Athletics at the 1932 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon

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Men's marathon
at the Games of the X Olympiad
J.C. Zabala (oro olímpico) - El Gráfico 685.jpg
Juan Carlos Zabala
VenueStarted and finished at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
DatesAugust 7
Competitors28 from 14 nations
Winning time2:31:36 OR
1st place, gold medalist(s) Juan Carlos Zabala
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Sam Ferris
 Great Britain
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Armas Toivonen
← 1928
1936 →

The men's marathon at the 1932 Summer Olympics took place on August 7. It started and finished at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[1] Twenty-eight athletes from 14 nations competed.[2] The 1930 Olympic Congress in Berlin had reduced the limit from 6 athletes per NOC to 3 athletes.[3] The event was won by Juan Carlos Zabala of Argentina, the nation's first Olympic marathon medal. Great Britain also earned its first Olympic marathon medal with Sam Ferris's silver, while Finland made the marathon podium for a fourth consecutive Games as Armas Toivonen won bronze.


This was the ninth appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. Returning runners from 1928 included sixth-place finisher Seiichiro Tsuda of Japan, eighth-place finisher Sam Ferris of Great Britain, ninth-place finisher Albert Michelsen of the United States, and tenth-place finisher Clifford Bricker of Canada. Ferris, along with Dunky Wright (20th in 1928) were among the best-known runners who competed; Armas Toivonen led the always-strong Finnish team. Finland was without Paavo Nurmi, who would have been favored but was suspended just days before the Games began for allegedly accepting excessive expense money in violation of amateurism rules.[2]

Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia each made their first appearance in Olympic marathons. The United States made its ninth appearance, the only nation to have competed in each Olympic marathon to that point.

Competition format[edit]

As all Olympic marathons, the competition was a single race. The now-standard marathon distance of 26 miles, 385 yards was run over a course that "started and finished at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but was a loop course around Los Angeles."[2]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Albert Michelsen (USA) 2:29:01.8 Port Chester, United States 12 October 1925
Olympic record  Hannes Kolehmainen (FIN) 2:32:35.8(*) Antwerp, Belgium 22 August 1920

(*) Course was list at 42.75 kilometres.


Date Time Round
Sunday, 7 August 1932 15:30 Final


Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1st place, gold medalist(s) Juan Carlos Zabala  Argentina 2:31:36 OR
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Sam Ferris  Great Britain 2:31:55
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Armas Toivonen  Finland 2:32:12
4 Dunky Wright  Great Britain 2:32:41
5 Seiichiro Tsuda  Japan 2:35:42
6 Kim Un-bae  Japan 2:37:28
7 Albert Michelsen  United States 2:39:38
8 Oskar Hekš  Czechoslovakia 2:41:35
9 Taika Gon  Japan 2:42:52
10 Anders Hartington Andersen  Denmark 2:44:38
11 Hans Oldag  United States 2:47:26
12 Clifford Bricker  Canada 2:47:58
13 Michele Fanelli  Italy 2:49:09
14 Johnny Miles  Canada 2:50:32
15 Paul de Bruyn  Germany 2:52:39
16 François Bégeot  France 2:53:34
17 Fernando Cicarelli  Argentina 2:55:49
18 Eddie Cudworth  Canada 2:58:35
19 João Clemente da Silva  Brazil 3:02:06
20 Margarito Pomposo  Mexico 3:10:51
José Ribas  Argentina DNF
Matheus Marcondes  Brazil DNF
Jorge Perry  Colombia DNF
Ville Kyrönen  Finland DNF
Lasse Virtanen  Finland DNF
Francesco Roccati  Italy DNF
Santiago Hernández  Mexico DNF
James Henigan  United States DNF
René Bonich  Cuba DNS
Adalberto Cardoso  Brazil DNS
Alfred Maasik  Estonia DNS
Billy Savidan  New Zealand DNS
Franz Tuschek  Austria DNS


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games: Men's Marathon". Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Marathon, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  3. ^ Official Report, p. 377.