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Athletics at the 1948 London Summer Games:

Men's Javelin Throw

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
Date Started: August 4, 1948
Date Finished: August 4, 1948

Gold: FIN Tapio Rautavaara
Silver: USA Steve Seymour
Bronze: HUN József Várszegi


[Tapio Rautavaara] won the gold medal to continue the Finnish tradition of great javelin throwing. He won with his first round throw. American [Steve Seymour], the 1947-48 AAU Champion, placed second with his third round throw, needing a good throw at that point to move up from 10th and get three more throws. Rautavaara was a very interesting character. He was bronze medalist at the 1946 European Championships, and was Finnish javelin champion in 1944-45, and 1947-49, in addition to his Olympic gold medal. But he was also a top archer and competed on the Finnish team that won the World Team Championship in 1958, and he was Finnish champion in archery in 1955. But Rautavaara is best remembered in Finland for his singing and acting. He toured Finland performing in the 50s and early 60s, and eventually recorded over 300 songs. He began acting in films and television after World War II, and appeared in over 20 movies.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Tapio Rautavaara 33 Finland FIN Gold
2 Steve Seymour 27 United States USA Silver
3 József Várszegi 37 Hungary HUN Bronze
4 Pauli Vesterinen 24 Finland FIN
5 Odd Mæhlum 26 Norway NOR
6 Martin Biles 29 United States USA
7 Mirko Vujačić 23 Yugoslavia YUG
8 Bob Likins 27 United States USA
9 Gunnar Petersson 32 Sweden SWE
10 Per-Arne Berglund 21 Sweden SWE
11 Lumír Kiesewetter 28 Czechoslovakia TCH
12 Soini Nikkinen 24 Finland FIN
13 QR Ricardo Héber 20 Argentina ARG
14 QR Raymond Tissot 28 France FRA
15 QR Dušan Vujačić 29 Yugoslavia YUG
16 QR Nico Lutkeveld 31 Netherlands NED
17 QR Jóel Sigurðsson 23 Iceland ISL
18 QR Pedro Apellániz 24 Spain ESP
19 QR Morville Chote 23 Great Britain GBR
20 QR Leo Roininen 20 Canada CAN
21 QR Malcolm Dalrymple 25 Great Britain GBR
22 QR Halil Zıraman Turkey TUR
23 QR Pierre Sprécher 26 France FRA