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Digital Subscriptions > Athletics Weekly > 09/06/2016 > ROAD TO RIO

ROAD TO RIO

IN A CONTINUING SERIES, STEVE SMYTHE LOOKS AT THE HISTORY OF EVENTS AT THE OLYMPICS – AND THIS WEEK IT’S THE WOMEN’S RELAYS

1928-2012

WHILE the 4x400m would have to wait 44 more years, the 4x100m debuted in Amsterdam in 1928 along with the other first women’s events.

With the second and third from the individual race, Canada proved too strong for the Americans and they won easily in 48.4 as the first four bettered the previous mark of 49.8.

That mark stayed as the record until Los Angeles in 1932 when again the first four broke the old record.

It was closer this time, though, as USA edged Canada with 46.9 to their rival’s 47.0.

In Berlin in 1936, the hosts were big favourites and they improved their own world record of 46.5 to 46.4 in the heats.

Watched by Adolf Hitler, they were well clear in the final at the last changeover, but their anchor, Ilse Dorlfedt, dropped the baton.

USA, with 1928 100m champion Elizabeth Robinson in the team, won the gold medal with the same winning time as four years earlier.

Seoul 1988: Russia vs USA in the 4x400m

Twelve years later, the Germans’ heat time remained the world and Olympic record and it wasn’t even remotely challenged in London in 1948.

Taking the baton in fourth place, Netherlands’ Fanny Blankers-Koen burst through to win her fourth gold medal of the Games in a time of 47.5.

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About Athletics Weekly

THE BIG INTERVIEW 16 SEREN BUNDY-DAVIES The Trafford athlete on her late rise to the top of British women’s one-lap running SPOTLIGHT 20 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? British 200m record-holder John Regis on his life now as an athlete manager 24 ALAN PERKINS Catching up with the 1958 National champion NEWS 6 Martyn Rooney allowed Euro 400m defence 8 Greg Rutherford on his jumping garden party 9 Perri Shakes-Drayton back in action 12 Emily Diamond: ‘why I switched from tennis’ STATISTICS 30 ROAD TO RIO The in-depth history of the women’s relays at the Olympic Games PERFORMANCE 32 Sports science news 34 Why athletes are at great risk of skin cancer 36 Finishing speed in the middle-distance events 38 Product reviews – colourful kit TALKING POINT 26 Understanding how athletics is viewed is key to its increased success ACTION 44 BIRMINGHAM GRAND PRIX Mo Farah sets UK record, while David Rudisha and Asbel Kiprop are also in form 52 ROME DIAMOND LEAGUE Almaz Ayana clocks the second quickest ever 5000m as Greg Rutherford also takes win RESULTS & FIXTURES 56 Results, including national league action 72 Oslo Diamond League preview 75 Comprehensive fixtures guide REGULARS 40 YOUR SAY 42 YOUNG ATHLETE 78 QUIZ CORNER 82 DIP FINISH

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