Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 7, 1932
Date Finished: August 7, 1932
Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.
|Gold:||Juan Carlos Zabala|
The early favorite in 1932 was considered to be the great Finnish runner, Paavo Nurmi, who had never run a full marathon. In June he entered the Finnish Olympic trial, but announced to the official he would stop at around 40 km., because of an Achilles’ tendon problem. His time to there was just over 2-22, equivalent to about a 2-29 marathon, which would have won the race by six minutes. Nurmi made the trip to Los Angeles but did not run the Olympic marathon. Three days before the Olympics began, the IAAF suspended him for having accepted excessive expense money during some of his tours. He was declared a professional and was not allowed to compete in the Olympics.
The 1932 Olympic marathon course started and finished at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but was a loop course around Los Angeles. The best known runners in the race were two Britons, Sam Ferris and Duncan McLeod Wright. Also highly considered was the winner of the Finnish trial, Armas Toivonen. The Americans had no top contender but interestingly, an Argentine, Juan Carlos Zabala, had run in two of the American trial races, having come to the United States to acclimate himself. In the race, a stretched-out pack of five led thru 24 miles, which included Zabala, Ferris, Wright, Toivonen, and Japan’s Seiichiro Tsuda. Zabala took the lead but was struggling. Ferris, in fourth, was the freshest and closed quickly as they neared the stadium. But he had not started his surge soon enough, and Zabala won on the track by 19 seconds, with Ferris second, and Toivonen third. Zabala attempted two more marathons in his career, but never again finished the race.
|1||Juan Carlos Zabala||20||Argentina||ARG||Gold||2-31:36||OB|
|2||Sam Ferris||31||Great Britain||GBR||Silver||2-31:55|
|4||Duncan Wright||35||Great Britain||GBR||2-32:41|
|7||Whitey Michelsen||38||United States||USA||2-39:38|
|10||Anders Hartington Andersen||25||Denmark||DEN||2-44:38|
|11||Hans Oldag||31||United States||USA||2-47:26|
|15||Paul de Bruyn||24||Germany||GER||2-52:39|
|19||João Clemente da Silva||Brazil||BRA||3-02:06|
|AC||Jimmy Henigan||40||United States||USA||DNF|