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Athletics at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London; White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 13, 1908
Date Finished: July 14, 1908

Gold: USA Mel Sheppard
Silver: GBR Harold Wilson
Bronze: GBR Norman Hallows

Summary

George Butterfield was the top British miler, having won the AAA title in 1905-07. Unfortunately, because of the qualifying system which advanced only one runner to the next round, Butterfield did not make the final. In his heat he drew Mel Sheppard, who set a new Olympic record of 4:05.0 to advance to the final. Norman Hallows (GBR) improved the record to 4:03.4 in the next heat. Hallows narrowly defeated Emilio Lunghi (ITA) whose estimated time of 4:03.8 would have won any of the other seven heats. These were yet further examples of the inequity of a qualifying system whereby only heat winners advanced to the next round.

Despite the fast qualifying times of Sheppard and Hallows, the favorite for the final was Harold Wilson (GBR) who had won the British Trials in a world record 3:59.8 in May. The final was held on a terrible day for running. It was noted, "The temperature was low, and a strong wind, laden with moisture, blew across the field, where the athletes sat shivering in blankets. The atmosphere was muggy and occasional showers, never attaining the dignity of real rain, now and then sprinkled the spectators and competitors."

As expected, Wilson led the field into the home straight but was caught a few metres from the tape by Sheppard who equalled the Olympic record of 4:03.4 set by Hallows in the heats. With an estimated time of 4:03.6, a disappointed Wilson was almost four seconds outside his new British record.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mel Sheppard 24 United States USA Gold OR
2 Harold Wilson 23 Great Britain GBR Silver
3 Norman Hallows 21 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Jack Tait 19 Canada CAN
5 Ivo Fairbairn-Crawford 23 Great Britain GBR
6 Joe Deakin 29 Great Britain GBR
AC Vincent Loney 25 Great Britain GBR
AC James Sullivan United States USA
2 h1 r1/2 Jim Lightbody 26 United States USA
2 h2 r1/2 John Halstead 21 United States USA
2 h3 r1/2 Emilio Lunghi 21 Italy ITA
2 h4 r1/2 Harry Coe 22 United States USA
2 h5 r1/2 József Nagy 26 Hungary HUN
2 h6 r1/2 Andreas Breynck 17 Germany GER
2 h7 r1/2 Jean Bouin 19 France FRA
2 h8 r1/2 Edward Dahl 21 Sweden SWE
3 h1 r1/2 Fred Meadows Canada CAN
3 h2 r1/2 George Butterfield Great Britain GBR
3 h4 r1/2 John McGeough 27 Great Britain GBR
3 h5 r1/2 Fredrik Svanström 22 Finland FIN
3 h6 r1/2 Arie Vosbergen 25 Netherlands NED
3 h7 r1/2 William Galbraith 23 Canada CAN
3 h8 r1/2 Hanns Braun 21 Germany GER
4 h1 r1/2 Francis Knott 25 Great Britain GBR
4 h2 r1/2 John Lee Great Britain GBR
4 h4 r1/2 Stylianos Dimitriou Greece GRE
4 h8 r1/2 Oscar Larsen 20 Norway NOR
5 h1 r1/2 Joe Smith Great Britain GBR
5 h2 r1/2 Joseph Lynch 30 Australasia ANZ
5 h4 r1/2 Joseph Dréher 23 France FRA
5 h8 r1/2 François Delloye 19 Belgium BEL
6 h1 r1/2 Louis Bonniot de Fleurac 31 France FRA
6 h2 r1/2 Kjeld Nielsen 20 Denmark DEN
6 h8 r1/2 Axel Andersson 20 Sweden SWE
7 h1 r1/2 Nils Dahl 25 Norway NOR
7 h2 r1/2 Arno Hesse Germany GER
7 h8 r1/2 John Fitzgerald 21 Canada CAN
8 h1 r1/2 Ödön Bodor 26 Hungary HUN
9 h1 r1/2 Jacques Keyser 22 Netherlands NED
AC h3 r1/2 Charles Swain 23 Australasia ANZ
AC h3 r1/2 Massimo Cartasegna 22 Italy ITA
AC h3 r1/2 Evert Björn 20 Sweden SWE
AC h3 r1/2 Frank Riley 20 United States USA
AC h5 r1/2 Gaston Ragueneau 26 France FRA