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Athletics at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin
Date Started: August 8, 1936
Date Finished: August 9, 1936

Gold: USA United States
Silver: ITA Italy
Bronze: GER Germany

Summary

The US team was expected to run a foursome of Frank Wykoff, Foy Draper, Marty Glickman, and Sam Stoller. But both Glickman and Stoller were Jewish, and for reasons not fully understood, American coach Lawson Robertson (himself an Olympian in 1904-08) elected to replace them by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. Many rumors have since circulated concerning this decision. Though Owens and Metcalfe were their fastest runners, they were not needed, and it is sometimes thought that Robertson did this so as not to offend the Nazis hatred of Jews. It is also stated that Robertson heard that the Germans had been “hiding” their fastest runners in the individual races, and would bring them onto the relay, and that Owens and Metcalfe would be needed to win the gold medal. Some stories also say that Owens asked Robertson not to change the line-up, but to let Glickman and Stoller run. In the end, Robertson’s decision stood, and Owens led off the US team. They won easily, breaking the world record with 39.8, and defeating Italy by almost 15 metres, with Germany, devoid of super runners, in third. It was Owens’ fourth gold medal of the 1936 Olympics, and Frank Wykoff won his third consecutive gold medal in the 4x100 relay. Glickman and Stoller never competed in the Olympics. Marty Glickman later became a well-known sportscaster in the US.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold WR
2 Italy ITA Silver
3 Germany GER Bronze
4 Argentina ARG
5 Canada CAN
AC Netherlands NED
3 h1 r1/2 South Africa RSA
3 h2 r1/2 Hungary HUN
3 h3 r1/2 Sweden SWE
4 h1 r1/2 Finland FIN
4 h2 r1/2 Great Britain GBR
4 h3 r1/2 Switzerland SUI
5 h2 r1/2 France FRA
6 h2 r1/2 China CHN
AC h1 r1/2 Japan JPN