Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 20, 1908
Date Finished: July 24, 1908
Format: 5 and 10 metre platforms.
There were two platforms used, one of 5 metres and one of 10 metres. Each competitor made seven dives, four compulsory and three optional. Two compulsory dives were made from the 5-metre platform, a running plain dive and a backward somersault; and two were made from the 10-metre platform, a standing plain dive and a running plain dive. The optional dives were made from the 10-metre platform.
Sweden dominated this event, advancing seven to the semi-finals, and having the first four finishers in the final. America's Polish emigré George Gaidzik was a favorite, as he had won the 1908 British highboard championship earlier in the summer. Gaidzik the highest total in the first round but he performed very poorly in the finals. Hjalmar Johansson dominated the finals, and had trailed only Gaidzik in the qualifying rounds. He was the diving champion of Sweden from 1897 through 1908, except for 1900 and 1903 when he lived in London. He was also an accomplished swimmer, holding the Swedish record for the 100 breaststroke at the time of the 1908 Olympics. The two other Swedish medallists, Karl Malmström and Arvid Spångberg, were relative newcomers to diving.
In the preliminaries to this event, George Cane (GBR) had a poor dive and passed out upon landing. Spectators and officials were not certain why he was not leaving the pool. Hjalmar Johansson, the eventual gold medalist, realized what had happened and dove in to rescue Cane. Fortunately, Cane was quickly revived and sustained no major injuries.
In the semi-finals, George Gaidzik (USA), one of the favorites, finished 3rd and did not qualify for the final. He was actually briefly disqualified, as one of the judges felt he was receiving signals (coaching) from a teammate on the ground. The judges's scores for Gaidzik were as follows: one gave him an 8, a 6, and a 9; one gave him a 9 for each dive; while the third judge scored him 0 for each dive, and disqualified him, based on the above reasoning. The Americans protested, and after consideration by the judges, the protest was upheld and Gaidzik was advanced as an extra diver to the final.
|5||George Gaidzik||23||United States||USA|
|3 p1 r2/3||Toivo Aro||21||Finland||FIN|
|4 p1 r2/3||Hilmer Löfberg||20||Sweden||SWE|
|4 p2 r2/3||Harold Goodworth||Great Britain||GBR|
|5 p1 r2/3||Harald Arbin||40||Sweden||SWE|
|5 p2 r2/3||Heinz Freyschmidt||20||Germany||GER|
|3 p1 r1/3||Erik Adlerz||15||Sweden||SWE|
|3 p2 r1/3||William Hoare||Great Britain||GBR|
|3 p3 r1/3||Sigfrid Larsson||26||Sweden||SWE|
|3 p4 r1/3||George Cane||Great Britain||GBR|
|3 p5 r1/3||Harold Grote||United States||USA|
|4 p1 r1/3||Oskar Wetzell||19||Finland||FIN|
|4 p3 r1/3||William Webb||Great Britain||GBR|
|4 p4 r1/3||Gunnar Wingqvist||22||Sweden||SWE|
|4 p5 r1/3||Axel Runström||24||Sweden||SWE|
|5 p1 r1/3||James Aldous||Great Britain||GBR|
|5 p3 r1/3||Thomas Collins||Great Britain||GBR|
|5 p5 r1/3||Fritz Nicolai||29||Germany||GER|
|6 p5 r1/3||Thomas Harrington||Great Britain||GBR|
|AC p2 r1/3||Joseph Huketick||Belgium||BEL|