Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Stockholm
Date Started: July 12, 1912
Date Finished: July 12, 1912
Since 1902, the discus throw had been the private property of Martin Sheridan of the United States. He had won the Olympic gold medal in 1904, 1906, and 1908; the AAU Championship in 1904, 1906-07, and 1911; and he also set approximately 16 world records. But after winning the AAU title in 1911, he retired, leaving the 1912 Olympic discus throw wide-open.
There were several challengers for Sheridan’s crown. On 5 August 1911, Finland’s Elmer Niklander broke Sheridan’s world record with a throw of 44.01. But shortly before the Olympics, America’s Jim Duncan shattered that mark by throwing 47.58 on 27 May 1912 in a both hands handicap competition at the New York Post Office Clerk’s Association Games. Duncan also won the eastern U.S. Olympic Trial.
But neither Niklander nor Duncan could match Finland’s Armas Taipale. Taipale led the qualifying easily with a throw of 43.91, which set a new Olympic record. Duncan qualified for the final with 42.28, but Niklander did not qualify, finishing fourth. In the final, Taipale improved even more, setting two more Olympic records with his first and third throws in the final. Duncan did not improve in the final and finished third.
The day after his discus gold medal, Taipale doubled with another gold medal in the both-hands discus competition. In 1920, he added a silver medal in the discus to his overall record. In 1913, he set his only world record, breaking Duncan’s mark with 47.85 at Magdeburg on 20 July 1913. In addition to his gold medal, Taipale was the Challenge Trophy for the discus throw, which had been donated in 1908 by Mrs. G. de Montgomery.
|2||Dick Byrd||19||United States||USA||Silver||42.32|
|3||Jim Duncan||24||United States||USA||Bronze||42.28|
|6||Arlie Mucks||20||United States||USA||40.93|
|7||George Philbrook||27||United States||USA||40.92|
|11||Ralph Rose||28||United States||USA||39.65|
|12||Emil Muller||21||United States||USA||39.35|
|20||Larry Whitney||21||United States||USA||37.91|
|22||Avery Brundage||24||United States||USA||37.85|
|27||Carl Johan Lind||28||Sweden||SWE||36.07|
|32||Walter Henderson||31||Great Britain||GBR||33.61|