| Event type

High Jump, Men

Date21 July 1908
LocationWhite City Stadium, London
Participants22 from 10 countries

The high jump world record was still held by America’s Mike Sweeney, who had cleared 6-5 5/8 (1.97) in 1895. He had long since turned professional and subsequently retired. The Olympic record was the 6-2­ (1.90) which had won the 1900 gold medal for Irv Baxter (USA). The favorite for the 1908 Olympics was probably the great Irish jumper, Con Leahy, who had won the AAA title from 1905-08. He had also won the American AAU championship in 1907, and was also the defending Olympic champion, having won in 1906. The best American jumper was Harry Porter, who in 1908 won the AAU title and the Eastern Olympic Trial. Porter had also been 2nd at the 1905 IC4A Meet.

The Official Report makes no mention of qualifying conditions but there were eight scheduled qualifying sections, which were consolidated into four pools. After Pool One had been completed at the South End of the Stadium, the officials decided that the slippery conditions were unsuitable and moved the remaining three pools to another jumping area at the North End of the Stadium. Herbert Gidney (USA), who had not qualified in the first pool, then lodged a protest, claiming that the original results of the first pool should be declared void and the competition held again under more favorable conditions at the North End. Despite the fact that all the competitors had been equally affected by the original adverse conditions, the judges, rather surprisingly, upheld Gidney’s protest.

Otto Monsen (NOR) and Edward Leader (GBR) had shared first place in the original competition, but Monsen refused to take part in the re-scheduled event, while Leader failed to match the height he had achieved in the less favorable conditions. The only beneficiary of the protest was Gidney himself.

Having won the competition, Harry Porter made three unsuccessful attempts at the world record height of 6-5 5/8­ (1.97). For these world record attempts, Porter removed his sweater for the first time in the competition. In the final, István Somodi (HUN) was the only competitor to improve on his qualifying mark in the morning. Leahy, Somodi, and Géo André (FRA) had a jump-off for the silver and bronze medals, but none could equal their earlier marks so they were declared equal second.

After the Olympics, Harry Porter continued to be a top jumper. He led the 1909 world lists with 6-4 (1.93), and tied for first in 1911 at the AAU Meet, but he did not compete at the 1912 Olympics.

PosNrAthleteNOCQualifying RoundFinal Round
1Harry PorterUSA1.90 (NP)1.90 (1)GoldOR
=2Con LeahyGBR1.88 (NP)1.88 (=2)Silver
=2István SomodiHUN1.85 (NP)1.88 (=2)Silver
=2Géo AndréFRA1.88 (NP)1.88 (=2)Silver
=5Herbert GidneyUSA1.85 (NP)1.85 (=5)
=5Tom MoffittUSA1.85 (NP)1.85 (=5)
7Neil PattersonUSA1.83 (NP)1.83 (7)
8Axel HedenlundSWE1.80 (NP)
9Pat LeahyGBR1.78 (NP)
=10Edward LeaderGBR1.77 (NP)
=10Haswell WilsonGBR1.77 (NP)
=10George BarberCAN1.77 (NP)
=13József HaluzsinszkyHUN1.72 (NP)
=13Henry OlsenNOR1.72 (NP)
=13Garfield MacDonaldCAN1.72 (NP)
=16Léon DupontBEL1.67 (NP)
=16Folke HellstedtSWE1.67 (NP)
=16Lauri PihkalaFIN1.67 (NP)
19Herman van LeeuwenNED1.65 (NP)
20Al BellerbyGBR1.59 (NP)
21Otto MonsenNOR1.79 (NP)
22Lauri WilskmanFIN1.67 (NP)
DNSHans RehderGER
DNSBéla SzabóHUN
DNSJohn MilneGBR
DNSGéza VadonHUN
DNSJeremiah MahoneyUSA
DNSLynn MillerUSA
DNSRaymond BerthetFRA
DNSGyörgy DomokosHUN
DNSJózsef ZoldHUN
DNSJohn SchommerUSA
DNSGaston MartinFRA
DNSElemér Szigeti-PolyákovicsHUN
DNSBéla DánérHUN
DNSPaul CazenaveFRA
DNSBen StephensonUSA
DNSCarl SilfverstrandSWE
DNSGustav KrojerAUT
DNSRobert PascarelFRA
DNSTim AhearneGBR
DNSOswald GroeningsGBR
DNSGeorge MayberryGBR
DNSRobert PasemannGER
DNSAlbert WeinsteinGER
DNSKostas TsiklitirasGRE
DNSLajos GönczyHUN
DNSKálmán SzathmáryHUN
DNSIván, Báró WardenerHUN
DNSGaspare TorrettaITA
DNSCoen van VeenhuijsenNED
DNSDoug StupartRSA
DNSOscar LemmingSWE
DNSGunnar RönströmSWE
DNSHugo WieslanderSWE
DNSJohn BrennanUSA
DNSFrank IronsUSA
DNSGéza SzegedyHUN

Qualifying Round (21 July 1908 — 10:30)

The eight leading competitors in the qualifying round advanced to the final. There were eight scheduled qualifying sections. The scheduled eight qualifying sections were consolidated into four pools. Marks from the qualifying round were carried forward to the final.

NPHarry PorterUSA1.90QOR
NPCon LeahyGBR1.88Q
NPGéo AndréFRA1.88Q
NPHerbert GidneyUSA1.85Q
NPTom MoffittUSA1.85Q
NPIstván SomodiHUN1.85Q
NPNeil PattersonUSA1.83Q
NPAxel HedenlundSWE1.80Q
NPOtto MonsenNOR1.79
NPPat LeahyGBR1.78
NPEdward LeaderGBR1.77
NPGeorge BarberCAN1.77
NPHaswell WilsonGBR1.77
NPJózsef HaluzsinszkyHUN1.72
NPHenry OlsenNOR1.72
NPGarfield MacDonaldCAN1.72
NPLauri WilskmanFIN1.67
NPLauri PihkalaFIN1.67
NPFolke HellstedtSWE1.67
NPLéon DupontBEL1.67
NPHerman van LeeuwenNED1.65
NPAl BellerbyGBR1.59

Qualifying Round, Group A (21 July 1908)

=1Otto MonsenNOR1.79
=1Edward LeaderGBR1.79
3Herbert GidneyUSA1.77
4József HaluzsinszkyHUN1.72
5Lauri WilskmanFIN1.67
6Al BellerbyGBR1.55

Qualifying Round, Group B (21 July 1908)

=1Con LeahyGBR1.88
=1Géo AndréFRA1.88
3Neil PattersonUSA1.83
4Axel HedenlundSWE1.80
5Pat LeahyGBR1.78
=6Henry OlsenNOR1.72
=6Garfield MacDonaldCAN1.72
8Lauri PihkalaFIN1.67

Qualifying Round, Group C (21 July 1908)

1Harry PorterUSA1.90OR
=2Tom MoffittUSA1.85
=2István SomodiHUN1.85
=4Folke HellstedtSWE1.67
=4Léon DupontBEL1.67
6Herman van LeeuwenNED1.65

Qualifying Round, Group D (21 July 1908)

=1George BarberCAN1.77
=1Haswell WilsonGBR1.77

Qualifying Round, Group A Re-Jump (21 July 1908)

1Herbert GidneyUSA1.85
2Edward LeaderGBR1.77
3József HaluzsinszkyHUN1.72
4Al BellerbyGBR1.59

Final Round (21 July 1908 — 14:30)

1Harry PorterUSA1.90OR
=2Con LeahyGBR1.88
=2Géo AndréFRA1.88
=2István SomodiHUN1.88
=5Herbert GidneyUSA1.85
=5Tom MoffittUSA1.85
7Neil PattersonUSA1.83