Pekka Vasala

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pekka Antero Vasala (* 17th April 1948 in Helsinki , Finland ) is a former Finnish athlete who his greatest success by winning the Olympic gold medal in 1972 over 1500 meters celebrated.

He became interested in athletics very quickly - especially running, which was booming in the early 1960s , not necessarily in Finland but around the world.

Vasala was already at the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968 , but did not get past the lead. At the European Championships in 1969 Vasala also finished ninth, as two years later at the European Championships in 1971 in his hometown.

But his big moment came on September 9, 1972 when he won the 1500 meter final in Munich in 3: 36.3 minutes ahead of Kip Keino from Kenya and Rod Dixon from New Zealand . On the same day, his compatriot Lasse Virén won gold over the 10,000 meters . The Finns were able to celebrate two gold medals within half an hour.

At the European Championships in 1974 , Vasala reached sixth place in 3: 41.5 minutes. But he could no longer build on his performance in Munich.

His nephew Samuli Vasala is also a runner and won the Nordic Cross Country Championships in 2003 .