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Ernst Larsen

Full name: Ernst Willy Larsen
Nickname(s): Kruska
Gender: Male
Height: 6-0 (183 cm)
Weight: 143 lbs (65 kg)
Born: July 18, 1926 in Ranheim, Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
Died: December 2, 2015 in Ranheim, Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
Affiliations: Ranheim IL, Ranheim, Trondheim (NOR)
Country: NOR Norway
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)

Biography

Ernst Larsen was one of Norway’s most prominent track and field athletes during the 1950s, winning 13 Norwegian titles in track and cross country running and breaking the Norwegian record in the 5,000 m and 3,000 m steeplechase 15 times. His national breakthrough came in 1951 when he bettered [Martin Stokken]’s national steeplechase record on two occasions. In 1954 he was second in steeplechase at the national championships, close behind the new national record holder [Hallgeir Brenden]. Larsen’s international breakthrough came later in 1954 when he finished third in the European Championship in his favorite event, the steeplechase, lowering the national record to 8:53.2. In September 1956 he lowered his national record to 8:42.4, his all-time best, and went to the Melbourne Olympics as one of the medal favorites. At the Olympics he was third, but received international acclaim for his sportsmanship when he declared that he was not obstructed by the eventual winner [Chris Brasher], when the Englishman first was disqualified due to an incident with Larsen during the final.

Larsen ended his athletic career after the 1959 season, aged 33. Nicknamed “Kruska,” Larsen was a vegetarian, and his favorite meal was Kruska, a dish consisting of bran with oatmeal and raisins. He was also a decent cross-country skier, who tried to qualify for the 1952 Winter Olympic team. Larsen lived his entire life in Ranheim, an industrial site northeast of Trondheim, working as a mechanic at the local pulp mill. His grandson Martin Larsen became one of Norway’s best boxers, attempting to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 14:03.8 (1957); 3000S – 8:42.4 (1956).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 30 Melbourne Athletics Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase Norway NOR 3 Bronze

Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1956 Summer 30 Melbourne Athletics Norway Final 3 8:44.0 8:44.05
1956 Summer 30 Melbourne Athletics Norway Round One Heat One 3 QU 8:46.8 8:46.96
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