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Athletics at the 1932 Summer Olympics – Men’s 1500 metres


Dec 13, 2021

The men’s 1500 metres middle-distance event at the 1932 Summer Olympics took place on August 3 and August 4 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[1] Twenty-four athletes from 14 nations competed.[2] The 1930 Olympic Congress in Berlin had reduced the limit from 4 athletes per NOC to 3 athletes.[3] The event was won by Luigi Beccali of Italy, earning the nation’s first medal in the 1500 metres. Canada also won its first 1500 metres medal, with Phil Edwards‘s bronze.

Men’s 1500 metres events at the Olympics
Men’s 1500 metres

at the Games of the X Olympiad

Olympic Athletics
Venue Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Dates August 3 and August 4
Competitors 24 from 14 nations
Winning time 3:51.2 OR
Luigi Beccali
Jerry Cornes
 Great Britain
Phil Edwards
Athletics at the
1932 Summer Olympics
Track events
100 m men women
200 m men
400 m men
800 m men
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m steeple men
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Decathlon men

. . . Athletics at the 1932 Summer Olympics – Men’s 1500 metres . . .

This was the ninth appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. Despite the low attendance in 1932 generally, the 1500 metres had a strong field. Returning finalists from 1928 were Finland’s medalists, gold winner Harri Larva and bronze winner Eino Purje, along with sixth-place finisher Paul Martin of Switzerland. Other top runners included Jack Lovelock of New Zealand, Luigi Beccali of Italy, Glenn Cunningham of the United States, and Phil Edwards of Canada.[2]

Brazil and New Zealand each made their first appearance in the event. The United States made its ninth appearance, the only nation to have competed in the men’s 1500 metres at each Games to that point.

The competition consisted of two rounds, the format used since 1908. With fewer runners than in previous Games, the number of semifinals was reduced to three (with between 7 and 9 runners each after withdrawals). The top four runners in each heat advanced to the final, maintaining the 12-man final race.[2][4]

These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1932 Summer Olympics.

World record  Jules Ladoumègue (FRA) 3:49.2 Paris, France 5 October 1930
Olympic record  Harri Larva (FIN) 3:53.2 Amsterdam, Netherlands 2 August 1928

In the final Luigi Beccali set a new Olympic record at 3:51.2.

. . . Athletics at the 1932 Summer Olympics – Men’s 1500 metres . . .

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. . . Athletics at the 1932 Summer Olympics – Men’s 1500 metres . . .