The IAAF has received the sad news that Gunder Hägg, Sweden’s
multiple World record breaker of the 1940’s era died Saturday 27 November
at the age of 85.
Hägg had been living in a nursing home near Malmö, Sweden for
sometime, and his failing health had confined him to a wheelchair. Born on 31
December 1918, he fell just short of his 86th birthday.
Hägg set over a dozen middle distance World records at events ranging
from 1500m to 5000m, including three at both the 1500m and the Mile, one at
3000m and one at 5000m.
Exchanging the records at 1500m and the Mile on a regular basis with his
compatriot Arne Andersson on tracks in Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm,
this duo of famous Swedes, benefitting from the relative calm of their
country’s neutrality during World War Two, obliterated the World records,
and redefined the boundaries of middle distance running.