Gunnar Höckert at the 1936 Olympics
|Born||12 February 1910
|Died||11 February 1940 (aged 29)
Karelian Isthmus, Russia
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||67–69 kg (148–152 lb)|
|Event(s)||1500 m, 5000 m, steeplechase|
|Club||Idrottsklubben 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)
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.
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.
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 on the Karelian Isthmus, just one day before his thirtieth birthday.
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|Men's 3,000m World Record Holder
16 September 1936 – 14 August 1940
|Men's Two Miles World Record Holder
24 September 1936 – 30 September 1937