1976 World Championships in Athletics

The 1976 World Championships in Athletics was the first global, international athletics competition organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Hosted on 18 September 1976 in Malmö, Sweden, it featured just one event: a men's 50 kilometres race walk contest.[1] The course passed through the streets of the city and the start and finish points were within Malmö Stadion.

1976 World Championships in Athletics
North Stand, Malmö Stadion.jpg
The race started and finished in Malmö Stadion
Host cityMalmö, Sweden
Nations participating20
Athletes participating42
Events1 – men's 50 km walk
Dates18 September 1976
Officially opened byKing Carl XVI Gustaf
Main venueMalmö Stadion


Soviet athlete Veniamin Soldatenko (runner-up at the 1972 Olympics) was the gold medallist. This made him the first ever IAAF world champion and at 37 years and 258 days he remains the oldest male athlete to win that accolade. Mexico's Enrique Vera came second and Finnish walker Reima Salonen was third. A total of 42 walkers representing 20 countries entered the championships race and 37 finished, with four failed to finish and one being disqualified.[2]

The International Olympic Committee decided to drop the men's 50 km walk from the Olympic athletics programme for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, despite its constant presence at the games since 1932. The IAAF chose to host its own world championship event instead, a month and a half after the Olympics.[3][4]

It was the first World Championships that the IAAF had hosted separate from the Olympic Games (traditionally the main championship for the sport). This marked the beginning of a move away from this arrangement as a 1976 IAAF Council meeting decided that the organisation would host its own, full-programme, championships on a quadrennial basis. The two-race 1980 World Championships in Athletics filled in for the lack of a women's 400 metres hurdles and 3000 metres run at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The competition came of age at the 41-event 1983 World Championships in Athletics, which is considered the first edition proper.[5][6]


Standing records prior to the 1976 World Athletics Championships
World record   Bernd Kannenberg (GDR) 3:52:45 27 May 1972 Bremen, West Germany
Championship record New event


Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Veniamin Soldatenko   Soviet Union 3:54:40 CR
2 Enrique Vera   Mexico 3:58:14
3 Reima Salonen   Finland 3:58:53
4 Domingo Colín   Mexico 4:00:34
5 Matthias Kröl   East Germany 4:00:58
6 Yevgeniy Lyungin   Soviet Union 4:04:36
7 Paolo Grecucci   Italy 4:04:59
8 Ralf Knütter   East Germany 4:05:41
9 Gerhard Weidner   West Germany 4:06:20
10 Yevgeniy Yevsyukov   Soviet Union 4:07:14
11 Bogusław Kmiecik   Poland 4:09:30
12 Steffan Müller   East Germany 4:10:17
13 Bob Dobson   Great Britain 4:10:20
14 Agustí Jorba Argentí [es]   Spain 4:11:04
15 Lennart Lundgren   Sweden 4:11:43
16 Heinrich Schubert   West Germany 4:11:55
17 Franco Vecchio   Italy 4:12:14
18 Bohdan Bułakowski   Poland 4:13:20
19 Hans Binder   West Germany 4:13:49
20 Seppo Immonen   Finland 4:15:28
21 Larry Young   United States 4:16:47
22 Willy Sawall   Australia 4:18:27
23 Timothy Ericsson   Australia 4:20:23
24 Ferenc Danovsky   Hungary 4:22:36
25 Stefan Ingvarsson   Sweden 4:26:45
26 Lucien Faber   Luxembourg 4:26:48
27 August Hirt   United States 4:28:35
28 Pat Farrelly   Canada 4:29:54
29 Robin Whyte   Australia 4:30:08
30 Shaul Ladany   Israel 4:33:02
31 Claude Saurriat   France 4:34:57
32 Roy Thorpe   Great Britain 4:35:57
33 Glen Sweazey   Canada 4:36:00
34 Max Grob    Switzerland 4:38:08
35 Nico Schroten   Netherlands 4:42:53
36 Helmut Bueck   Canada 4:50:52
37 Henry Klein   United States Virgin Islands 5:09:04
Gérard Lelièvre   France DNF
Carl Lawton   Great Britain DNF
Fred Godwin   United States DNF
Vittorio Visini   Italy DNF
Bengt Simonsen   Sweden DQ



  1. ^ Archive of Past Events. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  2. ^ IAAF Statistics Book Moscow 2013 (pg. 20). IAAF/AFTS (2013). Edited by Mark Butler. Retrieved on 2013-09-09.
  3. ^ Matthews, Peter (2012). Historical Dictionary of Track and Field (pg. 217). Scarecrow Press (eBook). Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  4. ^ IAAF Statistics Book Moscow 2013 (pg. 179). IAAF/AFTS (2013). Edited by Mark Butler. Retrieved on 2013-09-09.
  5. ^ IAAF World Championships in Athletics. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  6. ^ "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009" (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. p. 153. Archived from the original (pdf) on 23 November 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2009.

External linksEdit