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Rowing at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's Single Sculls

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Henley Royal Regatta Course, Henley-on-Thames
Date Started: July 28, 1908
Date Finished: July 31, 1908
Format: 1½ miles

Gold: GBR Harry Blackstaffe
Silver: GBR Alexander McCulloch
Bronze: GER Bernhard von Gaza
HUN Károly Levitzky


This was probably the first great international sculling competition. Both the finalists, Harry Blackstaffe and Alexander McCulloch, were champions of the Diamond Challenge Sculls at Henley - Blackstaffe winning in 1906 and McCulloch holding the title in 1908. One of the first round losers, Lou Scholes, was the top Canadian sculler and had won the Diamond Sculls in 1904. The only top scullers not present were Britain's Fred Kelly, Henley Diamond champion in 1902-03 and 1905, but now retired as a sculler (he competed in the eights at 1908 Olympics), and America's Frank Greer, U.S. champion in 1903-05 and 1908 and the 1904 Olympic champion.

In the qualifying rounds, Blackstaffe and McCulloch were not challenged at all. In the final, McCulloch, starting out of Bucks Station, took the early lead, but started by pulling fewer strokes than Blackstaffe. McCulloch opened up as much as 1 lengths and led through 1,200 yards before being caught by Blackstaffe. Shortly after 1 mile though, Blackstaffe had pulled ahead by 3/4 of a length, and McCulloch could not close the gap.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundSemi-FinalsQuarter-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Harry Blackstaffe 39 Great Britain GBR Gold
2 Alexander McCulloch 20 Great Britain GBR Silver
3T Károly Levitzky 22 Hungary HUN Bronze
3T Bernhard von Gaza 26 Germany GER Bronze
2 h1 r2/4 Lou Scholes 27 Canada CAN
2 h2 r2/4 Gino Ciabatti Italy ITA
2 h4 r2/4 Jozef Hermans Belgium BEL
AC h3 r2/4 Walter Bowler Canada CAN DNF
AC h1 r1/4 Ernő Killer Hungary HUN DNF