Audun Boysen

Norwegian track and field athlete. Born May 10, 1929, died March 02, 2000. Parents: Doctor Audun Boysen (1894-1983) and Kathrine (“Tatty”) Marie Rockmann Moen. Married in 1953 with Brit Hegstad (30.9.1929-).

Audun Boysen belonged to the absolute world elite and was Norway’s foremost middle-distance runner in the 1950s. He represented IK Tjalve, Torodd, SK Freidig and Rissa IL. He won 15 Norwegian championships over 400, 800 and 1500 meters, he won one silver medal and two bronze medals in international championships over 800 meters; and he set a number of Norwegian and Nordic records, and also three world records of 1000 meters.

Boysen got his breakthrough in 1948, when he ran 1.53.3 at 800 meters during an international meeting at Bislett, having ran a fast first round of 53 seconds. His major international breakthrough came in 1950 during Tjalve’s anniversary meeting at Bislett, when he was barely beaten by the American Olympic champion Mal Whitfield at 800 meters after leading through most of the race. In that race, Boysen set his first Norwegian record with 1.50.6. In August 1950 he won a 800 meter race during a meeting in Gothenburg with the time 1.48.7; again he had an unusually strong opening – the first lap was passed at 51.8. The time was a new Norwegian and Nordic record and the fifth best 800-meter race in the world to that date.

Etter disse sterke resultatene var Audun Boysen blant favorittene til å vinne 800 meter under europamesterskapet i Brussel i 1950. Han åpnet hardt i finalen på 800 meter og ledet lenge, men i mål var han blitt forbiløpt av fire mann. I 1950 vant Audun Boysen også sine første norske mesterskap på 400 og 800 meter. Han deltok i de olympiske lekene i Helsinki 1952, men uten suksess. Han klarte ikke å kvalifisere seg til finalen på 800 meter. På 1500 meter nådde han finalen, men ble uplassert. I 1953 satte han sin første verdensrekord på 1000 meter med tiden 2.20.4 på Bislet. Dette var den første verdensrekorden i løp satt av en nordmann. Boysen forbedret denne rekorden både i 1954 (2.19.5) og i 1955 (2.19.0).

Before the European Championship in 1954, Audun Boysen was again one of the favorites on 800 meters. Again he took the lead from the start, but once again he was overtaken before the finish line. This time only by two men, so he won his first medal in an international championship. It was in 1955 he set his most famous record on 800 meters at Bislett. However, it happened in a race where he didn’t win. He was beaten by the Belgian Roger Moens, who set a new world record with 1.45.7. Boysen also ran faster than the old world record with the time 1.45.9. This would turn out to be a very strong Norwegian record that remained up until 1992 – that is, for a whole 37 years !. During the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956, Audun Boysen received a new bronze medal on 800 meters. This was the first Olympic medal in a running discipline for Norway.

During the European Championship in 1958 in Stockholm, Boysen was very close to finally win an international championship. Crossing the finish line, he was second after British Mike Rawson, but the British had run inside the kerb in the first turn and was disqualified just after the race. Boysen was awarded the Gold Medal during the Victory Ceremony. However, the British filed a protest that was approved by the jury. Photographs confirm that Rawson undeniably ran within the kerb. The 800-meter in Stockholm was Boysen’s last major international competition. He retired as an athlete after running for his club Tjalve in Holmenkollstafetten in 1959.

Audun Boysen married in 1953 and graduated in psychology in 1954, both in the midst of an active sports career. He has since worked in public relations and information. For four years, from 1963, Audun Boysen was chairman of the sports club Tjalve.

Audun Boysen was awarded the Morgenbladet gold medal in 1953 and the royal trophy in 1954.