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Athletics at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games:

Men's Marathon

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Host City: Antwerpen, Belgium
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Antwerpen
Date Started: August 22, 1920
Date Finished: August 22, 1920
Format: 42,750 metres (26.56 miles) out-and-back .

Gold: FIN Hannes Kolehmainen
Silver: EST Jüri Lossman
Bronze: ITA Valerio Arri


The marathon course was the longest in Olympic history at 42.75 km. The course began and ended in Beerschot Stadium, with the runners doing 1½ laps of the track at the beginning and end of the race. Fortunately the weather was cool and damp. South Africa’s [Chris Gitsham] and Belgium’s [Auguste Broos] were the early leaders, taking the lead by three kilometres. Gitsham had been training on the course for several weeks. At 20 km. the lead pack consisted of Gitsham, Broos, [Hannes Kolehmainen], and Italy’s [Ettore Blasi], with Estonia’s [Jüri Lossmann] and the Finn, [Juho Tuomikoski], close behind. Kolehmainen, winner of the 5 and 10K at Stockholm in 1912, took the lead at the midpoint of the race, and overall, he and Gitsham ran together for almost 15 kilometres. Gitsham, however, was having problems with a leg injury and withdrew at around 37 kilometres. Kolehmainen by then was pulling away for what appeared would be an easy victory, in what was the fastest time ever run for the marathon, even with the extra-long course. However, Lossmann closed superbly and finished only about 13 seconds behind the Finn. Lossmann later declared that had any of his Estonian teammates supported him, instead of going on an all day excursion, he would have won the race. The third-place finisher, [Valerio Arri] of Italy, was so delighted with his bronze medal, that he performed three cartwheel somersaults as he crossed the finish line.

One of the Australian competitors, [Wilfred Kent-Hughes] wrote the following of Kolehmainen’s victory, “The winner could not rest his tired muscles. They wrapped him in the flag of his country, placed a laurel wreath on his head, and forced him to make one more round of the track. Kolehmainen ran round tiredly, in his fantastic ‘costume’ and reminded one of a Greek god who, dressed in a Roman toga, had just flown down from Olympus. The crowd wildly cheered him, and the fanatic sports lovers passed him from hand to hand. It’s surprising he ever managed to survive the great ‘honour.’”

Diplomas of merit were awarded to all runners who finished the race within 25% of the winning time, or anyone under 3-10:44.8, which worked out to be the top 30 runners.

View a Phase of this EventFinal Standings

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Hannes Kolehmainen 30 Finland FIN Gold 2-32:35.8 WB
2 Jüri Lossman 29 Estonia EST Silver 2-32:48.6
3 Valerio Arri 27 Italy ITA Bronze 2-36:32.8
4 Auguste Broos 25 Belgium BEL 2-39:25.8
5 Juho Tuomikoski 31 Finland FIN 2-40:18.8
6 Sofus Rose 26 Denmark DEN 2-41:18.0
7 Joseph Organ 28 United States USA 2-41:30.0
8 Rudolf Hansen 31 Denmark DEN 2-41:39.4
9 Urho Tallgren 25 Finland FIN 2-42:40.0
10 Tatu Kolehmainen 35 Finland FIN 2-44:03.2
11 Carl Linder 30 United States USA 2-44:21.2
12 Chuck Mellor 26 United States USA 2-45:30.0
13 James Dellow 33 Canada CAN 2-46:47.0
14 Bobby Mills 26 Great Britain GBR 2-48:05.0
15 Art Scholes 29 Canada CAN 2-48:30.0
16 Shizo Kanakuri 28 Japan JPN 2-48:45.4
17 Gustav Kinn 24 Sweden SWE 2-49:10.4
18 Albert Moché France FRA 2-50:00.2
19 Phadeppa Chaugule India IND 2-50:45.4
20 Zensaku Motegi 27 Japan JPN 2-51:09.4
21 Kenzo Yashima 18 Japan JPN 2-57:02.0
22 Norman General 26 Canada CAN 2-58:01.0
23 Rudolf WÃ¥hlin 32 Sweden SWE 2-59:23.0
24 Yahei Miura 25 Japan JPN 2-59:37.0
25 Henri Teyssendou 31 France FRA 3-00:04.0
26 Hendricus Wessel 32 Netherlands NED 3-00:17.0
27 Charles Melis Belgium BEL 3-00:51.0
28 William Grüner 31 Sweden SWE 3-01:48.0
29 George Piper Great Britain GBR 3-02:10.0
30 Sinton Hewitt 32 Australia AUS 3-03:27.0
31 Leslie Housden 25 Great Britain GBR 3-14:07.0
32 Iraklis Sakellaropoulos 32 Greece GRE 3-14:25.0
33 Juan Bascuñán 27 Chile CHI 3-17:47.0
34 Oscar Blansaer 29 Belgium BEL 3-20:00.0
35 Eric Robertson 27 Great Britain GBR 3-55:00.0
AC Chris Gitsham 31 South Africa RSA DNF
AC Ettore Blasi 25 Italy ITA DNF
AC Louis Ichard 19 France FRA DNF
AC Antonio Persico Italy ITA DNF
AC Art Smoke Canada CAN DNF
AC Axel Jensen 20 Denmark DEN DNF
AC Arthur Roth 28 United States USA DNF
AC Peter Trivoulidis 29 Greece GRE DNF
AC Christiaan Huijgens 23 Netherlands NED DNF
AC Desiré Van Remortel Belgium BEL DNF
AC Hans Schuster 31 Sweden SWE DNF
AC Amédée Trichard France FRA DNF
AC Sadashir Datar India IND DNF