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How great was the 1932 4x400 team


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  • How great was the 1932 4x400 team

    Astounding that the 1932 US Olympic team broke the WR twice, once in the heats and then again in the final. Their 3:08 would stand as a WR for almost 20 years. The amazing thing, they ran that time without silver medalist Ben Eastman.

    Does anyone know why Eastman did not run in the final ?
    Last edited by user4; 07-18-2015, 02:43 PM.

  • #2
    I've read that Eastman had a slight injury and they didn't really need him to win the relay, so he was replaced. Not sure how accurate this is.


    • #3
      I think back in those days, the runners in individual events didn't always run on the relays. Jesse Owens wasn't originally scheduled to run the 4x1 in Berlin.

      Looking at the old results:
      1920: US gold, with all 4 running the individual 100
      1924: US gold, with 1 running the individual 100
      1928: US gold, with 2 running the individual 100
      1932: US gold, with 0 running the individual 100
      1936: US gold, with 3 running the individual 100 (due to some politics going on)

      1920: US gold, with 3 running the individual 400
      1924: US gold, with 0 running the individual 400
      1928: US gold, with 1 running the individual 400
      1932: US gold, with 1 running the individual 400
      1936: US silver, with 0 running the individual 400


      • #4
        Let's start with this; the finish order in the OT 400 was Carr, Eastman, Gordon, Ablowich, Ivan Fuqua, Arnold Adams, Karl Warner, with the first three running the OG 400. The relay was Fuqua Ablowich, Warner and Carr.

        I've looked through the Los Angeles Times of June through August 1932, and have found the following items. On the day of the Olympic Trials 400m final, Times writer Braven Dyer said the 4th-7th placers in the Trials 400 would comprise the relay. But the next day, Dyer writes of Eddie Genung, winner of the 800, who was added as an eighth candidate for the 4x400 team (along with the seven OT 400 finalist: "It was felt that Genung has so much class that using him with Carr, Eastman and either [Jim] Gordon or [Ed] Ablowich would strengthen the American team." Suddenly, the possibility of not using the standard 4x400 line-up of those finalists not running in the OG 400 is apparently being dismissed.

        On July 22, almost two weeks before the OG 400m final, LAT writer Ralph Huston writes that the relay is Ablowich, Warner, Fuqua and Adams. In other words, back to the accepted model at the time.

        But that's the last item that mentions Eastman and the relay. So, not much help in what would be one of the best sources readily available. But perhaps the question shouldn't be why Eastman was not on the team, but why Carr was.

        The British and Canadian teams were both seen as solid contenders and replacing Carr with Adams would have made the race a close one. It could be that head coach Lawson Robertson, Carr's coach at Penn, wanted to clinch the win by putting the gold medalist on the team. Or to give his star and second chance to shine.

        As for Eastman, during July there was considerable conjecture in the LA Times that he had been run into the ground during the dual meet season of late-March to mid-May. Dink Templeton, Eastman's coach, had already decided not to double Eastman at the OT, apparently after seeing the OG schedule for the two events. So Templeton knew it would be a tough double and certainly had seen that the Eastman of early summer was not the same as the Eastman of the spring. Templeton may have withdrawn Eastman from consideration for the relay, but I've not seen anything to that effect.

        So, for all that, the bit of research yields very little. :-(


        • #5
          It would have been great fun to talk with Carr and Eastman about the 1932 Olympics. Ben Eastman died in 2002 at the age of 91. Bill Carr was in a serious car accident less than one year after winning his gold medals. He broke both ankles and his pelvis and died in 1966 at the age of 56.


          • #6
            I think with Eastman they would have gone under 3:08.