Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin
Date Started: August 8, 1936
Date Finished: August 9, 1936
The German team was favored because of their depth, as their first three runners had qualified for the 100 final. But the US had two finalists from that race, and was led by [Helen Stephens], who had won the 100 gold medal. The Americans also ran 1928 100 gold medalist [Betty Robinson] on the third leg. She had returned from a broken hip and leg sustained in airplane accident in 1931. Despite Robinson, the Germans were running away with the race as they neared the final baton pass, leading the US by eight metres. [Marie Dollinger] passed off to [Ilse Dörffeldt], the only German runner who had not run in the 100. In full sight of 100,000 Germans, including Adolf Hitler, Dörffeldt dropped the baton. Stephens ran a stunning anchor leg and some thought she may have been able to catch Dörffeldt, but that was not needed as the Germans did not finish. Dörffeldt broke down crying on the track and Hitler called the entire relay team up to his booth to comfort them.