Jan 8 (Reuters) - American Horace Ashenfelter III, who stunned the world when he won the gold medal in the 3,000-metre steeplechase at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, died on Sunday in New Jersey at age 94, according to media reports.
Ashenfelter, who worked as an FBI agent, produced a dramatic late surge to defeat the favoured Soviet athlete Vladimir Kazantsev in a race many considered a proxy for the Cold War.
The soft-spoken Pennsylvania native went on to win silver in the 5,000m at the 1955 Pan American Games as well as 17 national titles.
Ashenfelter was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1975, the Millrose Games Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey in 1998.
Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Greg Stutchbury