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Swimming at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

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Events:

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Swimming Stadium, Djurgården Bay, Stockholm
Date Started: July 6, 1912
Date Finished: July 10, 1912

Gold: CAN George Hodgson
Silver: GBR Jack Hatfield
Bronze: ANZ Harold Hardwick

Summary

The defending champion was Britain’s [Henry Taylor], who also held the world record of 22:48.4, which he had set at London in winning the 1908 Olympic championship. Taylor had won the ASA mile championship in 1911, but in 1912 he would be defeated by [John Hatfield], a month after the Olympics, and he would also win that title in 1913-14. Hatfield had to know he would have a difficult time when Canada’s [George Hodgson] broke Taylor’s world record in the first round, posting a time of 22:23.0.

In the final, Hatfield was no match for Hodgson. Hodgson took off at a brisk pace, leading Australia’s [Harold Hardwick] by 10 metres at the first turn (100 metres). By 500 metres, he held a 25 metre lead over Hatfield. Hodgson passed 1,000 metres in 14:37.0, a world record for that distance. After winning the race in 22:00.0, Hodgson continued on in an attempt to set a new world record for the mile (1,609 metres), which he did with a time of 23:34.5. Hodgson’s world record for 1,500 metres lasted for 11 years, until it was broken by [Arne Borg] (SWE), with a time of 21:35.3 at Göteborg on 8 July 1923. In addition to his gold medal, Hodgson also earned possession of the Challenge Trophy for the 1,500 metre freestyle event, which had been donated in 1908 by the Italian Count and IOC Member, Eugenio Brunetta d’Usseaux.

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