Friday 15th January 2021
Ten world records in walking
Olympic champion Bernd Kannenberg is dead
Bernd Kannenberg is dead. The Olympic walking champion of the 1972 Summer Games in Munich died at the age of 78 in a hospital in Münster. This was confirmed by the Bavarian Athletics Association. The native of East Prussia had surprisingly won the 50-kilometer competition in the Bavarian metropolis in 3: 56: 11.6 hours and thus sparked enthusiasm in Germany.
For this achievement, the eleven-time German master and professional soldier was promoted to Sergeant Major and was also honored with the Silver Laurel Leaf. At the EC 1974 in Rome, Kannenberg came second in the 20 kilometer walk.
Kannenberg, who was born in Königsberg in East Prussia, only got into walking at the age of 27 through a military march. Just a year later, he took part in German championships for the first time. In his relatively short career from 1970 to 1976, he dominated national competitions and was able to win a total of ten German championship titles over 50 kilometers, 20 kilometers and in the 10,000 meter track.
Kannenberg first started for TSG Füssen, then for 1. FC Nürnberg and LAC Quelle Fürth. After the Olympic victory, he won the silver medal at the European Championships in Rome in 1974. In addition, Kannenberg set 19 German records and ten world records in his career. Later he also worked as a national coach for the German walkers.
The day of Kannenberg’s triumph on September 3, 1972 became the “golden Sunday” for the German athletes. At the top of the podium on the same day were Klaus Wolfermann after his legendary javelin triumph with 90.48 meters ahead of the favorite Janis Lusis from the USSR (90.46).
The fastest over 800 meters was Hildegard Falck (1: 58.6 minutes). In addition, Heide Ecker-Rosendahl took silver in the pentathlon just behind Britain’s Mary Peters.