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Athletics at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin
Date Started: August 5, 1936
Date Finished: August 6, 1936

Gold: NZL Jack Lovelock
Silver: USA Glenn Cunningham
Bronze: ITA Luigi Beccali

Summary

All the top runners from 1932 were back, led by Jack Lovelock, Glenn Cunningham, and the defending champion Luigi Beccali. Cunningham was top American but barely, as Gene Venzke and Bill Bonthron had pushed him in 1934-35 and formed a top American triumvirate. The other top miler present was Britain’s dimunitive Sydney Wooderson. The top race in the year before Berlin was the Princeton Invitational mile, where Lovelock defeated Bonthron and Cunningham.

At the Olympics, most of the favorites made it thru to the final, which also included the silver and bronze medalists from Los Angeles, John “Jerry” Cornes, and Phil Edwards, as well as the USA runner, Archie San Romani, who had beaten out Bonthron at the Olympic Trials. Wooderson was the only favorite who did not come thru the heats. Cunningham went into the lead early, passing 400 metres in 61.5. The pace was slow and Cunningham led thru 800 in 2:05.2 with the field bunched. Sweden’s Eric Ny passed Cunningham on the third lap, and Lovelock moved to his shoulder at the bell. On the curve just past the line, he shot into a four-yard lead and continued to push the pace down the backstretch. Cunningham kept after him but made up no ground until Lovelock eased a bit near the finish, as he won in the world record time of 3:47.8

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Jack Lovelock 26 New Zealand NZL Gold WR
2 Glenn Cunningham 26 United States USA Silver
3 Luigi Beccali 28 Italy ITA Bronze
4 Archie San Romani 23 United States USA
5 Phil Edwards 28 Canada CAN
6 Jerry Cornes 26 Great Britain GBR
7 Miklós Szabó 27 Hungary HUN
8 Robert Goix 30 France FRA
9 Gene Venzke 28 United States USA
10 Fritz Schaumburg 30 Germany GER
11 Eric Ny 26 Sweden SWE
12 Werner Böttcher 26 Germany GER
4 h1 r1/2 Ossi Teileri 24 Finland FIN
4 h2 r1/2 Pierre Leichtnam 25 France FRA
4 h3 r1/2 Bobby Graham 26 Great Britain GBR
4 h4 r1/2 Joseph Mostert 24 Belgium BEL
5 h1 r1/2 Mihály Iglói 27 Hungary HUN
5 h2 r1/2 Clarke Scholtz 24 South Africa RSA
5 h3 r1/2 Bedřich Hošek 24 Czechoslovakia TCH
5 h4 r1/2 Niilo Hartikka 27 Finland FIN
6 h1 r1/2 Grigorios Georgakopoulos Greece GRE
6 h2 r1/2 Kiyoshi Nakamura 23 Japan JPN
6 h3 r1/2 André Glatigny 21 France FRA
6 h4 r1/2 Franz Eichberger 23 Austria AUT
7 h1 r1/2 René Geeraert 27 Belgium BEL
7 h2 r1/2 Emil Goršek 21 Yugoslavia YUG
7 h3 r1/2 Gerald Backhouse 23 Australia AUS
7 h4 r1/2 Ragnar Ekholdt 22 Norway NOR
8 h1 r1/2 Børge Larsen 25 Denmark DEN
8 h2 r1/2 Emil Hübscher 23 Austria AUT
8 h3 r1/2 Harry Mehlhose 22 Germany GER
8 h4 r1/2 Hugh Thompson Canada CAN
9 h1 r1/2 Pierre Hemmer 24 Luxembourg LUX
9 h2 r1/2 Jack Liddle Canada CAN
9 h3 r1/2 Reginald Uba 25 Estonia EST
9 h4 r1/2 Charles Stein 25 Luxembourg LUX
10 h1 r1/2 Paul Martin 34 Switzerland SUI
10 h2 r1/2 Miguel Castro 25 Chile CHI
10 h3 r1/2 Jia Lianren 23 China CHN
10 h4 r1/2 Francisco Váldez 35 Peru PER
11 h3 r1/2 Emilio Torres 26 Colombia COL
AC h2 r1/2 Martti Matilainen 28 Finland FIN
AC h4 r1/2 Sydney Wooderson 21 Great Britain GBR