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Athletics at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's 800 metres

Athletics at the 1908 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 20, 1908
Date Finished: July 21, 1908

Gold: USA Mel Sheppard
Silver: ITA Emilio Lunghi
Bronze: GER Hanns Braun


The heavy favorite was [Mel Sheppard] of the United States who had won the AAU Championship in 1906-08. He also won the American Eastern Olympic trial in 1:54.0, challenging the long-standing world record of 1:53.4 for 880 yards set by Charles Kilpatrick at New York on 21 September 1895.

The eight heats were all won in modest times but in the final Sheppard posted a new world record of 1:52.8. It is, however, probable that Kilpatrick had passed the 800 metres mark in a slightly faster time when he set his world record. In anticipation of a fast Olympic final, a tape was also placed at 880 yards which Sheppard reached in 1:54.0. After 400 metre splits of 53.0 and 59.8, it is evident that Sheppard was slowing considerably towards the end of the race but even so, a differential of 1.2 seconds to cover the additional 4.68 metres between 800 metres and 880 yards seems unrealistic. Having won the 1,500 metres seven days earlier, Sheppard completed a notable middle distance double.

Melvin Sheppard would eventually win four gold medals in middle distance running at the Olympics. In 1908 he won the 800, 1,500, and ran on the medley relay team, anchoring the 800 metre leg. In 1912, he also ran on the 4 x 400 metre relay. He eventually won five AAU titles over two laps - 1906-08, and 1911-12, and three Canadian titles - 1906, 1911-12.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mel Sheppard 24 United States USA Gold WR
2 Emilio Lunghi 21 Italy ITA Silver
3 Hanns Braun 21 Germany GER Bronze
4 Ödön Bodor 26 Hungary HUN
5 Theodore Just 22 Great Britain GBR
6 John Halstead 21 United States USA
AC Ivo Fairbairn-Crawford 23 Great Britain GBR
AC Clarke Beard 23 United States USA
2 h1 r1/2 George Butterfield Great Britain GBR
2 h2 r1/2 James Lintott 22 Great Britain GBR
2 h3 r1/2 John Lee Great Britain GBR
2 h4 r1/2 Harry Coe 22 United States USA
2 h5 r1/2 Arthur Astley 27 Great Britain GBR
2 h6 r1/2 Andreas Breynck 19 Germany GER
2 h7 r1/2 Joseph Bromilow 26 United States USA
2 h8 r1/2 Kristian Hellström 27 Sweden SWE
3 h1 r1/2 Evert Björn 20 Sweden SWE
3 h2 r1/2 Irving Parkes 21 Canada CAN
3 h3 r1/2 George Morphy 24 Great Britain GBR
3 h4 r1/2 Lloyd Jones 23 United States USA
3 h5 r1/2 Don Buddo 21 Canada CAN
3 h7 r1/2 Harold Holding 25 Great Britain GBR
3 h8 r1/2 Harvey Sutton 26 Australasia ANZ
4 h1 r1/2 Jim Lightbody 26 United States USA
4 h3 r1/2 József Nagy 26 Hungary HUN
4 h5 r1/2 Oskar Quarg 20 Germany GER
4 h8 r1/2 Frank Sheehan 23 United States USA
AC h1 r1/2 Murray Ashford 21 Great Britain GBR
AC h1 r1/2 Henk van der Wal 21 Netherlands NED
AC h4 r1/2 Larry Manogue Great Britain GBR
AC h4 r1/2 Stylianos Dimitriou Greece GRE
AC h5 r1/2 Edward Dahl 21 Sweden SWE
AC h5 r1/2 Charles French 23 United States USA
AC h6 r1/2 Arie Vosbergen 25 Netherlands NED
AC h6 r1/2 Gösta Danielson 18 Sweden SWE
AC h7 r1/2 Fredrik Svanström 22 Finland FIN
AC h7 r1/2 Bram Evers 21 Netherlands NED
AC h7 r1/2 Horace Ramey 23 United States USA