Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Women's 1500 metres

These are the official results of the Women's 1500 metres event at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The competition was held on 4 of September & 9 of September. This was the first time this distance was held for women at the Olympics.[1]

Women's 1500 metres
at the Games of the XX Olympiad
VenueOlympic Stadium, Munich, West Germany
Date4 September 1972 & 9 September 1972
Competitors36 from 21 nations
Winning time4:01.36 WR
1st place, gold medalist(s) Ludmila Bragina
 Soviet Union
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Gunhild Hoffmeister
 East Germany
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Paola Pigni
1976 →

Ludmila Bragina had just set the world record a month and a half earlier, knocking two and a half seconds off of Karin Burneleit's previous record. Burneleit was in the field, as were previous record holders Jaroslava Jehličková and Paola Pigni. In the first heat, Bragina improved upon her world record by .4. A step behind her, seventeen year old Glenda Reiser set the world junior record, also running faster than the world record at the start of that race. Reiser's time would also qualify as the World Youth Best.

In the first semi final, Reiser was not so lucky, not only did she not run as fast, but she didn't qualify for the final. In the second semi final, Bragina again improved the world record by almost a second and a half, while Jehličková was eliminated.

In the final, Berny Boxem was the early leader, while Bragina languished in dead last place. After the first 600 metres, Bragina decided to change that, moving to the outside and running past the field at a quicker tempo. Only long striding Berny Boxem was able to go with her as Bragina opened up a 10-metre lead on the field. After another 300 metres, Boxem began to fade and was quickly swallowed up by the front of the pack led by Sheila Carey. At the bell Ellen Tittel dropped out, collapsing onto the high jump apron while Bragina continued to expand her lead. Gunhild Hoffmeister moved past Carey into second place but they all were losing ground to Bragina. Several places back, Pigni launched into her kick, passing Burneleit, Keizer, Carey and almost catching Hoffmeister. But Hoffmeister noticed and defended her position, battling to stay ahead. Twice on the home stretch, with her arms flailing, Pigni looked to draw even with Hoffmeister, but each time Hoffmeister edged ahead to take the silver medal. Not only did Bragina set a third consecutive world record, but the next four competitors behind her beat her world record from two days earlier. Even sixth place Keizer was only .06 behind the previous record, at a time when records were only accurate to .1 of a second.


The top four runners in each heat (blue) and the next two fastest (pink), advanced to the semifinal round.

Heat oneEdit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Ludmila Bragina   Soviet Union 4:06.47 WR
2 Glenda Reiser   Canada 4:06.71 WJR
3 Ilja Keizer   Netherlands 4:08.00
4 Jenny Orr   Australia 4:08.06
5 Jaroslava Jehličková   Czechoslovakia 4:08.39
6 Christa Merten   West Germany 4:12.60
7 Joan Allison   Great Britain 4:14.89
8 Marijke Moser   Switzerland 4:24.94
9 Lee Chiu-Hsia   Republic of China 4:37.15

Heat twoEdit

Rank Athlete Nation Time
1 Paola Pigni   Italy 4:09.53
2 Vasilena Amzina   Bulgaria 4:12.85
3 Berny Boxem   Netherlands 4:13.83
4 Francie Kraker   United States 4:14.73
5 Thelma Wright   Canada 4:15.43
6 Grete Andersen   Norway 4:16.00
7 Sára Szenteleki-Ligetkuti   Hungary 4:16.08
8 Gerda Ranz   West Germany 4:18.60
9 Vera Nikolić   Yugoslavia 4:23.36
- Arda Kalpakian   Lebanon DNS

Heat threeEdit

Rank Athlete Nation Time
1 Tamara Pangelova   Soviet Union 4:10.75
2 Karin Burneleit   East Germany 4:10.83
3 Francie Larrieu   United States 4:11.18
4 Joyce Smith   Great Britain 4:11.27
5 Inger Knutsson   Sweden 4:11.32
6 Mary Tracey   Ireland 4:16.43
7 Sinikka Tyynelä   Finland 4:21.40
8 Emesia Chizunga   Malawi 4:41.47
- Magdolna Kulcsár   Hungary DNF

Heat fourEdit

Rank Athlete Nation Time
1 Ellen Tittel   West Germany 4:12.12
2 Gunhild Hoffmeister   East Germany 4:12.80
3 Sheila Carey   Great Britain 4:13.01
4 Wenche Sørum   Norway 4:14.10
5 Tonka Petrova   Bulgaria 4:14.95
6 Anne-Marie Nenzell   Sweden 4:16.67
7 Margrit Hess   Switzerland 4:19.67
8 Tamara Kazachkova   Soviet Union 4:20.15
9 Chereno Maiyo   Kenya 4:20.9
- Doris Brown   United States DNS


The top four runners in each heat (blue) and the next two fastest (pink), advanced to the final round.

Heat oneEdit

Rank Athlete Nation Time
1 Tamara Pangelova   Soviet Union 4:07.66
2 Paola Pigni   Italy 4:07.83
3 Gunhild Hoffmeister   East Germany 4:07.94
4 Ilja Keizer   Netherlands 4:08.25
5 Vasilena Amzina   Bulgaria 4:09.12
6 Joyce Smith   Great Britain 4:09.37
7 Glenda Reiser   Canada 4:09.51
8 Francie Kraker   United States 4:12.76
9 Inger Knutsson   Sweden 4:14.97

Heat twoEdit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Ludmila Bragina   Soviet Union 4:05.07 WR
2 Karin Burneleit   East Germany 4:05.78
3 Ellen Tittel   West Germany 4:06.65
4 Sheila Carey   Great Britain 4:07.41
5 Berny Boxem   Netherlands 4:08.81
6 Jenny Orr   Australia 4:08.86
7 Wenche Sørum   Norway 4:09.70
8 Francie Larrieu   United States 4:15.26
9 Jaroslava Jehličková   Czechoslovakia 4:18.16


Nine participants of the 1500 final. Bragina is leading and is not seen in the image. She is followed by Keizer, Carey and Hoffmeister.
Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
  Ludmila Bragina   Soviet Union 4:01.38 WR
  Gunhild Hoffmeister   East Germany 4:02.83
  Paola Pigni   Italy 4:02.85
4 Karin Burneleit   East Germany 4:04.11
5 Sheila Carey   Great Britain 4:04.81
6 Ilja Keizer   Netherlands 4:05.13
7 Tamara Pangelova   Soviet Union 4:06.45
8 Jenny Orr   Australia 4:12.15
9 Berny Boxem   Netherlands 4:13.10
- Ellen Tittel   West Germany DNF

Key: WR = world record; OR = Olympic record; DNS = did not start; DNF = did not finish


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1972 Munich Games: Women's 1500 metres". Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2017.

External linksEdit