men Peter SnellNZL Bill CrothersCAN Wilson KiprugutKEN
1,500 metres, Men Peter SnellNZL Josef OdložilTCH John DaviesNZL
5,000 metres, Men Bob SchulUSA Harald NorpothGER Bill DellingerUSA
10,000 metres, Men Billy MillsUSA Mohamad GammoudiTUN Ron ClarkeAUS
Marathon, Men Abebe BikilaETH Basil HeatleyGBR Kokichi TsuburayaJPN
110 metres Hurdles, Men Hayes JonesUSA Blaine LindgrenUSA Anatoly MikhaylovURS
400 metres Hurdles, Men Rex CawleyUSA John CooperGBR Salvatore MoraleITA
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Gaston RoelantsBEL Maurice HerriottGBR Ivan BelyayevURS
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA PolandPOL FranceFRA
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR Trinidad and TobagoTTO
20 kilometres Walk, Men Ken MatthewsGBR Dieter LindnerGER Vladimir GolubnichyURS
50 kilometres Walk, Men Abdon PamichITA Paul NihillGBR Ingvar PetterssonSWE
High Jump, Men Valery BrumelURS John ThomasUSA John RamboUSA
Pole Vault, Men Fred HansenUSA Wolfgang ReinhardtGER Klaus LehnertzGER
Long Jump, Men Lynn DaviesGBR Ralph BostonUSA Igor Ter-OvanesyanURS
Triple Jump, Men Józef SzmidtPOL Oleg FedoseyevURS Viktor KravchenkoURS
Shot Put, Men Dallas LongUSA Randy MatsonUSA Vilmos VarjúHUN
Discus Throw, Men Al OerterUSA Ludvík DaněkTCH Dave WeillUSA
Hammer Throw, Men Romuald KlimURS Gyula ZsivótzkyHUN Uwe BeyerGER
Javelin Throw, Men Pauli NevalaFIN Gergely KulcsárHUN Jānis LūsisURS
Decathlon, Men Willi HoldorfGER Rein AunURS Hans-Joachim WaldeGER
100 metres, Women Wyomia TyusUSA Edith McGuireUSA Ewa KłobukowskaPOL
200 metres, Women Edith McGuireUSA Irena KirszensteinPOL Marilyn BlackAUS
400 metres, Women Betty CuthbertAUS Ann PackerGBR Judy AmooreAUS
800 metres, Women Ann PackerGBR Maryvonne DupureurFRA Marise ChamberlainNZL
80 metres Hurdles, Women Karin BalzerGER Teresa CiepłyPOL Pam KilbornAUS
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women PolandPOL United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR
High Jump, Women Iolanda BalașROU Michele Mason-BrownAUS Taisiya ChenchikURS
Long Jump, Women Mary RandGBR Irena KirszensteinPOL Tatyana ShchelkanovaURS
Shot Put, Women Tamara PressURS Renate Garisch-CulmbergerGER Galina ZybinaURS
Discus Throw, Women Tamara PressURS Ingrid LotzGER Lia ManoliuROU
Javelin Throw, Women Mihaela PeneșROU Márta Antal-RudasHUN Yelena GorchakovaURS
Pentathlon, Women Irina PressURS Mary RandGBR Galina BystrovaURS

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 14 7 3 24
Soviet Union URS 5 2 11 18
Great Britain GBR 4 7 1 12
Germany GER 2 5 3 10
Poland POL 2 4 2 8
New Zealand NZL 2 0 2 4
Romania ROU 2 0 1 3
Australia AUS 1 1 4 6
Italy ITA 1 0 1 2
Belgium BEL 1 0 0 1
Ethiopia ETH 1 0 0 1
Finland FIN 1 0 0 1
Hungary HUN 0 3 1 4
Czechoslovakia TCH 0 2 0 2
Trinidad and Tobago TTO 0 1 2 3
Canada CAN 0 1 1 2
France FRA 0 1 1 2
Cuba CUB 0 1 0 1
Tunisia TUN 0 1 0 1
Japan JPN 0 0 1 1
Kenya KEN 0 0 1 1
Sweden SWE 0 0 1 1