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Stockholm 1912 - Quick hits

Longevity

After nine hours the final of the light-heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling competition was scored a draw. The Swede Anders Ahlgren and the Finn Ivar Boehling were both awarded a silver medal instead of the gold. In the semi-final, the contest between Estonian Martin Klein and Finland's Alfred Asikainen continued for eleven hours - a contest recorded as the longest in Olympic history. Each wrestler stopped every thirty minutes for a rest and Klein, who was the eventual winner, was so tired that he declined to take part in the final.

Dressing-room racism

The African-American sprinter Howard Drew, the much-favoured athlete in his category, decided to pull out of the 100m just before the event. While the official reason given was a ruptured Achilles tendon, it was suspected by many people that Drew was following instructions from his own coach - who wanted victory to be attained by a white American sprinter.

Mourning

Portugal's Francisco Lazaro fell prey to the rigours of the marathon at the 30km mark. Taken to hospital, he died the next day. Lazaro was the first of two athletes to die during the history of the summer Olympics - in 1960 the Dane Knud Enemark Jensen collapsed during the cycling event. He died a few days later.

President

An American athlete named Avery Brundage finished sixth in the pentathlon. Brundage would surely have been forgotten - if four decades later he did not become the president of the IOC.

Lost from sight

During the marathon, the Japanese runner Kanikuri mysteriously disappeared. The officials waited in vain for him to appear. And kept waiting. Fifty years after waiting for his explanation, they finally received it. After running about 20km in the race, Japan's sole representative at the Games was invited by some spectators to refresh himself. Undoubtedly embarrassed by his unplanned stop, Kanikuri decided to take a detour and promptly jumped on a tram, and without telling anyone, headed for home.


Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.