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| Event type

4 x 100 metres Relay, Women

Date 7 August 1948
StatusOlympic
LocationEmpire Stadium, Wembley, London
Participants44 from 11 countries
Olympic Record 46.4 WR / Germany GER / 8 August 1936

After Fanny Blankers-Koen’s three gold medals earlier in the Olympics, the Dutch team was naturally among the favorites for the relay title, especially since they already had a good performance record. Three of the team’s four runners had won the European title in 1946, and the same trio had already set a World Record in the 4×200 metres. Set during German occupation, the record had been a minor act of resistance, running in Dutch outfits and taking the record from the Germans. Briefly before London, the Dutch squad also broke the world record in the 4×110 yards relay.

But shortly before the start of the heats, the Dutch team panicked: they were missing their anchor runner. Fanny Blankers-Koen had gone shopping and only returned just in time with a brand new raincoat. In spite of this scare, they set the fastest time and qualified for the next round. The field was close up until the third exchange, with only Australia leading clearly. But Blankers-Koen caught up with Australian anchor Joyce King in time to cross the line first.

Upon return to Amsterdam, Blankers-Koen (and the rest of the Dutch team), was received by a large crowd. She received praise and and gifts from various people. Her neighbors had decided to buy her a new bicycle, so “she could stop running” and “go through life at a slower pace”. But she did not take the advice to heart, continuing to compete thru the 1952 Olympics.

PosNrTeamNOCR1Final
1NetherlandsNED47.6 (1 h3)47.5 (1)Gold
Xenia Stad-de JongNettie Witziers-TimmerGerda van der Kade-KoudijsFanny Blankers-KoenGré de Jongh (DNS)
2AustraliaAUS48.0 (2 h1)47.6 (2)Silver
Shirley StricklandJune MastonBetty McKinnonJoyce KingJudy Canty (DNS)
3CanadaCAN47.9 (1 h1)47.8 (3)Bronze
Viola MyersNancy MackayDiane FosterPat JonesMillie Cheater (DNS)Donna Gilmore (DNS)Elaine Silburn (DNS)
4Great BritainGBR48.4 (1 h2)48.0 (4)
Dorothy ManleyMuriel PlettsMargaret WalkerMaureen GardnerDoris Batter (DNS)Sylvia Cheeseman (DNS)Winnie Jordan (DNS)Audrey Williamson (DNS)
5DenmarkDEN48.1 (2 h3)48.2 (5)
Grethe Lovsø NielsenBente BergendorffBirthe NielsenHilde NissenInger Kjøller (DNS)
6AustriaAUT50.0 (2 h2)49.2 (6)
Grete JennyElfriede SteurerGrete PavlousekMaria Oberbreyer-TröschElisabeth Ranftl (DNS)
3 h1 r1/2FranceFRA48.1 (3 h1)
Jeanine ToulouseRosine FaugouinLiliane SprécherJeanine MoussierLéa Caurla (DNS)Yvette Monginou (DNS)Micheline Ostermeyer (DNS)
3 h2 r1/2ChileCHI51.5 (3 h2)
Marion HuberBetty KretschmerAdriana MillardAnnegret Weller-Schneider
3 h3 r1/2United StatesUSA48.5 (3 h3)
Nell JacksonTheresa ManuelMickey PattersonMabel WalkerAlice Coachman (DNS)Mae Faggs (DNS)Jean Walraven (DNS)Lillian Young (DNS)
4 h1 r1/2BrazilBRA49.0 (4 h1)
Benedicta de OliveiraLucila PiniMelânia LuzGertrudes MorgElizabeth Müller (DNS)Helena de Menezes (DNS)
AC h2 r1/2ItalyITA– (AC h2)
Mirella AvalleAnna Maria CantùMarcella JeandeauLiliana TagliaferriSilvana Pierucci (DNS)
DNSHungaryHUN
L. F. EirandJolán MertinZsilvia VargaOlga GyarmatiIlona Tolnai-Rákhely
DNSJamaicaJAM
Mavis EvelynVinton BeckettCarmen PhippsKathleen RussellCynthia Thompson

Round One (7 August 1948 — 15:15)

Top two in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1CanadaCAN47.948.00Q
Viola MyersNancy MackayDiane FosterPat Jones
2AustraliaAUS48.048.06Q
Shirley StricklandJune MastonBetty McKinnonJoyce King
3FranceFRA48.148.10
Jeanine ToulouseRosine FaugouinLiliane SprécherJeanine Moussier
4BrazilBRA49.049.12
Benedicta de OliveiraLucila PiniMelânia LuzGertrudes Morg

Heat Two

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1Great BritainGBR48.448.40Q
Dorothy ManleyMuriel PlettsMargaret WalkerMaureen Gardner
2AustriaAUT50.050.21Q
Grete JennyElfriede SteurerGrete PavlousekMaria Oberbreyer-Trösch
3ChileCHI51.551.68
Marion HuberBetty KretschmerAdriana MillardAnnegret Weller-Schneider
ACItalyITADNF
Mirella AvalleAnna Maria CantùMarcella JeandeauLiliana Tagliaferri

Heat Three

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1NetherlandsNED47.647.60Q
Xenia Stad-de JongNettie Witziers-TimmerGerda van der Kade-KoudijsFanny Blankers-Koen
2DenmarkDEN48.148.10Q
Grethe Lovsø NielsenBente BergendorffBirthe NielsenHilde Nissen
3United StatesUSA48.548.33
Nell JacksonTheresa ManuelMickey PattersonMabel Walker

Final (7 August 1948 — 16:40)

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1NetherlandsNED47.547.60
Xenia Stad-de JongNettie Witziers-TimmerGerda van der Kade-KoudijsFanny Blankers-Koen
2AustraliaAUS47.647.69
Shirley StricklandJune MastonBetty McKinnonJoyce King
3CanadaCAN47.848.08
Viola MyersNancy MackayDiane FosterPat Jones
4Great BritainGBR48.048.15
Dorothy ManleyMuriel PlettsMargaret WalkerMaureen Gardner
5DenmarkDEN48.248.23
Grethe Lovsø NielsenBente BergendorffBirthe NielsenHilde Nissen
6AustriaAUT49.249.25
Grete JennyElfriede SteurerGrete PavlousekMaria Oberbreyer-Trösch