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Athletics at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Athletics at the 1952 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki
Date Started: July 27, 1952
Date Finished: July 27, 1952

Gold: USA United States
Silver: GER Germany
Bronze: GBR Great Britain

Summary

Marjorie Jackson had won the 100/200 sprint double and led the favored Australian team, which had two other finalists from the 100, and the 80 metre hurdle champion, Shirley Strickland. In the heats they ran 46.1 to break the world record. In the final, Australia led by two metres on the final curve, run by Winsome Cripps. The exchange to Jackson was clean initially. But Cripps brought up a knee and knocked the baton from Jackson’s hand. To her credit, Jackson caught the baton on the bounce, and ran on, but the delay proved disastrous, and Australia could only finish fifth. Germany then had the lead at the start of the anchor leg, but Cathy Hardy (USA) gained two metres to edge out Marga Petersen of Germany, both teams running world records of 45.9 – although the automatic time had the US with 46.14 to 46.18 for Germany. Pearl Jones ran the second leg for the United States, aged only 15 years, 123 days on the day of the final, and she remains the youngest athlete to have won an Olympic athletics gold medal.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold WR
2 Germany GER Silver
3 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Soviet Union URS
5 Australia AUS
6 Netherlands NED
3 h1 r1/2 Argentina ARG
3 h2 r1/2 Italy ITA
3 h3 r1/2 Canada CAN
4 h1 r1/2 Poland POL
4 h2 r1/2 Sweden SWE
4 h3 r1/2 France FRA
5 h1 r1/2 Saar SAA
5 h3 r1/2 Finland FIN
AC h2 r1/2 Hungary HUN