When 15-year-old Yasuji Miyazaki won multiple gold medals at the 1932 Olympics

A rare image of Yasuji Miyazaki (Image Credits: X/@aniketmishra299)
A rare image of Yasuji Miyazaki (Image Credits: X/@aniketmishra299)

A teenaged Yasuji Miyazaki won gold medals for Japan in the 100-metre freestyle and 4x200-metre relay events at the 1932 Olympics that took place in Los Angeles, California, United States. At the age of 15 years and 311 days, he became the youngest to finish on top of the podium in the 100m freestyle event.

In the 100m semis, he broke the Olympic record, which was earlier held by Johnny Weissmuller of the USA. Miyazaki clocked 58.2 seconds to stamp his authority in the event.

After his incredible efforts in the 100m event, Miyazaki won another gold in the 4*200-metre relay the very next day. The Japanese team, which Miyazaki was a part of, made a world record by clocking eight minutes and 58.4 seconds.

Apart from Miyakazi, Hisakichi Toyoda, Takashi Yokoyama and Masanori Yusa took part in the relay. However, it was the young Miyakazi, who garnered praise from all around the world for his stupendous efforts as a teenager.

Japan won 12 Olympic medals in swimming in the 1932 edition of the Games, including five gold, five silver and two bronze. They also finished on top of the medals table above the USA, who had 10 medals to their name.


Law student Yasuji Miyazaki earns laurels

Miyazaki, who was born in 1916 in Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture, enjoyed studying a lot more than spending time swimming. Hence, after he returned from the Olympics, he quit swimming and was admitted to Keio University.

He lived in Nishinomiya, Japan, and studied law. Later, he worked as an advisor to the Japanese Swimming Federation after returning to the sport following World War II.

In 1981, Miyazaki entered the International Hall of Fame in swimming. In 1989, he got the Olympic Order in Silver. In December 1989, the Japanese swimmer breathed his last at the age of 73.

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