Finland-Sweden Athletics International

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Finland-Sweden athletics international
Most recent season or competition:
2014 Finland-Sweden athletics international
Finnkampen logo.gif
Suomi-Ruotsi logo.jpg
Sport Athletics
Inaugural season 1925
No. of teams 2
Countries Finland Finland, Sweden Sweden
Most recent champion(s) Men: Sweden
Women: Sweden
Most titles Men: Finland (45)
Women: Sweden (35)
Official website www.ruotsiottelu.fi (Finnish)
www.finnkampen.se (Swedish)

Finnkampen (Swedish, literally The Finn Battle), Suomi-Ruotsi-maaottelu (Finnish, literally Finland-Sweden-international) or Ruotsi-ottelu (among Swedish-speaking Finns Sverigekampen, literally The Sweden Battle), is a yearly athletics international competition held between Sweden and Finland since 1925.

It is, since the late 1980s, the only annual athletics international (with only two participating countries) still held at a professional level. The two-day event attracts significant audiences, with a combined total of over 50,000 tickets sold for the 2011 competition.[1] Three-time heptathlon world champion Carolina Klüft made her final international appearance for Sweden at the meeting in 2012.[2]

Competition[edit]

2013 Finland-Sweden international in Stockholm

The competition is actually divided into two internationals, one for men and one for women. Youth competitions for men and women are also held. Each country provides their three best participants in each of the events, except for the relays where there are four participants (one team) from each country. Traditionally, the competitions have been arranged alternatively, with Finland hosting in even years and Sweden in odd years. This have changed few times in the later years, seeing one country arranging the international twice in a row a few times. The reasons for this include stadium renovations and major international competitions. Points are given to all contestants completing their event (no points are given to athletes who are disqualified, do not finish the event or don't get the result in field competitions), based on the final position in every event. Points given in each event are, from 1st to 6th place: 7-5-4-3-2-1, and in relays 1st and 2nd place are awarded with 5 and 2 points.

The competition may not be a world class one looking at the results, no single world record has been set, but there are few competitions in the world that are fiercer and more prestigious. This is most often seen in the middle-distance running, where tactics are more important than time, and these events have seen many foul tricks during the years, in 1992 resulting in the disqualification of all six runners in the men's 1500 metres event.

Another important aspect of the event is that it is a team competition. A competitor who manages to reach fourth place instead of a projected sixth place can be just as important, or even more important, for the end result as a "star" that secures the expected first place. A fight to the finish between competitor number five and six, half a lap behind the winner, can be just as important as the actual winner. The race is not over until the last competitor crosses the line. For many of the competitors the international is the most prestigious competition of the year.

The events in Finland have always been held in Helsinki, after 1939 at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. The Swedish events have mostly been held in Stockholm at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium. From 1999 they have however been held in Gothenburg at the Ullevi Stadium because of larger spectator capacity.

Events[edit]

History[edit]

1500 meters in 1939

Finnkampen was held for the first time in Helsinki in 1925, with one of the participants being the five-time Olympic champion in the 1924 Summer Olympics, Paavo Nurmi. Competitions were held in 1927, 1929 and 1931. After a pause of eight years the next competition was held in 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, which led to the cancellation of the competition between 1941 and 1944. The 1940 competition was held as a triple event between Finland, Sweden and Germany, with only two athletes from each country competing in each event. The international has been continually held for men since 1945 and for women since 1964, although the first women's competition was held already in 1953.

1931 breakup[edit]

The first competitions were very much influenced by the love-hate relationship between Sweden and Finland. The 1931 event was a victory for Finland, but tensions at the track led to a knuckle fight between the runner-ups in the 800 metres race.

At the banquet after the games, the new chairman of the Finnish athletics union and future president of Finland, Urho Kekkonen announced that Finland would no longer take part in the event. The tension was in a large part caused by Swedish attempts, spearheaded by Sigfrid Edström, the Swedish president of the IAAF and vice-president of the IOC, to have Paavo Nurmi declared a professional athlete, and thus banned from international competitions. After Kekkonen's speech Swedish efforts intensified, and Nurmi was banned from the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

It took eight years until 1939, before the Finns again decided to participate, at the eve of the planned 1940 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. [1]

Results[edit]

Year Location Winner (men) Result Winner (women) Result
1925 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 99-85 - -
1927 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 98-86 - -
1929 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 93-90 - -
1931 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 104-76 - -
1939 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 112-102 - -
1940 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 111-103 - -
1945 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 105-79 - -
1946 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 114.5-68.5 - -
1947 Gothenburg Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 106-78 - -
1948 Helsingborg Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 138-76 - -
1950 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 123-88 - -
1951 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 216-194 - -
1953 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 217-193 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 58-48
1954 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 207-202 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 64-42
1955 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 213-196 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 58-48
1956 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 209-201 - -
1957 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 208-201 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 64-42
1958 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 232-177 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 66-51
1959 Gothenburg Flag of Finland.svg Finland 209-200 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 64-53
1960 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 216-194 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 67-50
1961 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 220.5-189.5 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 68.5-48.5
1962 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 219-190 - -
1963 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 220-190 - -
1964 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 210.5-199.5 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 64-53
1965 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 210-200 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 65-52
1966 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 208.5-199.5 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 62-55
1967 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 212-198 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 66-51
1968 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 208.5-199.5 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 64-52
1969 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 212.5-195.5 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 75-60
1970 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 227-182 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 82-53
1971 Gothenburg Flag of Finland.svg Finland 224-183 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 71-64
1972 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 236.5-173.5 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 73-60
1973 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 223-187 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 77-69
1974 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 207-200 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 75-60
1975 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 214-191 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 94-62
1976 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 223-187 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 91-66
1977 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 212-194 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 86-69
1978 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 240-168 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 85-72
1979 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 214-194 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 80-77
1980 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 232-178 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 79-78
1981 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 214-196 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 81-75
1982 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 215-193 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 79-78
1983 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 234-176 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 83-74
1984 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 216-193 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 155-145
1985 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 219-185 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 166-156
1986 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 210.5-198.5 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 184-138
1987 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 210.5-197.5 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 165-157
1988 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 229.5-180.5 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 170-150
1989 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 213-197 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 184-138
1990 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 217-193 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 182-140
1991 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 226-183 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 197-147
1992 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 198-187 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 195-149
1993 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 215-192 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 198-144
1994 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 219-190 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 174-170
1995 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 213-196 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 196-146
1996 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 205.5-202.5 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 215-173
1997 Stockholm Flag of Finland.svg Finland 207.5-198.5 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 223-165
1998 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 206-200 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 210-178
1999 Gothenburg Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 210-198 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 212-175
2000 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 216-194 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 219-191
2001 Gothenburg Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 218-185 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 213-197
2002 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 223-187 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 215.5-192.5
2003 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 205-203 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 208.5-201.5
2004 Gothenburg Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 217-191 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 228.5-178.5
2005 Gothenburg Flag of Finland.svg Finland 212-197 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 230-179
2006 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 204-201 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 226-183
2007 Gothenburg Flag of Finland.svg Finland 203-199 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 219-189
2008 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 215-193 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 209.5-197.5
2009 Gothenburg Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 208-200 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 213-197
2010 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 214-195 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 226-182
2011 Helsinki Flag of Finland.svg Finland 206-194 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 225-182
2012 Gothenburg Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 220-187 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 223-187
2013 Stockholm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 235-173 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 215-195
2014 Helsinki Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 216-193 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 206-204

Totals[edit]

  • Men:

Finland Finland 45 – 29 Sweden Sweden

  • Women:

Finland Finland 24 – 35 Sweden Sweden

  • Total:

Finland Finland 69 – 64 Sweden Sweden

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sonninen, A-P (2011-09-12). Finland and Sweden share match victories in famous annual match. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-09-17.
  2. ^ Julin, A. Lennart (2012-09-03). Swedish men, Finnish women victorious in Gothenburg as Klüft takes final bow. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-01-19.

External links[edit]