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William Coales

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam•Coales
Used nameWilliam•Coales
Born8 January 1886 in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, England (GBR)
Died19 January 1960 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England (GBR)
Measurements167 cm / 56 kg
AffiliationsThrapston & District Harriers & Athletic Club, Thrapston (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Bill Coales of Thrapston H & AC finished in third place in the 3-mile team race at the 1908 Olympic Games and was the third-scoring member of the winning British team. The event was held in the morning, and in the afternoon of the same day Coales started in the 5 mile individual race but after his earlier efforts it is not surprising that he dropped out after 4 miles.

Like Joe Deakin and Arthur Robertson, who led the British team to their Olympic victory, Coales had a solid cross-country background. He won the Midland title in 1908 and finished second to Robertson in the National but he was below form in the International event and finished back in 22nd place. This proved to be only a temporary lapse and after opening the 1908 track season with a win in the Midland 10 miles championships, he was fifth in the AAA event before going on to win an Olympic gold medal.

Personal Bests: 3 miles – 14:31.6 (1908); 5K – 15:39.0 (1910); 4 miles – 20:30.6 (1909); 10K – 32:41.0 (1910); 10 miles – 53:54.0 (1908).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR William Coales
5 miles, Men (Olympic) AC h1 r1/2
3 miles, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 1 Gold