Full name: Reginald Edgar "Reggie" Walker
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
Weight: 134 lbs (61 kg)
Born: March 16, 1889 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Died: November 5, 1951 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Country: South Africa
Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)
Reggie Walker, the 1907 South African 220 yds champion and the 1907 Natal 100 yds and 220 yds champion, was not among the favorites for the 100 m title at the 1908 Summer Olympics. He even had trouble getting to London because there were not enough funds, until a Natal sports journalist collected the funds to support Walker’s travel to England. In England he was coached by Sam Mussabini, who later also coached 1924 100 m champion Harold Abrahams. At the Olympics Walker had a relatively easy victory in the heats and then equaled the Olympic record of 10.8 in the semis to advance to the final to compete against three North-Americans: James Rector and Nate Cartmell from the United States and Bobby Kerr from Canada. In the final Walker beat Rector by about 1½ feet and still is (as of 2013) the youngest winner of the Olympic 100 m at 19 years and 128 days old. After the Olympics Walker stayed in England and won the British AAA 100 yds title in 1909. In 1910 Walker turned professional and thus became ineligible for the 1912 Olympics. During World War I Walker first served with the 7th Infantry in German South Africa, before joining with the South African Expeditionary Forces in 1917, serving in France and getting a gunshot wound to the head. Walker was discharged from the Army in 1919 and later worked as a clerk with Ropes and Mattings in Nairobi before returning to South Africa.
Personal Best: 100 – 10.7 (1908).
|1908 Summer||19||London||Athletics||Men's 100 metres||South Africa||RSA||1||Gold|