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Athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres

The men's 100 metres was the shortest of the sprint races at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. The competition was held over the course of three days. The first round was held on 20 July, the semifinals on 21 July, and the final on 22 July.

Men's 100 metres
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
VenueWhite City Stadium
DatesJuly 20 (quarterfinals)
July 21 (semifinals)
July 22 (final)
Competitors60 from 16 nations
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s) Reggie Walker  South Africa
2nd, silver medalist(s) James Rector  United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Robert Kerr  Canada
← 1904 (1906)
1912 →

Contents

RecordsEdit

These were the standing world and Olympic records (in seconds) prior to the 1908 Summer Olympics.

World Record 10.6(*)   Knut Lindberg Gothenburg (SWE) August 26, 1906
Olympic Record 10.8   Frank Jarvis Paris (FRA) July 14, 1900
10.8   Walter Tewksbury Paris (FRA) July 14, 1900

(*) unofficial

James Rector (in the 15th heat and the third semi-final) and Reggie Walker (in the first semi-final and final) both equalized the standing Olympic record. Reggie Walker's actual time in the first semi-final was 10.7, but was rounded up to the nearest fifth in accordance with rules in force at the time, so his time was given as 10​45.

ResultsEdit

HeatsEdit

Times were kept for the winning runner in each heat only. They were measured to the closest ​15 second. The fastest runner advanced to the second round. The competition began at 3 p.m. on 20 July, the seventh day of the Games. A break was taken after the first nine heats to allow for four heats of the 800 metres to be run at 3:30 p.m., with the final eight heats of the 100 metres commencing at 4 p.m.

Heat 1Edit

Duffy won this heat by three yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Edward Duffy   South Africa 11.6 Q
2 Georgios Skoutarides   Greece (11.9)
3 Victor Henny   Netherlands Unknown

Heat 2Edit

George was ahead of Guttormsen by three yards when he finished.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 John George   Great Britain 11.6 Q
2 Oscar Guttormsen   Norway (12.0)

Heat 3Edit

Cartmell crossed the finish line two yards ahead of Malfait.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Nate Cartmell   United States 11.0 Q
2 Georges Malfait   France (11.2)
3 Arthur Hoffmann   Germany (11.4)
4 Evert Koops   Netherlands Unknown

Heat 4Edit

Walker was four yards ahead of the field when he finished. Records do not indicate which of the final two runners took which place.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Reggie Walker   South Africa 11.0 Q
2 Jean Konings   Belgium (11.6)
3 Denis Murray   Great Britain Unknown
4 Edgar Kiralfy   United States Unknown
5 Ernestus Greven   Netherlands Unknown

Heat 5Edit

Harmer pulled up lame. Cloughen won by five yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Robert Cloughen   United States 11.0 Q
2 John Johansen   Norway (11.7)
3 David Beland   Canada Unknown
Henry Harmer   Great Britain DNF

Heat 6Edit

May won by about three yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 William W. May   United States 11.2 Q
2 Victor Jacquemin   Belgium (11.5)
3 L. Lescat   France Unknown
4 Mikhail Paskalides   Greece Unknown

Heat 7Edit

Duncan won by a yard.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Robert Duncan   Great Britain 11.4 Q
2 Knut Stenborg   Sweden (11.5)
3 Hans Eicke   Germany (11.6)
4 Umberto Barrozzi   Italy Unknown
5 Ragnar Stenberg   Finland Unknown

Heat 8Edit

Stevens beat world record holder Lindberg by inches.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Lester Stevens   United States 11.2 Q
2 Knut Lindberg   Sweden (11.2)
3 Heinrich Rehder   Germany (11.8)
4 William Murray   Great Britain Unknown

Heat 9Edit

Morton won by about three yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 John W. Morton   Great Britain 11.2 Q
2 Axel Petersen   Denmark (11.5)
3 Jacobus Hoogveld   Netherlands Unknown

Heat 10Edit

Fischer pulled up lame. Kerr won by three yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Robert Kerr   Canada 11.0 Q
2 Meyrick Chapman   Great Britain (11.3)
Paul Fischer   Germany DNF

Heat 11Edit

Phillips pulled up lame, allowing Hamilton to win by about three yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 William Hamilton   United States 11.2 Q
2 Pál Simon   Hungary (11.5)
3 G. Lamotte   France Unknown
Herbert Phillips   South Africa DNF

Heat 12Edit

Huff was only about a yard ahead of Pankhurst when he finished.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Harold Huff   United States 11.4 Q
2 Henry Pankhurst   Great Britain (11.5)
3 Karl Fryksdal   Sweden Unknown

Heat 13Edit

Robertson won by about three yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Lawson Robertson   United States 11.4 Q
2 Frank Lukeman   Canada (11.7)
3 Henri Meslot   France Unknown
4 Eduard Schönecker   Austria Unknown

Heat 14Edit

Sherman's lead of four yards at the finish was one of the larger leads in the first round.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Nathaniel Sherman   United States 11.2 Q
2 Louis Sebert   Canada (11.7)
3 Harold Watson   Great Britain Unknown
4 Frigyes Wiesner   Hungary Unknown
5 Hermann von Bönninghausen   Germany (12.0)

Heat 15Edit

Rector's Olympic record-tying time gave him a relatively easy victory in the first round.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 James Rector   United States 10.8 Q, =OR
2 Vilmos Rácz   Hungary (11.4)
3 Willy Kohlmey   Germany (12.0)

Heat 16Edit

In one of the slowest of the first round heads, Stark won by about two yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 James P. Stark   Great Britain 11.8 Q
2 Gaspare Torretta   Italy (12.0)

Heat 17Edit

Roche won by about two yards.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Patrick Roche   Great Britain 11.4 Q
2 Karl Bechler   Germany (11.4)

SemifinalsEdit

The fastest runner in each semifinal advanced to the final. The semifinals were begun at 3:35 p.m. on 21 July.

Semifinal 1Edit

Cloughen withdrew to prepare for the 200m heats. Walker took the lead after about 50 metres and crossed the line about a yard in front of May to become the second sprinter to tie the Olympic record at the London Games. His actual time was 10.7, rounded up to the nearest fifth, in accordance with rules in force at the time; therefore, his time was given as 10​45.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Reggie Walker   South Africa 10.8 Q, =OR
2 William W. May   United States (11.0)
3 Patrick Roche   Great Britain Unknown
4 Lester Stevens   United States Unknown
Robert Cloughen   United States DNS

Semifinal 2Edit

Hamilton withdrew to prepare for the 200m heats. Kerr had little difficulty winning this heat, leading by three yards at the finish.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Robert Kerr   Canada 11.0 Q
2 Nathaniel Sherman   United States (11.3)
3 John W. Morton   Great Britain Unknown
William Hamilton   United States DNS

Semifinal 3Edit

Rector again won easily, tying the Olympic record for the second time.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 James Rector   United States 10.8 Q, =OR
2 Harold Huff   United States (11.1)
3 Edward Duffy   South Africa Unknown
4 Robert Duncan   Great Britain Unknown

Semifinal 4Edit

Cartmell and Robertson ran a tight race, with Cartmell winning by about a foot.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Nate Cartmell   United States 11.2 Q
2 Lawson Robertson   United States (11.2)
3 James P. Stark   Great Britain Unknown
4 John George   Great Britain Unknown

FinalEdit

The final race of the 100 metres began at 4:15 p.m. on 22 July. With Walker and Rector having already tied the Olympic record before the final, it was widely expected that the final race of the 100 metres would be an exciting match between those two runners. Walker got off to a quick lead, but Rector caught him about midway through the race and passed him. Walker responded with a great effort, pulling level with Rector. The two ran side-by-side for about six yards before Walker finally pulled ahead to win by half a yard. Rector finished six inches ahead of Kerr, who finished two yards ahead of Cartmell for third place.

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
  Reggie Walker   South Africa 10.8 =OR
  James Rector   United States (10.9)
  Robert Kerr   Canada (11.0)
4 Nate Cartmell   United States (11.2)

ReferencesEdit

  • Cook, Theodore Andrea (1908). The Fourth Olympiad, Being the Official Report. London: British Olympic Association.
  • De Wael, Herman (2001). "Athletics 1908". Herman's Full Olympians. Retrieved 15 July 2006.
  • Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2006.