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
1st, gold medalist(s) Forrest Smithson  United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) John Garrels  United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Arthur Shaw  United States
← 1904
1912 →
Athletics at the
1908 Summer Olympics
Olympic Athletics.png
Track events
100 m   men
200 m men
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800 m men
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5 miles men
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3200 m steeplechase men
Medley relay men
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Road events
Marathon men
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Field events
Long jump men
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High jump men
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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" (in Polish). Retrieved 30 July 2006.