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Most surprising Olympic winner

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  • #16
    Voula Patoulidou in 1992 in the hurdles immediately came to mind.

    For winning a silver, I think of Mike Shine behind Edwin Moses in 1976.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by noone View Post

      I'm sure you're right, Garry. It's just that in 1960 I assumed John Thomas was unbeatable, and Valeri Brumel (who if I remember correctly had jumped an European record 2.18 earlier in the summer) the only challenger.
      not to play with words, but the context I was going for is that while Thomas's loss was shocking, the fact that if somebody was going to beat him, for it to be Shav. wasn't a shock, if you get my drift.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

        Lindy Remigino was who I would choose as the biggest upset
        I tend to agree. Art Bragg should have won and Golliday was not even on the team. Other than that I have Snell in '60 and Billy Mills in 1964. More recently, Walcott in the 2012 Javelin.
        I ll say that John Winter was a surprise in the '48 HJ and I sure did not have Fosbury favoured in 1968!

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        • #19
          Forgot about Walcott; certainly belongs in the discussion.

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          • #20
            For most surprising Olympic champion since I first became aware of track and field and the Olympics (which means starting in 1960) I would nominate:
            * Abebe Bikila (marathon in 1960) - because he was previously unknown outside Ethiopia and ran a world record 2:15:16.2 in Rome
            * Robert Shavlakadze (HJ in 1960) - because John Thomas was such an overwhelming favorite going into Rome
            For most surprising Olympic champion in a thrilling finish:
            * Billy Mills (10000 in 1964) - because no one expected him to win and because watching video of the last lap of that race still gives me chills ("Look at Mills! Look at Mills")

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Halfmiler2 View Post
              Voula Patoulidou in 1992 in the hurdles immediately came to mind.
              It's hard to beat Patoulidou in the biggest surprise contest. Her pre-OG PB was 13.15, which would put her outside the top 50 on the world list for the season. I mean, the fact she made the final was a huge shock in itself. I don't think any of the others mentioned came from as far down the list of contenders as she did.
              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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              • #22
                I think Mills' race is the only one in Olympic T&F history where with 1% of the race distance remaining it seemed very unlikely that the eventual winner would win.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Trickstat View Post
                  I think Mills' race is the only one in Olympic T&F history where with 1% of the race distance remaining it seemed very unlikely that the eventual winner would win.
                  ?Wottle in 1972

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

                    ?Wottle in 1972
                    I think with 8m to go, Wottle was closing and looked like he might just catch Arzhanov.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Trickstat View Post

                      I think with 8m to go, Wottle was closing and looked like he might just catch Arzhanov.
                      In addition to the fact that Wottle was known as a big kicker.

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                      • #26
                        Overall, 2004 was a really surprising Olympics. Not sure if there was any one hugely massive shocker, but a lot of winners who were sort-of-known yet a really really long way from being the favorite. Nesterenko stands out as the most memorable.
                        I second Nesterenko in 2004.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

                          ?Wottle in 1972
                          Inasmuch as Wottle was already the co-World Record holder I have to disagree.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by KDFINE View Post

                            Inasmuch as Wottle was already the co-World Record holder I have to disagree.
                            go back and check the earlier postss and you'll see that Bam's Wottle comment wasn't regards to the thread's basic question: he answered a sub-question of people who didd't look like winners with 1% of the race left.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Trickstat View Post

                              I think with 8m to go, Wottle was closing and looked like he might just catch Arzhanov.
                              With 8m to go, he was almost even.

                              1972 olympic 800m finalCHAMPION DE MA VIE 👉 https://bit.ly/363ru3J 🚀Vous êtes inscrit à un grand défi personnel et vous cherchez à vous dépasser pour l'at...
                              Last edited by TN1965; 08-02-2020, 10:51 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Trickstat View Post

                                I think with 8m to go, Wottle was closing and looked like he might just catch Arzhanov.
                                Yeah, I screwed up and was thinking 80 metres, but you're right - 1% of 800 is 8 m from the line and he was right there with Arzhanov by then

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