Sunday, September 7, 2014

Vol. 4 No. 63 Tokyo Olympics, Day 5


     Glad you could join us. For your viewing enjoyment today we have the 400 semifinals, semis and final in the high hurdles, qualifying and final in the broad jump and finals in the 50K Walk, 5000 meters and hammer throw. I see you've brought your umbrella. Good idea. It's supposed to rain all day.

Abdon Pamich crossing the line in Tokyo
     Italian veteran Abdon Pamich placed fourth and third in the last two Olympics. Today he outlasts England's Vincent Nihill by 18 seconds to take the gold in the Olympic record time of 4:11:12.4. Sweden's Ingvar Pettersson takes the bronze. How truly this is a European event is measured by the fact that seventeen of the first 20 finishers, including the first ten, are European. US walkers are well back. Chris McCarthy in 21st is the first American in 4:35:41. Bruce MacDonald is 26th at 4:45:10. Michael Brodie finishes 29th in the field of 38 in 4:57:41. There will be better moments for the US later in the day.

See Pamich in action in this Italian language clip.


     On paper the US should go 1-2-3 in this event but this is not to be. Willie Davenport, our trials winner, has been injured and his 14.2 earns only a seventh place in the first semi won by Anatoliy Mikhailov of the USSR in 13.9.

     Blaine Lindgren of the US restores order in the second semi by winning in 13.9. Surprisingly, Italian Giovanni Cornacchia edges Hayes for second as both run 14.0.

     More surprising, when the dust settles, is the fact that Italy has three finalists – Cornacchia, Eddy Ottoz, fourth in the second semi, and Giorgio Mazza, third in the first race – and the US only two.
All this will be sorted out in this afternoon's final.


     The rain is falling heavily as the runners set their blocks for the first of the two semifinals. Four will qualify for tomorrow's final.

     Britain's Robbie Brightwell passes Trinidad and Tobago's Wendell Mottley in the straight and wins impressively in 45.7. For once Mottley takes his foot off the gas. He coasts in in 45.9. Ulis Williams of the US runs easily in third to qualify in 46.2. Australia's Peter Vassella cashes in his ticket for the final by placing fourth in 46.5.

     The rain has increased for the second semi. This is no place for fair weather runners. From the inside out the field is Timothy Graham of Great Britain, Gary Addy of Australia, Edwin Skinner of Trinidad-Tobago, Kent Bernard of T-T, Mike Larrabee of the US, Bill Crothers of Canada, Ollan Cassell of the US and Andrzej Badenski of Poland.

     Badenski and Cassell are out early and lead down the backstretch. Bernard catches them at the start of the curve. Larrabee is running easily in sixth. Badenski holds his lead as the field enters the straight. Cassell, Bernard and Crothers are losing ground as Larrabee, Skinner and Graham begin the drive for home. Larrabee's strength gives him the lead with 60 meters to go. Badenski has lost the lead but he isn't through. Skinner and Graham pass and hold off Cassell. Larrabee wins in 46.0 with Badenski second at 46.2 Skinner and Graham run 46.5 to eliminate Cassell who clocks 46.6.

     Hopefully tomorrow's final will be held in more pleasant conditions, but no matter what the weather, there are eight 400 meter runners who will be ready for the most important race of their lives.


     None of this come back tomorrow for the final nonsense for the broad jumpers. This morning's qualifying will be followed by the final this afternoon.

     It is 59 degrees but feels colder because of the rain. To make matters worse, the request of favorites Ralph Boston and Igor Ter-Ovanesyan to reverse the direction and jump into the pit at the other end of the runway has been turned down. Cold, rain and an opposing wind is the order of the day.

     It will take 7.60 meters (24-11¼ feet) or, failing that, a position in the top 12 to be invited back for the final. Only five jumpers make the required mark, so the counting begins. A jump of 24-5¾ turns out to be good enough to return this afternoon.

     It is no surprise that Boston (26-4¼) and Ter-Ovanesyan (25-6¼) qualify on their only jump. Equaling T-O for the second best mark of the morning is England's Lynn Davies who survives the drama of a poor jump and then a foul before qualifying on his last attempt. Surprisingly, potential medal winners Phil Shinnick of the US and Leonid Barkovsky of the Soviet Union don't make the final. Shinnick can manage only 23-9 and Barkovsky, who had beaten Boston in the US-USSR meet, tops out at 24-3. Gayle Hopkins of the US lives to jump again this afternoon with a leap of 25-2.


     If there was ever an event that can be hampered by the rain, this is the one. There is a heavy European flavor to the competition. Aside from a Japanese and the three Americans, the rest of the field is from the Old World: three Russians, three Poles, two Hungarians, a German, a Czech and an Austrian.

     Yesterday three throwers exceeded 220 feet: Gyula Zsivotzky of Hungary, Hal Connolly of the US and Romuald Klim of the USSR with Zsivotzky setting an Olympic record of 223-0½.

     With his first throw of the afternoon, Zsivotzky ups his record to 226-8. Germany's nineteen year old Uwe Beyer hadn't expected to make the final. Anything he does today is gravy. When his first throw lands in the grass 223-4 away, he has added ten feet to his personal best and is surprisingly in second place. Klim is in third at 220-5, four inches ahead of teammate Yuriy Nikulin. World record holder Connolly fouls.

     In the second round the order doesn't change and Connolly can muster only 206-6 and is now in danger of not qualifying for the last three rounds. His teammate Ed Burke has the sixth and final spot for the finals with a throw of 215-5.

     Klim moves into second with a throw of 225-0½ in the third round and Connolly pops 218-8 to eliminate Burke and qualify for three more throws.
Romuald Klim
Klim today

The event is decided in the fourth round. It may be a miserable rainy day for the rest of the field, but as far as Romuald Klim is concerned, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. He spins a throw of 228-9½ that no one can match the rest of the day. Connolly can produce only a 212-4 and two fouls, including a disheartening fall on his last throw, what is to be the last attempt of his storied career.

Gyula Zsivotzky
Zsivotzky today
     The medals are spread throughout Europe with Klim taking the gold, Zsivotzky the silver and Beyer the bronze.
Uwe Beyer
Uwe had a less than stellar film career after Tokyo
Also modeled window dressing?


     Something just looks wrong as the finalists set their blocks. Is it that the rain is falling? No, we've seen that before, all day long in fact. What seems odd is that, as mentioned, there are three Italians and only two Americans. When did Italy become the hot bed of hurdling?

     Since Blaine Lindgren and Hayes Jones don't have to fight the Italians, just outrun them, things should be okay. The draw for lanes has created a problem for Lindgren who has drawn the inside lane. He hates being on the outside, but it is what it is. Next to Lindgren are two Italians,Giorgio Mazza and Eddy Ottoz. Gurbachan Randhawa of India is in lane four. To his right is France's Marcel Duriez. Hayes Jones is in six and to his outside, Giovanni Cornacchia of Italy and the dangerous Anatoliy Mikhailov of the Soviet Union.
Hayes Jones, Pontiac MI HS and Eastern Michingan University

Blain Lindgren Unversity of Utah
approaching last hurdle
just over last hurdle

Just after crossing the finish line
Hayes Jones at a recent reunion

Blaine Lindgren and his U. of Utah coaches
Marv Hess and Gordon Mortenson

Anatoly Mikhailov  3rd

Eddy Ottov and Marcel Duriez

This should be a dual between the Jones and Lindgren. They have faced more formidable fields regularly in the US. It is a shame they are not placed in adjoining lanes. Still and all, each lane has 110 meters to the finish tape.

     As usual, Jones is out fast and leads by a couple feet at the second hurdle. But as each hurdle passes, Lindgren is closing the gap. By the seventh he pulls even and possibly edges ever so slightly ahead at the ninth barrier.

     They are dead even coming off the last hurdle and now it is a sprint to the finish. Jones' superior speed gives him the edge. Lindgren tries to pull out the win with a lean, but starts his dip at the tape too early. Jones takes the gold medal at 13.6. Lindgren gets the silver at 13.7, the same time given to the fast closing Mikhailov who takes the bronze.

     A disappointed Lindgren says, “It has been a long time since I cried, but I am not ashamed to say that I did after Jones beat me. What hurt is that I lost the race because of a stupid mistake. I started leaning at the tape too quickly but I'll never make that mistake again. I don't want to take anything away from Jones, however. He is a very fine hurdler. I really can't say enough good about him.”

The following account appeared in The Desert News  August 27, 2008.  Lindgren explains what happened from his point of view.
This was in the early days of photo timers. To calibrate the camera, five lines were painted on the track, each a meter apart, leading up to the finish. Lindgren mistakenly leaned at the first line — five meters too soon. By the time he reached the finish line, Lindgren was still first, but his premature lean caused him to dip underneath the tape that stretched chest-high across the finish line. Nowadays, with the development of photo-timers, winners are determined by the first torso that breaks the plane of the finish line, but in 1964, the winner was determined by the first torso to break the tape.
Lindgren was announced the winner, and no one told him any differently for some 45 minutes. But just as the medalists were about to be sent out to stand on the podium for the medal ceremony, he was informed that he had been moved to second place.
"I think I cried," he recalls. "To lose the race on a technicality — it didn't sit well."
Recalling the race, he says, "I wasn't used to those extra lines at the finish. In the preliminary heats, there was only one white line at the finish. But in the final, they put five white lines. I came off the last hurdle in the lead, and leaned at the first line — five meters early — and went under the tape. I wish I had known they were going to put five white lines on the track. If I had known that, I wouldn't have leaned for the first one. It's haunted me even now."
Here is the youtube clip


     If anything, the rain has increased as the twelve finalists prepare for the opening round. This is what the track and field world has been waiting for, the long anticipated dual between American Ralph Boston and Russian Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, the world record holder and the former world record holder, the owners of the two longest jumps in history. What could be better?
     The first round goes off as if scripted. Ter-Ovanesyan's 25-6¼ gives him a lead of ¾ inch over Boston. The lead changes in the second round as Boston jumps 25-9 and T-O fouls. Neither improves in the third round and the field is pared to the top six for the final jumps. Gayle Hopkins of the US, a medal favorite, is a casualty, the result of three foul jumps.
At this point Lynn Davies of Great Britain is in the bronze medal position at 24-10¾. He is followed by Wariboko West of Nigeria at 24-9¾, Jean Cochard of France at 24-5 and Spain's Luis Felipe Areta at 24-1.

Lynn Davies
Ralph Boston

 In the fourthround, Davies briefly ties T-O at 25-6¼ before the Russian reclaims second position a moment later with a jump of 25-7. Boston increases his lead ever so slightly with a leap of 25-10¼. Davies has added himself to the equation but no one else is over 25. Two jumps are left for each competitor.
Phil Shinnick
     Yes, Davies is close but the crowd knows the gold will go to either Boston or Ter-Ovanesyan. That is until Davies  hits the board in the fifth round and breaks the sand 26-5¾ away, a lifetime best. Aside from Ralph and Igor, no one considered this possibility. Now the pressure is on. T-O responds with his best jump of the day, 26-2½, good enough to move to second, but not first. Boston fouls. With one jump remaining for each it is Davies, Ter-Ovanesyan and Boston in that order.
Neither Davies or T-O can improve in the final round. Boston, the reigning Olympic champion, gets his best jump of the day, but it is not enough. His 26-4¼ is enough to pass Ter-Ovanesyan for the silver but the gold goes to Davies. Perhaps the fact that he lives and trains in the damp, cold climate of Wales gave Davies an advantage. Whether it did or not doesn't matter. Today he is the greatest broad jumper in the world.


This brief recollection of the day from our friend Orville Atkins

On the first day Bill Easton sat in front of me on the first day, Oct 14th, and every time the runners came by he jumped up and blocked my view.
I remember that on October 18th, I was  sitting next to an older couple who turned out to be Willard and Katharin Schul.    It was cold and raining.  I told the shivering lady sitting next to me that she should return to her hotel.  She said she couldn't because her son was running in the last race of the day.
     It is as if the weather gods have chosen the start of this race to open the skies. The rain pelts the eleven finalists as they are introduced. The sky has become so dark that the stadium lights have been turned on.

     Mohamed Gamoudi of Tunisia who was second in the classic Billy Mills 10,000 four days ago and won his 5000 heat the day before yesterday is absent, but an excellent field remains. Australian Ron Clarke will do everything in his power to make amends for his loss in the 10,000. Bill Baillie of New Zealand has a vicious finishing kick. Harald Norpoth of Germany is always dangerous. Newcomer to the world 5000 scene, Kipchoge Keino of Kenya, has surprised by making this final. This afternoon he may surprise again. Michael Wiggs of Great Britain won his heat easily.

     But it is the Frenchman, Michel Jazy, who poses the greatest threat to the Americans, Bob Schul and Bill Dellinger. Jazy is fast, 1500 meter fast. In fact he ran the fastest 1500 of 1963. Jazy's decision to run the 5000 surprised many. Is he running the 5000 because he felt he didn't have a chance for gold with Peter Snell in the 1500 and his chances are better at this distance? No matter. He is here and he will be a factor. If the pace is slow, he will have an advantage in the final laps.
Jazy in a 2:53  1200 tuneup in Tokyo
     Is Jazy the favorite? No, he is one of the favorites but Schul, undefeated this season, is THE favorite. Indeed he is the only American to be favored in an Olympic distance race. He does not have Jazy's 1500 credentials, but he is a fierce kicker off any pace. Whether he is the best finisher today will be decided in less than 14 minutes.

     The rain increases as the runners toe the starting line. One thing for sure, no one will finish without a mud spattered vest. It would be optimum were the race to be run on a sunny 60 degree day. That is not the case. The weather has assured that the times will not be as fast as they could be in perfect conditions, but will the weather be a factor in determining the order of finish? We are about to find out.
Apparently the field is content to use a wait and see strategy. The first laps go by in 68.8 and 2:18.5. Wiggs has clipped the back of Dellinger's shoe and fallen, but he is up immediately and back in it.

     It is odd that Clarke, who was outkicked in the 10,000, is allowing the pace to be this slow. If anyone will benefit from a hard pace, it is the great Australian. He pushes a 64.7 third lap which inconveniences no one. Inexplicably he returns to pedestrian laps of 67.2 and 68.5.
     With the field bunched as closely as a rush hour crowd at Grand Central Station, Clarke must do something to gain some separation. He surges a 62.5 lap which opens some ground but then makes a mistake he admits after the race; he allows everyone to congregate in a group once again by letting the pace slip to 70.6. Once again Clarke surges, this time a 65.7 lap. Only Wiggs, undoubtedly feeling the effects of his fall, drops away.

     Jazy has been on Clarke's shoulder the whole way. Norpoth is comfortable in third, followed by Baillie. Dellinger and Schul let a little ground open, but are still very much in it. Keino, who yesterday ran a heat of the 1500, has let a five meter gap open behind the Americans.

     Once again Clarke allows the pace to slow, this time a 69.3 lap. He makes another surge, but slows and the tenth lap is only 67.9. With only two laps left, Dellinger takes the lead with Jazy on his shoulder. The nine runners are tightly bunched with a lap and a half to go.

     The entire race the stadium has resounded with the exhortation of the French fans, “JA-ZY, JA-ZY, JA-ZY”. At the bell Dellinger leads but Jazy now answers the call of his supporters, moving into first around the curve and starting a long sprint for home. He is separating from the field. Where is Schul, the master of the finishing kick? He is in fifth behind Norpoth, Ballie and Dellinger, not a problem in itself, but he is not answering Jazy's challenge. At the start of the backstretch, after running the first 100 meters of the final lap in just 16.1, Schul kicks it into the gear that no one else has. But has he waited too long? Jazy has a ten meter lead and is flying. Norpoth is also ahead of him.

Jazy's lead is shrinking but so is the distance to the finish line. Schul catches Norpoth on the final turn but still has five meters to make up on Jazy in the final straight. As they enter the homestretch Schul sees Jazy's shoulders tighten. He says later, “I smiled inwardly. I knew I had him.” Indeed he does. Fifty meters from the tape he passes the courageous Frenchman and pulls away dramatically. When he hits the tape he is the first American to win an Olympic 5000. Jazy pays the price for his early sprint, tying up badly, and is passed first by Norpoth and, in the last stride, Dellinger.
Jazy about to realize his bronze is gone

Bill Dellinger

Dellinger's persistence finally pays off with the bronze after  three Olympic games

The victor consoling the vanquished

Faces of pure joy

Here are the last three laps of the race.

Here are a few excerpts of emails Bob recently sent concerning the race and aftermath. ed.

"Let me tell you the story of the movie. (the TV clip) After the race, the following day, they asked me to come to the Tokyo studio for an interview. I did so and Bud Palmer who was the voice on the race, spent some time talking to me as it was taped. I don't know if they ever used it. After it was finished Bud asked me if I would like a tape of the race. Of course I wanted a copy and he said he would drop it by the Olympic village in a few days. Now there is a side note to why he could do this. He had been fired before the Games because he had jumped over his boss to talk to a higher individual and his boss didn't like it and fired him with the stipulation that he work the Games. He ended up by the way to be an assistant to the New York Governor. I don't know in what capacity but I assume it had to with the media.

Anyway I had forgotten about the movie until three days later Bud walks into the U.S. restaurant in the Village with two cans of 16 mm film. That is how I received the film and any film you see is a copy  of the film I have. The one which can be retrieved through my web site,, is a good copy as it hasn't been passed around. 

...As you know Track and Field News along with Sports Illustrated had picked me to win since I had the fastest time of the year (13:38), the world record for the 2 mile and had beaten the third and fifth ranked milers ( Grelle and Weisenger) while winning both races and never losing a race outdoors from the mile and including the 5K. 

 ....As you may know Dellinger and I had planned on tying if we had broken away from the others. I told him before the race that I did not want to run hard and if you are with me at 300 to go we could come in together. I led the entire race I think and Bill did come up to me at the 300 to go and I looked over at him and said "Well Bill, do you want to go in together."  His answer was in the affirmative so we did. If you were there we got a few boos from the stands. (Bob must be referring to the Olympic trials here ed. ) I hope after Tokyo they forgave us.  What do you think.?"

    This race was icing on the cake after Mills' unexpected victory in the 10,000.   It was perhaps the brightest week in American Olympic competition.  We would have to wait another eight years to comeback on the Olympic distance scene with Frank Shorter's marathon win.  But the spark had been ingnited by Bob and Billy,   and Dellinger had shown what persistence could do. In his third games he medals.   Gerry Lindgdren though injured by the time of the Olympics also showed us what we were capable of doing on the world stage.  At the same time as well the door began to open for the Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Tanzanian runners just after their nations had come out from under eighty years of colonial rule in the early 1960's.   There were indeed many turning points in this pivotal week of distance running.

Schul's 13:48.8 is ten seconds over his best but winning is all that matters today. Norpoth is second at 13:49.6. Dellinger's last stride gives him the bronze as he and Jazy are both timed in 13:49.8. Keino is fifth in 13:50.4 and Ballie sixth in 13:51.0. Clarke falls to ninth in 13:58.0.

     Schul's last lap is 54.8, impressive in and of itself, but incredible considering he didn't step on the accelerator until the backstretch. His final 300 is covered in an amazing 38.7 seconds. Adding to the US euphoria is Dellinger's bronze medal. In his third Olympics the Oregon runner enjoys the finest moment of his great career.
Bob Schul 1955

     There will be celebrating tomorrow when the news hits West Milton, Ohio for hometown favorite Bob Schul is the Olympic champion, the first American to medal at 5000 meters in 32 years and the first ever to win the gold medal.

The following exerpt is from Bob Schul's unpublished second book on his life after he stepped off the track after the 5,000 victory.  These are his words, and we are proud he has chosen to share them with us and our readers.

The autobiography from youth to the Tokyo Games is available from Bob Schul at 3339 Ravenwood Rd., Fairborn, Ohio 45324 for $14.95 which includes shipping. A training manual based on the Igloi system with modifications by Bob Schul is also available for $12.95 which includes shipping.

Copyright 2006 by Robert Schul

It is illegal to copy the manuscript and/or transfer a copy to anyone.



I stepped down from the victory stand, the Americans in the seats high in the Olympic stadium were cheering and I looked up and waved. The medal hung around my neck and I was ecstatic. It was good to be alive and I had an inner feeling that is difficult to describe.

I was the Olympic Champion, the only American to ever win the 5000 meters. Only Ashenfelter in the Steeplechase and Mills in the 10,000 were the only other distance runners to win a Gold medal in the modern Olympics. The difference was that both had been upsets, neither expecting to medal at all. The fact was that Mills had not won a single race during the year other than the Armed Forces Championships where the competition was non existent and he ran 30:37.6. Gerry Lindgren, still in high school, had beaten him in the Olympic trials by eight seconds. To say the win was an upset is an understatement. Even Billy had said that finishing in the top ten would be an accomplishment. Ashenfelter on the other hand had been one of the United States best distance runners for quite a few years and even though he was not expected to medal, he had proven he was a fine athlete and had been expected to run well in the Games.

I had come into the Games with the fastest time in the world and the American press including Track and Field News and Sports Illustrated had picked me to win. I was the two-mile world record holder and had broken four minutes in the mile by running 3:58.9. In the outdoor season of 1964 I had won every race in the mile, 2 mile, 3 mile and 5000 meters. In the mile races I beat the number five (Cary Weisiger) and the number three American (Jim Grelle) in two different races.

I was the top distance runner in the United States as I had broken four American records, (three mile indoors, three mile and 5K outdoors in the Compton race and one world record. I would have had another American record at 3000 meters if they would have had timers at that distance during the world record 2 mile race. My regret was that I had not run a 10K during the outdoor season. There was no question in my mind that I could have run very well.

Had I been lucky? The answer is how you look at the situation. As an asthmatic, the Tokyo Games was the only one where I could have competed without being bothered by allergies. And to make it worse, in the 60’s there was no medication we could take.
The next Olympic Games would be in Mexico City, a place known to have high pollution. Could I overcome those conditions? I knew it would be very difficult. No sense worrying about it now, I would have four years of training and I would take it one day at a time. For now enjoy the moment.

That evening, in the Olympic village, when I was in the cafeteria, a Japanese youth presented me with a victory cake, as they had done with all the Gold medallists. As the young man bowed and backed away I heard someone calling my name.

Bob”, the voice said, “Bob Schul.” I turned and recognized the person calling.

Gordon Pirie”, I said as I smiled.

Congratulations on your victory”, he said as he put forth his hand.

Gordon had won the silver medal in 1956 in the 5000 and I had raced him only once, at White City in London in 1961 when he won easily and I had placed fourth in a four-man race. We talked for a short time before he was on his way. He had held the world record for the five thousand and was one of the great runners.

I relaxed, talking with some of my countrymen. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder and as I looked around I recognized a young Italian whom I had met in a cross-country meet in Spain in 1962. The Italians had their cafeteria next to ours, and the glass partition on our side of a walkway and their glass partition was all that separated us. When they first moved in, the first thing we saw was the movement of dozens of crates of wine being wheeled into their cafeteria.

Bob” my name came with a heavy Italian accent.

My friend was standing there with a bottle of wine.

Vino, for the Olympico Champion.”

I knew he did not speak English and there wasn’t going to be a long conversation. I stood and towered over him. What was the correct word? My mind searched for the Italian word for Thank You. “Gracious”, I said. I held out my hand and as we shook we both had smiles on our faces. I accepted the bottle and knew it wouldn’t last long with all the Americans staring at me. He reached over and slapped me on the shoulder, then turned and made his way back to his cafeteria.

The next two days, my wife, Sharon and I enjoyed ourselves by going to the Stadium to watch the competition. It was the first time I had gone as a spectator. My job was over and it was so relaxing to watch others. When the track and field events were not being contested we finally were able to go downtown to see the sites of Tokyo.

Now it was October 21, the final day of track and field and we again were in the stadium when the first event of the day was run. It was the marathon and the discussion in the athlete’s section was about Abebe Bikila, the great runner from Ethiopia. He was the reigning Olympic Champion but had undergone an appendectomy some five weeks earlier. We wondered if he could be competitive. The fastest time in the world was by an Englishman, Basil Heatley. Ron Clarke of Australia was entered in his third race and he had failed in the 10,000 and the 5000. Could he pull it out here? 

Bob today

Norpoth with his coach and guru Dr Ernst Van Aaken

     We are going to dry off and get warm. We hope you will join us tomorrow for the final in the 400, the semis in the 1500 and the start of the decathlon.

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