Athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres

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Men's 800 metres
at the Games of the V Olympiad
1912 Athletics men's 800 metre final3.JPG
The finish with Ted Meredith setting a new world record.
Venue Stockholm Olympic Stadium
Dates July 6 (heats)
July 7 (semifinals)
July 8 (final)
Competitors 48 from 16 nations
1st, gold medalist(s) Ted Meredith  United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Mel Sheppard  United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Ira Davenport  United States
← 1908
1920 →

The men's 800 metres was a track and field athletics event held as part of the athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics programme. It was the fifth appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. The competition was held from Saturday, July 6, 1912 to Monday, July 8, 1912.[1]

Forty-eight runners from 16 nations competed. Including all three medalists from 1908, Olympic champion Mel Sheppard, the silver medalists Emilio Lunghi, and the bronze medalist Hanns Braun.


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1912 Summer Olympics.

World Record 1:52.8(*) United States Mel Sheppard London (GBR) July 21, 1908
1:52.1(**) Italy Emilio Lunghi Montreal (CAN) September 15, 1909
Olympic Record 1:52.8(***) United States Mel Sheppard London (GBR) July 21, 1908

(*) unofficial

(**) 880 yards (= 804.68 m)

(***) This track was 536.45 metres=​13 mile in circumference.

The world record of 1:52.8, which had seemed fairly safe through the first two rounds of competition, was broken by all three medalists and tied by the fourth-place runner in the final. Mel Sheppard, the previous record-holder, and Ira Davenport beat the old record by .8 seconds at 1:52.0, taking silver and bronze behind Ted Meredith and his new record of 1:51.9. This record became the first official world record for the 800 metres.



All heats were held on Saturday, July 6, 1912.

Heat 1

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  David Caldwell (USA) 1:58.6 QS
2  Emilio Lunghi (ITA) QS
3  Walter McClure (USA)
4  Eric Lindholm (SWE) 2:01.5
5  Joseph Caullé (FRA)

Heat 2

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Percy Mann (GBR) 1:56.0 QS
2  Herbert Putnam (USA) QS
3  Jacob Pedersen (NOR)
DNF  Leopoldo Palma (CHI) -

Heat 3

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  John Paul Jones (USA) 2:01.8 QS
2  Armando Cortesão (POR) QS
3  Oscar Larsen (NOR)
4  Guido Calvi (ITA)

Heat 4

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Clarence Edmundson (USA) 1:56.5 QS
2  John Tait (CAN) QS
3  Charles Poulenard (FRA)
4  Wilhelm Jahn (GER) 2:02.0
 Robert Burton (GBR) DNF

Heat 5

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Ira Davenport (USA) 1:59.0 QS
2  Frederick Hulford (GBR) QS
3  Ödön Bodor (HUN)
4  Jacques Person (GER)
5  Dmitry Nazarov (RUS)
 Zdeněk Městecký (BOH) DNF
 Philip Baker (GBR) DNF

Heat 6

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Harlan Holden (USA) 1:58.1 QS
2  Evert Björn (SWE) QS
3  Richard Yorke (GBR)
4  Karl Haglund (SWE) 2:01.2
5-7  Ferenc Forgács (HUN)
 Aleksandr Yelizarov (RUS)
 Federico Mueller (CHI)
 Vahram Papazian (TUR) DNF

Heat 7

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  James Soutter (GBR) 2:00.4 QS
2  Mel Sheppard (USA) QS
3  Erich Lehmann (GER)
 János Antal (HUN) DNF
 Johannes Leopold Villemson (RUS) DNS

Heat 8

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Mel Brock (CAN) 1:57.0 QS
2  Ted Meredith (USA) QS
3  John Victor (RSA)
 Alan Patterson (GBR) DNF

Heat 9

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Ernest Henley (GBR) 1:57.6 QS
2  Hanns Braun (GER) QS
3  Erik Frisell (SWE) 1:59.2
4  Thomas Halpin (USA) 1:59.2
 Lauri Pihkala (FIN) DNF
 Károly Radóczy (HUN) DNF


Both semi-finals were held on Sunday, July 7, 1912.

The start of the final.
The final under way.

Semifinal 1

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Ted Meredith (USA) 1:54.4 QF
2  Hanns Braun (GER) 1:54.6 QF
3  Mel Sheppard (USA) 1:54.8 QF
4  Herbert Putnam (USA) 1:55.0 QF
5  John Tait (CAN)
6  Percy Mann (GBR)
 Frederick Hulford (GBR) DNF
 James Soutter (GBR) DNF
 John Paul Jones (USA) DNS

Semifinal 2

Place Athlete Time Qual.
1  Mel Brock (CAN) 1:55.7 QF
2  Clarence Edmundson (USA) 1:55.8 QF
3  David Caldwell (USA) 1:55.9 QF
4  Ira Davenport (USA) 1:55.9 QF
5  Emilio Lunghi (ITA)
6-9  Evert Björn (SWE)
 Ernest Henley (GBR)
 Harlan Holden (USA)
 Armando Cortesão (POR)


The final took place on Monday, July 8, 1912.

Place Athlete Time
1  Ted Meredith (USA) 1:51.9 WR
2  Mel Sheppard (USA) 1:52.0
3  Ira Davenport (USA) 1:52.0
4  David Caldwell (USA) 1:52.8
5  Mel Brock (CAN) 1:53.0
6  Hanns Braun (GER) 1:53.0
7  Clarence Edmundson (USA)
8  Herbert Putnam (USA)


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games: Men's 800 metres". Retrieved 8 October 2017. 

External links[edit]

  • Bergvall, Erik (ed.) (1913). Adams-Ray, Edward (trans.)., ed. The Official Report of the Olympic Games of Stockholm 1912. Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand. 
  • Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Retrieved 27 August 2006.