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| Event type

Marathon, Men

Date27 July 1952 — 15:25
StatusOlympic
LocationHelsingin Olympiastadion, Helsinki
Participants66 from 32 countries
Format42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.
Olympic Record 2-29:19.2 / Son Gi-Jeong JPN / 9 August 1936

For the first time in several years, the Olympic marathon had a favorite in the person of Britain’s Jim Peters. Peters had run the 10K at the London Olympics but had since turned to the marathon. He had won the 1951 Polytechnic race in 2-29:24 and in June 1952, he ran the Windsor-to-Chiswick marathon, the British trial race, in 2-20:42.2, shattering the world record. In Helsinki he faced a straight out-and-back course, starting and finishing at the Olympic Stadium.

The race started at 3:28 PM on a fairly cool day. In the race, making his marathon début, was Czechoslovakian Emil Zátopek. Zátopek had been the star of the Helsinki Olympics, winning the 5,000 and 10K on the track. He had also won the 10K at the 1948 Olympics. Although he had never run the marathon before, his presence was auspicious. As the race started, Peters took the field thru a suicidal pace for 5 km. Zátopek stayed back. Peters led thru 20 km. when he was caught by Zátopek and Sweden’s Gustaf Jansson. At just after two hours, Peters had to withdraw with a muscle cramp. Zátopek never looked back and gradually pulled away from Jansson to the finish, completing his remarkable distance Triple Crown with a margin of 2½ minutes. Argentina’s Reinaldo Gorno passed Jansson at about 39 km. and won the silver medal, with Jansson third.

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1903Emil ZátopekTCH2-23:03.2GoldOB
26Reinaldo GornoARG2-25:35.0Silver
3683Gustaf JanssonSWE2-26:07.0Bronze
4371Choi Yun-ChilKOR2-26:36.0
5790Veikko KarvonenFIN2-26:41.8
65Delfo CabreraARG2-26:42.4
7943József DobronyiHUN2-28:04.8
8791Erkki PuolakkaFIN2-29:35.0
9186Geoff IdenGBR2-30:42.0
10111Wally HaywardRSA2-31:50.2
11109Syd LuytRSA2-32:41.0
12684Gustav ÖstlingSWE2-32:48.4
131000Vic DyrgallUSA2-32:52.4
1477Luis CeledónCHI2-33:45.8
15129Janus van der ZandeNED2-33:50.0
16508Viktor OlsenNOR2-33:58.4
17789Mikko HietanenFIN2-34:01.0
1847Charles DewachtereBEL2-34:32.0
19110Bill KeithRSA2-34:38.0
20429Yakov MoskachenkovURS2-34:43.8
21944Mihály EsztergomiHUN2-35:10.0
22123Doroteo FloresGUA2-35:40.0
2349Jean SimonetBEL2-35:43.0
24507Jakob KjersemNOR2-36:14.0
25309Katsuo NishidaJPN2-36:19.0
26308Keizo YamadaJPN2-38:11.2
27431Feodosy VaninURS2-38:22.0
28430Grigory SuchkovURS2-38:28.8
29682Henry NorrströmSWE2-38:57.4
30742Dieter EngelhardtGER2-39:37.2
31653Dinu CristeaROU2-39:42.2
3248Jean LeblondBEL2-40:37.0
33370Choi Chung-SikKOR2-41:23.0
34509John SystadNOR2-41:29.8
35904Jaroslav ŠourekTCH2-41:40.4
361001Tom JonesUSA2-42:50.0
3725Bob PrenticeAUS2-43:13.4
38530Muhammad Havildar AslamPAK2-43:38.2
39279Dolfi GruberAUT2-45:02.0
40354Paul CollinsCAN2-45:58.0
41654Vasile TeodosiuROU2-46:00.8
42876Erik SimonsenDEN2-46:41.4
43741Ludwig WarnemündeGER2-50:00.0
44999Ted CorbittUSA2-51:09.0
4524Claude SmealAUS2-52:23.0
46249Asfò BussottiITA2-52:55.0
47572Winand OsińskiPOL2-54:38.2
48875Olaf SørensenDEN2-55:21.0
49151Joe WestIRL2-56:22.8
50853Rudolf MorgenthalerSUI2-56:33.0
5194Hassan Abdel FattahEGY2-56:56.0
52140Surat SinghIND2-58:09.2
53250Artidoro BertiITA2-58:36.2
AC921Ahmet AytarTURDNF
AC531Muhammad Ben ArasPAKDNF
AC612Lionel BillasFRADNF
AC369Hong Jong-OKORDNF
AC185Stan CoxGBRDNF
AC7Corsino FernándezARGDNF
AC76Raúl InostrozaCHIDNF
AC326Franjo KrajcarYUGDNF
AC251Egilberto MartufiITADNF
AC187Jim PetersGBRDNF
AC652Constantin RaduROUDNF
AC307Yoshitaka UchikawaJPNDNF
AC124Luis VelásquezGUADNF
DNS23Les PerryAUS
DNS852Hans FrischknechtSUI