Lennart Strand was a specialist in the 1,500 metres, active in the years after World War II. Sweden being neutral during the war, the Swedish runners had been training and competing during the war, which gave them an advantage. Strand captured the first major international title after World War II, the 1946 European Championships in Oslo, ahead of compatriot Henry Eriksson. In 1947, Strand equalled the world record that had been set by another Swede, Gunder Hägg, in 1944 with 3:34.0. With Hägg (and rival Arne Andersson) declared professionals, this left Strand a major favorite for the gold in London. Together with Eriksson he was ahead of the pack with just 50 metres to go, but Eriksson left Strand behind him, and Strand struggled to fight off Wim Slijkhuis to earn silver. An attempt to defend his European title in 1950 failed as Strand was forced to abandon the final race, leaving the title to Slijkhuis. Strand retired in 1950 with six Swedish titles (1500 m: 1945-47, 1949-50; cross-country: 1950) and a win in the 1946 AAU Championships. Lennart Strand was also a decent piano player, and released a number of jazz albums in 1952. A sportswriter, he worked for the Sydsvenska Dagbladet newspaper for many years. Strand died from injuries sustained in a traffic accident in late 2003.
Personal Best\: 1500 – 3:43.0 (1947).
Athlete Olympic Results Content