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John Thornton

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn St. Leger•Thornton
Used nameJohn•Thornton
Born6 June 1911 in Greasley, Nottinghamshire, England (GBR)
Died18 August 1944 in Normandie (FRA)
Measurements183 cm / 68 kg
AffiliationsAchilles Club, (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


John Thornton finished second to Don Finlay in the AAA 120y hurdles three times (1936-38), having been a finalist in 1931-32. He placed fifth in the 1936 Olympic final, but enjoyed his best season the following year when he won both his international match races, inflicting a rare defeat on Finlay in the match against Germany. He also set a career best in 1937 when he beat the American star Leroy Kirkpatrick in Bruxelles. In the 1938 European Championships 110 metres Hurdles he finished fourth. Thornton worked for Imperial Chemical Industries from 1934-39, when he was commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders. He served at El-Alamein, and in the Sicilian campaign and was killed in the Normandy landings.

Personal Bests: 110H – 14.5 (1937); 220yH – 24.5 (1933).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR John Thornton
110 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 5
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain DNS

Special Notes