Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On this Day in 1977
Marty Liquori Sets 2nd American Record in 10 Days

On the heels of his victory over 5000 meters world record holder Dick Quax of New Zealand and Ethiopia's Miruts Yifter 10 days earlier in Zurich, in the process of which he set a new USA national record of 13:16.0, Marty Liquori on this day in 1977 broke his own USA national record in Dusseldorf, running 13:15.06.  In this race -- with a putative world title on the line -- Liquori came second to Yifter, who exacted revenge for his defeat in Zurich.  As the race footage (starting at the 4:05 mark below) reveals, Yifter struck for home at exactly the correct time, as Liquori was moving into position to strike.  Yifter and Liquori battled over the final 200 meters, but the former Villanova great was unable to overtake the Ethiopian, who went on in 1980 to win double Olympic Gold over 5000 and 10,000 in Moscow. Liquori finished 1977 as the #1 ranked 5000 meter runner in the world -- the last American to do so.

The top results from the World Cup 5000 in Dusseldorf in 1977 were:
1.  Miruts Yifter        ETH    13:13.82
2.  Marty Liquori        USA    13:15.06  NR
3.  David Fitzsimons     AUS    13:17.42
4.  Nick Rose            GBR    13:20.35
5.  Manfred Kushman      DDR    13:24.80

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