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Schmidt Allowed to Leave East Germany

November 04, 1987

Wolfgang Schmidt, a former world record-holder in the discus throw who spent more than a year in an East German prison, has been allowed to leave his communist homeland, a West German newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper said Schmidt arrived in West Germany on Monday after receiving permission from East German authorities to emigrate.

Schmidt, 33, was the captain of the East German track and field team until August 1982. He set the discus world record nine years ago with a throw of 233 feet 5 inches.

Schmidt was convicted of attempting to escape East Germany and maintaining contacts with Westerners and sent to prison in August 1982.

He was released from a prison in October 1983. Schmidt failed in three attempts to escape from East Germany and finally applied for permission to leave one year ago, the Frankfurter Allgemeine said.

Since he has not competed for East Germany since 1982, Schmidt hopes to gain a place on the West German track and field team for next year's Olympics in Seoul, the report said.

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