On the second day of the track championships, three East Germans took all the medals in the men's discus, while the world-record holder, Czechoslovakia's Ludvik Danek, could manage only fifth place. The East German gold medalist, Detlef Thorith, dutifully credited his triumph to the socialist system. "With our victories," he remarked, "we help in the creation of our new society."
If the East Germans could win events like the discus as a result of their methods—they purposely go out in bad weather to work out—and their endurance, they did not show the same aptitude for events like the decathlon, in which all three medals went to West Germany, or the sprints. The 100 meters, for instance, was won by Wieslaw Maniak of Poland, a strongly built 28-year-old who did not take up running until six years ago. A small, buoyant man, Maniak proved that adaptability, not system, is what sometimes counts most. He won on a track so heavy with rain that the racing felt like "ploughing through mud."
Poland went on to win other events and set red-and-white national flags waving in the stadium, but the outstanding figures of its team, perhaps of the whole meet, were its two girl sprinters, Irena Kirszenstein and Ewa Klobukowska. While Miss Kirszenstein is 20, Miss Klobukowska is only 19, and the two may very well dominate women's sprinting for years to come. Lithe and lanky, Miss Klobukowska and Miss Kirszenstein came first and second in the 100 meters and switched the order in the 200 meters. They are joint holders with the United States' Wyomia Tyus of the world 100-meter record, and Miss Kirszenstein holds the world 200-meter record.
The eagerly awaited 1,500-meter race, not won, as anticipated, by Defending Champion Michel Jazy of France, came as an anticlimax. It was taken by West Germany's Bodo T�mmler, a master tactician whom a British reporter named "the champion of slow races."
A tall, ungainly athlete of 22 and a student in Berlin, T�mmler proved he had something of Jazy's measure when he beat him in the France- West Germany meet this summer. It was the first time in the last six years that anybody had taken Jazy at 1,500 meters, but T�mmler's time, 3:42.3, was dawdling by today's fast standards. It had been thought that T�mmler could not possibly stay with the pace if Jazy and East Germany's J�rgen May, who many thought would duel the Frenchman for the title, ran the distance in 3:36.0. After what only can be regarded as an astonishingly stupid race in Budapest, it is still not known whether T�mmler can stay up or not. Jazy, discouraged perhaps by a high wind or encouraged by the two countrymen he had with him in the final, allowed the race to plug along through the first three laps.
At the bell T�mmler came shoulder to shoulder with teammate Harald Norpoth, but Norpoth held on down the back-stretch. As Jazy started to come up on both, T�mmler switched into high gear for his kick. He overtook Norpoth in the homestretch and finished two yards ahead of Jazy in 3:41.9. Norpoth was third and May fifth behind Britain's Alan Simpson. Jazy's fatal error was in waiting for his teammate, Claude Nicolas, to make a dash out of the pack. Nicolas never spurted because, Jazy explained, "the merciless wind spoiled everything."
But not all was lost or eminently forgettable. The athletes were housed in a hostel built next to the 18th century castle where Admiral Horthy, the fascist ruler of Hungary from 1920-1944, lived. Still considered reactionary until its upgrading for the championships, the site will become a home for students. Everything is possible in time.