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1900 Olympic Games Paris, France - Men's Marathon



Host City: Paris, France Format: 40,260 metres (25.01 miles) out-and-back
Date Started: July 19, 1900
Date Finished: July 19, 1900
(Competitors: 13; Countries: 5)
Venue(s): Catalan Cross, Boulogne Forest, Paris
Overview by IAAF  velodrome_de_vincennes.png
With the thermometer hovering at 39°C this was a survival course, with only eight of 13 able to finish. Théato was a baker’s roundsman, and his knowledge of the city and the course was a key part of his win. He ran for much of the time with Champion, but was well behind the 19 year-old Fast until 35Km, when the Swede took a wrong turn. The vagaries of the course were noted by Newton, who claimed that he had led from halfway with no-one passing him! It was later determined that the winner was, in fact, from Luxembourg.
Summary by
The day dawned unbearably hot, with temperatures eventually reaching 39° C (102° F). Still, the event was held, and incredibly, was started at the hottest part of the day, 2:30 PM. The runners made four circuits of the 500 metre track before making out for the streets of Paris, although Johan Nyström withdrew before one lap of the stadium.
George Touquet-Daunis led the runners out of the Bois de Boulogne. Race descriptions are scanty, but he led through at least half the race, followed by Ernst Fast. When Touquet-Daunis dropped out, Fast took the lead. However, he was basically spent by that point, and Michel Théato passed him to win by a few minutes over Émile Champion, with Fast finishing almost 40 minutes back.
Théato was a baker’s assistant and knew the streets of Paris well from his deliveries. Arthur Newton later claimed that Théato and Champion must have used their knowledge of the streets to cheat as he never saw them pass him. However, this does not explain Fast’s finish, nor does it agree with race reports which have Touquet-Daunis and Fast leading the early part of the race. In the early 1990s, French athletics historian Alain Bouillé discovered that Théato was actually a Luxembourgeois national.
Marathon Men Final 19 July
The marathon race, which began at 2:30 p.m. on a day with temperatures reaching nearly 40°C (102°F), wound through the streets of Paris. Thirteen runners started, though only twelve finished the four laps around the track that preceded the road running. Touquet-Daunis led until he withdrew from the competition, at which point Fast took over. Fast had tired himself trying to keep pace with the Frenchman, however, and was passed by Théato and Champion before long. Seven runners finished the race.
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 2-59.45.0 Michel Théato Luxembourg LUX 22
2 3-04.17.0 Émile Champion France FRA 20
3 3-37.14.0 Ernst Fast Sweden SWE 19
4 4-00.43.0 Eugène Besse France FRA
5 4-04.12.0 Arthur Newton United States USA 17
6 Dick Grant Canada CAN 21
7 Ronald MacDonald Canada CAN 26
AC DNF Georges Touquet-Daunis France FRA
AC DNF Auguste Marchais France FRA 27
AC DNF William Saward Great Britain GBR
AC DNF Ion Pool Great Britain GBR 42
AC DNF Frederick Randall Great Britain GBR 36
AC DNF Johan Nyström Sweden SWE 26
AC DNF W. Taylor Great Britain GBR
More Details by Marathoninfo
Thursday, July 19, 1900 at 14 hours 36 Michel Théato (FRANCE)) 22 years old 14 including 5 countries 6 (42.85%)
The course was 260m 40km loop around Paris (monitoring fortifications) with start and finish in the field of the racing club of France. He ran under a very hot, probably the hottest marathon Olympics.
Thursday, July 19, at the time will jump 14 brave (5 French, 3 English, 3 Americans, 1 Canadian and Swedish 2) it was a very hot, and few people set off bareheaded: one wore a hat, the other a boater, most white cloth tied on the crane. From the outset the Swedish Nystroem will abandon suffering, while his compatriot Fast took the lead. But soon will take place the first incident. Once left the wood, the entrance on the boulevards is made ​​by the Porte de Passy, ​​Fast presented himself first. Worker electrician in the Swedish section of the World Expo under which the marathon took place, only 19 years old, he knew nothing of the capital and did not speak French. Should he veer left to get around Paris in the direction of clockwise, or otherwise right? The policeman whom he called "Maillotte?" was unfortunately Marseille does not it knew the capital, as he showed her the wrong direction, which made ​​lose Fast valuable time on Touquet, Marchais or Emile Champion who, better informed and more familiar with places as Racingmen, turned left. It is said that the police officer, caught in ignorance offense, learning that the rider he had lost had lost the race, committed suicide a few days later. Michel Théato when his is the time before the last race.

A door Touquet Ornano stops without warning in a cafe to engulf two bocks, its thirst quenched he categorically refused to leave, feeling a strong heat in the neck, he feared sunstroke and preferred disappoint his entourage rather than Put one's life in danger. When the three English, full of their own superiority and having only contempt for the poor quality of an organization to prevent them speak, they had vanished even earlier, it leaves only nine competitors. Fast took the Touquet abandonment to spin through an unimaginable mess, in fact the race was held on a Thursday mid-week when the capital was in full operation, and he was not about to interrupt all this for the marathon. Everyone was therefore obliged to clear a door to door way through the steam trams, sheep frightened amount to slaughterhouses of the Villette, cows escaping, profanity and mockery of the drivers, the oil tricycles, bicycles, motorcycles and the first automobile mass.

At the door of puppet Fast always led to Champion. we then accosted the rough and long coast boulevard Serrurier, made ​​more difficult by heavy paving stones which are covered roadways. Indisposed by the heat at the start of the event, a competitor made ​​a spectacular comeback, Michel Théato. A time tried to give it continued at the urging of his coaches and to support the good name of our riders in front of strangers.

Theato fast abandonment soon burst on Champion who joined Fast twice without being able to maintain contact with him. Châtillon At the door, he joined Fast showing signs of fatigue. Demoralized, caught cramp, Fast had just sat down on the floor. In a flash, stung, he jumped to his feet and to the general astonishment, drew unexpected energy to try to push the other opponent. But the intense struggle was also short, the lanky Theato more available, not delaying to abandon the small Fast to resume broad permanently. It is preceded by two members of his club (and without anyone find fault as it was in use at the time) he traveled the last fifteen kilometers. Then a swarm of bikers escorted to the Pre-Catelan where waiting some five hundred thousand spectators including the future president of the Republic, Mr. Millerand. He won in 2h59'45 ".

the challenges Aged 22 years, it was claimed that Theato was a baker, which would have allowed it to better resist heat, he was delivering bread in Paris, which had prepared to take shortcuts. (in truth in the newspapers of the time, it was stated Theato cabinet-maker). The Anglo-Saxons still argue that it owed ​​its victory to a perfect knowledge of the course. Just arrived American Arthur Newton claimed that he had taken the midterm head and had not been surpassed by anyone but Frantz Reichel, a journalist, had followed the best French (Le Touquet, then Champion and finally Theato) without never be exceeded by Newton. therefore must undoubtedly put under the influence of heat the poor performance of one of the best racers of the time and his story. It also stepped forward to show the French cheating that their shirts were clean while the others had their immaculate suits mud ... Another American, Dick Grant, arrived 7th, waited 60 years before a trial IOC claiming that the poor organization of the race deprived him of victory and believed to have been hit by a bicycle when he was about to let go Theato. Fortunately Emile Anthoine was still living in 1960 and kept all his wits, his testimony helped dismiss the litigant.

English Saward, went home furious, rushed into the offices of "sporting life" to challenge for Theato. Besse claiming to have been indisposed did the same. Then it was the turn Touquet challenge champion who had unpleasant words to him, for the same reasons Marchais asked to participate in the challenge would have opposed Theato Besse. It was quite in the spirit of the times and a sports field yet challenges, revenge, challenges and disabilities, or nothing was definitively acquired.

Theato when with him refused to redo the race, he then went to swell the ranks of professional where he was, according to Emile Anthoine, regularly upgraded. The gold medal if challenged, he had to wait until 1912 to receive !! Theato therefore held its probably deserved victory but so contested. He declared on arrival "I could wish sweetest victory in my own love of racing and French, because I managed to beat the foreigners who did so much we suffer defeats in the World Championships." We saw later that Theato born in Luxembourg should have played for his native country, but this country has never claimed authorship of this gold medal. Theato died in 1919 at the age of 41 years.





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