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John Flanagan

Inducted: 1975, athlete

Born: January 9, 1873 - Kilbreedy, IR
Deceased: June 4, 1938

Hammer Throw - 56.20 m

A native of Ireland, John Flanagan was one of the Irish-American "whales" who helped make the U.S. dominant in the weight events at the turn of the 20th century. Before emigrating to the United States in 1897, he set an unofficial world record of 147 feet in winning the 1896 British championship. Over the next decade, he improved his record several times, becoming the first to surpass 150 feet (in 1897), 160 feet (1899), 170 feet (1901) and 180 feet (1909). His final world record of 184' 4" was 37' 8" longer than his first and it made him the oldest athlete ever to break the world record in any track and field event. A three-time Olympian, he won gold medals in the hammer throw in 1900, 1904 and 1908 and silver medals in the 56-pound weight throw and the Tug of War. He also finished fourth in the discus in 1904. He was national AAU champion in the hammer throw from 1897 through 1899 and in 1901, 1902, 1906 and 1907. He also won the 56-pound weight competition five times. Like many of the great Irish-American weight throwers of his time, Flanagan became a New York City policeman. After retiring from the force in 1911, he returned to Ireland and coached two-time Olympic champion Dr. Patrick O'Callaghan.

Records Held
World Record: Hammer Throw - 56.18 m (July 24, 1909 - )

1900 Olympics: Hammer Throw (1st)
1904 Olympics: Hammer Throw (1st)
1904 Olympics: 56-pound Weight Throw (1st)
1904 Olympics: Discus Throw (4th)
1908 Olympics: Hammer Throw (1st)
1897 AAU: Hammer Throw (1st)
1898 AAU: Hammer Throw (1st)
1899 AAU: Hammer Throw (1st)
1901 AAU: Hammer Throw (1st)
1902 AAU: Hammer Throw (1st)
1906 AAU: Hammer Throw (1st)
1907 AAU: Hammer Throw (1st)


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