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Athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics – Men's 5000 metres

The men's 5000 metres was a track and field athletics event held as part of the Athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics programme. It was the debut of the event, which along with the 10000 metre event replaced the 5 mile race held at the 1908 Summer Olympics. The competition was held on Tuesday, July 9, 1912 and on Wednesday, July 10, 1912. Thirty-one long distance runners from eleven nations competed.[1]

Men's 5000 metres
at the Games of the V Olympiad
1912 Athletics men's 5000 metre final3.JPG
The finish: Kolehmainen on the way to pass Bouin who is still in the lead.
VenueStockholm Olympic Stadium
DatesJuly 9 (semifinals)
July 10 (final)
Competitors31 from 11 nations
1st, gold medalist(s) Hannes Kolehmainen  Finland
2nd, silver medalist(s) Jean Bouin  France
3rd, bronze medalist(s) George Hutson  Great Britain
1920 →


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1912 Summer Olympics.

World Record 14:59.0(*)   Alfred Shrubb Glasgow (GBR) June 13, 1904
Olympic Record - none - -

(*) unofficial

George Bonhag, in winning the first semifinal, set the Olympic record at 15:22.6. It lasted until the 5th and last semifinal, in which Jean Bouin broke it by finishing in 15:05.0. Unsurprisingly, that record stood only until the next race—Hannes Kolehmainen won the final at 14:36.6 as both he and Bouin (just behind Kolehmainen, at 14:36.7) surpassed the best time of the semifinals. This record became the first official world record for the 5000 metres.



All semi-finals were held on Tuesday, July 9, 1912.

Semifinal 1

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1   George Bonhag (USA) 15:22.6 OR QF
2   Alex Decoteau (CAN) 15:24.2 QF
3   Frederick Hibbins (GBR) 15:27.6 QF
4   George Hill (ANZ) 15:56.8
  Klas Lundström (SWE) Did not finish

Semifinal 2

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1   Louis Scott (USA) 15:23.5 QF
2   Joe Keeper (CAN) 15:28.9 QF
3   George Hutson (GBR) 15:29.0 QF
4   Bror Modigh (SWE) 16:07.1
  Eddie Fitzgerald (USA) Did not finish
  Martin Persson (SWE) Did not finish
  Charles Ruffell (GBR) Did not finish

Semifinal 3

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1   Mauritz Carlsson (SWE) 15:34.6 QF
2   Ernest Glover (GBR) 16:09.1 QF
3   Cyril Porter (GBR) 16:23.4 QF
4   Mikhail Nikolsky (RUS) 17:21.7
  Aarne Lindholm (FIN) Did not finish
  Garnett Wikoff (USA) Did not finish

Semifinal 4

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1   Hannes Kolehmainen (FIN) 15:38.9 QF
2   Henrik Nordström (SWE) 15:49.1 QF
3   Tell Berna (USA) 15:53.3 QF
4   George Lee (GBR)
  Gregor Vietz (GER) Did not finish

Semifinal 5

The start of the final.
The upcoming winner Hannes Kolehmainen in the lead with Jean Bouin behind.
Place Athlete Time Qual.
1   Jean Bouin (FRA) 15:05.0 OR QF
2   Thorild Olsson (SWE) 15:25.2 QF
3   Viljam Johansson (FIN) 15:31.4 QF
  Gaston Heuet (FRA) Did not finish
  Wallace McCurdy (USA) Did not finish
  Alfonso Orlando (ITA) Did not finish
  Alfonso Sánchez (CHI) Did not finish
  Arnold Treble (GBR) Did not finish


The final was held on Wednesday, July 10, 1912.

Place Athlete Time
1   Hannes Kolehmainen (FIN) 14:36.6 WR
2   Jean Bouin (FRA) 14:36.7
3   George Hutson (GBR) 15:07.6
4   George Bonhag (USA) 15:09.8
5   Tell Berna (USA) 15:10.0
6   Alex Decoteau (CAN)
7   Mauritz Carlsson (SWE) 15:18.6
8-11   Frederick Hibbins (GBR)
  Joe Keeper (CAN)
  Cyril Porter (GBR)
  Louis Scott (USA)
  Ernest Glover (GBR) Did not start
  Viljam Johansson (FIN) Did not start
  Henrik Nordström (SWE) Did not start
  Thorild Olsson (SWE) Did not start


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1912 Stockholm Games: Men's 5000 metres". Retrieved 4 November 2017.


  • Bergvall, Erik (ed.) (1913). Adams-Ray, Edward (trans.). (ed.). The Official Report of the Olympic Games of Stockholm 1912. Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Retrieved 27 August 2006.