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Abel Kiviat

Photo of Abel Kiviat

Inducted: 1985, athlete

Born: June 23, 1892 - New York, New York
Deceased: August 24, 1991

Events
1,500 m - 3:55.80
1 mi. - 4:15.60


Abel Kiviat was one of the greatest middle distance runners in the world prior to World War I. At one point, he simultaneously held the world indoor bests in the 600, 1,000 and one mile, the only person in history ever to accomplish that feat. In 1912, he set a world record of 3:55.8 in the 1500m run at the Olympic Trial, then continued on to the mile post, finishing in 4:15.6, just 0.2 seconds above the world record for that distance. In the Olympic final, he placed second, just 0.1 second behind the winner, Arnold Strode Jackson of Great Britain. Starting in 1909 while he was a senior at Curtis High School in New York City, Kiviat went on to win five national indoor titles and four outdoors, three in the mile run and one in cross country. After serving in the U.S. Army in France during World War I, Kiviat returned to running until 1925. He maintained a life-long interest in the sport by serving as a press steward at major meets.

Records Held
World Record: 1,500 m - 3:55.80 (June 8, 1912 - )

Championships
1912 Olympics: 1,500 m (2nd)

Education
high school: Curtis (New York, New York), 1910

Occupations
Press steward

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