Gunder Hägg

Gunder Hägg

Gunder Hägg (right) sets a new world record for the mile at 4.06.2 in Gothenburg on 1 July 1942. Behind him is Arne Andersson.

Gunder Hägg (31 December 1918, Albacken – 27 November 2004) was a Swedish runner and multiple world record breaker of the 1940s. Gunder Hägg set over a dozen middle distance world records at events ranging from 1500 to 5000 meters, including three at both the 1500 meters and the mile, one at 3000 meters and one at 5000 meters.

Hägg and fellow Swede, Arne Andersson, lowered the record for the mile to just over four minutes (4:01.4) - accelerating the progression of the world record in the mile run. Both athletes set three world records for the mile. Hägg first set the record in July 1942 at 4:06.2, a time which was equalled by Anderson later the same month. This record was broken by Hägg (4:04.6) in September the same year. Andersson recaptured the world record in July