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If you have never seen the 1964 Tokyo Olympics 10,000 meter final, or particularly the last 2 laps, then you have never seen a “fiight to the finish”. You will have new meaning to the term “digging deep”.
My first reaction was, “What the hell are the lapped runners doing in Lane 1?”
Anytime you toe the line in an Olympic Final, you should always be thinking of putting yourself in a position to win Gold. You body’s physiology and genetics (and chemistry!) may think otherwise, but you have to go in each race with that mindset.
I’ve seen this race in Black and White, often on Olympic highlight reels, but this is the frst time I’ve seen it in colour. The video below is an excert from Kon Ichikawa’s “Tokyo Olympiad”.
Tokyo Olympiad – Criterion Collection
After the 1964 Tokyo 10K, we saw the ermergence (and dominace?) from African countries, making Billy Mill’s 10K victory even more special.
A little known fact about Billy Mills is that he also ran the Marathon after his 10K victory, finishing 14th in 2:22:55.4. I can think of a few famous 10k/Marathon “doublers” at he same Olympiad… Emil Zatopek (1952, Gold in 5K, 10K, and Marathon), Frank Shorter (1972, 5th in 10K, Gold in Marathon), Lasse Viren (1976, Gold in 5K, 10K, and 5th in Marathon). As long as the Marahon is AFTER the 10K, this is possible.
The women’s program didn’t do any justice in Athens 2004 as they had the events reversed. Paula Radcliffe attempted the 10K after she DNF in 2004 Athens marathon. This sort of reminds me of the dumb Suzy Favor Hamilton quote “saving myself for Zurich” excuse when she dropped out of the 1500m.
This year, the women’s 10K in Beijing is on Aug 15, followed by the Marathon on the 17th, so a double is possible.
The Men’s 10K is a straight final on Aug 17. Usually there are two rounds. The Marathon is traditionally held on the last day, on Aug 24th, along with the closing ceremonies.
Here is the video from YouTube in Colour over 9 minutes long.
UPDATE: Sorry, the video is no longer on YouTube.