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Not held in other editions
| Event type

1,600 metres Medley Relay, Men

Date24 – 25 July 1908
StatusOlympic
LocationWhite City Stadium, London
Participants29 from 7 countries
FormatFour runners covering 1,600 metres in the following order: 200 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres.

This was the first Olympic relay race and evidence that the event was still in its infancy is confirmed by the fact that the runners did not carry a baton and transfer was by “touch.” The United States was untroubled in both rounds. After winning their heat in 3:27.2, they were comfortable winners of the final in a time more than two seconds slower. The U.S. margin was eight yards at the first exchange, 15 yards at the second exchange, and 20 yards on the final exchange.

With Emilio Lunghi, the silver medalist in the individual 800, running the vital 800 anchor leg, the Italians, who had been drawn in the second heat, were viewed as likely finalists but they withdrew at the last minute to lend their support to their countryman, Dorando Pietri, who was approaching the Stadium in the closing stages of the marathon.

The 400 metre leg for the United States was run by John Taylor, who was African-American. His gold medal in this race makes him the first black man to have won a gold medal. He was considered the top American at 400 metres, having won three IC4A 440 yard titles while at the University of Pennsylvania, and he had also won the Eastern Olympic Trials in 1908. He had trained in veterinary medicine, but practiced only briefly. After returning to the United States, he developed typhoid fever and died only a few months after the Olympics, on 2 December 1908.

PosNrTeamNOCR1Final
1United StatesUSA3:27.2 (1 h3)3:29.4 (1)Gold
Frank Hamilton
Nate Cartmell
John B. Taylor
Mel Sheppard
2GermanyGER3:43.2 (1 h2)3:32.4 (2)Silver
Arthur Hoffmann
Hans Eicke
Otto Trieloff
Hanns Braun
3HungaryHUN3:32.6 (1 h1)3:32.5 (3)Bronze
Pál Simon
Frigyes Wiesner-Mezei
József Nagy
Ödön Bodor
Vilmos Rácz
2 h1 r1/2SwedenSWE3:33.0est / at 3 yards (2 h1)
Sven Låftman
Knut Lindberg
Knut Stenborg
Evert Björn
2 h2 r1/2NetherlandsNEDat 90 yards (2 h2)
Evert Koops
Jacobus Hoogveld
Victor Henny
Bram Evers
2 h3 r1/2Great BritainGBR3:32.0est / at 25 yards (2 h3)
Jack Morton
Henry Pankhurst
Edwin Montague
Theodore Just
3 h3 r1/2CanadaCAN– (3 h3)
Frank Lukeman
Don Buddo
Lou Sebert
Irving Parkes

Round One (24 July 1908 — 12:00)

Winner in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
1HungaryHUNQ
Pál SimonVilmos RáczJózsef NagyÖdön Bodor
2SwedenSWE
Sven LåftmanKnut LindbergKnut StenborgEvert Björn

Heat Two

PosNrTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
1GermanyGERQ
Arthur HoffmannHans EickeOtto TrieloffHanns Braun
2NetherlandsNED
Evert KoopsJacobus HoogveldVictor HennyBram Evers

Heat Three

PosNrTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
1United StatesUSAQ
Frank HamiltonNate CartmellJohn B. TaylorMel Sheppard
2Great BritainGBR
Jack MortonHenry PankhurstEdwin MontagueTheodore Just
3CanadaCAN
Frank LukemanDon BuddoLou SebertIrving Parkes

Final (25 July 1908 — 12:30)

PosNrTeamNOCTimeSplit (Pos)Reaction Time
1United StatesUSA
Frank Hamilton22.0 (1)
Nate Cartmell44.2 (1)
John B. Taylor1:34.0 (1)
Mel Sheppard3:29.4 (1)
2GermanyGER
Arthur Hoffmann22.9est (2)
Hans Eicke45.7est (2)
Otto Trieloff1:36.2est (2)
Hanns Braun3:32.4 (2)
3HungaryHUN
Pál Simon– (–)
Frigyes Wiesner-Mezei– (–)
József Nagy– (–)
Ödön Bodor– (–)