Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon

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Men's marathon
at the Games of the XIX Olympiad
Estadio olimpico universitario unam.jpg
Olympic Stadium (2016)
VenueEstadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City
DateOctober 20
Competitors75 from 41 nations
Winning time2:20:26
1st place, gold medalist(s) Mamo Wolde
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Kenji Kimihara
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Mike Ryan
 New Zealand
← 1964
1972 →

The men's marathon at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, was held on Sunday October 20, 1968. The race started at 15:00h local time. There were 75 competitors from 41 countries. Eighteen of them did not finish.[1] The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia, the nation's third consecutive gold medal in the Olympic marathon (matching France for most golds overall in the event).


This was the 16th appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. Returning runners from the 1964 marathon included two-time defending champion Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia, fifth-place finisher József Sütő of Hungary, and eighth-place finisher Kenji Kimihara of Japan. Bikila would have been favored but was recovering from an appendectomy and stress fracture. His countryman Mamo Wolde (who had run in 1964 but had not finished, while his brother Demissie Wolde finished 10th) was a "formidable contender," particularly with the high altitude of Mexico City seen as being favorable to the Ethiopian team, used to high altitudes.[2]

Costa Rica, Guyana, Kuwait, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Uruguay, and Zambia each made their first appearance in Olympic marathons; East and West Germany competed separately for the first time. The United States made its 16th appearance, the only nation to have competed in each Olympic marathon to that point.

Competition format and course

As all Olympic marathons, the competition was a single race. The marathon distance of 26 miles, 385 yards was run over a point-to-point course. The course ran from the Zócalo to the Olympic Stadium.[2]


These were the standing world and Olympic records prior to the 1968 Summer Olympics.

World record  Derek Clayton (AUS) 2:09:36.4 Fukuoka, Japan 3 December 1967
Olympic record  Abebe Bikila (ETH) 2:12:11.2 Tokyo, Japan 21 October 1964

No new world or Olympic bests were set during the competition.


All times are Central Standard Time (UTC-6)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 18 October 1968 15:00 Final


Rank Athlete Nation Time
1st place, gold medalist(s) Mamo Wolde  Ethiopia 2:20:26
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Kenji Kimihara  Japan 2:23:31
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Mike Ryan  New Zealand 2:23:45
4 İsmail Akçay  Turkey 2:25:18
5 Bill Adcocks  Great Britain 2:25:33
6 Gabrou Merawi  Ethiopia 2:27:16
7 Derek Clayton  Australia 2:27:23
8 Tim Johnston  Great Britain 2:28:04
9 Akio Usami  Japan 2:28:06
10 Andy Boychuk  Canada 2:28:40
11 Gaston Roelants  Belgium 2:29:04
12 Pat McMahon  Ireland 2:29:21
13 Alfredo Peñaloza  Mexico 2:29:48
14 Kenny Moore  United States 2:29:49
15 Jürgen Busch  East Germany 2:30:42
16 George Young  United States 2:31:15
17 Manfred Steffny  West Germany 2:31:23
18 Thin Sumbwegam  Burma 2:32:22
19 Naftali Temu  Kenya 2:32:36
20 Maurice Peiren  Belgium 2:32:49
21 Antonio Ambu  Italy 2:33:19
22 Ron Daws  United States 2:33:53
23 Karl-Heinz Sievers  West Germany 2:34:11
24 Gyula Tóth  Hungary 2:34:49
25 Hüseyin Aktaş  Turkey 2:35:09
26 Pablo Garrido  Mexico 2:35:47
27 Aad Steylen  Netherlands 2:37:42
28 Anatoly Sukharkov  Soviet Union 2:38:07
29 Lee Myeong-jeong  South Korea 2:38:52
30 Ivaylo Sharankov  Bulgaria 2:39:49
31 Gioacchino De Palma  Italy 2:39:58
32 Josef Gwerder  Switzerland 2:40:16
33 Hubert Riesner  West Germany 2:41:29
34 Georg Olsen  Denmark 2:42:24
35 Douglas Zinkala  Zambia 2:42:51
36. Ezequiel Baeza  Chile 2:43:15
37 Dave McKenzie  New Zealand 2:43:36
38 Kim Bong-nae  South Korea 2:43:56
39 Carlos Cuque  Guatemala 2:45:20
40 Godwin Kalimbwe  Zambia 2:45:26
41 Mick Molloy  Ireland 2:48:13
42 Nikola Simeonov  Bulgaria 2:48:30
43 John Farrington  Australia 2:50:16
44 Helmut Kunisch  Switzerland 2:50:58
45 Alifu Massaquoi  Sierra Leone 2:52:28
46 Lee Sang-Hoon  South Korea 2:52:46
47 Hla Thein  Burma 2:54:03
48 Paul Mose  Kenya 2:55:17
49 Benjamin Silva-Netto  Philippines 2:56:19
50 Harry Prowell  Guyana 2:57:01
51 Wimalasena Perera  Ceylon 2:59:05
52 Fulgencio Hernández  Guatemala 3:00:40
53 Gustavo Gutiérrez  Ecuador 3:03:07
54 Martin Ande  Nigeria 3:03:47
55 Mustafa Musa  Uganda 3:04:53
56 Enoch Muemba  Zambia 3:06:16
57 John Stephen Akhwari  Tanzania 3:25:17
Carlos Pérez  Spain DNF
Rafael Pérez  Costa Rica DNF
Abebe Bikila  Ethiopia DNF
Jerome Drayton  Canada DNF
Pentti Rummakko  Finland DNF
Guy Texereau  France DNF
René Combes  France DNF
Jim Alder  Great Britain DNF
Lajos Mecser  Hungary DNF
József Sütő  Hungary DNF
Seiichiro Sasaki  Japan DNF
Mraljeb Ayed Mansoor  Kuwait DNF
Saoud Obaid Daifallah  Kuwait DNF
José García  Mexico DNF
Edgar Friedli  Switzerland DNF
Mukhamed Shakirov  Soviet Union DNF
Armando González  Uruguay DNF
Nedo Farčić  Yugoslavia DNF
Hernán Barreneche  Colombia DNS
Ton Eykenboom  Netherlands DNS
Mohammed Gammoudi  Tunisia DNS
Jürgen Haase  East Germany DNS
Jouko Kuha  Finland DNS
Ettore Milone  Italy DNS
Edward Stawiarz  Poland DNS
Yury Volkov  Soviet Union DNS


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Games: Men's Marathon". Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Marathon, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 28 August 2020.

External links