Ewa Klobukowska, the Joy of Victory, and the 4X100 M World Record That Was Not: The Impact of Gender Testing in the 1960s

One of my go-to books for great images from the Tokyo Olympics is the coffee table to me, “Tokyo Olympiad 1964” published by the Kyodo News Agency. On one page, the book tells a wonderful story about the joy of victory through three fantastic pictures.

Ewa Klobukowska anchored a Polish women’s team that won gold in the 4 X 100 relay race, and set a world record time of 43.0 seconds, defeating the American and British teams that took silver and bronze respectively. Klobukowska, who also took bronze in the women’s 100 meter compeition, was so happy in victory that when requested by an official to return the baton, she didn’t want to give it back. I’ve provided the captions from the book below.

“Hannah, we’ve made it.” Poland’s anchor Eva Klobukowska (center) embraces Teresa Barbara Ciepla (extreme right), excited over the world record their team set in the Women’s 400 M Relay.
“Say, young lady, you can’t take it with you!”
“But I want to. I love this baton.” – Poland’s Eva Klobukowska.

“Eva, give it to me.” Poland’s Teresa Barbara Ciepla takes the baton past the official into the dugout.

Five years later, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) annulled all world records associated by Klobukowska for failing a gender identification test in 1967. But as cited in this Wikipedia account, the tests of the time were not accurate, and it is likely that Klobukowska would have passed subsequent gender tests. Klobukowska later gave birth to a son in 1968. Despite that, the world records still remain annulled.