Athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 110 metres hurdles

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Men's 110 metres hurdles
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
Venue White City Stadium
Dates July 23 (quarterfinals)
July 24 (semifinals)
July 25 (final)
Competitors 25 from 10 nations
Medalists
Gold medal    United States
Silver medal    United States
Bronze medal    United States
«1904 1912»
Athletics at the
1908 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men
200 m men
400 m men
800 m men
1500 m men
5 miles men
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3200 m steeplechase men
Medley relay men
3 mile team race men
Road events
Marathon men
3500 m walk men
10 mile walk men
Field events
Long jump men
Triple jump men
High jump men
Pole vault men
Standing long jump men
Standing high jump men
Shot put men
Discus throw men
Hammer throw men
Javelin throw men
Greek discus men
Freestyle javelin men

The men's 110 metres hurdles was the shorter of two hurdling events at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. It was dominated by the American runners. The competition was held from Thursday, July 23, 1908 to Saturday, July 25, 1908.

25 hurdlers from ten nations competed.

Ten sets of hurdles were set on the course. The hurdles were 3 feet, 6 inches (1.07m) tall and were placed ten yards (9.144m) apart beginning fifteen yards (13.716m) from the starting line.

Records[edit]

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

World Record 15.0(*) United States Thaddeus Shideler St. Louis (USA) June 11, 1904
Olympic Record 15.4 United States Alvin Kraenzlein Paris (FRA) July 14, 1900

(*) unofficial 120 yards (= 109.73 m)

Forrest Smithson equalled the Olympic record when he ran 15.4 seconds in his semifinal. In the final he set the first official world record in this event with 15.0 seconds.

Results[edit]

Heats[edit]

The first round heats were held on July 23, 1908, making the short hurdles one of the last events to begin. The Americans won every race in which they competed. The British team also had a strong showing, winning any time that there was no American in the race.

Heat 1

Healey won by four yards after leading from the start.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Alfred Healey Great Britain 15.8 seconds
2 Henry St Aubyn Murray Australasia (16.3 seconds)
3 Doug Stupart South Africa Unknown

Heat 2

Garrels won by seven yards.

Place Name Nation Time
1 John Garrels United States 16.2 seconds
2 Arthur Halligan Great Britain (17.1 seconds)

Heat 3

Groenings led by five yards at the finish.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Oswald Groenings Great Britain 16.4 seconds
2 Georgios Skoutarides Greece (17.0 seconds)

Heat 4

Kiely had no competition in the first round.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Laurence Kiely Great Britain Walkover

Heat 5

Rand and Powell were even for most of the race. Powell hit the ninth hurdle, slowing him just enough for Rand to take the lead and win.

Place Name Nation Time
1 William Rand United States 15.8 seconds
2 Kenneth Powell Great Britain (16.2 seconds)
3 Frank Savage Canada Unknown

Heat 6

Lemming fell during the race, allowing Walters to win while easing up.

Place Name Nation Time
1 David Walters Great Britain 17.8 seconds
Oscar Lemming Sweden DNF

Heat 7

The seventh heat was another in which there was no competition.

Place Name Nation Time
1 William Knyvett Great Britain Walkover

Heat 8

Halbart won without competition.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Fernand Halbart Belgium Walkover

Heat 9

Ahearne was the fourth runner to win without a contest.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Tim Ahearne Great Britain Walkover

Heat 10

Smithson won by ten yards.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Forrest Smithson United States 15.8 seconds
2 Nándor Kovács Hungary (17.2 seconds)

Heat 11

Blijstad fell, allowing Hussey to win with a jog.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Eric Hussey Great Britain 16.8 seconds
Wilhelm Blijstad Norway DNF

Heat 12

Kinahan had an easy win by ten yards.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Cecil Kinahan Great Britain 16.8 seconds
2 Oscar Guttormsen Norway (18.2 seconds)

Heat 13

Howe and Leader were even over the hurdles, but Howe edged out Leader in the straight.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Leonard Howe United States 15.8 seconds
2 Edward Leader Great Britain (16.1 seconds)

Heat 14

Shaw won without a contest.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Arthur Shaw United States Walkover

Semifinals[edit]

The semifinal round was held on July 24, 1908. Each of the four heats of the second round were won by American runners.

Semifinal 1

Shaw took the lead at the first set of hurdles, finishing about five metres ahead of Hussey.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Arthur Shaw United States 15.6 seconds
2 Eric Hussey Great Britain (16.5 seconds)
3 David Walters Great Britain (16.9 seconds)
4 Oswald Groenings Great Britain Unknown

Semifinal 2

Smithson had no trouble winning this heat, tying the Olympic record as he did so.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Forrest Smithson United States 15.4 seconds =OR
2 William Knyvett Great Britain (15.6 seconds)
3 Leonard Howe United States (15.8 seconds)

Semifinal 3

Healey led for most of the race, with Rand close behind, but Healey was unable to clear the ninth hurdle cleanly, allowing Rand to pass him and win by a foot.

Place Name Nation Time
1 William Rand United States 15.8 seconds
2 Alfred Healey Great Britain (15.9 seconds)
3 Laurence Kiely Great Britain Unknown
4 Tim Ahearne Great Britain Unknown

Semifinal 4

Halbert pulled up lame, and Garrels won by 15 yards.

Place Name Nation Time
1 John Garrels United States 15.8 seconds
2 Cecil Kinahan Great Britain (17.5 seconds)
Fernand Halbert Belgium DNF

Final[edit]

Smithson pulled away from his countrymen at every set of hurdles to win by five meters and set a new world record.

Place Name Nation Time
1 Forrest Smithson United States 15.0 seconds WR
2 John Garrels United States (15.7 seconds)
3 Arthur Shaw United States (15.8 seconds)
4 William Rand United States (16.0 seconds)

References[edit]

  • 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 30 July 2006. 
  • Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich". Retrieved 30 July 2006.  (Polish)