Abraham Tokazier

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Finish line shot of the 1938 race. Abraham Tokazier in front. 1938 Helsinki scandal race.JPG
Finish line shot of the 1938 race. Abraham Tokazier in front.

Abraham Tokazier (born 29 September 1909 in Helsinki, died 7 April 1976 in Stockholm [1] ) was a Finnish sprinter with Jewish descent. His best achievement was the second place on 100 metres run at the 1938 Finnish Championships. Tokazier's club was Makkabi Helsinki.

The 1938 scandal race

21 June 1938 Tokazier competed on 100 metres at the opening games of the newly built Helsinki Olympic Stadium. He crossed the finish line first but the official results placed Tokazier fourth, even though the announcer declared him as the winner right after the race. On the next day a picture taken on the finish line was published in the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. The picture clearly proves that Tokazier (in dark vest nearest camera) was the first one to cross the line. Reason for lowering Tokazier on fourth place was most likely antisemitism rather than a mistake made by the jury. An official delegation from Nazi Germany was among the guests and that was the reason why organizers dropped him out of the podium. [2]

The scandal became a hot topic again in 2013 as the Finnish author Kjell Westö wrote about it on his book "Hägring 38". Finally on 18 September 2013 the Finnish Amateur Athletic Association made an apology to the family of Tokazier and admitted that he was the real winner of the 1938 race. The official results cannot be overruled due to the rules of International Association of Athletics Federations. [3]

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  1. Meliza's Genealogy Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  2. "SUL ei suostu muuttamaan skandaalijuoksun tuloksia vuodelta 1938" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  3. "SUL pyytää anteeksi 75 vuotta vanhaa tuomarointivirhettä" (in Finnish). Yle Urheilu. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.