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

Last updated
Men's 100 metres
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
Venue White City Stadium
DatesJuly 20 (quarterfinals)
July 21 (semifinals)
July 22 (final)
Competitors60 from 16 nations
Medalists
Gold medal icon.svg Reggie Walker Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa
Silver medal icon.svg James Rector US flag 45 stars.svg  United States
Bronze medal icon.svg Robert Kerr Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada
  1904 (1906)
1912  

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. NOCs could enter up to 12 athletes, [1] The event was won by Reggie Walker of South Africa, the first time the gold medal went to a nation other than the United States. The Americans did stay on the podium with James Rector's silver medal. Canada won its first medal in the event, a bronze by Robert Kerr.

Contents

Background

This was the fourth time the event was held. Nathaniel Cartmell, the 1904 silver medalist, competed again in 1908, but gold medalist Archie Hahn did not. Other notable entrants included John W. Morton of Great Britain, the four-time AAA Championships winner; Reggie Walker, the 1907 South African champion; and Knut Lindberg of Sweden, the unofficial world record holder. [2]

Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and South Africa were represented in the event for the first time. The United States and Hungary were the only two nations to have appeared at each of the first four Olympic men's 100 metres events.

Competition format

With a larger field than in 1904, the event expanded from two rounds to three: heats, semifinals, and a final. Only the top runner in each heat, of which there were 17, advanced to the semifinals. These 17 semifinalists were divided into 4 semifinal heats; again, only the top runner advanced to the final.

Records

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

World Record10.6(*) Flag of Sweden.svg Knut Lindberg Gothenburg (SWE)August 26, 1906
Olympic Record10.8 Flag of the United States.svg Frank Jarvis Paris (FRA)July 14, 1900
10.8 Flag of the United States.svg 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 1045.

Results

Heats

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 1

Duffy won this heat by three yards.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Edward Duffy Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa 11.6 Q
2 Georgios Skoutarides Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece (11.9)
3 Victor Henny Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Unknown

Heat 2

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 John George Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 11.6 Q
2 Oscar Guttormsen Flag of Norway.svg  Norway (12.0)

Heat 3

Cartmell crossed the finish line two yards ahead of Malfait.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Nate Cartmell US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.0 Q
2 Georges Malfait Flag of France.svg  France (11.2)
3 Arthur Hoffmann Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (11.4)
4 Evert Koops Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Unknown

Heat 4

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Reggie Walker Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa 11.0 Q
2 Jean Konings Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium (11.6)
3 Denis Murray Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown
4–5 Edgar Kiralfy US flag 45 stars.svg  United States Unknown
Ernestus Greven Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Unknown

Heat 5

Harmer pulled up lame. Cloughen won by five yards.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Robert Cloughen US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.0 Q
2 John Johansen Flag of Norway.svg  Norway (11.7)
3 David Beland Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada Unknown
Henry Harmer Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain DNF

Heat 6

May won by about three yards.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 William W. May US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.2 Q
2 Victor Jacquemin Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium (11.5)
3 L. Lescat Flag of France.svg  France Unknown
4 Mikhail Paskalides Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece Unknown

Heat 7

Duncan won by a yard.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Robert Duncan Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 11.4 Q
2 Knut Stenborg Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden (11.5)
3 Hans Eicke Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (11.6)
4 Umberto Barrozzi Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg  Italy Unknown
5 Ragnar Stenberg Flag of Russia.svg  Finland Unknown

Heat 8

Stevens beat world record holder Lindberg by inches.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Lester Stevens US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.2 Q
2 Knut Lindberg Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden (11.2)
3 Heinrich Rehder Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (11.8)
4 William Murray Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown

Heat 9

Morton won by about three yards.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 John W. Morton Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 11.2 Q
2 Axel Petersen Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark (11.5)
3 Jacobus Hoogveld Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Unknown

Heat 10

Fischer pulled up lame. Kerr won by three yards.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Robert Kerr Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada 11.0 Q
2 Meyrick Chapman Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain (11.3)
Paul Fischer Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany DNF

Heat 11

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 William Hamilton US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.2 Q
2 Pál Simon Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary (11.5)
3 G. Lamotte Flag of France.svg  France Unknown
Herbert Phillips Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa DNF

Heat 12

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Harold Huff US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.4 Q
2 Henry Pankhurst Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain (11.5)
3 Karl Fryksdal Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Unknown

Heat 13

Robertson won by about three yards.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Lawson Robertson US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.4 Q
2 Frank Lukeman Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada (11.7)
3 Henri Meslot Flag of France.svg  France Unknown
4 Eduard Schönecker Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg  Austria Unknown

Heat 14

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Nathaniel Sherman US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.2 Q
2 Louis Sebert Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada (11.7)
3 Harold Watson Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown
4 Frigyes Wiesner Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary Unknown
5 Hermann von Bönninghausen Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (12.0)

Heat 15

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 James Rector US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 10.8 Q, =OR
2 Vilmos Rácz Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary (11.4)
3 Willy Kohlmey Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (12.0)

Heat 16

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 James P. Stark Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 11.8 Q
2 Gaspare Torretta Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg  Italy (12.0)

Heat 17

Roche won by about two yards.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Patrick Roche Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 11.4 Q
2 Carl Bechler Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (11.4)

Semifinals

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

Semifinal 1

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 1045.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Reggie Walker Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa 10.8 Q, =OR
2 William W. May US flag 45 stars.svg  United States (11.0)
3 Patrick Roche Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown
4 Lester Stevens US flag 45 stars.svg  United States Unknown
Robert Cloughen US flag 45 stars.svg  United States DNS

Semifinal 2

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Robert Kerr Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada 11.0 Q
2 Nathaniel Sherman US flag 45 stars.svg  United States (11.3)
3 John W. Morton Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown
William Hamilton US flag 45 stars.svg  United States DNS

Semifinal 3

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 James Rector US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 10.8 Q, =OR
2 Harold Huff US flag 45 stars.svg  United States (11.1)
3 Edward Duffy Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa Unknown
4 Robert Duncan Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown

Semifinal 4

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

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Nate Cartmell US flag 45 stars.svg  United States 11.2 Q
2 Lawson Robertson US flag 45 stars.svg  United States (11.2)
3 James P. Stark Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown
4 John George Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown

Final

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.

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
Gold medal icon.svg Reggie Walker Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa 10.8=OR
Silver medal icon.svg James Rector US flag 45 stars.svg  United States (10.9)
Bronze medal icon.svg Robert Kerr Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada (11.0)
4 Nate Cartmell US flag 45 stars.svg  United States (11.2)

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References

  1. Official report, p. 32.
  2. "100 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 21 July 2020.