| Event type

Platform, Men

Date20 – 24 July 1908
LocationWhite City Stadium, London
Participants24 from 6 countries
Format5 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.

1Hjalmar JohanssonSWEGold
2Karl MalmströmSWESilver
3Arvid SpångbergSWEBronze
4Robert AnderssonSWE
5George GaidzikUSA
3 p1 r2/3Toivo AroFIN
4 p1 r2/3Hilmer LöfbergSWE
4 p2 r2/3Harold GoodworthGBR
5 p1 r2/3Harald ArbinSWE
5 p2 r2/3Heinz FreyschmidtGER
3 p1 r1/3Erik AdlerzSWE
3 p2 r1/3William HoareGBR
3 p3 r1/3Sigfrid LarssonSWE
3 p4 r1/3George CaneGBR
3 p5 r1/3Henry GroteUSA
4 p1 r1/3Oskar WetzellFIN
4 p3 r1/3William WebbGBR
4 p4 r1/3Gunnar WingqvistSWE
4 p5 r1/3Axel RunströmSWE
5 p1 r1/3James AldousGBR
5 p3 r1/3Frank CollingsGBR
5 p5 r1/3Fritz NicolaiGER
6 p5 r1/3Thomas HarringtonGBR
AC p2 r1/3Joseph HuketickBEL

Round One (20 – 22 July 1908)

Top two in each pool advanced to the semi-final round. Four compulsory dives, two from 5 metres, two from 10 metres, and four optional dives from 10 metres.

Pool One (20 July 1908 — 11:30)

1George GaidzikUSA81.80Q
2Harold GoodworthGBR76.00Q
3Erik AdlerzSWE74.10
4Oskar WetzellFIN69.70
5James AldousGBR68.00

Pool Two (21 July 1908 — 11:30)

1Hjalmar JohanssonSWE78.40Q
2Karl MalmströmSWE73.95Q
3William HoareGBR65.20
DNFJoseph HuketickBEL

Pool Three (22 July 1908 — 14:30)

1Hilmer LöfbergSWE68.90Q
2Heinz FreyschmidtGER67.30Q
3Sigfrid LarssonSWE64.80
4William WebbGBR57.70
5Frank CollingsGBR56.50

Pool Four (21 July 1908 — 11:30)

1Arvid SpångbergSWE79.20Q
2Harald ArbinSWE76.80Q
3George CaneGBR73.10
4Gunnar WingqvistSWE65.70

Pool Five (22 July 1908 — 14:30)

1Robert AnderssonSWE73.55Q
2Toivo AroFIN69.50Q
3Henry GroteUSA62.80
4Axel RunströmSWE57.60
5Fritz NicolaiGER54.50
6Thomas HarringtonGBR53.15

Semi-Finals (23 July 1908)

Top two in each pool advanced to the final round. Four compulsory dives, two from 5 metres, two from 10 metres, and four optional dives from 10 metres.

Pool One (11:30)

1Arvid SpångbergSWE72.30Q
2Karl MalmströmSWE67.00Q
3Toivo AroFIN62.70
4Hilmer LöfbergSWE59.18
5Harald ArbinSWE52.81

Pool Two (11:30)

1Hjalmar JohanssonSWE80.75Q
2Robert AnderssonSWE66.75Q
3George GaidzikUSA61.05q
4Harold GoodworthGBR59.48
5Heinz FreyschmidtGER48.80

Final (24 July 1908 — 15:15)

Four compulsory dives, two from 5 metres, two from 10 metres, and four optional dives from 10 metres.

1Hjalmar JohanssonSWE83.75
2Karl MalmströmSWE78.73
3Arvid SpångbergSWE74.00
4Robert AnderssonSWE68.30
5George GaidzikUSA56.30