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Athletics at the 1924 Paris Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Paris, France
Venue(s): Colombes Olympic Stadium, Colombes
Date Started: July 9, 1924
Date Finished: July 10, 1924

Gold: FIN Paavo Nurmi
Silver: SUI Willy Schärer
Bronze: GBR Henry Stallard

Summary

At the end of 1923, Paavo Nurmi was the current world record holder at both 1,500 metres and the mile. He wanted to double at the Olympics in the 1,500 and 5,000 but the schedule came out with the finals only 55 minutes apart. He still elected to attempt the double. Although he hurt his knee a few weeks before the Olympics, his punishing training program allowed him to recover quickly and three weeks before the Olympics, he broke his 1,500 world record with a time of 3:52.6. At the Olympics, he qualified for the 5,000 final on 8 July, and easily won his 1,500 heat the next day. The two finals were on the evening of 10 July. Nurmi had little opposition in this event, as runners were effectively avoiding him and opting for other distances. In the 1,500 final Nurmi went thru 800 in 1:58.5 and only America’s Ray Watson was still with him. But Watson fell back before the end of the second lap (the track was 500 metres) and Nurmi concentrated then only on conserving energy for the 5K. He won the race with Switzerland’s Willy Schärer second, about 12 metres behind. The bronze medalist, Henry Stallard, sustained a stress fracture in his foot during the heats, but ran the final in pain. Less than 45 minutes later, Nurmi returned to the Colombes Stadium track and won the 5,000 metres.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Paavo Nurmi 26 Finland FIN Gold OR
2 Willy Schärer 20 Switzerland SUI Silver
3 Henry Stallard 23 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Douglas Lowe 21 Great Britain GBR
5 Ray Buker 24 United States USA
6 Lloyd Hahn 25 United States USA
7 Ray Watson 25 United States USA
8 Frej Liewendahl 21 Finland FIN
9 Arvo Peussa 23 Finland FIN
10 René Wiriath 24 France FRA
11 Sonny Spencer 20 Great Britain GBR
12 Jaakko Luoma 26 Finland FIN
3 h1 r1/2 Ferdinand Friebe 30 Austria AUT
3 h2 r1/2 William Spencer 23 United States USA
3 h3 r1/2 Albert Larsen 23 Denmark DEN
3 h4 r1/2 Disma Ferrario 25 Italy ITA
3 h5 r1/2 Rolph Barnes 19 Canada CAN
3 h6 r1/2 Cyril Ellis 20 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r1/2 Mohamed El-Sayed Egypt EGY
4 h2 r1/2 Léon Fourneau 24 Belgium BEL
4 h3 r1/2 René Jubeau 18 France FRA
4 h4 r1/2 Jan Zeegers 22 Netherlands NED
4 h5 r1/2 Louis Philipps 20 France FRA
4 h6 r1/2 Robert Chottin 24 France FRA
5 h1 r1/2 István Grósz 28 Hungary HUN
5 h2 r1/2 Pala Singh India IND
5 h3 r1/2 Aleksander Antson 24 Estonia EST
5 h4 r1/2 Jack Newman Australia AUS
5 h5 r1/2 Angelo Davoli 27 Italy ITA
5 h6 r1/2 Malcolm Boyd 27 Australia AUS
6 h3 r1/2 Ferruccio Bruni 24 Italy ITA
6 h4 r1/2 Joseph Van Der Wee 21 Belgium BEL
6 h5 r1/2 Lyuben Karastoyanov Bulgaria BUL
6 h6 r1/2 Vilém Šindler 20 Czechoslovakia TCH
7 h3 r1/2 Daniel Eslava Mexico MEX
7 h4 r1/2 Stefan Kostrzewski 21 Poland POL
7 h6 r1/2 Ömer Besim Koşalay 26 Turkey TUR
8 h3 r1/2 Józef Jaworski 20 Poland POL
AC h2 r1/2 Charles Davis South Africa RSA DNF
AC h6 r1/2 Giovanni Garaventa 24 Italy ITA DNF