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Athletics at the 1948 London Summer Games:

Men's Marathon

Athletics at the 1948 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
Date Started: August 7, 1948
Date Finished: August 7, 1948
Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.

Gold: ARG Delfo Cabrera
Silver: GBR Tom Richards
Bronze: BEL Ã‰tienne Gailly


With the world recovering from the effects of World War II, it was difficult to choose a favorite in 1948. Finland’s [Viljo Heino] was to make his marathon début at London, and as the world-record holder at 10,000 metres and in the one-hour run, he was considered someone to watch. The London organizers chose to not to run over the point-to-point course used for the 1908 Olympics, which had established the standard marathon distance of 42.195 km. (26 miles, 385 yards). Instead, the race started and finished at Wembley Stadium, looping thru the London suburbs.

Raceday was cloudy and humid, with some wind, with the event starting at 3 PM. The immediate lead was taken by the Belgian [Étienne Gailly] in his marathon début. He held the lead almost the entire race, but was passed briefly at about 35 km. by the Korean, [Choi Yoon-Chil]. However, Gailly regained the lead quickly and held it as he entered Wembley Stadium. Unfortunately, he had given all he had to that point. He was wobbling and stumbling along the track, evoking memories of [Dorando Pietri] in 1908. On the track he was passed first by Argentina’s [Delfo Cabrera], who had run a steady pace moving up throughout, and then by Britain’s [Tom Richards]. Cabrera won the gold medal, with Richards second. Gailly was able to finish the race, and held on for a bronze medal.

View a Phase of this EventFinal Standings

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Delfo Cabrera 29 Argentina ARG Gold 2-34:51.6
2 Tom Richards 38 Great Britain GBR Silver 2-35:07.6
3 Étienne Gailly 25 Belgium BEL Bronze 2-35:33.6
4 Johannes Coleman 38 South Africa RSA 2-36:06.0
5 Eusebio Guiñez 41 Argentina ARG 2-36:36.0
6 Syd Luyt 22 South Africa RSA 2-38:11.0
7 Gustav Östling 33 Sweden SWE 2-38:40.6
8 John Systad 35 Norway NOR 2-38:41.0
9 Alberto Sensini 38 Argentina ARG 2-39:30.0
10 Henning Larsen 37 Denmark DEN 2-41:22.0
11 Viljo Heino 34 Finland FIN 2-41:32.0
12 Anders Melin 26 Sweden SWE 2-42:20.0
13 Jussi Kurikkala 35 Finland FIN 2-42:48.0
14 Ted Vogel 23 United States USA 2-45:27.0
15 Enrique Inostroza 27 Chile CHI 2-47:48.0
16 Lloyd Evans 32 Canada CAN 2-48:07.0
17 Gérard Côté 35 Canada CAN 2-48:31.0
18 Stelios Kyriakidis 38 Greece GRE 2-49:00.0
19 József Kiss 39 Hungary HUN 2-50:20.0
20 Şevki Koru 35 Turkey TUR 2-51:07.0
21 Johnny Kelley 40 United States USA 2-51:56.0
22 Kaspar Schiesser 32 Switzerland SUI 2-52:09.0
23 Walter Fedorick 30 Canada CAN 2-52:12.0
24 Ollie Manninen 31 United States USA 2-56:49.0
25 Hong Jong-O 23 South Korea KOR 2-56:54.0
26 Paddy Mulvihill 32 Ireland IRL 2-57:35.0
27 Seo Yun-Bok 25 South Korea KOR 2-59:36.0
28 Sven HÃ¥kansson 38 Sweden SWE 3-00:09.0
29 Jakob Jutz Switzerland SUI 3-03:55.0
30 Stan Jones 33 Great Britain GBR 3-09:16.0
AC Salvatore Costantino 29 Italy ITA DNF
AC Pierre Cousin 35 France FRA DNF
AC Hans Frischknecht 25 Switzerland SUI DNF
AC Mikko Hietanen 36 Finland FIN DNF
AC Jack Holden 41 Great Britain GBR DNF
AC René Josset 37 France FRA DNF
AC Luo Wenao China CHN DNF
AC Arsène Piesset 28 France FRA DNF
AC Athanasios Ragazos 34 Greece GRE DNF
AC Chhota Singh India IND DNF
AC Choi Yun-Chil 20 South Korea KOR DNF