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RE: Emiel Putteman and Dave Bedford Could Have Broken World 10,000m Record in 1972 Olympic Heats?
Just reading through some of the online material, it seems that Bedford loved to front run. He apparently set a fast pace early on. Here are the prelim results:

Heat 1 was won by Bedford in 27:53.28 and the WR at that time was 27:39.4 by Ron Clarke from 1965.

It is all before my time, but you might contact the guy that runs this site:
Unless I'm mistaken, he qualified by time from heat 3.

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