Athletics at the 1928 Summer Olympics

Dates 29 July – 5 August 1928
Medal Events 27

The biggest story of the 1928 Olympic track & field was that women were allowed to compete for the first time. After they were denied the chance to compete in Olympic track & field, the Fédération Sportive Feminine International (FSFI) was formed in 1922 and sponsored women’s international athletics competitions in Paris in 1922 and in Göteborg in 1926. Spurred on by this competing organization, the IAAF relented and allowed women to compete in Amsterdam in five events – the 100 metres, 800 metres, 4x100 relay, high jump, and discus throw. In the 800 metres, the event was won by German Lina Radke, but several of the women in the event collapsed in exhaustion after the race, not unlike the men. But the IOC and IAAF considered this dangerous to women, and women would not run more than 200 metres at the Olympics again until 1960. No British women competed in 1928 as the Women’s Amateur Athletic Association elected to save themselves for the 1930 Women’s World Games in Praha, Czechoslovakia, where there were more events (11) for them to compete in, as opposed to only five in Amsterdam. Their raison d’etre being that the Praha meeting better answered the purpose for world’s championships.

In the sprints, Canada’s Percy Williams became the first non-American to win the 100/200 double. Finland continued to star in the distance races, winning all the events longer than 800 metres, with Paavo Nurmi back winning gold in the 10K and silver in the steeplechase.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 29 – 30 July 1928 76 32
200 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1928 59 29
400 metres, Men Olympic 2 – 3 August 1928 50 20
800 metres, Men Olympic 29 – 31 July 1928 49 24
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 1 – 2 August 1928 44 19
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 3 August 1928 38 18
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 29 July 1928 24 12
Marathon, Men Olympic 5 August 1928 69 23
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1928 41 24
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 29 – 30 July 1928 25 13
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 1 – 4 August 1928 22 10
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 4 – 5 August 1928 52 13
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 4 – 5 August 1928 56 14
High Jump, Men Olympic 29 July 1928 35 17
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 1 August 1928 20 13
Long Jump, Men Olympic 31 July 1928 41 23
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 2 August 1928 24 13
Shot Put, Men Olympic 29 July 1928 22 14
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 1 August 1928 34 19
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 30 July 1928 16 11
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 2 August 1928 28 18
Decathlon, Men Olympic 3 – 4 August 1928 38 19
100 metres, Women Olympic 30 – 31 July 1928 31 13
800 metres, Women Olympic 1 – 2 August 1928 25 13
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 4 – 5 August 1928 32 8
High Jump, Women Olympic 5 August 1928 20 9
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 31 July 1928 21 12
706 (611/95) 40 (40/18)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Percy WilliamsCAN Jack LondonGBR Georg LammersGER
200 metres, Men Percy WilliamsCAN Walter RangeleyGBR Helmut KörnigGER
400 metres, Men Ray BarbutiUSA Jimmy BallCAN Jochen BüchnerGER
800 metres, Men Douglas LoweGBR Erik ByléhnSWE Hermann EngelhardGER
1,500 metres, Men Harri LarvaFIN Jules LadoumègueFRA Eino PurjeFIN
5,000 metres, Men Ville RitolaFIN Paavo NurmiFIN Edvin WideSWE
10,000 metres, Men Paavo NurmiFIN Ville RitolaFIN Edvin WideSWE
Marathon, Men Boughera El OuafiFRA Manuel PlazaCHI Martti MarttelinFIN
110 metres Hurdles, Men Sid AtkinsonRSA Steve AndersonUSA John CollierUSA
400 metres Hurdles, Men David, Lord BurghleyGBR Frank CuhelUSA Morgan TaylorUSA
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Toivo LoukolaFIN Paavo NurmiFIN Ove AndersenFIN
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA GermanyGER Great BritainGBR
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA GermanyGER CanadaCAN
High Jump, Men Bob KingUSA Ben HedgesUSA Claude MénardFRA
Pole Vault, Men Sabin CarrUSA Bill DroegemuellerUSA Charles McGinnisUSA
Long Jump, Men Ed HammUSA Sylvio CatorHAI Al BatesUSA
Triple Jump, Men Mikio OdaJPN Lee CaseyUSA Ville TuulosFIN
Shot Put, Men Johnny KuckUSA Herman BrixUSA Emil HirschfeldGER
Discus Throw, Men Bud HouserUSA Antero KiviFIN Jim CorsonUSA
Hammer Throw, Men Pat O'CallaghanIRL Ossian SkiöldSWE Ed BlackUSA
Javelin Throw, Men Erik LundqvistSWE Béla SzepesHUN Olav SundeNOR
Decathlon, Men Paavo YrjöläFIN Akilles JärvinenFIN Ken DohertyUSA
100 metres, Women Betty RobinsonUSA Bobby RosenfeldCAN Ethel SmithCAN
800 metres, Women Lina Radke-BatschauerGER Kinue HitomiJPN Inga GentzelSWE
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women CanadaCAN United StatesUSA GermanyGER
High Jump, Women Ethel CatherwoodCAN Lien GisolfNED Mildred WileyUSA
Discus Throw, Women Halina KonopackaPOL Lillian CopelandUSA Ruth SvedbergSWE

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 9 8 8 25
Finland FIN 5 5 4 14
Canada CAN 4 2 2 8
Great Britain GBR 2 2 1 5
Germany GER 1 2 6 9
Sweden SWE 1 2 4 7
France FRA 1 1 1 3
Japan JPN 1 1 0 2
Ireland IRL 1 0 0 1
Poland POL 1 0 0 1
South Africa RSA 1 0 0 1
Chile CHI 0 1 0 1
Haiti HAI 0 1 0 1
Hungary HUN 0 1 0 1
Netherlands NED 0 1 0 1
Norway NOR 0 0 1 1