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Gold 1956 5000m
Gold 1956 10000m
Vladimir Petrovich Kuts (Russian: §£§Ý§Ñ§Õ§Ú§Þ§Ú§â §±§Ö§ä§â§à§Ó§Ú§é §¬§å§è) (February 7, 1927-August 16, 1975) was a Soviet long distance runner. He is alternatively known as Volodymyr Kuts, the Ukrainian spelling, as Kuts was born in Aleksino, which is in present-day Ukraine.
Kuts, who was an army officer during his sportive career, was first noticed internationally in 1954. At the European Championships in Berne, he defeated the favourites - Czech star Emil Z¨¢topek and Britain's Chris Chataway - in the 5000 m, en passant setting a new world record. Kuts lost the World Record months later to Chataway (who beat him narrowly), only to take it back again 10 days later.
Having lost his World Record again in 1955, Kuts was still one of the favourites for the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. His chief opponent in the 5000 m was British runner Gordon Pirie, who had broken the world record earlier that year. However, Kuts had set a new World Record in the 10000 m shortly before the Games. In the first final, the 10000 m Kuts - as always - lead from the start, finally breaking Pirie's spirit 4 laps from the end, winning easily. The 5000 m final (5 days later) was a formality, and Kuts gained his second gold of the Games.
Kuts improved the 5000 m WR in 1957 to 13:35.0, a time which would remain unbeaten until 1965, when it was beaten by Ron Clarke. Kuts himself soon found himself unable to keep up with the top runners, and retired in 1959.
He died of a heart attack, aged only 48, in Moscow