Thomas Wessinghage (born 22 February 1952 in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia) is a German former middle- and long-distance runner who won the 1982 European Championships' final over 5000 metres beating the British world-record holder David Moorcroft. Because he was already thirty at the time, and had been an international-level runner for a decade, this victory was a long-awaited one for him. He admitted that he decided to run the 5,000 metres instead of the 1,500 metres, because he lost to Ovett and Coe so often in the shorter distance. The fairly slow pace of the 1982 European Athletics Championships 5,000-metre final favoured Wessinghage, because he was in top form - having set a European record at 2,000 metres shortly before the Championships - and because he was the fastest 1,500-metre runner in the final, having run that distance in 3 minutes 31.6 seconds in 1980. Shortly after he started his final sprint with over 250 metres to go, Wessinghage moved into a decisive lead, stretching it into five metres by 4,800 metres and almost doubling it by 4,900 metres (see, for example, "The Thousand Stars of Athletics" / Yleisurheilun tuhat tähteä, written by Matti Hannus and published in Finland in 1983; Pat Butcher, The Perfect Distance: Ovett&Coe: The Record-Breaking Rivalry, London: Weidenfeld&Nicolson, 2004; "The Major Events of Top Sports Until 1982" / Huippu-urheilun suuret tapahtumat vuoteen 1982 asti, published in Finland in 1982; "The Great European Championships Book" / Suuri EM-kirja, published in Finland in 1990; see tommytempo1's video about the race's last two laps on YouTube with the search words "Thomas Wessinghage").
Hagen is the 41st-largest city in Germany. The municipality is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is located on the south eastern edge of the Ruhr area, 15 km south of Dortmund, where the rivers Lenne and Volme meet the river Ruhr. As of 31 December 2010, the population was 188,529. The city is home to the FernUniversität Hagen, which is the only state funded distance education university in Germany. Counting more than 67,000 students, it is the largest university in Germany.
North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of Germany.
The 5000 metres or 5000-meter run is a common long-distance running event in track and field. It is one of the track events in the Olympic Games and the World Championships in Athletics, run over 12.5 laps of a standard track. The same distance in road running is called a 5K run. The 5000 m has been present on the Olympic programme since 1912 for men and since 1996 for women. Prior to 1996, women had competed in an Olympic 3000 metres race since 1984. The 5000 m has been held at each of the World Championships in Athletics in men's competition and since 1995 in women's.
In 1980 he set a German record of 3:31.58 min over 1500 metres which still has not been broken. In the same race Steve Ovett from the UK set a world record of 3:31.36 min. He was married to former Olympian Ellen Tittel. Wessinghage missed a great chance of winning an Olympic medal that year because West Germany joined the United States-led boycott. He was unlucky also in the other Olympic years of his competitive career: he was eliminated in the 1,500-metre heats in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, and he got injured in a race before the 1984 Olympics (see Hannus, "The Thousand Stars of Athletics"; "The Big Olympic Book" / Suuri Olympiakirja, written and published by the "Runner" / Juoksija magazine's journalists and published in Finland in 1984).
The 1500 metres or 1,500-metre run is the foremost middle distance track event in athletics. The distance has been contested at the Summer Olympics since 1896 and the World Championships in Athletics since 1983. It is equivalent to 1.5 kilometers or approximately 15⁄16 miles.
Stephen Michael James "Steve" Ovett OBE, is a former track athlete from England. A middle-distance runner, he was the gold medalist in the 800 metres at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and set several world records for 1500 metres and the mile run.
Ellen Tittel is a retired West German middle-distance runner who specialized in the 1500 m event. She won the European indoor title in 1973, placing third in 1975, and had another third-place finish at the 1971 European Outdoor Championships. She reached the 1500 m finals at the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics, but abandoned the 1972 race due to stomach cramps. In 1971 she helped to set a new world record in the 4 × 800 m relay.
In the 1983 inaugural World Athletics Championships, he was among the favourites to win the 5,000-metre title, but for some reason he could not accelerate enough when it mattered the most - during the final lap - despite running at a steady rhythm earlier in the race. Accordingly, he dropped from third to sixth during the last lap, and lost to the winner, Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan, by almost four seconds (see, for example, "World Athletics Championships 1983" / Yleisurheilun MM-kisat 1983, written by the "Runner" / Juoksija magazine's journalists and published in Finland in 1983).
His last major competitive race was in the 5,000-metre qualifying heats of the 1986 European Athletics Championships in Stuttgart, West Germany. In that race, he failed to advance to the final (see, for example, "The Great European Championships Book" / Suuri EM-kirja, published in Finland in 1990).
|1972||European Indoor Championships||Grenoble, France||1st||4 × 720 m relay||6:26.4|
|Olympic Games||Munich, West Germany||21st (sf)||1,500 m||3:43.4|
|1973||European Indoor Championships||Rotterdam, Netherlands||1st||4 × 720 m relay||6:21.58|
|1974||European Indoor Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||2nd||1,500 m||3:42.02|
|European Championships||Rome, Italy||3rd||1,500 m||3:41.1|
|1975||European Indoor Championships||Katowice, Poland||1st||1,500 m||3:44.6|
|Universiade||Rome, Italy||1st||1,500 m||3:39.73|
|1976||European Indoor Championships||Munich, West Germany||2nd||1,500 m||3:45.3|
|1977||World Cup||Düsseldorf, West Germany||2nd||1,500 m||3:35.98|
|1978||European Indoor Championships||Milan, Italy||2nd||1,500 m||3:38.23|
|European Championships||Prague, Czechoslovakia||4th||1,500 m||3:37.19|
|1979||European Indoor Championships||Vienna, Austria||2nd||1,500 m||3:42.2|
|World Cup||Montreal, Canada||1st||1,500 m||3:46.00 1|
|1980||European Indoor Championships||Sindelfingen, West Germany||1st||1,500 m||3:37.54|
|1981||European Indoor Championships||Grenoble, France||1st||1,500 m||3:42.64|
|1982||European Indoor Championships||Milan, Italy||4th||1,500 m||3:39.79|
|European Championships||Athens, Greece||1st||5,000 m||13:28.90|
|1983||European Indoor Championships||Budapest, Hungary||1st||1,500 m||3:39.82|
|World Championships||Helsinki, Finland||6th||5,000 m||13:32.46|
|1984||European Indoor Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||3rd||1,500 m||3:41.75|
|1985||European Indoor Championships||Piraeus, Greece||2nd||3,000 m||8:10.88|
|1986||European Indoor Championships||Madrid, Spain||5th||3,000 m||8:00.76|
|European Championships||Stuttgart, West Germany||17th (h)||5,000 m||13:33.98|
Eamonn Christopher Coghlan is a former track and field athlete who specialised in middle distance track events and the 5,000 metres. He is a 3-time Olympian and former world champion in the 5,000 m. He served as Senator from 2011 to 2016.
Stephen "Steve" Cram is a British retired track and field athlete. Along with fellow Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, he was one of the world's dominant middle distance runners during the 1980s. Nicknamed "The Jarrow Arrow", after his hometown, Cram set world records in the 1500 m, 2000 m and the mile during a 19-day period in the summer of 1985. He was the first man to run 1500 m under 3 minutes and 30 seconds. He won the 1500 m gold medal at the 1983 World Championships and the 1500 m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.
Lasse Artturi Virén is a Finnish former long-distance runner, winner of four gold medals at the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. Virén recaptured the image of the "Flying Finns" promoted by runners like Hannes Kolehmainen, Paavo Nurmi and Ville Ritola in the 1920s. He was elected Finnish Sportsman of the Year in 1972 and 1976 and later became a politician and a member of Finland's parliament in 1999–2007 and 2010–2011.
Carlos Alberto de Sousa Lopes, GCIH is a Portuguese former long-distance runner, winner of the marathon race at the 1984 Summer Olympics, in Los Angeles with the age of 37. He brought home Portugal's first ever Olympic gold medal along with a new Olympic record – 2:09.21. At the age of 38, in the 1985 Rotterdam marathon, Lopes took 53 seconds off the world's best marathon time, setting a new standard of 2:07.12, and becoming the first man to run 42.195 km in less than 2 h 8 min.
Alberto Cova is a retired Italian long-distance track athlete, winner of the 10,000 m at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Brendan Foster is a British former long-distance runner who founded the Great North Run. He won the bronze medal in the 10,000 metres at the 1976 Summer Olympics, and the gold medal in the 5,000 metres at the 1974 European Championships and the 10,000 metres at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.
John Treacy is an Irish Olympian and former athlete.
David Robert Moorcroft OBE is a former middle-distance and long-distance runner from England, and former world record holder for 5,000 metres. His athletic career spanned the late-1970s and 1980s. He subsequently served as the Chief Executive of UK Athletics from 1997 to 2007. He received an MBE in 1983 and an OBE in 1998 for services to British sport.
Olaf Beyer is a retired East German 800 metres runner.
Markus Ryffel is a former long-distance runner from Switzerland who won the silver medal in the 5000 metres at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Douglas ("Doug") Padilla is a former middle and long distance runner from the United States, who won the overall Grand Prix 1985 and the World Cup 5000m race in 1985. He finished fifth in the 5000m final at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, and seventh in the 5000m final at the 1984 Summer Olympics. In the 1983 World Championships 5,000-metre final, Padilla was among the favourites, but he succumbed to the radically accelerating pace of top runners, such as Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan, East Germany's Werner Schildhauer and Finland's Martti Vainio, during the last lap. He lost to the winner, Coghlan, by 3.55 seconds, but managed to defeat another unlucky favourite, West Germany's Thomas Wessinghage, by 0.38 seconds. By contrast, the fast 1984 Olympic 5,000-metre final was tough for Padilla already after 3,000 metres, and he painstakingly defeated New Zealand's John Walker who finished eighth. He was ranked number 1 in the world in 1983 for the 3000-meter distance.
Harald Norpoth is a West German former middle and long distance runner. He won the silver medal over 5000 m at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo as a member of the United Team of Germany. He had already competed in the 1962 European Athletics Championships, where he had fallen and dropped out of the 1500 m final. His high quality as both a 1500 m and a 5000 m runner was proved in the 1966 European Athletics Championships, where he won the bronze medal at 1500 m and the silver medal at 5000 m.
Hans-Peter Ferner is a (West) German former middle distance runner who won the gold medal over 800 m at the 1982 European Championships in Athletics in Athens where he unexpectedly defeated world-record holder Sebastian Coe. Those were Ferner's second and last European Athletics Championships, because he had competed already in the 1978 European Championships in Prague, where he had been eliminated in the 800-metre heats or semifinals. Coe had suffered from injuries and a glandular sickness which made him underachieve in Athens.
Werner Schildhauer is a retired German track and field athlete, who represented the former East Germany at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow in the 10,000 meter run and placed 7th behind his team mate Jörg Peter.
Hansjörg Kunze is a German track and field athlete. He represented East Germany as a long distance runner.
Martti Sakari Vainio is a Finnish former long-distance runner. In Finland he is recognized as the last of the great runners of the famous "V-line", the previous ones being Juha Väätäinen, Lasse Virén, and Pekka Vasala. Each of them won at least one gold medal either at the Summer Olympics or the European Athletics Championships in the 1970s.
Fernando Eugénio Pacheco Mamede, ComM is a former Portuguese athlete, a long distance running specialist. He was born in Beja. Together with Carlos Lopes, he is one of the best Portuguese male long distance runners ever, and held the 10,000 metres world record (1984-1989) with a time of 27:13.81 until bettered by Arturo Barrios of Mexico. He also competed at three Olympic Games. However, he never won any high-level competition as he dealt very badly with pressure.
Christoph Herle is a retired West German long-distance runner who specialized in the 10000 metres and cross-country running. His first major international track race occurred in the 1978 European Athletics Championships in Prague, former Czechoslovakia, where he placed fourteenth in the 5,000-metre final. He ran slightly better in the 1982 European Athletics Championships 5,000-metre final in Athens, Greece, placing thirteenth. Herle ran best in 1983 and 1984, placing eighth at the 1983 World Athletics Championships 10,000-metre final in Helsinki, Finland, and fifth at the 1984 Summer Olympics 10,000-metre final in Los Angeles, the United States. He never managed to rise to the very top of international long-distance runners, however. His final major international championships race was the 1986 European Athletics Championships 10,000-metre race in Stuttgart, then West Germany, where he placed a disappointed fifteenth.
Pekka Johannes Päivärinta is a Finnish former long-distance runner. He won men's senior race in the first World Championships of cross-country running in 1973. He competed in 1972 Olympics at 3000-meter steeplechase finishing 8th. In 1976 Olympics he competed in 5000 meters and finished 13th. In 1975 he broke world record in 25000 meters running by his result 1:14:16,8. The record was broken by Bill Rodgers in 1979.