News Archive

News Archive

Paul Tergat: The world record holder will be starting in Athens...

The marathon medals and certificates at the real,-


Whether or not Paul Tergat, Kenya’s marathon world record holder, wins

a medal on August 29th at the Olympic marathon in Athens, there will be plenty

of medals dedicated to him on September 26, 2004 in Berlin. 35,000 medals will

be waiting at the finish, showing his portrait and reminding us of his world

record of 2:04:55 from the previous year.

Out of appreciation and respect for the great performances of the marathon runners at the Olympic Games — and for the world records that were achieved in Berlin — the SCC RUNNING organisers traditionally dedicate the medals and certificates to the great marathon champions from the Olympic history since 1896.

The medals of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON, which every runner receives at the finish, reflect the history of the marathon at the Olympic Games. From 1974 to 1977, the Greek runners of the antiquities were depicted. Since 1978, the medals have been dedicated to the Olympic marathon champions. The Olympic champions also decorate the certificates which every participant receives.

Some exceptions - Spiridon Louis, Waldemar Cierpinski - and the world record holders from BERLIN-MARATHON
The pioneers of the marathon are to thus receive a posthumous memorial, for they are the forerunners and models for today’s marathon running movement. There have been exceptions to this rule in the 30 years of the BERLIN-MARATHON, however. At the 25th BERLIN-MARATHON in 1998, the anniversary medal depicted a Greek runner from the antiquities. In 1996, in recognition of the 100-year anniversary of the Olympic Games in Athens, Spiridon Louis (GRE) was honoured on the finisher medal for a second time (after 1979). Waldemar Cierpinski was also honoured two times, in 1980 and 1997; but he did win the Olympic marathon twice, too. The organisers of the BERLIN MARATHON also had another excellent argument for the double dedication. In 1980, only 294 finishers received the Cierpinski medal, while in 1997 there were 15,502 athletes across the finish--including Waldemar Cierpinski himself! The other exceptions are our “own“ world record holders from the real,- BERLIN MARATHON. After all, 5 athletes have run new world records in Berlin.

In 1999, the medals depicted the head of Ronaldo da Costa (Brazil), one year later the effigy of Tegla Loroupe (Kenya). Both ran world records in Berlin. And in 2001, the Olympic champion from Sydney, Naoko Takahashi (Japan), also ran a world record—and simultaneously received her effigy on the medal at the finish—a pre-programmed world record.

At the 31st real,- BERLIN-MARATHON in 2004, the portrait of the champion and new world record holder, Paul Tergat (KEN) (2:04:55), will be immortalised on the medal.

Overview of the marathon medals;

1974 - 77: Greek runners of the antiquities
1978: Kitei Son (Japan/1936)
1979: Spiridon Louis (Greece/1896)
1980: Waldemar Cierpinski (GDR/1976 and 80)
1981: Frank Shorter (USA/1972)
1982: Hannes Kolehmainen (Finland/1920)
1983: Alain Mimoun (France/1956)
1984: Abebe Bikila (Ethiopia/1960 and 64)
1985: Michel Théato (France/1900)
1986: Juan Zabala (Argentinia/1932)
1987: John Hayes (USA/1908)
1988: Emil Zatopek (Czechoslovakia/1952)
1989: Mamo Wolde (Ethiopia/1968)
1990: Joan Benoit (USA/1984)
1991: Carlos Lopes (Portugal/1984)
1992: Delfo Cabrera (Argentinia/1948)
1993: Kenneth McArthur (South Africa/1912)
1994: Gelindo Bordin (Italy/1988)
1995: Rosa Mota (Portugal/1988)
1996: Spiridon Louis (Greece/1896)
1997: Waldemar Cierpinski (GDR/1976 and 80)
1998: Together we run into history – 25-year anniversary medal
1999: Ronaldo da Costa (Brazil/World record holder)
2000: Tegla Loroupe (Kenya/ World record holder)
2001: Naoko Takahashi (Japan/2000)
2002: Mohamed El Ouafi (France/1928)
2003: Thomas J. Hicks (USA/1904)
2004: Paul Tergat (Kenya/ World record holder 2003)

Several of the Olympic champions on the marathon medals have also been honorary guests of the BERLIN MARATHON. At the first marathon through the city in 1981, Kitei Son (of Japan, who really as a Korean was called Sohn Kee Chung), who was Olympic champion in Berlin in 1936, attended the event. Other Olympic champions who honoured the BERLIN MARATHON with their presence were: 1986 the son of Juan Zabala (Argentinia/1932 in Los Angeles), 1988 Emil Zatopek (Czechoslovakia/ 1952 in Helsinki), 1989 Mamo Wolde (Ethiopia/1968 in Mexico City) and 1997 Waldemar Cierpinski, (1976 in Montreal and 1980 in Moscow for East Germany). In 1980 when he was first invited he was not permitted to go to West Berlin. Waldemar Cierpinski and Naoko Takahashi are so far the only Olympic champions to participate in the BERLIN-MARATHON themselves.

At some point the organisers will run out of Olympic champions to honour as the motives for the medals…even if the winner of the Intermediate Games from 1906 in Athens is included (W. J. Shering from Canada)…
unless new world records are constantly produced at the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON!