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Athletics at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's Shot Put

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 16, 1908
Date Finished: July 16, 1908

Gold: USA Ralph Rose
Silver: GBR Denis Horgan
Bronze: USA Johnny Garrels


[Ralph Rose] was the greatest shot putter of the pre-World War I era. For the time he was a massive 6-6¾ (2.00), weighing up to 285 lbs. (130 kg.). Rose was AAU shot put champion in 1907-1910 and had won the Olympic shot put gold medal at St. Louis in 1904. In his career, he set eight world records, ending with the first IAAF-recognized mark of 51-0 (15.54), set in San Francisco on 21 August 1909. Prior to Rose, the top putter in the world had been the Irishman, [Denis Horgan]. Born in Banteer, County Cork, Horgan's career would see him win 13 British AAA shot put crowns - 1893-1899, 1904-05, 1908-10, and 1912. He was also AAU champion in 1900. He also won 17 Irish titles with the shot and 11 in other weight-throwing events. Horgan would possibly have won the shot put gold medal in the Olympics of 1900, 1904, and 1906 but he did not compete at those Olympics.

At London in 1908, Rose and Horgan competed against each other for the only known time, but Rose had little difficulty in turning back the aging Horgan's challenge. Surprisingly, Rose did not approach his Olympic record of 48-7¼ (14.81) from St. Louis in 1904, or his world record of 49-7¼ (15.12). In an exhibition throw after the competition had entered, he recorded 47-2. Interestingly, no toe board was used in shot putting.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundQualifying Round

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal D(M) D(I)
1 Ralph Rose 24 United States USA Gold 14.21 46-7½
2 Denis Horgan 36 Great Britain GBR Silver 13.62 44-8¼
3 Johnny Garrels 22 United States USA Bronze 13.18 43-3
4 Wesley Coe 29 United States USA 13.07 42-10½
5 Ned Barrett 30 Great Britain GBR 12.89 42-3½
6 Bill Horr 27 United States USA 12.83 42-1
7 Jalmari Sauli 18 Finland FIN 12.58 41-3½
8 Lee Talbott 20 United States USA 11.63 38-2
AC Juho Halme 19 Finland FIN
AC Charles Lagarde 29 France FRA
AC Henry Leeke 28 Great Britain GBR
AC István Mudin 26 Hungary HUN
AC Wilbur Burroughs 23 United States USA
AC Martin Sheridan 27 United States USA
AC Tom Nicolson 28 Great Britain GBR
AC James Barrett 28 Great Britain GBR
AC Mikhail Dorizas 22 Greece GRE
AC Verner Järvinen 38 Finland FIN
AC Hugo Wieslander 18 Sweden SWE
AC Elmer Niklander 18 Finland FIN
AC Bruno Zilliacus 30 Finland FIN
AC André Tison 23 France FRA
AC Mór Kóczán 23 Hungary HUN
AC Nikolaos Georgantas 28 Greece GRE
AC Arne Halse 20 Norway NOR