Tommy Hampson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThomas "Tommy"•Hampson
Used nameTommy•Hampson
Born28 October 1907 in Clapham, England (GBR)
Died4 September 1965 in Stevenage, England (GBR)
Measurements184 cm / 69 kg
AffiliationsAchilles Club, (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2


At Bancroft’s School and St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, Tom Hampson showed only passing interest in athletics although in his last year at Oxford he was selected for the match against Cambridge, finishing an undistinguished fourth in the half-mile. Later in the 1929 season, he showed dramatic improvement and after some solid performances with the Oxford & Cambridge team in America, he was a member of the team which improved the British 4×880 yards relay record by five seconds in the international match against Germany.

On leaving Oxford, Hampson took up a teaching post at St. Alban’s School and in 1930 he first revealed himself as a medal prospect for the 1932 Olympic Games. Victories in the AAA Championships, the international match against France and at the British Empire Games, where he beat a class field by 20 yards in 1:52.6 seconds, established him as one of the world’s leading half-milers. In 1931, two international victories and a second AAA title consolidated his position and in 1932, his third successive win the AAA 880 yards was followed, later in the afternoon, by a second place in the 440 yards. Clearly, Hampson had added the essential of quality of speed to his carefully acquired stamina and was now ready for the Olympics.

In Los Angeles, Tom Hampson qualified comfortably for the final, where he wisely declined to follow the suicidal pace of the Canadian Phil Edwards, who led at the half-way mark at 52.3 seconds with Hampson trailing by some 20 metres. Edwards inevitably faded and Hampson then had to contend with another Canadian, Alex Wilson, but he won the battle down the home straight and took the gold medal with a new world record of 1:49.7 seconds. Later in the Games, Hampson won a silver medal in the 4×400 metres relay and then closed his track career as a member of the 4×880 yards relay team in the British Empire versus USA match in San Francisco.

In 1935, Tom Hampson gave up his teaching post and became an Education Officer in the RAF. After returning to civilian life in 1945, he held appointments as a Social Welfare Officer with various organizations and qualified as one of the first AAA honorary senior coaches.

Personal Bests: 440y – 50.2 (1932); 800 - 1:49.7 (1932); Mile – 4:17.0 (1931).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Tommy Hampson
400 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver

Special Notes