Runner Manfred Letzerich is reminiscent of the Olympics



Ahen Manfred Letzerich entered the tartan track of the Munich Olympic Stadium on August 26, 1972 with the group of West German delegations, he had no idea of ​​the dramatic events that he had to witness ten days later. The obstacle runner from Wiesbaden – who had just become a father for the second time – was one of the veterans of his sport at the time. It is his third and last Olympic Games.

Nevertheless, he experienced the opening ceremony as “very emotional”. He is impressed by the colorful suits of the athletes, the medley of the big band around jazz musician Kurt Edelhagen, the newly completed stadium with its futuristic tent roof and the Bavarian Schuhplattler: "There was cheerfulness and joie de vivre."

The hip hurts

On his parade discipline 3000 meters obstacle, for which he holds the all-German record, Letzerich has to Munich give up due to a foot injury. Over 10,000 meters it is only enough for a disappointing penultimate place in the heat, the hip causes problems. After Tokyo in 1964 and Mexico City in 1968, the seven-time German champion again missed out on medals, but said: "Qualifying for the Olympics a third time at the age of thirty was something."

As a spectator, he witnesses how the German track and field athletes clear up after his elimination: With three medals, Heide Rosendahl became the face of the selection, in the Bahnradvier the West German riders prevail against the GDR quartet. At the end there is a remarkable fourth place in the track and field medal table.



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