Great Britain & N.I.

Ian Stewart - Great Britain & N.I. - Championship Record 1969-1976 (5000m)

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 30 July 1976

Click on image to enlarge

      Saturday, 15 January 1949
      Handsworth, England.
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Ian STEWART - Great Britain & N.I. - Championship Record 1969-1976 (5000m)

The  photograph above shows Ian Stewart at the 1976 Montreal Olympics,

following Brendan Foster during the 5,000m final in what was his last major

championship appearance.


Men's 5000m Final

Euro Athletics Championships 1969

1. Ian STEWART   GBR   13.44.8
2. Rasid SARAFUNDINOV   URS   13.45.8
3. Allan BLINSTON   GBR   13.47.6
4. Bernd DIESSNER   GDR   13.50.4
5. Dane KORICA   YUG   13.51.4
6. Giuseppe ARDIZZONE   ITA   13.51.8



Men's 5000m Final

Commonwealth Games 1970

1. Ian STEWART   SCO   13.22.8
2. Ian McCAFFERTY   SCO   13.23.4
3. Kip KEINO   KEN   13.27.6
4. Allan RUSHMER   ENG   13.29.8
5. Ron CLARKE   AUS   13.32.4
6. Dick TAYLOR   ENG   13.33.8



Men's 5000m Final

Olympic Games 1972

1. Lasse VIREN   FIN   13: 26.4
2. Mohamed GAMMOUDI   TUN   13: 27.4
3. Ian STEWART   GBR   13: 27.6
4. Steve PREFONTAINE   USA   13: 28.4
5. Emiel PUTTEMANS   BEL   13: 30.8
6. Harald NORPOTH   GER   13: 32.6
7. Per HALLE   NOR   13: 34.4
8. Nikolai SVIRIDOV   SOV   13: 39.4



Men's 5000m Final

Olympic Games 1976

1. Lasse VIREN   FIN   13: 24: 76
2. Dick QUAX   NZL   13: 25: 16
3. Klaus-Peter HILDENBRAND   GER   13: 25: 38
4. Rod DIXON   NZL   13: 25: 50
5. Brendan FOSTER   GBR   13: 26: 19
6. Willy POLLEUNIS   BEL   13: 26: 99
7. Ian STEWART   GBR   13: 27: 65
8. Aniceto Silva SIMOES   POR   13: 29: 38




Ian Stewart is pictured here running at the Crystal palace National Sports Centre in his Scottish vest

in June 1973.  Photo G. Herringshaw. ©


Ian Stewart was one of the world's leading distance runners between the late 1960s and mid-1970s, proving himself especially effective at 5,000 metres. A precocious talent, in 1965, at 16 years of age, he ran a British age best of 9.12.8 for 2 miles and two years later set a European junior 3 miles record of 13.39.8. In 1968, he enjoyed a marvellous season, breaking European junior records at four distances: 3000m, 2 miles, 3 miles and 5,000m. Moving up to the senior ranks in 1969, Stewart continued to excel, taking the European Indoor 3,000m title in a UK record (7.55.4), claiming the AAA 5,000m title (13.39.66) and then impressively winning 5,000m gold at the European Championships in Athens in a time of 13.44.8 .


Though born and bred in Birmingham, Stewart chose to represent his father's country, Scotland, at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. In the 5,000m final there, he faced two legendary figures: Ron Clarke of Australia, the world record holder at both 5,000m and 10,000m, and Kenya's Kip Keino, who had won 1,500m gold and 5000m silver at the 1968 Olympics. However, to the delight of the home crowd, the race turned into a Scottish duel in the home straight, Stewart showing typical grit to pull away from compatriot Ian McCafferty and take gold in a European record time of 13.22.8 . Wilting in Ian's fiery last lap of 54.4, Keino and Clarke could only finish 3rd and 5th, respectively. Stewart won acclaim for an excellent season by being ranked No 1 in the world over 5000m in 1970 by the authoritative American magazine Track and Field News.


Although the 1971 campaign proved an anti-climax as injuries halted his progress, he was back to full fitness in the Olympic year of 1972 and was selected for the 5000m after finishing in third place at the AAA Championships that summer. In the Olympic 5,000m final Stewart was fifth of the leading pack of five at the bell, but when he and Emiel Puttemans began to slightly drop off the pace it looked like their medal chances had gone. However, Ian then overtook Puttemans and spent the entire final lap chasing the first three at a distance of five or six metres before producing an amazing burst in the home straight to gain the bronze medal in a time of 13.27.6, the legendary Finn, Lasse Viren, taking gold in 13.26.4.


After a disappointing 1973 season and a mediocre effort in the Commonwealth Games 5,000m final (5th in 13.40.4) in early 1974, he decided to take up cycle racing that summer to recharge his batteries. Suitably refreshed, he returned to athletics in fine style the following year, completing an excellent double in March 1975 by taking the European indoor 3,000m crown (7.58.6) and the World Cross Country 12km title. This world title proved to be Ian's last major international honour, though he still produced some quality performances in later years, such as his 7th place in the 5000m final at the 1976 Olympics and a 10-mile world road best (45.13) in 1977. He hung up his spikes in summer 1978, bringing down the curtain on a long and illustrious career. (Martin Greensill)