John Zander

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 2
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Adolf Fredrik•Zander
Used nameJohn•Zander
Born31 January 1890 in Stockholm (SWE)
Died9 June 1967 in Stockholm (SWE)
Measurements180 cm / 66 kg
AffiliationsMariebergs IK, Stockholm (SWE)
NOC Sweden


John Zander was one of the world’s best middle- and long-distance runners just before World War I, who decided many races with his long, hard sprint. In 1912 Zander won his first Swedish Championship, which qualified him for the Stockholm Olympics. It was the first of 10 Swedish titles: 800 (1912-13); 1,500 (1913, 1915-18); steeplechase (1915); and 5,000 (1917-18). Other victories include the English AAA Championship over one mile, the 1914 Baltic Games, in which he won both the 3,000 and 5,000 metres, and the 1916 Swedish Games, where he won four events. In 1918 he finished his active career but returned to compete at the 1920 Olympics, although a rib injury prevented him from reaching top form. During his career he set Swedish records in the 1,500 and 5,000 metres. His first Swedish record in the 1,500 was also a world record. He set other world records in the non-Olympic events, the 2,000 and 3,000 metres. Zander was appointed “Stor grabb” #24 in Athletics in 1928. He worked as an actuary for the Pension Board in Stockholm.

Personal Best: 1500 – 3:54.7 (1917); 3000 – unknown.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics SWE John Zander
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
3,000 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Sweden 2 Silver
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics SWE John Zander
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) AC
3,000 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Sweden 3 Bronze