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Harri Larva

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHarry Edvin "Harri"•Larva (Lagerström-)
Used nameHarri•Larva
Born9 September 1906 in Turku (FIN)
Died15 November 1980 in Turku (FIN)
Measurements180 cm / 68 kg
AffiliationsTurun Urheiluliitto, Turku (FIN)
NOC(s) Finland


Born Harri Lagerström, Harri Larva changed his last name to Larva in 1928, because Lagerström did not sound Finnish. He was coerced into doing so by the Finnish Athletics Union President, and known nationalist, Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, who later became the longest-serving president of Finland (1956-82). Larva, a Finnish champion at 800 metres in 1928-30 and 1934, won only one bronze medal over his favorite distance, the 1,500 m, at the Finnish nationals, that coming in 1927. Larva’s best year was 1928, when he ran all his best performances in distances from 400 m to a mile. At the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, in a 1,500 m final, Larva fought off Frenchman Jules Ladoumègue, and won a surprising gold in 3:53.2. Larva also competed at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, placing 10th in the 1,500.

Personal Best: 1500 – 3:52.0 (1928).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1928 Summer Olympics Athletics 800 metres, Men Olympic DNS Representing Finland    
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Olympic 10 Representing Finland    

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1928 Summer Olympics 2 August 1928 Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Final 3:53.2 1