Carl Kaufmann anchors home the 1960 Olympic silver medal at 4x400m for Germany, running a 44.86 leg (Getty Images) © Copyright
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1960 Olympic 400m silver medallist Kaufmann passes away

Carl (Charly) Kaufmann (GER) born 25 Mar 1936 Brooklyn, New York, died on 1 September 2008 at the age of 72.

Kaufmann had his greatest day in the Olympic 400m final in Rome 1960 when he won the silver medal, producing a sensational finish to come from behind the American Otis Davis (32.6 to 33.3) at 300m to almost catch him on the line, both men being given a hand time of 44.9 to smash the four year-old World record of 45.2. The auto-timing showed that Davis had won 45.07 to 45.08.

Kaufmann then won a silver medal at 4x400m, running a 44.86 anchor leg.

After the Games Davis and Kaufmann tied in Cologne and Kaufmann won in Wuppertal but Kaufmann did not better 46.6 after that year.

Kaufmann had begun to concentrate on 400m from 1958, when he was 4th in the Europeans (and 2nd at 4x400m) and had a best of 46.9. He ran a European record 45.8 on 19 Sep 1959 in Cologne and improved that to 45.7 on 15 Jun 1960 and to 45.4 to win the German title in Berlin on 24 Jul 1960. He also won German titles at 200m 1955 and 400m 1958-9. pbs: 100m 10.5 (1955), 200m 20.9 (1960), and became a famous opera tenor, actor and theatre director.

Peter Matthews and Mel Watman - Athletics International - for the IAAF