Anders Gärderud experimented with several events without any success before he rose to athletic greatness in the steeplechase. Gärderud's first major international event was the 1968 Olympics, where he was eliminated in the heats of the 800 and 1,500 metres. In the following years Gärderud concentrated only on the steeplechase and was favored at the 1972 Olympics but, unfortunately, he was suffering from a bad cold and was eliminated in his heat. He was also eliminated in the heats of the 5K at the Olympics but, only seven days later, set a 3,000 metre steeplechase world record of 8:20.8. At the 1974 European Championships he was narrowly beaten by Bronisław Malinowski from Poland, but managed to break the steeplechase world record twice in 1975, first running 8:10.4 and then 8:09.8 only six days later. The culmination of Gärderud's career was at the 1976 Olympics where, after a stirring contest with Malinowski, Gärderud won the gold medal in a world record 8:08.02. Domestically, Gärderud won four Swedish titlesm 1,500 in 1968-69 and steeplechase in 1971 and 1975. After finishing his sporting career Gärderud worked as an athletics coach, serving as head coach of the Swedish national women’s team and also regularly appeared on Swedish TV as an athletics commentator.
Personal Bests: 800 – 1:47.2 (1968); 1500 – 3:36.73 (1974); 5000 – 13:17.59 (1976); 3000S – 8:08.02 (1976).