Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 30, 1906
Date Finished: May 1, 1906
Format: Final only.
The top high jumper in the world was certainly Ireland's Cornelius "Con" Leahy, AAA champion in 1905-08. He had not set any world records but was almost unbeatable in the British Isles. Since the retirement of Sam Jones, the United States had failed to produce a dominant high jumper. The top U.S. jumper was Bert Kerrigan, the 1905 AAU champion, but he had been injured on the boat ride over when the Barbarossa was hit by a large wave. Because of the injury, his chances were thought to be slim.
The event started on Monday, 30 April 17 April], but ran long and had to be stopped due to darkness. This was probably due to the fact that the bar was started at 1.375 metres, and raised one centimetre at a time. In addition, all competitors had to jump at every height - no passes were allowed! When the bar reached 1.675, seven competitors remained, and as dusk was fast approaching, it was then agreed to move the bar 2.5 centimetres at a time. Before the competition was halted, [Bruno Söderström and Halfdan Bjølgerud were eliminated.
The next day the remaining five - Con Leahy, Lajos Gönczy, Bert Kerrigan, Gunnar Rönström, and Themistoklis Diakidis - agreed to start at 1.75 metres, and only Leahy and Gönczy succeeded. Leahy then cleared 1.775 to end the marathon contest. He made two attempts at 1.85 metres, but missed them both, and declined the third attempt.
Con Leahy was one of seven Irish brothers who were all excellent athletes. Pat Leahy had finished 2nd in the 1900 Olympic high jump; Tim Leahy led the 1912 world ranking list in the high jump; and Joe Leahy surpassed 7.00 metres in the long jump. In August 1909, Con and Pat Leahy emigrated to the United States, where they both lived until their deaths.
|1||Con Leahy||25||Great Britain||GBR||Gold||1.775|
|3T||Bert Kerrigan||27||United States||USA||Bronze||1.725|
|AC||Peter O'Connor||33||Great Britain||GBR|