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Mexico 1968

Onni Niskanen about the 10,000 metre final: Mamo Wolde was in good form…It was agreed that he should stay in the lead group until 20 laps were done and then he was to give it his all. Everything went according to plan and then when there were five laps to go he speeded up. The other good runners were immediately left behind. Only Naftali Temu from Kenya speeded up all he could.

These two, Mamo about 25 metres ahed, kept up the same tough pace for the remaining laps. Temu got closer and closer. When the bell rang for the last lap Mamo went up to his maximum speed, and so did Temu. One hundred metres before the goal Temu was only a few metres behind. Both gave all they had, Temu just a few steps behind Mamo.

The audience was ecstatic to see such a finale to the 10,000 metres race. Temu got closer, centimetre by centimetre and just before passing the goal he passed Mamo by a few centimetres.

Onni Niskanen about the marathon race: All three Ethiopians took it easy in the beginning, but after five kilometres Abebe was in the lead group. Mamo was slightly behind with Merawi Gebru, the third Ethiopian. Ten kilometres passed with Abebe still in the lead group. At 15 kilometres he had fallen back a little, I saw he was in pain due to his leg, and I advised him to withdraw, which he did after a few kilometres.

Mamo Wolde, who had been lying in the back until now, advanced slowly towards the lead.
At 25 kilometres he was in third place with Temu from Kenya in the lead. Mamo took the lead and gradually left the others behind, securing himself the Olympic gold medal.

Mamo Wolde and Onni Niskanen