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Past Olympic Events in Athletics - 10 kilometres Walk (Men's)

10 kilometres Walk (Men's)

First Gold Medalist
  George Goulding (CAN)

Games: 5 games in 5 countries
First Held: 1912 Summer Games
Last Held: 1952 Summer Games

Participants: 100 from 27 countries
Top Athlete Medalist(s): 3 athletes with 2 medals
Top Country Medalist(s): 3 countries with 3 medals

Men's 10 km

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1912 Stockholm George Goulding (CAN)  Ernest Webb (GBR)  Fernando Altimani (ITA)
1920 Antwerp  Ugo Frigerio (ITA)  Joseph Pearman (USA)  Charles Gunn (GBR)
1924 Paris  Ugo Frigerio (ITA)  Gordon Goodwin (GBR)  Cecil McMaster (RSA)
1928–1936 not included in the Olympic program
1948 London  John Mikaelsson (SWE)  Ingemar Johansson (SWE)  Fritz Schwab (SUI)
1952 Helsinki  John Mikaelsson (SWE)  Fritz Schwab (SUI)  Bruno Junk (URS)

10 Kilometer Walk at Olympics



The 10 Kilometer walk at Olympics was introduced in the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London. During that time, 10 Kilometer walk was an event only for men. A number of participants from 53 countries of the world participated in the event.


In the 1948 Summer Olympics, the 10 Kilometer walk was won by John Mikaelsson of Sweden followed by another Swedish athlete Ingemar Johansson in the second position. Fritz Schwab of Switzerland finished third.

The 10 Kilometer walk at Olympics was held for the second time in the 1952 Summer Olympics, held in Helsinki. This time there were participants from 58 countries of the world. This time Mikaelsson defended his title as he bagged the gold medal. Schwab, who finished third at the 1948 Summer Games, came second while the bronze medal was won by Bruno Junk, representing the Soviet Union.

The 1952 Summer Olympics was the last to host the 10 Kilometer walk event. It was replaced by the 20 kilometer walk from the following Olympics.


10 kilometres Walk (Men's) History Year by Year (by IAAF)

Stockholm, 11 Jul 1912
(Competitors: 23; Countries: 11; Finalists: 10)


The final was held on Thursday, July 11, 1912.

Place Athlete Time
1  George Goulding (CAN) 46:28.4
2  Ernest Webb (GBR) 46:50.4
3  Fernando Altimani (ITA) 47:37.6
4  Aage Rasmussen (DEN) 48:00.0
 Vilhelm Gylche (DEN) Did not finish
 Frederick Kaiser (USA) Did not finish
 William Palmer (GBR) Did not finish
 Thomas Dumbill (GBR) Disqualified
 Arthur St. Norman (RSA) Disqualified
 William Yates (GBR) Disqualified
Curious seeding put Goulding, Webb, Rasmussen and Altimani all in the first heat, with the Canadian winning in 47:14.5, and the three others under 49 minutes. The only other man under 50 minutes was William Yates (GBR), who won the other heat in 49:43.6. As in the heat, Webb was the closest man to Goulding, but had to give way in the later stages of the race. Three of the 10 men in the final failed to finish, and the remaining three were disqualified.
Antwerp, 18 Aug 1920
(Competitors: 23; Countries: 13; Finalists: 11)


The final was held on Wednesday, August 18, 1920.

Before the race started Frigerio handed the conductor of the mid-field band several sheets of music, which he requested to be played during the race. He won so easily that he stopped once to show the band the correct tempo...[1]

Place Athlete Time
1  Ugo Frigerio (ITA) 48:06.2
2  Joseph Pearman (USA) (49:40.2)
3  Charles Gunn (GBR) (49:43.9)
4  Cecil McMaster (RSA) (50:04.0)
5  William Hehir (GBR) (50:11.8)
6  Thomas Maroney (USA) (50:24.4)
7  Jean Segers (BEL) (50:32.4)
8  Antoine Doyen (BEL) (56:30.0)
 Luis Meléndez (ESP) DNF
 George Parker (AUS) DQ
 Donato Pavesi (ITA) DQ
 William Plant (USA) DNS
Frigerio won the first heat in 47:06.4, a startling time, until it was determined that the athletes had covered 24 laps instead of 25. The time would have been about 49:10 for the full course, still very good compared to the 51:33.8 for Hehir in winning the other heat. In the final Pearman led for the first half of the race, but Frigerio then took over, and went away to win by more than half a lap.
Paris, 13 Jul 1924
(Competitors: 22; Countries: 13; Finalists: 10)


The final was held on Sunday, July 13, 1924.

Place Athlete Time
1  Ugo Frigerio (ITA) 47:49.0
2  Gordon Goodwin (GBR) 48:37.9
3  Cecil McMaster (RSA) 49:08.0
4  Donato Pavesi (ITA) 49:17.0
5  Arthur Tell Schwab (SUI) 49:50.0
6  Ernie Clark (GBR) 49:59.2
7  Armando Valente (ITA) 50:07.0
8  Luigi Bosatra (ITA) 50:09.0
9  Harry Hinkel (USA) 50:16.8
10  Henri Clermont (FRA) 51:41.6
Goodwin (49:04.0) and Pavesi (49:09.0) were faster than Frigerio (49:16.5) in the heats, but the status quo was maintained in the final. Pavesi led at the start, but Goodwin soon took over the lead, and Frigerio made the decisive break after 400m. He passed halfway in 23:18.2, and he went on to win by almost 200m.
London, 7 Aug 1948
(Competitors: 19; Countries: 10)


Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) John Mikaelsson Sweden 45:13.2  
2nd, silver medalist(s) Ingemar Johansson Sweden 45:43.8  
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Fritz Schwab Switzerland 46:00.2  
4 Charles Morris Great Britain 46:04.0  
5 Harry Churcher Great Britain 47:28.0  
6 Émile Maggi France 47:02.8  
7 Richard West Great Britain    
8 Gianni Corsaro Italy    
9 Pino Dordoni Italy    
  Werner Hardmo Sweden   DSQ
Mikaelsson set an Olympic record of 45:03.0 in the first heat, with Morris second in 45:10.4 ahead of Maggi (45:44.2) and Dordoni (46:25.8), all of whom were faster than Churcher, winner of the second heat in 46:26.4. Both Churcher and Werner Hardmo (SWE), many time world record setter, were cautioned. The final was held after the track had been badly slowed by heavy rain, and Mikaelsson dominated proceedings, winning by just over 100m from teammate Johansson, who overtook the British pair in the second half of the race. Hardmo was disqualified, while Schwab, son of 1936 50Km silver medallist Arthur, also finished quickly to win the bronze medal.
Helsinki, 27 Jul 1952
(Competitors: 23; Countries: 12; Finalists: 12)


Rank Name Nationality Time (hand) Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) John Mikaelsson Sweden 45:02.8 OR
2nd, silver medalist(s) Fritz Schwab Switzerland 45:41.0  
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Bruno Junk Soviet Union 45:41.0  
4 Louis Chevalier France 45:50.4  
5 George Coleman Great Britain 46:06.8  
6 Ivan Yarmysh Soviet Union 46:07.0  
7 Émile Maggi France 46:08.0  
8 Bruno Fait Italy 46:25.6  
9 Gabriel Reymond Switzerland 46:38.6  
10 Don Keane Australia 47:37.0  
  Lars Hindmar Sweden   DSQ
British official Jack Crump, writing in the British Olympic report, noted that “the standard of judging and the basis on which decisions to caution or disqualify competitors were made, were neither consistent nor impartial.” Junk won the first heat in 45:05.8 from Mikaelsson (45:10.0), while Coleman won the second heat by over half a minute in 46:12.4. Coleman led for the first quarter of the final, but Mikaelsson then took over, and the Briton dropped back. Mikaelsson won by 150m from Schwab, who edged Junk by 0.02 after both men were clearly running in the last 50m. The inconsistencies of judging and competing meant that the m event would be replaced woth a 20 Kilometres road walk in 1956


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