Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vol. 4 No. 76 Tokyo Olympics 1964 Day 6


     Rain greets us once again. Today we have the semifinals of the 1500, the final of the 400 and the first day of the decathlon. Pull your jacket tight around your neck and keep your umbrella in place and let's get to it.

Alan Simpson ahead of Ricardo Romo and John Whetton
at a meet in Wales

Eugene Allonius, Billy Mills, Thor Hillend, Janus Sidlo

John Whetton

Kip Keino

Josef Odlozil

Tom O'Hara

Peter Snell

John Davies leading Burleson in NZ 4x1mile

Jim Ryun

Witold Baran, Poland

     After his dominating victory in the 800 there is no doubt that Peter Snell is the favorite here. The first four in each heat and the fastest fifth place finisher will qualify for the final the day after tomorrow. Snell follows the stiff pace of Frenchman Michel Bernard through splits of 55.6, 1:55.8 and 2:55.8 before coasting to victory in the first heat in 3:38.8. Poland's Witold Baran is on his shoulder just a tenth back. Josef Odlozil of Czechoslovakia is third in 3:39.3. The battle for fourth goes to Bernard who hangs on to edge Britain's John Whetton by two tenths in 3:39.7. Whetton will have to wait until the second heat is completed to know whether he has qualified for the final. American Jim Ryun is 1:58.2 at 800 but a cold has sapped his strength and he runs 65.7 on the next lap en route to a last place 3:55.0. Undoubtedly there will be better days ahead for the soon to be Kansas freshman.

     The remaining two Americans. Dyrol Burleson and Tom O'Hara, are in the second heat. Burleson is healthy but the cold virus has caught O'Hara and it shows. Burleson and Alan Simpson of Great Britain finish together in 3:41.5. The battle for third and fourth is intense as four men finish in a bunch in 3:41.9. New Zealand's John Davies and France's Jean Wadoux take the last two qualifying spots. Kipchoge Keino of Kenya, fifth in the 5000 yesterday, just misses making the final as he places fifth in a slower time than Whetton. Belgium's Eugene Allonsius also clocks 3:41.9 but today that is just a tenth of a second too slow. O'Hara is boxed on the last lap but when an opening appears in the straight, he comes up woefully lacking and finishes seventh in 3:43.4. The greatly disappointed O'Hara who had some extremely strong workouts before the cold took its toll vows never to run again. Wiser heads prevail. He will run again, but not the day after tomorrow.

     Now eight runners have a day to devise a strategy that will allow them to beat Peter Snell. Good luck with that, guys.


Mike Larrabee

Andrzej Badenski

Wendell Mottley
     The rain has let up as the runners are setting their blocks. From lane one out the field is Timothy Graham of Great Britain, Andrzej Badenski of Poland, Peter Vassella of Australia, Edwin Skinner of Trinidad-Tobago, Mike Larrabee of the US, Robbie Brightwell of Great Britain, Wendell Mottley of Trinidad-Tobago and Ulis Williams of the US. Brightwell and Larrabee won this morning's semifinals and, along with Mottley, have to be considered the favorites.

     Mottley has a history of getting out quickly and today is no different. At the 200 he leads in 21.6 with Badenski, Brightwell and Williams in close attendance ahead of Skinner and Larrabee. Around the turn Larrabee catches Skinner but he is only in fifth, four meters behind Mottley, as the field enters the home straight.
      This is where all the hard work Mike has been doing in training pays off. One by one he catches Williams, then Brightwell, then Badenski but time is running out. Mottley is holding on with 30 meters left, 25..., 20..., 15. Larrabee pulls even with 10 to go and passes the Yale captain just before the tape to win in 45.1. Mottley is second at 45.2. Badenski surprises by edging Brightwell, 45.6 to 45.7, for the bronze. Williams barely holds off Graham for fifth as they both clock 46.0.

C.K. Yang
     The scoring tables have been revised but the new tables were not released until six weeks ago, creating difficulty in predicting a winner. The revision has crippled the hopes of world record holder C.K. Yang of Taiwan. His world record has been reduced by 1032 points and his world leading score this year has had 788 points lopped off, placing him third, 16 points behind German Willi Holdorf and one point less than Holdorf's teammate Horst Beyer. A case can be made for reducing the value of the pole vault as the improvements in poles had given Yang an incredible advantage. Still and all, changing the rules six weeks before the competition has to be questioned.
Besides Yang, the primary competition will be among three Germans (Holdorf, Beyer and Hans-Joachim Walde), three Russians (Mikhil Storozhenko, Rein Aun and the veteran Vasiliy Kuznetsov) and three Americans (Paul Herman, Russ Hodge and Richard Emberger).

     Holdorf runs the 100 in 10.7 and broad jumps 22-11½ to share the lead after two events with Venezuela's Hector Thomas who has matched those marks identically. Yang has started slowly with marks of 11.0 and 22-3¾ and is in 8th, 117 points behind the leaders.

     After a lunch break the competition resumes at 2:00 with the shot put. Storozhenko moves from fourth to first with a throw of 53-8½, but no one else can top 50'. Indeed Emberger effectively removes himself from medal competition with an effort of only 38-8.

     At 3:30 the high jump begins. The great Yang pretty much ends his medal hopes by jumping only 5-11¼. Storozhenko clears 6-0½ to hold his lead but Walde closes the gap to a mere 9 points by leaping 6-5¼, the best mark of the competition.

     At 5:15 the last event of the day, the 400, begins. Storozhenko shoots himself in the foot with a miserable 53.6 and plummets to fourth. Holdorf has been waiting in the shadows and now he strikes. His 48.2 propels him into the lead.
Richard Emberger

Paul Herman

Russ Hodge

Willi Holdorf

     At the end of the day it is Holdorf 4090, Walde 4074 and Aun 4067 in tight contention. Then comes a gap down to 3910 for Beyer, two points ahead of Storozhenko. Americans Herman (3876) and Hodge (3813) are sixth and eighth. Sadly, Yang is languishing in ninth at 3803.
Tomorrow we will see the second day of the decathlon, the high jump qualifying, the first and second rounds of the 4x100 and the first round of the 4x400. Hope to see you then.

Obituary on Hans Joachim Walde  from DECA April 13, 2013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I was a Santa Barbara City College I met Paul Herman from near by Westmont College. He inspired I did know at the time that he was USA Decathlon Champion and Olympian. I also had competed against Russian Hodge former W.R. Holder. I will not spoil the second days result of Decathlon 1964.

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