1938 European Athletics Championships

The 2nd European Athletics Championships was a continental athletics competition for European athletes which was held in two places in 1938. The men's event took place in Paris, France between 3–5 September while the women's events were in Vienna, Austria (at the time part of German Reich) on 17 and 18 September. A total of 32 events were contested at the two competitions, comprising 23 events for men and 9 for women. This was the first time that events for women were held and the only occasion on which the competition was held in two separate locations.[1]

2nd European Championships
1938 European Athletics Championships logo.png
Logo for the women's competition in Vienna
Dates3–5 September (men)
17–18 September (women)
Host cityParis, France (men)
Vienna, German Reich (women)
VenueStade Olympique de Colombes (men)
Praterstadion (women)
Participation352 athletes from
23 nations
Records set1 world record
1 European record

The host stadium in Paris

Germany topped the medals table with twelve gold medals and 32 in total. Finland won the second greatest number of gold medals (5) and eleven medals in total. The next most successful nations were Great Britain (four golds and eight overall) and Sweden (three golds and a total of thirteen medals). France won a medal of each colour in Paris, with Prudent Joye the sole Frenchman to win a gold for the hosts of the men's championships.

In the men's competition at Stade Olympique de Colombes in Paris, Donald Finlay of Great Britain broke the European record to win the 110 metres hurdles. Tinus Osendarp of the Netherlands won a sprint double, breaking two championship records. World record holder Sydney Wooderson took victory in the 1500 metres while Olympic gold medallists Matti Järvinen (javelin), Karl Hein (hammer) and Harold Whitlock (50 km walk) won their specialities. Finnish runners Taisto Mäki, Ilmari Salminen and Väinö Muinonen won all three of the long distance running events at the championships, upholding the country's reputation as the Flying Finns.[1] Contemporaneous reports on the men's event were given in the Glasgow Herald.[2][3]

Stanisława Walasiewicz of Poland excelled in the women's events at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna, winning both the 100 and 200 metres, as well as silver medals in the long jump and 4 x 100 metres relay. Italian athlete Claudia Testoni set a world record of 11.6 seconds over the 80 metres hurdles. Outside these highlights, the German women dominated the competition by winning 15 of the 27 women's medals on offer. Among them were Käthe Krauß (who won two silvers in the sprints), 1936 Berlin Olympics champion Gisela Mauermayer (who won the discus and a silver in the shot put) and Lisa Gelius, who completed a usual double of silver in the hurdles and gold in the javelin throw.[1] Among the minor medallists was Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won the first international medals of her highly successful career. Dora Ratjen was the initial winner of the women's high jump, but this was rescinded after it was discovered that he was in fact a man.[4] A contemporaneous report on the women's event was given in the Glasgow Herald.[5]

Medal summaryEdit

Complete results were published.[6]


Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres
  Tinus Osendarp (NED) 10.5 CR   Orazio Mariani (ITA) 10.6   Lennart Strandberg (SWE) 10.6
200 metres
  Tinus Osendarp (NED) 21.2 CR   Jakob Scheuring (GER) 21.6   Alan Pennington (GBR) 21.6
400 metres
  Godfrey Brown (GBR) 47.4 CR   Karl Baumgarten (NED) 48.2   Erich Linnhoff (GER) 48.8
800 metres
  Rudolf Harbig (GER) 1:50.6 CR   Jacques Levèque (FRA) 1:51.6   Mario Lanzi (ITA) 1:52.0
1500 metres
  Sydney Wooderson (GBR) 3:53.6 CR   Joseph Mostert (BEL) 3:54.5   Luigi Beccali (ITA) 3:55.2
5000 metres
  Taisto Mäki (FIN) 14:26.8 CR   Henry Jonsson (SWE) 14:27.4   Kauko Pekuri (FIN) 14:29.2
10,000 metres
  Ilmari Salminen (FIN) 30:52.0 CR   Giuseppe Beviacqua (ITA) 30:53.2   Max Syring (GER) 30:57.8
110 metres hurdles
  Don Finlay (GBR) 14.3 CR, AR   Håkan Lidman (SWE) 14.5   Reinden Brasser (NED) 14.8
400 metres hurdles
  Prudent Joye (FRA) 53.1 CR   József Kovács (HUN) 53.3   Kell Areskoug (SWE) 53.6
3000 metres steeplechase
  Lars Larsson (SWE) 9:16.2   Ludwig Kaindl (GER) 9:19.2   Alf Lindblad (FIN) 9:21.4
4 × 100 metres relay
  Germany (GER)
Manfred Kersch
Gerd Hornberger
Karl Neckermann
Jakob Scheuring
40.9 CR   Sweden (SWE)
Gösta Klemming
Åke Stenqvist
Lennart Lindgren
Lennart Strandberg
41.1   Great Britain (GBR)
Maurice Scarr
Godfrey Brown
Arthur Sweeney
Ernest Page
4 × 400 metres relay
  Germany (GER)
Hermann Blazejezak
Manfred Bues
Erich Linnhoff
Rudolf Harbig
3:13.7 CR   Great Britain (GBR)
Jack Barnes
Alfred Baldwin
Alan Pennington
Godfrey Brown
3:14.9   Sweden (SWE)
Lars Nilsson
Carl Hendrik Gustafsson
Börje Thomasson
Bertil von Wachenfeldt
  Väinö Muinonen (FIN) 2:37:28.8 CR   Squire Yarrow (GBR) 2:39:03.0   Henry Palmé (SWE) 2:42:13.6
50 kilometres walk
  Harold Whitlock (GBR) 4:41:51 CR   Herbert Dill (GER) 4:43:54   Edgar Bruun (NOR) 4:44:35
High jump
  Kurt Lundqvist (SWE) 1.97 m   Kalevi Kotkas (FIN) 1.94 m   Lauri Kalima (FIN) 1.94 m
Pole vault
  Karl Sutter (GER) 4.05 m CR   Bo Ljungberg (SWE) 4.00 m   Pierre Ramadier (FRA) 4.00 m
Long jump
  Wilhelm Leichum (GER) 7.65 m CR   Arturo Maffei (ITA) 7.61 m   Luz Long (GER) 7.56 m
Triple jump
  Onni Rajasaari (FIN) 15.32 m CR   Jouko Norén (FIN) 14.95 m   Karl Kotratschek (GER) 14.73 m
Shot put
  Aleksander Kreek (EST) 15.83 m CR   Gerhard Stöck (GER) 15.59 m   Hans Woellke (GER) 15.52 m
Discus throw
  Willy Schröder (GER) 49.70 m   Giorgio Oberweger (ITA) 49.48 m   Gunnar Bergh (SWE) 48.72 m
Hammer throw
  Karl Hein (GER) 58.77 m CR   Erwin Blask (GER) 57.34 m   Oscar Malmbrant (SWE) 51.23 m
Javelin throw
  Matti Järvinen (FIN) 76.87 m CR   Yrjö Nikkanen (FIN) 75.00 m   József Várszegi (HUN) 72.78 m
  Olle Bexell (SWE) 6870 pts CR   Witold Gerutto (POL) 6661 pts   Josef Neumann (SUI) 6444 pts
WR world record | AR area record | CR championship record | GR games record | NR national record | OR Olympic record | PB personal best | SB season best | WL world leading (in a given season)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres
  Stanisława Walasiewicz (POL) 11.9   Käthe Krauß (GER) 12.0   Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED) 12.0
200 metres
  Stanisława Walasiewicz (POL) 23.8   Käthe Krauß (GER) 24.4   Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED) 24.9
80 metres hurdles
  Claudia Testoni (ITA) 11.6 WR   Lisa Gelius (GER) 11.7   Catharina Ter Braake (NED) 11.8
4 × 100 metres relay
  Germany (GER)
Josefine Kohl
Käthe Krauß
Emmy Albus
Ida Kühnel
46.8   Poland (POL)
Jadwiga Gawronska
Barbara Ksiazkiewicz
Otylia Kaluzowa
Stanisława Walasiewicz
48.2   Italy (ITA)
Maria Alfero
Maria Apollonio
Rosetta Cattaneo
Italia Lucchini
High jump
  Ibolya Csák (HUN) 1.64 m   Nelly van Balen-Blanken (NED) 1.64 m   Feodora zu Solms (GER) 1.64 m
Long jump
  Irmgard Praetz (GER) 5.88 m   Stanisława Walasiewicz (POL) 5.81 m   Gisela Voß (GER) 5.47 m
Shot put
  Hermine Schröder (GER) 13.29 m   Gisela Mauermayer (GER) 13.27 m   Wanda Flakowicz (POL) 12.55 m
Discus throw
  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) 44.80 m   Hilde Sommer (GER) 40.95 m   Paula Mollenhauer (GER) 39.81 m
Javelin throw
  Lisa Gelius (GER) 45.58 m   Susanne Pastoors (GER) 44.14 m   Luise Krüger (GER) 42.49 m
WR world record | AR area record | CR championship record | GR games record | NR national record | OR Olympic record | PB personal best | SB season best | WL world leading (in a given season)

Medal tableEdit

Great Britain's Donald Finlay set a European record to win the 110 m hurdles.
Dora Ratjen's medal in the women's high jump was removed after he revealed himself to be male.

  *   Host nations (Germany & France)

1  Germany (GER)*1211932
2  Finland (FIN)53311
3  Great Britain and Northern Ireland4228
4  Sweden (SWE)34613
5  Poland (POL)2316
6  Netherlands (NED)2248
7  Italy (ITA)1438
8  France (FRA)*1113
  Hungary (HUN)1113
10  Estonia (EST)1001
11  Belgium (BEL)0101
12  Norway (NOR)0011
   Switzerland (SUI)0011
Totals (13 nations)32323296


According to an unofficial count, 350 athletes from 23 countries participated in the event, two athletes less than the official number of 352 as published.[7]


  1. ^ a b c History of the European Athletics Championships Archived 30 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine. European Athletics (25 July 2006). Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Three Athletics Titles Won by Britain - European Record for Finlay: Carstairs Sixth in 5000 Metres", Glasgow Herald, p. 19, 5 September 1938, retrieved 21 August 2014
  3. ^ "Lovelock Record Still Stands - Wind Handicaps Wooderson - Britain's Athletic Success", Glasgow Herald, p. 2, 6 September 1938, retrieved 21 August 2014
  4. ^ Dora Ratjen Biography. Sports-reference. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  5. ^ "European Women's Championship", Glasgow Herald, p. 19, 19 September 1938, retrieved 21 August 2014
  6. ^ European Athletics Championships Zürich 2014 - STATISTICS HANDBOOK (PDF), European Athletics Association, pp. 363–367, retrieved 13 August 2014
  7. ^ European Athletics Championships Zürich 2014 - STATISTICS HANDBOOK (PDF), European Athletics Association, p. 4, retrieved 13 August 2014

External linksEdit