Emilio Lunghi

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Non-starter
Full nameEmilio Enrico•Lunghi
Used nameEmilio•Lunghi
Born16 March 1887 in Genova (Genoa), Genova (ITA)
Died26 September 1925 in Genova (Genoa), Genova (ITA)
Measurements179 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsSport Pedestre Genova, Genova (ITA) / Sport Club Italia, Milano (ITA)
NOC Italy
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


Emilio Lunghi was a versatile athlete who became Italy’s first great athletics star. He was the first Italian to set a world record over a standard distance, which he did at the 1909 Canadian Championship on 13 September when he ran 880 yards in 1:52 4/5. Within a month he also broke world marks in lesser-known distances, the 700 yards in 1:27 2/5 at New York on 6 September, and two-thirds of a mile in 2:45 3/5 on 3 October, also in New York. In his North American tour that year Lunghi ran 31 races, winning 27 times.

Lunghi was in North America because he had been invited by the well-known coach Lawson Robertson after his brilliant race in the 800 metres at the 1908 London Olympics when, after being the fastest in the heats with 1:57.2, he was a clear second (1:54.2), making him the first Italian to win an Olympic athletics medal. At the 1912 Stockholm Olympics Lunghi, by then past his prime, was eliminated in the semifinal in both the 400 and 800 metres.

From 1912-19 Lunghi served in the military with the Regia Marina (Navy) as a seaman signals operator. After World War I he was a founder of the Federation of the Sea Workers to help all those Navy men who needed assistance.

Lunghi began his sports career in 1902 with the club Società Ginnastica Andrea Doria of Genova. Domestically he won individual national championships nine times in six different events: 400 m. (1908), 800 m. (1914), 1,000 m. (1908, 1911-12), 1,500 m. (1906, 1913), 1,200 metres steeplechase (1912), and the 400 m. hurdles in 1913.

Lunghi was on the Italian national team at the 1920 Olympics as an assistant coach. At the 1924 Paris Olympics, he assisted the American coach and Olympic champion Platt Adams, and he also judged the walking events. With his wide chest and handsome features, Lunghi was a model for sculptors and painters. He died at Genova at only 38-years-old from sepsis after a short of illness.

Personal Bests: 400 – 49.0 (1912); 800 – 1:52.1y (1909); 1500 – 4:03.8 (1908).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics ITA Emilio Lunghi
400 metres, Men (Intercalated) DNS
800 metres, Men (Intercalated) DNS
1,500 metres, Men (Intercalated) DNS
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics ITA Emilio Lunghi
400 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 h3 r1/2
3,200 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) DNS
3 miles, Team, Men (Olympic) Italy AC
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics ITA Emilio Lunghi
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 h4 r2/3
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h2 r2/3
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Italy DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Italy DNS
3,000 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Italy DNS

Special Notes