| Event type

4 x 400 metres Relay, Men

Date14 – 15 July 1912
LocationStockholms Olympiastadion, Stockholm
Participants28 from 7 countries

This was the first time this event was on the Olympic program. In 1908, a 1,600 metre medley relay (200, 200, 400, 800) had been contested at the London Olympics. The world record for the 4 x 400 relay was 3:18.2 which had been set on 4 September 1911 by the Irish-American Athletic Club of New York.

With four of the five 400 metre finalists, the United States was heavily favored. There were three heats, and the U.S., Great Britain, and France advanced to the final, with Britain posting the fastest qualifying time - 3:19.0.

The final was no contest as the favored Americans shattered the world record, running 3:16.6. Britain was hampered when their lead-off runner, George Nicol, pulled up and limped most of his lap, allowing France to garner the silver medal.

Britain’s third runner was James Soutter. Shortly after the Olympics, in 1913, he forsook track athletics in favor of the gospel ministry and was ordained the minister of the Scots Kirk in Nairobi, the first Scottish minister in Kenya. He returned to Scotland in 1917 and became minister of the parish of Whitekirk and Tynninghame, East Lothian where he served until he retired in 1949. In early August 1966, he oddly disappeared one day, and was never found, being presumed dead on 8 August 1966.

1United StatesUSA3:23.3 (1 h2)3:16.6 (1)GoldWR
Mel Sheppard
Ed Lindberg
Ted Meredith
Charles Reidpath
2FranceFRA3:22.5 (1 h3)3:20.7 (2)Silver
Charles Lelong
Robert Schurrer
Pierre Failliot
Charles Poulenard
3Great BritainGBR3:19.0 (1 h1)3:23.2 (3)Bronze
George Nicol
Ernest Henley
James Soutter
Cyril Seedhouse
2 h1 r1/2CanadaCAN3:22.2 (2 h1)
Mel Brock
Army Howard
Tom Gallon
Jack Tait
2 h2 r1/2GermanyGER3:28.2 (2 h2)
Hanns Braun
Max Herrmann
Heinrich Burkowitz
Erich Lehmann
2 h3 r1/2SwedenSWE3:25.0 (2 h3)
Paul Zerling
Johan Dahlin
Eric Lindholm
Knut Stenborg
3 h3 r1/2HungaryHUN3:29.4 (3 h3)
Ervin Szerelemhegyi
Ödön Bodor
István Déván
Frigyes Wiesner-Mezei
Zdislav Prágr (DNS)
Jindřich Jirsák (DNS)
Václav Labík-Gregan (DNS)
Zdeněk Městecký (DNS)
Angelo Rossi (DNS)
Guido Calvi (DNS)
Franco Giongo (DNS)
Emilio Lunghi (DNS)
Naum Filimonov (DNS)
Herberts Baumanis (DNS)
Pyotr Gayevsky (DNS)
Aleksandr Schultz (DNS)

Round One (14 July 1912 — 14:45)

Winner in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
1Great BritainGBRQOR
George NicolErnest HenleyJames SoutterCyril Seedhouse
Mel BrockArmy HowardTom GallonJack Tait

Heat Two

PosNrTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
1United StatesUSAQ
Mel SheppardEd LindbergTed MeredithCharles Reidpath
Hanns BraunMax HerrmannHeinrich BurkowitzErich Lehmann

Heat Three

PosNrTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
Charles LelongRobert SchurrerPierre FailliotCharles Poulenard
Paul ZerlingJohan DahlinEric LindholmKnut Stenborg
Ervin SzerelemhegyiÖdön BodorIstván DévánFrigyes Wiesner-Mezei

Final (15 July 1912 — 14:30)

PosNrTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
1United StatesUSAWR
Mel SheppardEd LindbergTed MeredithCharles Reidpath
Charles LelongRobert SchurrerPierre FailliotCharles Poulenard
3Great BritainGBR
George NicolErnest HenleyJames SoutterCyril Seedhouse