| Event type

100 metres, Men

Date20 – 22 July 1908
LocationWhite City Stadium, London
Participants60 from 16 countries

The top British sprinter of the era was Jack Morton, who had won the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) championships four years consecutively, 1904-07, but he failed to make the Olympic final, finishing third and last in his semi-final. There was no dominant American sprinter, as since Bernie Wefers had won three straight titles in 1895-1897, 12 different sprinters had claimed the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) championship. South Africa sent two good sprinters, Eddie Duffy and the 1907 South African champion, Reggie Walker.

The Olympic record was 10.8, having been set in 1900 by Frank Jarvis (USA) and Walter Tewksbury (USA). The world mark was 10.6, set in 1906 by Sweden’s Kurt Lindberg. Though Lindberg competed in this event, he failed to get by the first round, finishing second in heat eight to Lester Stevens (USA).

James Rector (USA) and Reggie Walker both equalled the Olympic record, Rector doing it in both rounds. Walker’s record-equalling run came in the final when he beat Rector by one yard. At 19 years, 128 days, he set a record, which still stands, of being the youngest ever winner of the Olympic 100 metres.

It is often stated that Walker was not actually a member of the South African team in 1908, but travelled to London on his own. South African Olympic historian Lappe Laubscher has shown that this is not the case and that he was chosen for the team at the first opportunity. He notes that Walker was recommended for the team on 1 May 1908 at a meeting of the South African Amateur Athletic and Cycling Union, but he initially could not make the trip because of a lack of funds. Walker was a native of Natal and Jim Wallace, a Natal sportswriter, started a campaign to raise funds for Walker’s trip, which was successful.

1Reggie WalkerRSA11.0 (1 h4)10.8 (1 h1)10.8 (1)Gold
2James RectorUSA10.8 (1 h15)10.8 (1 h3)11.0est / at 1½ feet (2)Silver
3Bobby KerrCAN11.0 (1 h10)11.0 (1 h2)11.0est / close behind (3)Bronze
4Nate CartmellUSA11.0 (1 h3)11.2 (1 h4)11.2est / at 3 yards (4)
2 h1 r2/3Willie MayUSA11.2 (1 h6)11.0est / at 1 yard (2 h1)
2 h2 r2/3Nate ShermanUSA11.2 (1 h14)11.3est / at 3 yards (2 h2)
2 h3 r2/3Harry HuffUSA11.4 (1 h12)11.1est / at 3 yards (2 h3)
2 h4 r2/3Lawson RobertsonUSA11.4 (1 h13)11.2est / at 1 foot (2 h4)
3 h1 r2/3Paddy RocheGBR11.4 (1 h17)– (3 h1)
3 h2 r2/3Jack MortonGBR11.2 (1 h9)– (3 h2)
3 h3 r2/3Eddie DuffyRSA11.6 / easy win (1 h1)– (3 h3)
3 h4 r2/3Jimmy StarkGBR11.8 (1 h16)– (3 h4)
4 h1 r2/3Lester StevensUSA11.2 (1 h8)– (4 h1)
4 h3 r2/3Robert DuncanGBR11.4 (1 h7)– (4 h3)
4 h4 r2/3Jack GeorgeGBR11.6 (1 h2)– (4 h4)
1 h5 r1/3Bobby CloughenUSA11.0 (1 h5)
1 h11 r1/3Frank HamiltonUSA11.2 (1 h11)
2 h1 r1/3Georgios SkoutaridisGREat 3 yards (2 h1)
2 h2 r1/3Oscar GuttormsenNOR12.0est / at 3 yards (2 h2)
2 h3 r1/3Géo MalfaitFRA11.2est / at 2 yards (2 h3)
2 h4 r1/3Jean KoningsBEL11.6est / at 4 yards (2 h4)
2 h5 r1/3John JohansenNOR11.7est / at 5 yards (2 h5)
2 h6 r1/3Victor JacqueminBEL11.5est / at 3 yards (2 h6)
2 h7 r1/3Knut StenborgSWE11.5est / at 1 yard (2 h7)
2 h8 r1/3Knut LindbergSWE11.2est / close behind (2 h8)
2 h9 r1/3Axel PetersenDEN11.5est / at 3 yards (2 h9)
2 h10 r1/3Meyrick ChapmanGBR11.3est / at 3 yards (2 h10)
2 h11 r1/3Pál SimonHUN11.5est / at 3 yards (2 h11)
2 h12 r1/3Henry PankhurstGBR11.5est / at 1 yard (2 h12)
2 h13 r1/3Frank LukemanCAN11.7est / at 3 yards (2 h13)
2 h14 r1/3Lou SebertCAN11.7est / at 4 yards (2 h14)
2 h15 r1/3Vilmos RáczHUN11.4est (2 h15)
2 h16 r1/3Gaspare TorrettaITA12.0est (2 h16)
2 h17 r1/3Karl BechlerGER11.7est / at 2 yards (2 h17)
3 h1 r1/3Victor HennyNED– (3 h1)
3 h3 r1/3Arthur HoffmannGER11.4est (3 h3)
3 h4 r1/3Denis MurrayGBR– (3 h4)
3 h5 r1/3Dave BelandCAN– (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/3Louis LescaFRA– (3 h6)
3 h7 r1/3Hans EickeGER11.6est (3 h7)
3 h8 r1/3Heinrich RehderGER11.8est (3 h8)
3 h9 r1/3Jacobus HoogveldNED– (3 h9)
3 h11 r1/3Gaston LamotteFRA– (3 h11)
3 h12 r1/3Karl FryksdahlSWE– (3 h12)
3 h13 r1/3Henri MeslotFRA– (3 h13)
3 h14 r1/3Harry WatsonGBR– (3 h14)
3 h15 r1/3Willy KohlmeyGER12.0est (3 h15)
4 h3 r1/3Evert KoopsNED– (4 h3)
4 h6 r1/3Michail PaschalidisGRE– (4 h6)
4 h7 r1/3Umberto BarozziITA– (4 h7)
4 h8 r1/3William MurrayGBR– (4 h8)
4 h13 r1/3Edi SchöneckerAUT– (4 h13)
4 h14 r1/3Frigyes Wiesner-MezeiHUN– (4 h14)
5 h7 r1/3Ragnar StenbergFIN– (5 h7)
5 h14 r1/3Hermann von BönninghausenGER12.0est (5 h14)
AC h4 r1/3Ernestus, Jonkheer GrevenNED– (AC h4)
AC h4 r1/3Edgar KiralfyUSA– (AC h4)
AC h5 r1/3Henry HarmerGBR– (DNF h5)
AC h10 r1/3Paul FischerGER– (DNF h10)
AC h11 r1/3Bertie PhillipsRSA– (DNF h11)
DNSFrancis RodSUI
DNSErvin DéryHUN
DNSErik MajunkoHUN
DNSC. VondracekBOH
DNSIvar NeumannSWE
DNSIstván KissHUN
DNSGaszton ToldyHUN
DNSKarl SchwarzGER
DNSKornél ScheerHUN
DNSCharles HervocheFRA
DNSKenneth MacLeodGBR
DNSLóránd HámosHUN
DNSJenő BartkóHUN
DNSUuno RailoFIN
DNSJay WhithamUSA
DNSErnest HutcheonANZ
DNSGustav KrojerAUT
DNSPierre FailliotFRA
DNSDimitrios MullerGRE
DNSLajos LudinszkyHUN
DNSErnő SchubertHUN
DNSEmilio BrambillaITA
DNSCornelis den HeldNED
DNSForrest SmithsonUSA
DNSVincent DunckerRSA

Round One (20 July 1908 — 15:00)

Winner in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

1Eddie DuffyRSA11.6 / easy winQ
2Georgios SkoutaridisGREat 3 yards
3Victor HennyNED

Heat Two

1Jack GeorgeGBR11.6Q
2Oscar GuttormsenNOR12.0est / at 3 yards

Heat Three

1Nate CartmellUSA11.0Q
2Géo MalfaitFRA11.2est / at 2 yards
3Arthur HoffmannGER11.4est
4Evert KoopsNED

Heat Four

1Reggie WalkerRSA11.0Q
2Jean KoningsBEL11.6est / at 4 yards
3Denis MurrayGBR
ACEdgar KiralfyUSA
ACErnestus, Jonkheer GrevenNED

Heat Five

1Bobby CloughenUSA11.0Q
2John JohansenNOR11.7est / at 5 yards
3Dave BelandCAN
DNFHenry HarmerGBR

Heat Six

1Willie MayUSA11.2Q
2Victor JacqueminBEL11.5est / at 3 yards
3Louis LescaFRA
4Michail PaschalidisGRE

Heat Seven

1Robert DuncanGBR11.4Q
2Knut StenborgSWE11.5est / at 1 yard
3Hans EickeGER11.6est
4Umberto BarozziITA
5Ragnar StenbergFIN

Heat Eight

1Lester StevensUSA11.2Q
2Knut LindbergSWE11.2est / close behind
3Heinrich RehderGER11.8est
4William MurrayGBR

Heat Nine

1Jack MortonGBR11.2Q
2Axel PetersenDEN11.5est / at 3 yards
3Jacobus HoogveldNED

Heat Ten

1Bobby KerrCAN11.0Q
2Meyrick ChapmanGBR11.3est / at 3 yards
DNFPaul FischerGER

Heat Eleven

1Frank HamiltonUSA11.2Q
2Pál SimonHUN11.5est / at 3 yards
3Gaston LamotteFRA
DNFBertie PhillipsRSA

Heat Twelve

1Harry HuffUSA11.4Q
2Henry PankhurstGBR11.5est / at 1 yard
3Karl FryksdahlSWE

Heat Thirteen

1Lawson RobertsonUSA11.4Q
2Frank LukemanCAN11.7est / at 3 yards
3Henri MeslotFRA
4Edi SchöneckerAUT

Heat Fourteen

1Nate ShermanUSA11.2Q
2Lou SebertCAN11.7est / at 4 yards
3Harry WatsonGBR
4Frigyes Wiesner-MezeiHUN
5Hermann von BönninghausenGER12.0est

Heat Fifteen

1James RectorUSA10.8Q=OR
2Vilmos RáczHUN11.4est
3Willy KohlmeyGER12.0est

Heat Sixteen

1Jimmy StarkGBR11.8Q
2Gaspare TorrettaITA12.0est

Heat Seventeen

1Paddy RocheGBR11.4Q
2Karl BechlerGER11.7est / at 2 yards

Semi-Finals (21 July 1908 — 15:35)

Winner in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

1Reggie WalkerRSA10.8Q=OR
2Willie MayUSA11.0est / at 1 yard
3Paddy RocheGBR
4Lester StevensUSA

Heat Two

1Bobby KerrCAN11.0Q
2Nate ShermanUSA11.3est / at 3 yards
3Jack MortonGBR

Heat Three

1James RectorUSA10.8Q=OR
2Harry HuffUSA11.1est / at 3 yards
3Eddie DuffyRSA
4Robert DuncanGBR

Heat Four

1Nate CartmellUSA11.2Q
2Lawson RobertsonUSA11.2est / at 1 foot
3Jimmy StarkGBR
4Jack GeorgeGBR

Final (22 July 1908 — 16:15)

11Reggie WalkerRSA10.8=OR1
22James RectorUSA11.0est / at 1½ feet
34Bobby KerrCAN11.0est / close behind
43Nate CartmellUSA11.2est / at 3 yards