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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Germany –

Source: DOSBThe decathlon Olympic champion from Tokyo in 1964, Wilhelm-Heinrich (“Willi”) Holdorf, reached his 80th birthday on Monday, February 17th. Willi Holdorf was the first German Olympic champion in the supreme discipline of athletics and one of ten gold medalists in Tokyo, where an all-German team was at the start for the last time before reunification. When asked about the moment of his greatest success, Willi Holdorf answered some time ago in an interview for the specialist magazine “Athletics”: “In Japan, I hadn’t yet realized what an accomplishment I had achieved. Somehow I didn’t notice that. Only when I came back to Germany did I feel that I had done something special. ” Having done this (modest) “something special” now accompanies him into the new decade… Willi Holdorf was born in Blomesche Wildnis near Glücksstadt (district of Steinburg) in Schleswig-Holstein and initially played football and handball. It was only by chance that he got into athletics when he became the national sprint champion at the age of 17. Further successes in other disciplines should come quickly, so that it was obvious to put together the “package” decathlon for him. As a 20-year-old Willi Holdorf narrowly missed the Olympic qualification for the 1960 games in Rome, but became German decathlon champion and over 200m hurdles in 1961 and 1921, and then finally on October 19 and 20, 1964 in Tokyo The absolute high point of his career followed: the duel was Willi Holdorf against Rein Aun (born October 5, 1940), his worst adversary from the Soviet Union. In the final run over 1500 meters, Holdorf was allowed to lose a maximum of 18 seconds. The outcome is known and goes something like this: Willi Holdorf stumbles with a tremendous effort in the last lap on the home stretch with the very last strength and collapses completely exhausted, lies on the ashes and gasps for breath. Nothing has been decided yet, it will take a while to determine whether there is enough time (4: 34.3) for the Olympic victory – but then the world will stand still (as the title of the book will be later) … “only” twelve seconds after Aun, Willi Holdorf had that The goal has been achieved and is thus the first German gold medalist in the athletic royal discipline. Almost a quarter of a century later at the Olympic Games in Seoul (South Korea) in 1988, Christian Schenk (b. 1965), then (still) starting for the GDR, followed him. During his great career as an athlete, Willi Holdorf fought a total of 23 decathlon, the most ended with a placement on the famous podium (places 1 to 3), a total of eight decathlon as winner in Tokyo. For statistical completeness, the results of the decathlon in Tokyo in 1964 should be recalled in turn for his 80th birthday: 10.7 seconds over 100 meters, 7.00 meters in long jump, 14.95 meters in shot put, 1, 84 meters in the high jump, 48.2 seconds over 400 meters, 15.2 seconds over 110 meters hurdles, 46.05 meters in the discus, 4.20 meters in the pole vault, 57.37 meters in the javelin throw as well as the already mentioned 4.34, 3 minutes in the final run over 1500 meters. That gave exactly 7887 points, his competitor Aun brought it to 7842 points. Almost needless to say: For Willi Holdorf, it was also the best decathlon result of his career. But it should not be forgotten: Hans-Joachim Walde (1942-2013) from the USC Mainz won the bronze medal (7809 points) as another (western) German athlete in the decathlon in Tokyo he at the German Sport University Cologne. After completing his athletic career, he switched to winter sports at short notice – no less successful: With Horst Floth (1934-2005) he became Vice European Champion in two-man bobsleigh. He had already completed his first and last station as an interim coach for the Bundesliga club Fortuna Cologne from January 21, 1974 to June 30, 1974. Holdorf was also successful as a trainer at SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, where he led pole vaulter Claus Schiprowski (born 1942) and hurdler Günther Nickel (born 1946) to the top of the world. He later worked as a representative for a company in the sporting goods industry in northern Germany and finally switched to handball as a co-partner of THW Kiel Handball-Bundesliga GmbH & Co. KG, which forms the economic basis for the handball Bundesliga club THW Kiel still ”- exactly 50 years after Tokyo, the Holdorf biographer Knut Teske (born 1942), to whom we also owe books on Armin Hary (born 1937) and Martin Lauer (1937-2019), overwrites his work on Willi Holdorf ( arete: Hildesheim 2014). The biography contains a total of five chapters (from “Youth to” Afterwards “) and is dedicated to the two previous Holdorf decathlon coaches Friedel Schirmer (1926-2014) and Bert Sumser (1913-2009). Just one year after Tokyo, Karl Seeger wrote “Willi Holdorf, King of Athletes”, a first biography about the Olympic champion from Tokyo. Willi Holdorf, who was an athlete for MTV Herzhorn, ETSV Glückstadt 1860, SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen and for SG Obererlenbach started, was “Athlete of the Year” in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1964 and was inducted into the (virtual) “Hall of Fame of German Sports” in 2011: “1964 Willi Holdorf was my special Olympic champion, too a likeable model athlete in the then all-German team, whose Olympic victory I was really happy at the time. Since then I have appreciated a very personal bond with him, ”congratulates Prof. Walther Tröger, long-time IOC member and NOK honorary president. Sports Germany wishes Willi Holdorf these days and especially on his 80th birthday after a serious illness to recover as soon as possible. On his day of honor he and his wife Sabine “traveled unknown”. (Source: DOSB / Prof. Dr. Detlef Kuhlmann)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure need be perfect.

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