Gunnar Höckert

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Gunnar Höckert
Gunnar Höckert 1936.jpg
Gunnar Höckert at the 1936 Olympics
Personal information
Born12 February 1910
Helsinki, Finland
Died11 February 1940 (aged 29)
Karelian Isthmus, Finland
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight67–69 kg (148–152 lb)
Event(s)1500 m, 5000 m, steeplechase
ClubIdrottsklubben 32, Helsinki
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)1500 – 3:55.2 (1936)
3000 mS – 9:26.8 (1935)
5000 m – 14:22.2 (1936)[1][2]

Gunnar Mikael Höckert (12 February 1910 – 11 February 1940) was a Finnish runner, winner of the 5000 m race at the 1936 Summer Olympics.


Born in Helsinki to a wealthy family, Gunnar Höckert had only one great season, in 1936. The 5000 m final at the Berlin Olympics started in a good pace. The tempo was dictated by American Donald Lash, but he was overtaken by three Finns after 2,000 m. Soon the race turned into a battle between Höckert and defending Olympic Champion and world record holder Lauri Lehtinen. In the last lap Höckert overran Lehtinen to win in a world's season best time of 14:22.2. In this same race Gunnar's teammate Henry Jonsson got third place over Kohei Murakoso, Japanese runner who was leading the race at the beginning.[1]

Later on that season, on 16 September in Stockholm, Höckert ran a new world record in 3,000 m (8:14.8). A week later, on the same track, Höckert ran a new world record in 2 miles (8:57.4) and another week later, he equalled the Jules Ladoumegue's 2,000 m world record of 5:21.8 in Malmö.[1]

The rest of the Höckert's athletics career was hampered by rheumatism, and he never again achieved the times he had run in 1936. He went to the Winter War as a volunteer, progressing to 2nd lieutenant. He was killed during the Winter War on the Karelian Isthmus, just one day before his thirtieth birthday.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b c Gunnar Höckert.
  2. ^ Gunnar Höckert.
  3. ^ Wallechinsky, David (2004). The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics, Toronto: Sport Classic Books. ISBN 1-894963-34-2
  4. ^ "Olympians Who Were Killed or Missing in Action or Died as a Result of War". Sports Reference. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
Preceded by
Denmark Henry Nielsen
Men's 3,000m World Record Holder
16 September 1936 – 14 August 1940
Succeeded by
Sweden Henry Kälarne
Preceded by
United States Don Lash
Men's Two Miles World Record Holder
24 September 1936 – 30 September 1937
Succeeded by
Hungary Miklós Szabó