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Diving at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's Platform

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London; White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 20, 1908
Date Finished: July 24, 1908
Format: 5 and 10 metre platforms.

Gold: SWE Hjalmar Johansson
Silver: SWE Karl Malmström
Bronze: SWE Arvid Spångberg

Summary

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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Hjalmar Johansson 34 Sweden SWE Gold
2 Karl Malmström 32 Sweden SWE Silver
3 Arvid Spångberg 18 Sweden SWE Bronze
4 Robert Andersson 21 Sweden SWE
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