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5000 meter event for men at Olympics

5000 meter Event for Men at Olympics: The 5000 meter event is popularly known as the "5 kilometer" or "five-K" event. The 5000 meter is very popular event among the athletes at the entry-level. In the cross country or the road racing

competitions, the 5000 meter event is held outside the running track. However, in the Olympic competition, the event is held on the track. When run off the track, the event is called the 5 kilometer event. This is done to differentiate the off-track competition from the on-track competition. The 5000 meter event demands extreme endurance on the part of the athletes. Apart from that the event is a combination of speed and excellent conditioning. The athletes have to follow certain strategies to win the race.

5000 meter Event for Men in Summer Olympics: The 5000 meter event was included in the Olympic program in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games. After the 1912 Games, the 5000 meter event has been contested regularly in the Olympic track and field athletics competitions. The countries leading in the event are Finland and African countries.

Rules for 5000 meter Event for Men at Olympics: There are some rules set by the International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF for the track and field athletic events. The rules are also applicable for the 5000 meter running event in all the major international competitions. Some of the rules are-

  • The length of the running track used for the track events during the international competitions has been fixed by the IAAF. The organization also decides the width of the lanes on the running track.
  • The IAAF has fixed the radius of the outside lane of the running track. The radius of the outer lane cannot be more than 50 meter in length.
  • Preliminary heats are held among the participants, when the number of athletes in the event is more than twelve. The runners qualifying in the heats are allowed to compete in the next round. All the participants have to compete in the heats.
  • No participant is permitted running inside the inner curve of the track, or to step on the inner line of the track during the race.
  • An athlete is warned after the commencement of the first false start. After the second false start, he is disqualified from the competition.
  • Any athlete obstructing his competitors' way during the race will be subject to punishment.
  • An athlete is not allowed to compete in the event once he steps out of the track during the race.
  • The athlete who fails to make it to the finishing line is not given any for credit for his performance in the event.
  • The IAAF has approved an automatic timing device for measuring the time during the races. No other device can be used for measuring the time.

Medal Winners in the 5000 meter Event for Men at Olympics: Athletes from Finland have won the most 5000 meter titles from the time of its advent. However since the late1960s, the event has been dominated by the African runners. Hannes Kolehmainen, Joseph Guillemot, Paavo Nurmi, Ville Ritola, Lauri Lehtinen, Gunnar Hockert, Gaston Reiff, Emil Zatopek, Vladimir Kuts, Murray Halberg, Bob Schul, Mohammed Gammoudi, Lasse Viren, Said Aouita, Miruts Yifter, John Ngugi, Dieter Baumann, Venuste Niyongabo, Millon Wolde and Hicham El Guerrouj are the leading figures in the 5000 meter running event.

Trivia: The Finnish athlete Lasse Viren was the only Olympian to defend his Olympic title in the 5000 meter event in the 1972 and 1976 Summer Games.

Martti Vainio of Finland was the original silver medalist in the 5000 meter event at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games. However, he tested positive in the drugs test and was disqualified from the Game.

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