Gunder Hägg

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Gunder Hägg (right) sets a new world record for the mile at 4.06.2 in Gothenburg on 1 July 1942. Behind him is Arne Andersson.

Gunder Hägg (31 December 1918, Albacken – 27 November 2004) was a Swedish runner and multiple world record breaker of the 1940s. Gunder Hägg set over a dozen middle distance world records at events ranging from 1500 to 5000 meters, including three at both the 1500 meters and the mile, one at 3000 meters and one at 5000 meters.

Hägg and fellow Swede, Arne Andersson, lowered the record for the mile to just over four minutes (4:01.4) - accelerating the progression of the world record in the mile run. Both athletes set three world records for the mile. Hägg first set the record in July 1942 at 4:06.2, a time which was equalled by Anderson later the same month. This record was broken by Hägg (4:04.6) in September the same year. Andersson recaptured the world record in July 1943 (4:02.6), and improved it further in July 1944 (4:01.6). However, Hägg had the last word when he ran 4:01.4 in Malmö in 1945 (Hägg's record was not broken until Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4 mile in Oxford in 1954).

Hagg was also the first man to run a sub 14 minute 5000 m.

In 1946, Gunder Hägg was branded a professional and barred from competition. Four years earlier, he earned the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal.

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
New Zealand Jack Lovelock
Sweden Arne Andersson
Men's 1500 m World Record Holder
10 August 1941 – 17 August 1943
7 July 1944 – 29 June 1952
Succeeded by
Sweden Arne Andersson
West Germany Werner Lueg
Preceded by
United Kingdom Sydney Wooderson
Sweden Arne Andersson
Sweden Arne Andersson
Men's Mile World Record Holder
1 July 1942 – 10 July 1942
4 September 1942 – 1 July 1943
17 July 1945 – 6 May 1954
Succeeded by
Sweden Arne Andersson
Sweden Arne Andersson
United Kingdom Roger Bannister
Preceded by
Sweden Henry Kälarne
Men's 3000 m World Record Holder
28 August 1942 – 12 August 1949
Succeeded by
Belgium Gaston Reiff
Preceded by
Finland Taisto Mäki
Men's Two Miles World Record Holder
3 June 1942 – 26 August 1952
Succeeded by
Belgium Gaston Reiff
Preceded by
Finland Taisto Mäki
Men's 5000 m World Record Holder
20 September 1942 – 30 May 1954
Succeeded by
Czechoslovakia Emil Zátopek
Preceded by
Hungary Miklós Szabó
Sweden Arne Andersson
European Record Holder Men's 1500 m
10 August 1941 – 16 August 1943
17 July 1944 – 14 July 1947
Succeeded by
Sweden Arne Andersson
Sweden Lennart Strand
Awards
Preceded by
Sweden Alfred Dahlqvist
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
1942
Succeeded by
Sweden Arne Andersson