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Athletics at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's High Jump

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 21, 1908
Date Finished: July 21, 1908

Gold: USA Harry Porter
Silver: FRA Géo André
GBR Con Leahy
HUN István Somodi

Summary

The high jump world record was still held by America's Mike Sweeney, who had cleared 6-5 5/8 (1.97) in 1895. He had long since turned professional and subsequently retired. The Olympic record was the 6-2­ (1.90) which had won the 1900 gold medal for Irv Baxter (USA). The favorite for the 1908 Olympics was probably the great Irish jumper, Con Leahy, who had won the AAA title from 1905-08. He had also won the American AAU championship in 1907, and was also the defending Olympic champion, having won in 1906. The best American jumper was Harry Porter, who in 1908 won the AAU title and the Eastern Olympic Trial. Porter had also been 2nd at the 1905 IC4A Meet.

The Official Report makes no mention of qualifying conditions but there were eight scheduled qualifying sections, which were consolidated into four pools. After Pool One had been completed at the South End of the Stadium, the officials decided that the slippery conditions were unsuitable and moved the remaining three pools to another jumping area at the North End of the Stadium. Herbert Gidney (USA), who had not qualified in the first pool, then lodged a protest, claiming that the original results of the first pool should be declared void and the competition held again under more favorable conditions at the North End. Despite the fact that all the competitors had been equally affected by the original adverse conditions, the judges, rather surprisingly, upheld Gidney's protest.

Otto Monsen (NOR) and Edward Leader (GBR) had shared first place in the original competition, but Monsen refused to take part in the re-scheduled event, while Leader failed to match the height he had achieved in the less favorable conditions. The only beneficiary of the protest was Gidney himself.

Having won the competition, Harry Porter made three unsuccessful attempts at the world record height of 6-5­ (1.97). For these world record attempts, Porter removed his sweater for the first time in the competition. In the final, István Somodi (HUN) was the only competitor to improve on his qualifying mark in the morning. Leahy, Somodi, and Géo André (FRA) had a jump-off for the silver and bronze medals, but none could equal their earlier marks so they were declared equal second.

After the Olympics, Harry Porter continued to be a top jumper. He led the 1909 world lists with 6-4 (1.93), and tied for first in 1911 at the AAU Meet, but he did not compete at the 1912 Olympics.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal H(M) H(I)
1 Harry Porter 25 United States USA Gold 1.90 6-3 OR
2T Con Leahy 32 Great Britain GBR Silver 1.88 6-2
2T István Somodi 22 Hungary HUN Silver 1.88 6-2
2T Géo André 18 France FRA Silver 1.88 6-2
5T Herbert Gidney 26 United States USA 1.85 6-1
5T Tom Moffitt 24 United States USA 1.85 6-1
7 Neil Patterson 22 United States USA 1.83 6-0
8 Axel Hedenlund 20 Sweden SWE 1.80 5-10 7/8
9 Pat Leahy 30 Great Britain GBR 1.78 5-10
10T Edward Leader 25 Great Britain GBR 1.77 5-9¾
10T Haswell Wilson 23 Great Britain GBR 1.77 5-9¾
10T George Barber 23 Canada CAN 1.77 5-9¾
13T József Haluzsinszky Hungary HUN 1.72 5-7¾
13T Henry Olsen 21 Norway NOR 1.72 5-7¾
13T Garfield MacDonald 26 Canada CAN 1.72 5-7¾
16T Léon Dupont 26 Belgium BEL 1.67 5-6
16T Folke Hellstedt 17 Sweden SWE 1.67 5-6
16T Lauri Pihkala 20 Finland FIN 1.67 5-6
19 Herman van Leeuwen 23 Netherlands NED 1.65 5-5
20 Al Bellerby 20 Great Britain GBR 1.59 5-2½
AC Otto Monsen 20 Norway NOR WD
AC Lauri Wilskman 20 Finland FIN WD