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Toni Merkens

Full name: Nikolaus Anton "Toni" Merkens
Gender: Male
Born: June 21, 1912 in Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Died: June 20, 1944 in Wildbad im Schwarzwald, Bad Wildbad, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Affiliations: RC Schmitter, Köln (GER)
Country: GER Germany
Sport: Cycling

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)


Prior to winning the sprint gold medal at Berlin, Toni Merkens won the amateur World Championships in the sprint in 1935. He had been German champion in 1934-35, and also won sprint titles in 1934-35 in London and at the Grand Prix de Paris. In the final of the 1936 Berlin Olympics he met his eternal rival, Dutchman [Arie van Vliet]. Merkens won both races, the Dutch claimed an interference foul in the first race as Merkens had hindered van Vliet. The jury decided that the race should be counted, but Merkens must pay a fine of 100 gold francs for leaving the racing line. This was a unique cycling event in Olympic history.

He turned professional shortly after the 1936 Olympics. He was not able to place at further international championships, but was German professional champion in 1940 in the motor-paced event and in 1942 in the match sprint. He was also runner-up four times in German professional track championships between 1937-42. Merkens was heavily wounded in action on 19 August 1943 while fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front and later died in a military hospital in Germany.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 24 Berlin Cycling Men's Sprint Germany GER 1 Gold

Men's Sprint

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank RW T
1936 Summer 24 Berlin Cycling Germany Final Round Match 1/2 1 2
1936 Summer 24 Berlin Cycling Germany Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 12.4
1936 Summer 24 Berlin Cycling Germany Quarter-Finals Heat Four 1 QU 13.0
1936 Summer 24 Berlin Cycling Germany Round Two Heat Two 1 QU 13.0
1936 Summer 24 Berlin Cycling Germany Round One Heat Eight 1 QU 12.8
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