Athletics at the Inter-Allied Games

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Inter-Allied Games
Inter-Allied Games - Modified Marathon.jpg
The start of the Modified Marathon race (16,000 metres) at the Stade Pershing
Host cityParis, France
Date(s)June 22 to July 6, 1919
Main stadiumStade Pershing
Events24 (20 medal events)

The athletics competition at the Inter-Allied Games was held at the Stade Pershing from 22 June to 6 July 1919 in Paris, France. The event was open to all military personnel from countries that were among the Allies of World War I.[1]

The athletics competition consisted of 24 men's events, 20 of which counted towards the team scores. The standard international judging rules were applied, with field event results measured in metres, and the winner of the track event being timed by three judges separately. The 10-kilometre cross country running competition (not a medal event here) covered natural landscapes around the Joinville-le-Pont with a start and finishing point within the stadium. The reduced-distance 16,000 m marathon was organised similarly, except the extra-stadium course were the local streets in the area.[2]

The Americans, headed by team captain and Olympic medallist Richard Byrd and featuring a number of college-level athletes, clearly topped the points table with 92 compared to runner-up France with 12. Points were assigned on a by-event basis of one point for third, two points for second, and three points for first. The gathering marked a key development of the sport of track and field within France, as American personnel and YMCA sports coaches both coached and exhibited the various common American events at that time.[2]

The foremost track athletes at the games were Charley Paddock, who won a 100 metres/200 metres sprint double, and Robert Simpson, who completed a similar feat in the hurdles. Frenchman Jean Vermeulen won a long-distance running double by taking the cross country and modified marathon titles, despite having a crippled arm from the war. The 200 metres hurdles event was won by Simpson in a time just one fifth of a second short of the world record at that time, even though the athletes had the disadvantage of one of the hurdles being misplaced by a margin of two metres. The American's winning time of 1:30.8 in the 4×200 metres relay was declared a new world record at the time, but was later discovered to be inferior to a time run at the Penn Relays one month earlier.[2]

An unorthodox addition to the track and field events was the hand grenade throwing competition. This non-point-scoring event consisted of throwing for distance rather than accuracy and the winning distance of 245 feet and 11 inches, set by American military chaplain Fred Thomson, was declared a new world record. Two other non-point-scoring events were reserved for men who had served as part of an Army of Occupation during the war: a long jump contest and a 4×200 metres relay race. In that relay race the Italian team protested the victory, but a subsequent run-off resulted in the same outcome, with France first and Italy second. The hammer throw was absent from the programme, but two Americans—Pat Ryan and William McCormick—gave a demonstration of their speciality event.[2]

Medal summary[edit]


Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres  Charley Paddock (USA) 10.8  Edward Teschner (USA)  John Howard (CAN)
200 metres  Charley Paddock (USA) 21.6  Edward Teschner (USA)  John Lindsay (NZL)
400 metres  Earl Eby (USA) 50.0  Phil Spink (USA)  James Wilton (NZL)
800 metres  Daniel Mason (NZL) 1:55.4  Earl Eby (USA)  Phil Spink (USA)
1500 metres  Clyde Stout (USA) 4:05.6  Henri Arnaud (FRA)  H.E. Lapierre (CAN)
Modified marathon
(16,000 metres)
 Jean Vermeulen (FRA) 55:11.8  Fred Faller (USA)  Danton Heuet (FRA)
110 metres hurdles  Robert Simpson (USA) 15.2  Fred Kelly (USA)  Harry Wilson (NZL)
200 metres hurdles  Robert Simpson (USA) 25.8  William Sylvester (USA)  Meredith House (USA)
4×200 metres relay  United States (USA)
Charley Paddock
Marshall Haddock
Howard Torkelson
Edward Teschner
1:30.8  Canada (CAN)
John Howard
LeRoy Haliburton
Fred Zoellin
O. P. Johnson
 Australia (AUS)
Ernest Carter
Leslie Hume
William Johnson
Harold Carroll
4×200 metres relay
(Armies of Occupation)
 France (FRA)
René Laubertrand
Rene Girard
Raoul Labanaot
Pierre Rault
1:33.6  Italy (ITA)
Arturo Nespoli
Giorgio Crool
Gio Orlandi
Giuseppe Alberti
 United States (USA)
Thomas Fields
Roy Pedan
Harry Leon
John Osbourne
4×400 metres relay  United States (USA)
Thomas Campbell
Verle Campbell
Edward Meehan
Edward Teschner
3:28.8  Australia (AUS)
Robert Chalmers
William Johnson
Leslie Hume
Thomas Fraser
 France (FRA)
André Devaux
Henri Delvart
Raoul Dumont
René Laubertrand
Medley relay  United States (USA)
Carl Haas
William Gray
Floyd Campbell
Lawrence Shields
7:43.4  Australia (AUS)
Leslie Hume
Ernest Carter
Chris Bergmeier
Clifford Manley
 France (FRA)
Jean Seurin
Charles Poulenard
Georges Dandelot
Hamed Lakary
Cross country
(10,000 metres)
 Jean Vermeulen (FRA) 31:38.8  Auguste Broos (BEL)  Gaston Heuet (FRA)
High jump  Clinton Larsen (USA) 1.864 m  André Labat (FRA)
 Carl Rice (USA)
 Dink Templeton (USA)
1.827 m Not awarded
Pole vault  Florin Floyd (USA) 3.675 m  Lucius Ervin (USA) 3.575 m  Robert Harwood (USA) 3.45 m
Long jump  Solomon Butler (USA) 7.56 m  Harry Worthington (USA) 7.26 m  Leo Johnson (USA) 6.62 m
Long jump
(Armies of Occupation)
 John Madden (USA) 6.615 m  Arturo Nespoli (ITA) 6.466 m  Eugène Coulon (FRA) 6.237 m
Standing long jump  William Taylor (USA) 3.40 m  James Humphreys (USA) 3.27 m  Émile Moureau (FRA) 3.10 m
Triple jump  Herbert Prem (USA) 14.08 m  Charles Bender (USA) 13.54 m  John Madden (USA) 13.48 m
Shot put  Edward Caughey (USA) 13.78 m  Harry Liversedge (USA) 13.58 m  Wallace Maxfield (USA) 12.87 m
Discus throw  Charles Higgins (USA) 40.88 m  Richard Byrd (USA) 40.04 m  James Duncan (USA) 36.11 m
Javelin throw  George Bronder (USA) 55.82 m  Harry Liversedge (USA) 53.87 m  Eustathios Zirganos (GRE) 48.69 m
Grenade throw  Fred Thomson (USA) 74.93 m  Harrison Thomson (USA) 73.91 m  Dominic Wycavage (USA) 66.55 m
Pentathlon  Robert LeGendre (USA) 461.0 pts  Eugene Vidal (USA) 431.2 pts  Géo André (FRA) 398.4 pts

Team points standing[edit]

Daniel Mason and Early Eby, the top two in the 800 m, at the Stade Pershing

  Host nation (France)

Rank Nation Winners Runner-up 3rd-placers Points total
1  United States 18 17 7 92
2  France 1 2 5 12
3  New Zealand 1 0 3 6
4  Australia 0 2 1 5
5  Canada 0 1 2 4
6  Greece 0 0 1 1
Total 17 17 15 49
  • NB: Cross country, grenade throwing, and the Army of Occupation events did not count towards the team standings.


  1. ^ Bell, Daniel (2003). Encyclopedia of International Games. McFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina. ISBN 0-7864-1026-4.
  2. ^ a b c d e Full text of The inter-allied games, Paris, 22nd June to 6th July, 1919. Albert R Mann, Cornell University Library.

External links[edit]