| Event type

5,000 metres, Men

Date7 – 10 September 1972
LocationOlympiastadion, Olympiapark, München
Participants61 from 35 countries

The 1971 European Champion was Finland’s Juha Väätäinen, who also won the 10K at that meet, the first dominant distance runner since the 1940s. But in the Olympic year, the best times had been posted by his countryman Lasse Virén. Väätäinen would compete in the 5,000 final but finish only 13th. Ethiopia’s Miruts Yifter was a contender but missed his heat when he mistook an entry gate and could not get into the stadium for the race. America’s Steve Prefontaine was expected to challenge and was a media favorite, because of brash predictions and front-running tactics. He vowed he would win the gold medal and would run the final mile under four minutes in doing so. The final was started at a slow pace. But with four laps remaining Pre began to follow his prediction, moving to the lead and pushing the pace dramatically. He ran the next three laps in 62.8, 61.0, and 60.4 and dropped everybody but Virén and the defending champion, Mohamed Gammoudi. Virén took the lead right at the bell lap and held off Gammoudi on the backstretch, pulling away to win fairly easily, running his last 400 in 56.0. As Pre had predicted, the final mile was run almost exactly in 4 minutes. But he had nothing left in the stretch and was passed at the last minute by Britain’s Ian Stewart, who won the bronze medal, Pre finishing in fourth. Over the next three years, Pre established himself as America’s greatest ever distance runner on the track, and would likely have challenged for a gold medal in Montréal. But in May 1975, coming home from a party, he overturned his sports car and was killed when he was crushed beneath it. Virén completed the 5K/10K double in München, having won the 10,000 a few days earlier.

1228Lasse VirénFIN13:38.4 (1 h5)13:26.42 (1)GoldOR
2904Mohamad GammoudiTUN13:49.8 (1 h1)13:27.33 (2)Silver
3309Ian StewartGBR13:33.0 (2 h4)13:27.61 (3)Bronze
41005Steve PrefontaineUSA13:32.6 (2 h2)13:28.25 (4)
561Miel PuttemansBEL13:31.8 (1 h2)13:30.82 (5)
6387Harald NorpothFRG13:33.4 (3 h2)13:32.58 (6)
7680Per HalleNOR13:38.6 (3 h3)13:34.38 (7)
8961Nikolay SviridovURS13:38.4 (2 h5)13:39.31 (8)
9325Frank EisenbergGDR13:38.4 (2 h3)13:40.84 (9)
10161Javier ÁlvarezESP13:36.6 (4 h2)13:41.83 (10)
11300Ian McCaffertyGBR13:38.2 (1 h3)13:43.20 (11)
12274Dave BedfordGBR13:49.8 (2 h1)13:43.22 (12)
13225Juha VäätäinenFIN13:32.8 (1 h4)13:53.84 (13)
AC r2/2169Mariano HaroESP13:36.4 (3 h4)– (AC)
3 h1 r1/2574Ben JipchoKEN13:56.8 (3 h1)
3 h5 r1/2875Josef JánskýTCH13:39.8 (3 h5)
4 h1 r1/2846Anders GärderudSWE13:57.2 (4 h1)
4 h3 r1/2879Dušan MoravčíkTCH13:40.4 (4 h3)
4 h4 r1/2186Tolossa KotuETH13:46.2 (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/21034George YoungUSA13:41.2 (4 h5)
5 h1 r1/2483Mike KeoghIRL13:57.8 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/297Grant McLarenCAN13:43.8 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/2580Paul MoseKEN13:41.4 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/260Willy PolleunisBEL13:52.6 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/2113Edmundo WarnkeCHI13:43.6 (5 h5)
6 h1 r1/255René GorisBEL13:57.8 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/2642Pedro MirandaMEX13:45.2 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/2207Tapio KantanenFIN13:42.0 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/2951Nikolay PuklakovURS13:57.6 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/291Bob FinlayCAN13:44.0 (6 h5)
7 h1 r1/2683Arne RisaNOR14:01.6 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/2917Vladimir AfoninURS14:08.6 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/226Tony BensonAUS13:42.8 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/2646Mario PérezMEX13:58.2 (7 h4)
7 h5 r1/2562Keisuke SawakiJPN13:44.8 (7 h5)
8 h1 r1/2559Takaharu KoyamaJPN14:12.6 (8 h1)
8 h2 r1/2272Raymond ZembriFRA14:34.4 (8 h2)
8 h3 r1/23Boualem RahouiALG13:45.0 (8 h3)
8 h4 r1/2991Len HiltonUSA14:07.2 (8 h4)
8 h5 r1/2729Bronisław MalinowskiPOL13:48.2 (8 h5)
9 h1 r1/2753Carlos LopesPOR14:29.6 (9 h1)
9 h2 r1/2695Dick QuaxNZL14:35.2 (9 h2)
9 h3 r1/2184Tekle FetinsaETH13:50.4 (9 h3)
9 h4 r1/2395Wolfgang RiesingerFRG14:15.2 (9 h4)
9 h5 r1/2382Jürgen MayFRG14:06.6 (9 h5)
10 h1 r1/2122Esau AdenjiCMR15:19.6 (10 h1)
10 h2 r1/2153Gert KærlinDEN14:39.2 (10 h2)
10 h3 r1/2698Dick TaylerNZL13:56.2 (10 h3)
10 h4 r1/2675Knut BørøNOR14:15.8 (10 h4)
10 h5 r1/2699Gavin ThorleyNZL14:11.6 (10 h5)
11 h1 r1/2802P. C. SuppiahSGP15:36.6 (11 h1)
11 h2 r1/2438Carlos CuqueGUA15:53.4 (11 h2)
11 h3 r1/2475Eddie SequeiraIND14:01.4 (11 h3)
11 h4 r1/2155Jørn LauenborgDEN14:18.8 (11 h4)
11 h5 r1/2909Hikmet ŞenTUR14:26.0 (11 h5)
12 h3 r1/2482John HartnettIRL14:34.6 (12 h3)
12 h4 r1/2579Evans MogakaKEN14:37.2 (12 h4)
12 h5 r1/2832Fritz RüegseggerSUI14:54.4 (12 h5)
13 h3 r1/218Abdullah Al-MabroukKSA15:51.0 (13 h3)
13 h4 r1/21062Damiano MusondaZAM14:37.4 (13 h4)
13 h5 r1/2198Usaia SotutuFIJ15:24.2 (13 h5)
DNS788Siatka BadjiSEN– (DNS h1)
DNS33Kerry O'BrienAUS– (DNS h2)
DNS70Crispin QuispeBOL– (DNS h5)
DNS76Mihail ZhelevBUL– (DNS h2)
DNS132Rafael PérezCRC– (DNS h2)
DNS160Abdel Hamid KhamisEGY– (DNS h4)
DNS197Miruts YifterETH– (DNS h5)
DNS626Hamadi HaddouMAR– (DNS h1)
DNS448Jos HermensNED– (DNS h3)
DNS1052Dane KoricaYUG– (DNS h1)

Round One (7 September 1972 — 16:00)

Top two in each heat and next four fastest advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1904Mohamad GammoudiTUN13:49.8Q
2274Dave BedfordGBR13:49.8Q
3574Ben JipchoKEN13:56.8
4846Anders GärderudSWE13:57.2
5483Mike KeoghIRL13:57.8
655René GorisBEL13:57.8
7683Arne RisaNOR14:01.6
8559Takaharu KoyamaJPN14:12.6
9753Carlos LopesPOR14:29.6
10122Esau AdenjiCMR15:19.6
11802P. C. SuppiahSGP15:36.6
DNS788Siatka BadjiSEN
DNS626Hamadi HaddouMAR
DNS1052Dane KoricaYUG

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
161Miel PuttemansBEL13:31.8QOR
21005Steve PrefontaineUSA13:32.6Q
3387Harald NorpothFRG13:33.4q
4161Javier ÁlvarezESP13:36.6q
597Grant McLarenCAN13:43.8
6642Pedro MirandaMEX13:45.2
7917Vladimir AfoninURS14:08.6
8272Raymond ZembriFRA14:34.4
9695Dick QuaxNZL14:35.2
10153Gert KærlinDEN14:39.2
11438Carlos CuqueGUA15:53.4
DNS33Kerry O'BrienAUS
DNS76Mihail ZhelevBUL
DNS132Rafael PérezCRC

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1300Ian McCaffertyGBR13:38.2Q
2325Frank EisenbergGDR13:38.4Q
3680Per HalleNOR13:38.6q
4879Dušan MoravčíkTCH13:40.4
5580Paul MoseKEN13:41.4
6207Tapio KantanenFIN13:42.0
726Tony BensonAUS13:42.8
83Boualem RahouiALG13:45.0
9184Tekle FetinsaETH13:50.4
10698Dick TaylerNZL13:56.2
11475Eddie SequeiraIND14:01.4
12482John HartnettIRL14:34.6
1318Abdullah Al-MabroukKSA15:51.0
DNS448Jos HermensNED

Heat Four

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1225Juha VäätäinenFIN13:32.8Q
2309Ian StewartGBR13:33.0Q
3169Mariano HaroESP13:36.4q
4186Tolossa KotuETH13:46.2
560Willy PolleunisBEL13:52.6
6951Nikolay PuklakovURS13:57.6
7646Mario PérezMEX13:58.2
8991Len HiltonUSA14:07.2
9395Wolfgang RiesingerFRG14:15.2
10675Knut BørøNOR14:15.8
11155Jørn LauenborgDEN14:18.8
12579Evans MogakaKEN14:37.2
131062Damiano MusondaZAM14:37.4
DNS160Abdel Hamid KhamisEGY

Heat Five

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1228Lasse VirénFIN13:38.4Q
2961Nikolay SviridovURS13:38.4Q
3875Josef JánskýTCH13:39.8
41034George YoungUSA13:41.2
5113Edmundo WarnkeCHI13:43.6
691Bob FinlayCAN13:44.0
7562Keisuke SawakiJPN13:44.8
8729Bronisław MalinowskiPOL13:48.2
9382Jürgen MayFRG14:06.6
10699Gavin ThorleyNZL14:11.6
11909Hikmet ŞenTUR14:26.0
12832Fritz RüegseggerSUI14:54.4
13198Usaia SotutuFIJ15:24.2
DNS70Crispin QuispeBOL
DNS197Miruts YifterETH

Final (10 September 1972 — 15:10)

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1228Lasse VirénFIN13:26.42OR
2904Mohamad GammoudiTUN13:27.33
3309Ian StewartGBR13:27.61
41005Steve PrefontaineUSA13:28.25
561Miel PuttemansBEL13:30.82
6387Harald NorpothFRG13:32.58
7680Per HalleNOR13:34.38
8961Nikolay SviridovURS13:39.31
9325Frank EisenbergGDR13:40.84
10161Javier ÁlvarezESP13:41.83
11300Ian McCaffertyGBR13:43.20
12274Dave BedfordGBR13:43.22
13225Juha VäätäinenFIN13:53.84
AC169Mariano HaroESPDNF


1000 m2:46.3Nikolay Sviridov
2000 m5:32.6Lasse Virén
3000 m8:20.2Javier Álvarez
4000 m10:59.9Steve Prefontaine