Diving at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 3 metre springboard

The men's 3 metre springboard, also known as the fancy diving competition, was one of two diving events on the Diving at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme, along with the men's 10 metre platform. The competition was held on Tuesday 14 and Saturday 18 July 1908. Twenty-three divers from eight nations competed. Each nation could enter up to 12 divers.[1][2]

Men's springboard diving
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
VenueWhite City Stadium
Dates14–18 July
Competitors23 from 8 nations
1st place, gold medalist(s) Albert Zürner  Germany
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Kurt Behrens  Germany
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) George Gaidzik  United States
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Gottlob Walz  Germany
1912 →

Competition formatEdit

The competition was actually held from both 3 metre and 1 metre boards. Divers performed a running plain dive and a running forward somersault from the 1 metre board, a one-and-a-half somersault and a backward spring and forward dive from the 3 metre board, and three (different) dives of the competitor's choice from the 3 metre board.[3] The voluntary dives were selected from a list of 20 options, most of which could be done from either a standing or running start.[4]

Each judge gave a score between 0 and 10 points, in increments of half a point, for each dive. Points were then added to voluntary dives based on degree of difficulty (difficulty points ranged from 1 to 10 per dive). No difficulty points were awarded for the compulsory dives. The dive scores from each judge were summed and divided by 3, with the three judges' results added to give a final score. However, the final scores were not technically determinative (except as tie-breakers); after the scores were calculated, each judge ranked the competitors (and could choose to follow the scores or not) and the competition was decided on a point-for-place system with the competitor with the lowest total ranking from the three judges winning. Final scores were used as tie-breakers if this aggregate ranking was tied.[5] In no case was the point-for-place result different for any round from the final scores, however, and ties in final scores led to an extra diver advancing to the semifinals as well as two bronze medals being awarded; the Official Report contains only the final scores and not the ordinal rankings from the judges.[6] Indeed, it appears that "the ordinal scores are not recorded in any source" and "the individual judges' scores are not known, so it is not possible to reconstruct the ordinal placements."[7]

The competition was held over three rounds (first round, semifinals, and final). The first round consisted of 5 groups of between 3 and 6 divers each; the top 2 divers in each group advanced to the semifinals. The semifinals consisted of 2 groups, one of 5 divers and one of 6 divers (due to a tie in the first round resulting in an additional diver advancing). The top 2 divers in each group advanced to the final. The final featured 4 divers.


First roundEdit

The two divers who scored the greatest number of points in each group of the first round advanced to the semifinals. A tie in the third group for second place resulted in both divers joining the group winner in advancing, for a total of 11 divers in the semifinals.

Group 1Edit

Rank Diver Nation Score Notes
1 George Gaidzik   United States 82.8 Q
2 Heinz Freyschmidt   Germany 78.1 Q
3 Robert Zimmerman   Canada 74.0
4 Harry Crank   Great Britain 70.3
5 Alexander Beckett   Great Britain 67.5

Group 2Edit

Rank Diver Nation Score Notes
1 Albert Zürner   Germany 83.6 Q
2 Harold Clarke   Great Britain 78.6 Q
3 Albert Taylor   Great Britain 58.8

Group 3Edit

Rank Diver Nation Score Notes
1 Kurt Behrens   Germany 83.6 Q
2 Ralph Errington   Great Britain 70.83 Q
Oskar Wetzell   Finland 70.83 Q
4 Karl Malmström   Sweden 70.3
5 William Hoare   Great Britain 67.8

Group 4Edit

Rank Diver Nation Score Notes
1 Herbert Pott   Great Britain 82.5 Q
2 Fritz Nicolai   Germany 67.1 Q
3 William Bull   Great Britain 66.0
4 Carlo Bonfanti   Italy 65.8
5 Sigfrid Larsson   Sweden 64.5
6 Reginald Baker   Australasia 61.3

Group 5Edit

Rank Diver Nation Score Notes
1 Gottlob Walz   Germany 81.3 Q
2 Henry Grote   United States 79.5 Q
3 Harold Smyrk   Great Britain 78.3
4 Charles Cross   Great Britain 64.5


The two divers from each semifinal with the highest scores advanced to the final.

Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Diver Nation Score Notes
1 Kurt Behrens   Germany 83.0 Q
2 Gottlob Walz   Germany 80.3 Q
3 Herbert Pott   Great Britain 79.6
4 Heinz Freyschmidt   Germany 79.3
5 Ralph Errington   Great Britain 72.6
6 Oskar Wetzell   Finland 70.1

Semifinal 2Edit

Rank Diver Nation Score Notes
1 George Gaidzik   United States 85.6 Q
2 Albert Zürner   Germany 82.8 Q
3 Fritz Nicolai   Germany 81.8
4 Harold Clarke   Great Britain 81.1
5 Henry Grote   United States 74.5


A tie for third place resulted in both divers receiving bronze medals.

Rank Diver Nation Score
  Albert Zürner   Germany 85.5
  Kurt Behrens   Germany 85.3
  George Gaidzik   United States 80.8
Gottlob Walz   Germany 80.8


  1. ^ Official Report, p. 40.
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Diving at the 1908 London Summer Games: Men's Springboard". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  3. ^ Official Report, p. 575.
  4. ^ Official Report, p. 586.
  5. ^ Official Report, pp. 575–76.
  6. ^ Official Report, p. 306.
  7. ^ Sports-reference


  • Cook, Theodore Andrea (1908). The Fourth Olympiad, Being the Official Report. London: British Olympic Association.
  • De Wael, Herman (2001). "Diving 1908". Herman's Full Olympians. Retrieved 21 May 2006.