4x100m relay 4x400m relay 10-for-10 100m 100m dash 100m hurdles 110m high hurdles 110m hurdles 200m 200m dash 400m 400m hurdles 800m 2012 London Olympics ABL allen johnson Aries Merritt ateneo ateneo basketball league Ateneo Track & Field Athletics Barcelona basketball boxing carl lewis Celeb christophe lemaitre D2003 Daegu Darya Klishina Darya Klishina (Дарья Клишина) david oliver dayron robles derek redmond Diamond League European Championships football Helsinki henry dagmil heptathlon high jump hurdles injury Istanbul Javelin Jumps liu xiang Liu Xiang (刘翔) London Long Jump Manny Pacquiao marestella torres Moro olympics Philippines plyometrics pole vault Rene Herrera rizal Russia sprints Track & Field track beauty track beauty of the week training triple jump Tyson Gay uaap ultra Usain Bolt Verena Sailer weights World Championships World Indoor Championships Yohan Blake
Tag Archives: 1936 Berlin Olympics
May 28, 2013Posted by on
I was a nineteen year-old college sophomore when I first read about Miguel White. Despite the best of my efforts, I was stuck in a rut, unable to go below sixteen seconds in the 110 high’s and qualify for the finals. I spent a considerable amount of time poring over athletics books, to further my knowledge of the sport and to get a much-needed dose of inspiration amidst those troubled times.
I came across a mildewed book about Filipino sporting legends. The Philippines had won a handful of medals in the Olympic Games, a couple of those by track & field athletes. I was awestruck. It turned out that Philippine sports, athletics in particular, had a storied past. I found the exploits of Simeon Toribio and White more interesting than rampant politicking often featured in contemporary sports pages.
There were more material written about Toribio, who eventually became a lawyer and a congressman after his athletics days. Miguel White’s story, however, was shrouded in mystery. White had an American father and a Filipina mother. He competed for the Philippines at the Berlin Olympics, winning the 400m low hurdles bronze. He could have performed with equal distinction at the 110m, but fell in the qualifying heats, unable to finish. Unlike Toribio, who lived until he was sixty-four, White died during the Second World War.
In the past few years, I tried in vain to look for clips of White’s Olympic medal winning effort. Photos were just as scarce. A few days earlier, I stumbled upon a treasure trove Olympic programs (from the 1896 Athens Olympics all the way to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games).
Lo and behold, there were photos of Miguel White, as well as the results of the qualifying heats. The Olympic program even included descriptions of the race conditions and the lane placements. For the athletics nerd that I am, these were priceless!
White went up against a quality field, among them Glenn Hardin of the United States, the world record holder at 50.6s. The Filipino topped the third heat in qualifying, stopping the clock in 53.4s, ahead of the eventual silver medalist, John Loaring (54.3s) of Canada. The American also qualified with ease, submitting a time five-tenths slower than White’s.
Miguel White from the Philippine Islands was the fastest hurdler in qualifying. In this day and age where Filipino athletes are hard-pressed to meet the Olympic “B” standard, reading about this was surreal! In the semi-finals, White (53.4s) finished behind Hardin (53.2s) in the first heat, securing a spot in the finals.
The world record holder stamped his class on the rest of the field. At the last hurdle, Hardin was a full stride from Loaring and White, who were locked in a tight battle for second place. The Canadian (52.7s) edged out White (52.8s) by a tenth of second.
Miguel White had emulated Simeon Toribio’s high jump bronze from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
It is quite unfortunate that the Olympic feats of Toribio and White have been practically forgotten. Philippine sports may be in the doldrums, but perhaps looking back at our golden past might inspire a new generation of Filipino athletes.
Results (screenshots from the 1936 Berlin Olympics Program/LA84 Foundation):
1.) First Round:
Article by Joboy Quintos
March 4, 2011Posted by on
Back in college, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read and re-read the heartwarming story of Sueo Oe 大江 季雄 and Shuhei Nishida 西田 修平. Oe and Nishida were world-class Japanese pole vaulters who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Earle Meadows of the United States won gold with a 4.35m vault. The two Japanese cleared identical heights of 4.25m.
The following clip from Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia provides a dramatic glimpse to the competition.
Fiber glass poles, soft landing mats and six meter vaults were but figments of the wildest imagination back in 1936. Vaulters clear with a straight pole and land feet first on saw dust – a testament to their uncanny athleticism and resolve.
These were days before the modern concept a fixed number of attempts, with ties being decided on countbacks. Meadows was the clear winner. Nishida and Oe, according to an article from the Waseda Weekly, “competed fiercely over five hours under night lighting.” The judges called an end to the competition by 9:00 PM, “telling the Japanese teams to determine among themselves who would be given second place.” Nishida won silver since he cleared 4.25m in his first try, Oe was awarded bronze since he vaulted over the same height with his second try.
The two vaulters were very good friends. When they arrived in Japan, they went to a jeweler and had the two medals cut in half. Both Nishida and Oe had equal halves of bronze and silver, aptly called the Medals of Eternal Friendship.
In this day and age where larger-than-life egos are a dime a dozen in professional sports, such displays of true sportsmanship are a rarity.
I first read about the famous Medal in my sophomore year. Back then, I was stuck in the doldrums. Despite the best of my efforts, I missed out on a finals appearance in UAAP 67, finishing a dismal 9th (16.67s) in qualifying despite shaving off eight-hundredths of a second from my erstwhile PB. I trained quite hard that season and, needless to say, I felt crushed.
Hence, I turned to the exploits of past Olympic champions for solace. I found comfort in their feats of strength – in the case of Nishida and Oe, their friendship. Seven years since that day, I still get goosebumps each time I read about the Medal of Eternal Friendship. Now that I’m back on track, albeit alone, Olympic moments such as these have taken a new, deeper meaning.
My wildest dream is to compete in the Olympics. I’m light years away from the “B'” standard, but it doesn’t hurt to think about lofty heights once in a while. As they say, reach for the stars and you’ll reach the moon. In that case, I’ll be just as happy with a Southeast Asian Games qualification!
Article by Joboy Quintos