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Cycling at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Men's Sprint

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Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Cycling Stadium, Berlin
Date Started: August 6, 1936
Date Finished: August 7, 1936
Format: 1,000 metres.

Gold: GER Toni Merkens
Silver: NED Arie van Vliet
Bronze: FRA Louis Chaillot


The two best amateur sprinters in 1936 were [Toni Merkens] (GER) and [Arie van Vliet] (NED). Van Vliet placed second at the World Championships in both 1934 and to Merkens in 1935, despite having beaten him in the 1934 semi-finals. In 1936, only the gold and bronze medal matches were best two of three races. In the semi-finals, Merkens defeated Italy’s [Benedetto Pola]. The other semi saw van Vliet against the 1932 silver medalist, [Louis Chaillot] of France. In the first race of the final, Merkens led on the last curve, but van Vliet was about to pass him, when Merkens rode him up the bank in a blatant foul. Van Vliet raised his hand in protest and the jury deliberated. But the second race went on before a decision was announced, and it was also won by Merkens. The Dutch team then protested to the Jury of Appeal, but they confirmed the earlier verdict. In an unusual ruling, to say the least, Merkens was not disqualified in the first race, but instead was fined 100 Reichsmarks. While this not uncommon in professional racing, it was unheard of among the amateurs. Merkens turned professional only a few days after the Olympic races ended. Later in 1936 Van Vliet won the amateur World Championships, and would later win three professional sprint titles – 1938, 1948, and 1953 – and placed second as late as 1957.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Toni Merkens 24 Germany GER Gold
2 Arie van Vliet 20 Netherlands NED Silver
3 Louis Chaillot 22 France FRA Bronze
4 Benedetto Pola 21 Italy ITA
5T Henri Collard 24 Belgium BEL
5T Dunc Gray 30 Australia AUS
5T Karl Magnussen 21 Denmark DEN
5T Werner Wägelin 22 Switzerland SUI
2 h1 r3/6 Imre Győrffy 30 Hungary HUN
2 h2 r3/6 Haakon Sandtorp 24 Norway NOR
2 h3 r3/6 Ted Clayton 25 South Africa RSA
2 h4 r3/6 George Giles 22 New Zealand NZL
2 h5 r3/6 Ferry Dusika 28 Austria AUT
2 h6 r3/6 Ray Hicks 19 Great Britain GBR
2 h7 r3/6 Doug Peace 17 Canada CAN
2 h8 r3/6 Al Sellinger 22 United States USA
2 h3 r2/6 Manuel Riquelme 24 Chile CHI
2 h4 r2/6 Howard Wing 20 China CHN
3 h1 r2/6 José Mazzini 26 Peru PER
3 h2 r2/6 Nedyu Rachev 20 Bulgaria BUL