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Amsterdam 1928


Youngster Lundqvist sends javelin soaring for gold


Scandinavian dominance in the javelin has long been the preserve of the Finns yet at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam it was an agile Swede who took the plaudits.


Using an explosive run-up and whiplash action not dissimilar to the leading throwers of today, Lundqvist looked full of confidence in the competition’s four-group format.

Favourite for the event had been Finn Eino Penttila but the occasion got to him and all he could muster was a throw good enough for sixth place.

A sign painter by trade, Lundqvist sent the javelin out to an Olympic record distance of 66.60m, well over a metre clear of his nearest rival, the Hungarian Bela Szepes.

With the neat touch of miniature national flags marking the competitors’ best throws, the blue and yellow of Sweden stood some distance ahead of its rivals.

The versatile Szepes had represented Hungary at the Winter Olympics in Chamonix four years earlier but had failed to win a medal in the Nordic Combined.

Lundqvist won gold at the age of 20 years and a month to become the youngest person to ever win gold in the event.

Thirteen days later he became the first man in history to break the 70m landmark when he threw 71.01m, breaking the record set by Penttila.

His was one of seven Swedish golds in Amsterdam, leaving them fifth in the overall medals table.

Discover the best photos of Amsterdam 1928

  • The 1928 “Céleste” club

    The football team entered victoriously by Uruguay at the 1928 Games. Andrés Mazali stands third from right


  • Winner’s medal Amsterdam 1928

    The reverse of the medal shows an athlete carried triumphantly in victory. This motif was used on the reverse of summer Olympic medals until 1968, when a different reverse was designed for the Munich 1972 Games


  • AAANX093

    Amsterdam 1928-Italian competitors (ITA) on the boat arriving in Amsterdam.

  • XAAQA003

    Amsterdam 1928-WIDE Edvin (SWE) 3rd in 5000 m and 10000 m.

  • XAAQA007

    Amsterdam 1928-Field hockey-Count Henri DE BAILLET-LATOUR congratulating the Belgian team (BEL) 4e.

  • XAAQA001

    Amsterdam 1928-1500m-In 8th position, MARTIN Paul (SUI) 6th.