Australasia at the 1908 Summer Olympics

Australasia was the name of a combined team from Australia and New Zealand that competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. It was the fourth appearance of Australia, which had not missed any edition of the Summer Olympic Games, and the first appearance of New Zealand. The two would compete together again as Australasia at the 1912 Summer Olympics before competing separately at every edition of the Summer Games since. In 1908 there were three New Zealanders, Harry Kerr, Henry St Aubyn Murray and Albert Rowland (a fourth New Zealander, hurdler Arthur Halligan, competed for Great Britain);[1] all other competitors were Australian. There were 30 competitors for Australasia who competed in 20 events in six sports.[2] A further two competitors, who were to compete in tennis, did not play as their nominations failed to reach the organisers.

Australasia at the
1908 Summer Olympics
Flag of Australasian team for Olympic games.svg
Australasian Olympic Flag
in London
Competitors30 in 6 sports
Flag bearerHenry St Aubyn Murray
Ranked 11th
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
 Australia (1896–1904, 1920–)
 New Zealand (1920–)


Medal Name Sport Event Date
  Gold Australia national rugby union team
Rugby union October 26
  Silver Snowy Baker Boxing Middleweight October 27
  Silver Frank Beaurepaire Swimming Men's 400 m freestyle July 16
  Bronze Harry Kerr Athletics Men's 3500 m walk July 14
  Bronze Frank Beaurepaire Swimming Men's 1500 m freestyle July 25

Results by eventEdit


Australasia's best athletics result, and only medal, was Harry Kerr's bronze medal in the 3500 metre walk.

Event Place Athlete Heats Semifinals Final
Men's 800 metres Semi-
Harvey Sutton None held Unknown
4th, semifinal 8
Did not advance
Men's 1500 metres Semi-
Joseph Lynch Unknown
5th, semifinal 2
Did not advance
Charles Swain Did not finish
—, semifinal 3
Men's 110 metre hurdles Heats Henry St Aubyn Murray Unknown
2nd, heat 1
Did not advance
Men's 400 metre hurdles Heats Henry St Aubyn Murray Unknown
2nd, heat 3
Did not advance
Men's 5 miles Semi-
George Blake None held Unknown
3rd, semifinal 1
Did not advance
Joseph Lynch Did not finish
—, semifinal 5
Men's marathon Victor Aitken None held Did not finish
George Blake Did not finish
Joseph Lynch Did not finish
Men's 3500 metre walk 3rd Harry Kerr None held 16:02.2
2nd, semifinal 1
5th Albert Rowland 16:08.6
3rd, semifinal 3
Men's 10 mile walk 8th Harry Kerr None held 1:18:40.2
3rd, semifinal 2
Did not start
11th Albert Rowland 1:21:57.6
5th, semifinal 1
Did not advance
Event Place Athlete Height
Men's standing high jump 19–23 Ernest Hutcheon Unknown


Australasia had one boxer in 1908, the middleweight Snowy Baker. He took the silver medal, and was the only non-British boxer to win a bout.

Place Boxer Round
of 16
Up to 158 pounds
2nd Snowy Baker Defeated Dees
KO, 2nd round
Defeated William Childs
2–0 decision
Defeated Philo
KO, 1st round
Lost to Douglas
2–1 decision
Opponent nation Wins Losses Percent
Great Britain 3 1 .750
Total 3 1 .750


Baker, the silver medal-winning middleweight boxer, also dove in the springboard event, placing 22nd of 23 overall.

Event Place Diver Preliminary
Men's 3 metre springboard 22nd Snowy Baker 61.30 points
6th, group 4
Did not advance


Australasia won the only rugby union match played in 1908 against Great Britain, earning the gold medal. The Australasian representative was the Australia national team.

1908 Olympic Gold Final: Australasia v Great Britain
Event Place Players Final
Men's rugby union 1st Phil Carmichael, Charles Russell, Daniel Carroll, John Hickey, Francis Bede-Smith,
Chris McKivat, Arthur McCabe, Thomas Griffen, John "Jumbo" Barnett, Patrick McCue,
Sydney Middleton, Tom Richards, Malcolm McArthur, Charles McMurtrie, Bob Craig
Won vs.
Great Britain


Event Place Shooter Score
Men's stationary target small-bore rifle 16th William Hill 354
Men's moving target small-bore rifle William Hill Did not finish
Men's disappearing target small-bore rifle 18th William Hill 36


Event Place Swimmer Heats Semifinals Final
Men's 100 metre freestyle Semi-
Frank Beaurepaire 1:11.6
1st, heat 3
4th, semifinal 1
Did not advance
Heats Theo Tartakover Unknown
2nd, heat 1
Did not advance
Edward Cooke Unknown
3–4, heat 6
Men's 400 metre freestyle 2nd Frank Beaurepaire 5:49.2
1st, heat 4
1st, semifinal 1
Theo Tartakover 6:35.0
1st, heat 3
Did not start
—, semifinal 1
Did not advance
Heats Frank Springfield 5:57.4
2nd, heat 6
Did not advance
Men's 1500 metre freestyle 3rd Frank Beaurepaire 23:45.8
1st, heat 2
2nd, semifinal 1
Heats Frederick Springfield 24:52.4
2nd, heat 4
Did not advance
Men's 200 metre breaststroke Edward Cooke Did not finish
—, heat 5
Did not advance
Men's 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay 4th Frank Beaurepaire
Frederick Springfield
Snowy Baker
Theo Tartakover
None held 11:35.0
1st, semifinal 1


Les Poidevin and Anthony Wilding (who were partners in the 1906 Davis Cup preliminary round at Newport) were nominated for the Australasian team by the Australasian Lawn Tennis Association, but their nominations failed to reach the organisers. So the pair watched the "small, impoverished and out of place" Australasian contingent alongside the "tailored splendour" of some European teams. Although many leading tennis players bypassed the Olympic tournament (which followed almost immediately after Wimbledon) and his goal had been Wimbledon, Wilding regretted the missed opportunity and endorsed his mother's summing up of the administrative bungling: "seems very careless of them & very annoying".[3]


  1. ^ Heidenstrom, P. (1992) Athletes of the Century. Wellington: GP Publications
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Australasia at the 1908 London Summer Games". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  3. ^ Richardson, Len; Richardson, Shelley (2005). Anthony Wilding, A Sporting Life. Canterbury: Canterbury University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-877257-01-8.

External linksEdit


  • Cook, Theodore Andrea (1908). The Fourth Olympiad, Being the Official Report. London: British Olympic Association.
  • De Wael, Herman (2001). "Top London 1908 Olympians". Herman's Full Olympians. Archived from the original on 12 July 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2006.