Munich 1972: Kip keeps the steeplechase as relay quartet stuns the world

Kenya returned for their fifth Olympic games in Munich, West Germany in 1972 having caught the world’s attention with a breath taking display in Mexico four years earlier.

The country was represented in four disciplines namely athletics, boxing, hockey and swimming by a total of 57 athletes who included two female athletes.

Kipchoge Keino came into the games in Munich as the defending champion over 1500m.  He was unable to defend this title, settling for silver in a time of 3 minutes 36.8 seconds as Finland’s Pekka Vasala claimed gold in 3 minutes 36.3 seconds.

He atoned for this by ensuring the 3000m steeplechase gold remained in Kenya after winning the final in an Olympic record time of 8 minutes 23.6 seconds with compatriot Ben Jicho taking silver in 8 minutes 24.6 seconds as defending champion Amos Biwott could only manage sixth place ten seconds behind Kip Keino.

The medal winners of the Men’s 4 x 400 metres relay event with, from left, silver medallists David Hemery, David Jenkins, Alan Pascoe and Martin Reynolds of the Great Britain team, gold medallists Charles Asati, Munyoro Nyamau, Robert Ouko (1948 – 2019) and Julius Sang of the Kenya team and bronze medallists Gilles Bertould, Jacques Carette, Francis Kerbiriou and Daniel Velasques of the France team pictured together on the medal podium at the 1972 Summer Olympics inside the Olympiastadion in Munich, West Germany on 10th September 1972. (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Kenya’s second gold came from the 4 x 400m relay quartet of  Charles Asati, Munyoro Nyamau, Julius Sang’ and Robert Ouko.

Philip Waruinge, fighting in his third Olympics, went a step further as he improved on the bronze medal from the 1968 games in Mexico. He lost the final by a split points decision, going down 3-2 to the USSR’s Boris Kuznetsov to claim silver in the featherweight category. His younger brother Sammy Mbugua in the lightweight category and welterweight Dick “Tiger” Murunga were defeated in the semifinals of their respective weight categories, both settling for silver and crowning an impressive display by the boxing team.

The other medals for Team Kenya came in the form of bronze medals from Julius Sang in the 400m and Mike Boit in the 800m.

Overall, Kenya claimed 2 gold medals, 3 silvers and 4 bronze at this games.

Kenya contingent to Munich 1972

ATHLETICS: Men: John Mwebi (100m), Dan Amuke (100m/200m), Julius Sang, Charles Asati, Munyoro Nyamau (400m/ 4 x 400m relay), Mike Boit (800m/1500m), Robert Ouko (800m/ 4 x 400m relay), Thomas Saisi (800m), Kipchoge Keino (1500m/300m steeplechase), Cosmas Silei (1500m), Ben Jipcho (5000m/3000m steeplechase), Paul Mose (5000m/10000m), Evans Mogaka (5000m), Richard Juma (10000m/Marathon), Naftali Temu (10000m), Bill Kosei, Mike Murei, Fatwell Kimaiyo (400m hurdles), Amos Biwott (3000m steeplechase), Patrick Onyango (Triple Jump) Women:Tekla Chemabwai (400m), Cherono Maiyo (800m/1500m)

BOXING: Felix Maina (Flyweight), John Nderu (Bantamweight), Philip Waruinge (Featherweight), Samuel Mbugua (Lightweight), Dick Murunga (Welterweight), David Attan (Light Middleweight), Peter Dula (Middleweight), Steven Thega (Light Weightweight)

HOCKEY: Amarjeet Singh Marwa, Jagmel Singh Rooprai, Avtar Singh Sohal, Harvinder Singh Marwa, Surjeet Singh Rihal, Resham Singh Baines, Jagjeet Singh Kular, Davinder Singh Deegan, Leo Fernandes, Brajinder Singh Daved, Tarlochan Singh Chana, Philip D’Souza, Surjeet Singh Panesar, Mohamed Ajmal Malik, Harvinder Pal Singh Sibia, Renny Pereira, Silvester Ashioya, Ranjit Singh Sehmi

SHOOTING: John Muhato, Peter Laurence




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