Mario Lanzi

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Mario Lanzi (born October 10, 1914 in Castelletto sopra Ticino ; † February 21, 1980 in Schio ) was an Italian athlete who was successful in the 800 m in the 1930s and early 1940s . He won three medals at European Championships and Olympic Games .

Mario Lanzi was the great opponent of the German Rudolf Harbig . The duel that he delivered to Harbig on July 15, 1939 in Milan with his world record in 1: 46.6 minutes was spectacular . Lanzi had passed the first 400 m in 52.4 seconds and was still in the lead 100 m from the finish line. But then Harbig started the final sprint, which Lanzi could not follow. He was knocked off (1: 49.0 minutes) second. However, Lanzi was still running a national record during this time. In the revenge that followed 14 days later, he again lost to Harbig with 1: 49.2 minutes compared to 1: 48.7 minutes.

Also on August 12, 1939, when Harbig ran a world record over 400 m in Frankfurt am Main with 46.0 seconds , Lanzi was second in 47.2 seconds. The same course of the race could be observed here as in the world record race over 800 m in Milan: Lanzi ran at a high starting pace, but Harbig was able to "pull himself in" on Lanzi on the last 150 m and finally walk past.

During the Second World War , Lanzi met Harbig three more times. He won two of these races:

  • in Como , Italy with 1: 54.2 minutes (Harbig: 1: 54.7 minutes)
  • on June 29, 1941 in Bologna , Italy with 1: 49.0 minutes (Harbig: 1: 49.1 minutes)

In 1942 he won over 400 m at the ISTAF in Berlin .


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