Athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres
|Men's 1500 metres
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
|Venue||White City Stadium|
|Dates||July 13 (semifinals)
July 14 (final)
|Competitors||44 from 15 nations|
|Athletics at the
1908 Summer Olympics
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men|
|3200 m steeplechase||men|
|3 mile team race||men|
|3500 m walk||men|
|10 mile walk||men|
|Standing long jump||men|
|Standing high jump||men|
The men's 1500 metres was an Olympic event for the fourth time at the 1908 Summer Olympics. The competition was held on July 13, 1908 and on July 14, 1908. The races were held on a track of 536.45 metres=1⁄3 mile in circumference. There were eight heats of the first round, with the winners of those heats competing in the final.
44 runners from 15 nations competed.
These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1908 Summer Olympics.
|World Record||3:59.8(*)||Harold Wilson||London (GBR)||May 30, 1908|
|Olympic Record||4:05.4(**)||James Lightbody||St. Louis (USA)||September 3, 1904|
(**) This track was 536.45 metres=1⁄3 mile in circumference.
In the second semifinal Mel Sheppard set a new Olympic record with 4:05.0 minutes only to be improved in the next run by Norman Hallows who ran 4:03.4 minutes. In the final Mel Sheppard equalized this time when he also ran 4:03.4 minutes.
The semifinals of the 1500 metres were the first competitions of the athletics programme held, on Monday, July 13, 1908. The fastest runner in each semifinal heat advanced to the final the next day while all other runners were eliminated.
Meadows, de Fleurac, Smith, and Lightbody all had the lead during the race. Sullivan won by six yards.
|1||James Sullivan (USA)||4:07.6||Q|
|2||James Lightbody (USA)||4:08.6|
|3||Frederick Meadows (CAN)||4:12.2|
|4||Francis Knott (GBR)||Unknown|
|5||Joseph M. Smith (GBR)||Unknown|
|6||Louis de Fleurac (FRA)||Unknown|
|7||Nils Dahl (NOR)||Unknown|
|8||Ödön Bodor (HUN)||Unknown|
|9||Jacques Keyser (NED)||Unknown|
Butterfield and Lee were ahead of Sheppard and Halstead at the bell, but the American pair proved the better runners on the straight and passed the English duo. Sheppard's time set a new Olympic record, with Halstead just behind him clocking in at the old record time.
|1||Mel Sheppard (USA)||4:05.0 OR||Q|
|2||John Halstead (USA)||4:05.6|
|3||George Butterfield (GBR)||4:11.8|
|4||John W. Lee (GBR)||(4:12.4)|
|5||Joseph Lynch (ANZ)||Unknown|
|6||Kjeld Nielsen (DEN)||Unknown|
|7||Arno Hesse (GER)||Unknown|
Lunghi was passed by Hallows on the last lap, who won by two yards. Both Hallows and Lunghi beat the Olympic record set by Sheppard in the previous heat; the pace caused the remaining four competitors to drop out.
|1||Norman Hallows (GBR)||4:03.4 OR||Q|
|2||Emilio Lunghi (ITA)||4:03.8|
|—||Evert Björn (SWE)||Did not finish|
|Massimo Cartasegna (ITA)||Did not finish|
|Frank Riley (USA)||Did not finish|
|Charles Swain (ANZ)||Did not finish|
McGough led for the greater part of the race, with Loney and Coe passing him late and battling to the finish. Loney won by two yards.
|1||Vincent Loney (GBR)||4:08.4||Q|
|2||Harry Coe (USA)||4:09.2|
|3||John McGough (GBR)||4:16.4|
|4||Stefanos Dimitrios (GRE)||Unknown|
|5||Joseph Dreher (FRA)||Unknown|
Raugeneau dropped out on the second lap. Tait won by fifty yards.
|1||John Tait (CAN)||4:12.2||Q|
|2||József Nagy (HUN)||4:19.6|
|3||Fredrik Svanström (FIN)||4:25.2|
|—||Gaston Ragueneau (FRA)||Did not finish|
Deakin won by seventy-five yards.
|1||Joe Deakin (GBR)||4:13.6||Q|
|2||Andreas Breynck (GER)||4:30.0|
|3||Arie Vosbergen (NED)||4:38.6|
Galbraith led most of the race, but was passed by Wilson, who won by 30 yards.
|1||Harold Wilson (GBR)||4:11.4||Q|
|2||Jean Bouin (FRA)||4:17.0|
|3||William Galbraith (CAN)||4:20.2|
Braun, Dahl, and Crawford were the clear frontrunners for the entire race. Crawford pulled in front late, and won by four yards.
|1||Ivo Fairbairn-Crawford (GBR)||4:09.2||Q|
|2||Edward Dahl (SWE)||4:10.4|
|3||Hanns Braun (GER)||4:18.2|
|4||Oscar Larsen (NOR)||Unknown|
|5||François Delloye (BEL)||Unknown|
|6||Axel Andersson (SWE)||Unknown|
|7||John E. Fitzgerald (CAN)||Unknown|
The final was held on Tuesday, July 14, 1908.
Crawford went out fast, leading for the first 500 metres before tiring badly. Wilson, Hallows, and Sheppard led out going into the final straight, but Sheppard's late burst powered him to the front. He won by about 2 yards and equalled the Olympic record that Hallows had set in the first round.
|1||Mel Sheppard (USA)||4:03.4 EOR|
|2||Harold Wilson (GBR)||4:03.6|
|3||Norman Hallows (GBR)||4:04.0|
|4||John Tait (CAN)||4:06.8|
|5||Ivo Fairbairn-Crawford (GBR)||4:07.6|
|6||Joe Deakin (GBR)||4:07.9|
|—||Vincent Loney (GBR)||Did not finish|
|James Sullivan (USA)||Did not finish|