Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Stockholm
Date Started: July 8, 1912
Date Finished: July 9, 1912
With five of the six finalists in the 100 metres, the United States was a heavy favorite. But after walking over in round one, the U.S. was disqualified in the first heat of the semis for a baton exchange outside the zone.
The finalists were Great Britain, Sweden, and Germany. In the semi-finals, each of the winners broke the previous world record of 43.5, which had been set by a German team on 19 May 1912. Germany recorded 42.3 in winning heat three and was favored in the final, in the United States’ absence. But Germany also fell prey to a faulty baton pass in the final, and was disqualified.
However, even without the penalty, Germany did not win the race. Great Britain held them off, with [William Applegarth] refusing to allow [Richard Rau] to pass him in the final straight. Both were timed in 42.4, as Britain won by a few centimetres. After the German disqualification, Sweden was awarded the silver medals.