| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date13 – 14 July 1908
LocationWhite City Stadium, London
Participants44 from 15 countries

George Butterfield was the top British miler, having won the AAA title in 1905-07. Unfortunately, because of the qualifying system which advanced only one runner to the next round, Butterfield did not make the final. In his heat he drew Mel Sheppard, who set a new Olympic record of 4:05.0 to advance to the final. Norman Hallows (GBR) improved the record to 4:03.4 in the next heat. Hallows narrowly defeated Emilio Lunghi (ITA) whose estimated time of 4:03.8 would have won any of the other seven heats. These were yet further examples of the inequity of a qualifying system whereby only heat winners advanced to the next round.

Despite the fast qualifying times of Sheppard and Hallows, the favorite for the final was Harold Wilson (GBR) who had won the British Trials in a world record 3:59.8 in May. The final was held on a terrible day for running. It was noted, )The temperature was low, and a strong wind, laden with moisture, blew across the field, where the athletes sat shivering in blankets. The atmosphere was muggy and occasional showers, never attaining the dignity of real rain, now and then sprinkled the spectators and competitors.)

As expected, Wilson led the field into the home straight but was caught a few metres from the tape by Sheppard who equalled the Olympic record of 4:03.4 set by Hallows in the heats. With an estimated time of 4:03.6, a disappointed Wilson was almost four seconds outside his new British record.

1Mel SheppardUSA4:05.0 (1 h2)4:03.4 (1)GoldOR
2Harold WilsonGBR4:11.4 (1 h7)4:03.6est (2)Silver
3Norman HallowsGBR4:03.4 (1 h3)4:04.0est (3)Bronze
4Jack TaitCAN4:12.2 (1 h5)4:06.8est (4)
5Ivo Fairbairn-CrawfordGBR4:09.4 (1 h8)4:07.6est (5)
6Joe DeakinGBR4:13.6 (1 h6)4:07.9est (6)
ACVincent LoneyGBR4:08.4 (1 h4)– (DNF)
ACJames SullivanUSA4:07.6 (1 h1)– (DNF)
2 h1 r1/2Jim LightbodyUSA4:08.6 / at 6 yards (2 h1)
2 h2 r1/2John HalsteadUSA4:05.6 / at 1 yard (2 h2)
2 h3 r1/2Emilio LunghiITA4:03.8 / at 2 yards (2 h3)
2 h4 r1/2Harry CoeUSA4:09.2 / at 2 yards (2 h4)
2 h5 r1/2József NagyHUN4:19.6 / at 50 yards (2 h5)
2 h6 r1/2Andreas BreynckGER4:30.0 / at 75 yards (2 h6)
2 h7 r1/2Jean BouinFRA4:17.0 / at 30 yards (2 h7)
2 h8 r1/2Edward DahlSWE4:10.4 / at 4 yards (2 h8)
3 h1 r1/2Fred MeadowsCAN4:12.2 / at 14 yards (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/2George ButterfieldGBR4:11.8 (3 h2)
3 h4 r1/2John McGoughGBR4:16.4 / at 30 yards (3 h4)
3 h5 r1/2Fredrik SvanströmFIN4:25.2 / well behind (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/2Arie VosbergenNED4:38.6 / at 125 yards (3 h6)
3 h7 r1/2William GalbraithCAN4:20.2 (3 h7)
3 h8 r1/2Hanns BraunGER4:18.2 / at 20 yards (3 h8)
4 h1 r1/2Francis KnottGBRwell behind (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/2John LeeGBR4:12.4est / at 3 yards (4 h2)
4 h4 r1/2Stylianos DimitriouGREpoor 4th (4 h4)
4 h8 r1/2Oscar LarsenNOR– (4 h8)
5 h1 r1/2Josh SmithGBR– (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/2Joseph LynchANZ– (5 h2)
5 h4 r1/2Joseph DréherFRA– (5 h4)
5 h8 r1/2François DelloyeBEL– (5 h8)
6 h1 r1/2Louis Bonniot de FleuracFRA– (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/2Kjeld NielsenDEN– (6 h2)
6 h8 r1/2Axel AnderssonSWE– (6 h8)
7 h1 r1/2Nils DahlNOR– (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/2Arno HesseGER– (7 h2)
7 h8 r1/2Jimmy FitzgeraldCAN– (7 h8)
8 h1 r1/2Ödön BodorHUN– (8 h1)
9 h1 r1/2Jacques KeyserNED– (9 h1)
AC h3 r1/2Charles SwainANZ– (DNF h3)
AC h3 r1/2Massimo CartesegnaITA– (DNF h3)
AC h3 r1/2Evert BjörnSWE– (DNF h3)
AC h3 r1/2Frank RileyUSA– (DNF h3)
AC h5 r1/2Gaston RagueneauFRA– (DNF h5)
DNSRoger DaubinSUI
DNSImre VeresHUN
DNSJohn BlankenagelUSA
DNSGuy HaskinsANZ
DNSFloyd RoweUSA
DNSMarcel QuilbeufFRA
DNSWilliam SheeRSA
DNSKálmán BecskeHUN
DNSGeorge HoynesUSA
DNSGeorge BlakeANZ
DNSFelix KwietonAUT
DNSGeorge MorphyGBR
DNSArthur RobertsonGBR
DNSAntal LovasHUN
DNSHenk van der WalNED
DNSCharles HefferonRSA
DNSCarl AnderssonSWE
DNSGösta DanielsonSWE
DNSKristian HellströmSWE
DNSGeorg PetersonSWE
DNSJohn SvanbergSWE
DNSGayle DullUSA
DNSLloyd JonesUSA
DNSHerb TrubeUSA

Round One (13 July 1908 — 16:00)

Winner in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

1James SullivanUSA4:07.6Q
2Jim LightbodyUSA4:08.6 / at 6 yards
3Fred MeadowsCAN4:12.2 / at 14 yards
4Francis KnottGBRwell behind
5Josh SmithGBR
6Louis Bonniot de FleuracFRA
7Nils DahlNOR
8Ödön BodorHUN
9Jacques KeyserNED

Heat Two

1Mel SheppardUSA4:05.0QOR
2John HalsteadUSA4:05.6 / at 1 yard
3George ButterfieldGBR4:11.8
4John LeeGBR4:12.4est / at 3 yards
5Joseph LynchANZ
6Kjeld NielsenDEN
7Arno HesseGER

Heat Three

1Norman HallowsGBR4:03.4QOR
2Emilio LunghiITA4:03.8 / at 2 yards
DNFMassimo CartesegnaITA
DNFFrank RileyUSA
DNFEvert BjörnSWE
DNFCharles SwainANZ

Heat Four

1Vincent LoneyGBR4:08.4Q
2Harry CoeUSA4:09.2 / at 2 yards
3John McGoughGBR4:16.4 / at 30 yards
4Stylianos DimitriouGREpoor 4th
5Joseph DréherFRA

Heat Five

1Jack TaitCAN4:12.2Q
2József NagyHUN4:19.6 / at 50 yards
3Fredrik SvanströmFIN4:25.2 / well behind
DNFGaston RagueneauFRA

Heat Six

1Joe DeakinGBR4:13.6Q
2Andreas BreynckGER4:30.0 / at 75 yards
3Arie VosbergenNED4:38.6 / at 125 yards

Heat Seven

1Harold WilsonGBR4:11.4Q
2Jean BouinFRA4:17.0 / at 30 yards
3William GalbraithCAN4:20.2

Heat Eight

1Ivo Fairbairn-CrawfordGBR4:09.4Q
2Edward DahlSWE4:10.4 / at 4 yards
3Hanns BraunGER4:18.2 / at 20 yards
4Oscar LarsenNOR
5François DelloyeBEL
6Axel AnderssonSWE
7Jimmy FitzgeraldCAN

Final (14 July 1908 — 17:20)

1Mel SheppardUSA4:03.4OR
2Harold WilsonGBR4:03.6est
3Norman HallowsGBR4:04.0est
4Jack TaitCAN4:06.8est
5Ivo Fairbairn-CrawfordGBR4:07.6est
6Joe DeakinGBR4:07.9est
DNFJames SullivanUSA
DNFVincent LoneyGBR