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| Event type

800 metres, Men

Date2 – 4 August 1936
StatusOlympic
LocationOlympiastadion, Reichssportfeld, Berlin
Participants42 from 23 countries
Olympic Record 1:49.7 WR / Tommy Hampson GBR / 2 August 1932

There were three rounds, and the biggest surprise was the failure of Germany’s Rudolf Harbig to get out of round one. The favorite in the final was America’s John Woodruff. As in 1932, the final pace was led out by Canada’s Phil Edwards, who had made his third consecutive final in the event. Woodruff took the lead at the bell, with Italy’s Mario Lanzi lagging in eighth place, despite the very slow pace (57.4). But he moved up on the last lap, getting to third by the straight. He would finish quickly for the silver medal, but there was no catching Woodruff, who had increased his lead on the final lap, only to ease up near the finish for a two-metre victory over Lanzi. In July 1939, Rudolf Harbig would shatter the world record, running 1:46.6, a mark which would last until 1955.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1SFFinal
1745John WoodruffUSA1:58.7 (3 h4)1:52.7 (1 h1)1:52.9 (1)Gold
2328Mario LanziITA1:56.1 (2 h5)1:54.1 (2 h3)1:53.3 (2)Silver
374Phil EdwardsCAN1:53.7 (1 h1)1:53.2 (3 h2)1:53.6 (3)Bronze
4541Kazimierz KucharskiPOL1:55.7 (2 h6)1:54.7 (2 h1)1:53.8 (4)
5743Chuck HornbostelUSA1:53.7 (2 h1)1:53.2 (1 h3)1:54.6 (5)
6744Harry WilliamsonUSA1:56.2 (1 h2)1:53.1 (1 h2)1:55.8 (6)
731Juan Carlos AndersonARG1:55.1 (1 h6)1:54.8 (3 h1)– (7)
835Gerald BackhouseAUS1:57.7 (1 h4)1:53.2 (2 h2)– (8)
9254Brian MacCabeGBR1:54.5 (1 h3)1:55.4 (3 h3)– (9)
4 h1 r2/3708Miklós SzabóHUN1:57.8 (2 h4)1:55.1 (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/3255Jack PowellGBR1:56.0 (1 h5)1:54.8 (4 h2)
4 h3 r2/3199Raymond PetitFRA1:54.8 (2 h3)1:55.7 (4 h3)
5 h1 r2/3827Wolfgang DesseckerGER1:56.0 (3 h6)1:55.3 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3828Ewald MertensGER1:55.1 (4 h3)1:54.9 (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/373Ab ConwayCAN1:56.2 (2 h2)1:55.9 (5 h3)
6 h1 r2/3490Franz EichbergerAUT1:56.3 (3 h5)1:56.2 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3200René SoulierFRA1:56.1 (4 h6)1:56.8 (6 h2)
6 h3 r2/3470Hjalle JohannesenNOR1:54.9 (3 h3)1:56.0 (6 h3)
7 h1 r2/3466Pat BootNZL1:56.6 (3 h2)– (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3491Emil HübscherAUT1:57.3 (4 h2)– (7 h2)
7 h3 r2/3709Ferenc TemesváriHUN1:55.0 (4 h1)– (7 h3)
8 h1 r2/3253Frank HandleyGBR1:58.9 (4 h4)– (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/3706József VadasHUN1:56.5 (4 h5)– (8 h2)
8 h3 r2/342Jean VerhaertBEL1:54.3 (3 h1)– (8 h3)
5 h1 r1/3456Pierre HemmerLUX1:56.3 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3419Emil GoršekYUG1:59.5 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3652Clarke ScholtzRSA1:57.6 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/3664Evžen RošickýTCH1:59.5 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/3650Willie BothaRSA1:57.0 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/3651William LindequeRSA1:56.4 (5 h6)
6 h1 r1/3826Rudi HarbigGER1:56.8 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3525Carlos MarcenaroPER2:00.8 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3375Toshinao TomieJPN1:59.9 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3616Paul MartinSUI2:00.0 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/34Grigorios GeorgakopoulosGRE1:57.3 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/3374Kumao AochiJPN1:56.8 (6 h6)
7 h1 r1/3526Francisco ValdezPER– (7 h1)
7 h3 r1/3663Stanislav OtáhalTCH– (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/3457Charles SteinLUX– (7 h4)
7 h5 r1/375Jack LiddleCAN– (7 h5)
8 h1 r1/35Stavros VelkopoulosGRE– (8 h1)
8 h3 r1/3319Gyan BhallaIND– (8 h3)
DNS94Miguel CastroCHI– (DNS h5)
DNS108Jia LianrenCHN– (DNS h6)
DNS22Abu Al-Yazid El-HalawaniEGY– (DNS h2)
DNS640Enrique PiferrerESP– (DNS h6)
DNS639Luis PratsmasóESP– (DNS h5)
DNS160Ossi TeileriFIN– (DNS h2)
DNS198René MorelFRA– (DNS h2)
DNS562Francisc NemeșROU– (DNS h4)
DNS617Fritz SollbergerSUI– (DNS h3)
DNS573Eric NySWE– (DNS h4)
DNS574Erik WennbergSWE– (DNS h1)
DNS420Karlo NikhaziYUG– (DNS h6)

Round One (2 August 1936 — 16:00)

Top four in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
174Phil EdwardsCAN1:53.7Q
2743Chuck HornbostelUSA1:53.7Q
342Jean VerhaertBEL1:54.3Q
4709Ferenc TemesváriHUN1:55.0Q
5456Pierre HemmerLUX1:56.3
6826Rudi HarbigGER1:56.8
7526Francisco ValdezPER
85Stavros VelkopoulosGRE
DNS574Erik WennbergSWE

Splits

400 m56.4

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1744Harry WilliamsonUSA1:56.2Q
273Ab ConwayCAN1:56.2Q
3466Pat BootNZL1:56.6Q
4491Emil HübscherAUT1:57.3Q
5419Emil GoršekYUG1:59.5
6525Carlos MarcenaroPER2:00.8
DNS22Abu Al-Yazid El-HalawaniEGY
DNS160Ossi TeileriFIN
DNS198René MorelFRA

Splits

400 m57.8

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1254Brian MacCabeGBR1:54.5Q
2199Raymond PetitFRA1:54.8Q
3470Hjalle JohannesenNOR1:54.9Q
4828Ewald MertensGER1:55.1Q
5652Clarke ScholtzRSA1:57.6
6375Toshinao TomieJPN1:59.9
7663Stanislav OtáhalTCH
8319Gyan BhallaIND
DNS617Fritz SollbergerSUI

Splits

400 m55.7

Heat Four

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
135Gerald BackhouseAUS1:57.7Q
2708Miklós SzabóHUN1:57.8Q
3745John WoodruffUSA1:58.7Q
4253Frank HandleyGBR1:58.9Q
5664Evžen RošickýTCH1:59.5
6616Paul MartinSUI2:00.0
7457Charles SteinLUX
DNS562Francisc NemeșROU
DNS573Eric NySWE

Splits

400 m58.9

Heat Five

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1255Jack PowellGBR1:56.0Q
2328Mario LanziITA1:56.1Q
3490Franz EichbergerAUT1:56.3Q
4706József VadasHUN1:56.5Q
5650Willie BothaRSA1:57.0
64Grigorios GeorgakopoulosGRE1:57.3
775Jack LiddleCAN
DNS94Miguel CastroCHI
DNS639Luis PratsmasóESP

Splits

400 m56.1

Heat Six

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
131Juan Carlos AndersonARG1:55.1Q
2541Kazimierz KucharskiPOL1:55.7Q
3827Wolfgang DesseckerGER1:56.0Q
4200René SoulierFRA1:56.1Q
5651William LindequeRSA1:56.4
6374Kumao AochiJPN1:56.8
DNS108Jia LianrenCHN
DNS640Enrique PiferrerESP
DNS420Karlo NikhaziYUG

Splits

400 m57.5

Semi-Finals (3 August 1936 — 17:15)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1745John WoodruffUSA1:52.7Q
2541Kazimierz KucharskiPOL1:54.7Q
331Juan Carlos AndersonARG1:54.8Q
4708Miklós SzabóHUN1:55.1
5827Wolfgang DesseckerGER1:55.3
6490Franz EichbergerAUT1:56.2
7466Pat BootNZL
8253Frank HandleyGBR

Splits

400 m52.0

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1744Harry WilliamsonUSA1:53.1Q
235Gerald BackhouseAUS1:53.2Q
374Phil EdwardsCAN1:53.2Q
4255Jack PowellGBR1:54.8
5828Ewald MertensGER1:54.9
6200René SoulierFRA1:56.8
7491Emil HübscherAUT
8706József VadasHUN

Splits

400 m56.4

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1743Chuck HornbostelUSA1:53.2Q
2328Mario LanziITA1:54.1Q
3254Brian MacCabeGBR1:55.4Q
4199Raymond PetitFRA1:55.7
573Ab ConwayCAN1:55.9
6470Hjalle JohannesenNOR1:56.0
7709Ferenc TemesváriHUN
842Jean VerhaertBEL

Splits

400 m56.3

Final (4 August 1936 — 17:45)

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)
1745John WoodruffUSA1:52.9
2328Mario LanziITA1:53.3
374Phil EdwardsCAN1:53.6
4541Kazimierz KucharskiPOL1:53.8
5743Chuck HornbostelUSA1:54.6
6744Harry WilliamsonUSA1:55.8
731Juan Carlos AndersonARG
835Gerald BackhouseAUS
9254Brian MacCabeGBR

Splits

400 m57.4John Woodruff