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| Event type

110 metres Hurdles, Men

Date17 – 18 August 1920
StatusOlympic
LocationOlympisch Stadion, Antwerpen
Participants23 from 15 countries

Tommy Thomson was a Canadian born in Birch Hills, near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, but he had grown up in California, near Pasadena and Long Beach. He attended Dartmouth College and trained with the Americans, winning the 1920 AAU Championship, which had served as the U.S. Olympic Trials. Thomson also competed at the 1920 Canadian Trials, making the team in the high hurdles, the 400 hurdles, and the high jump. Thomson was a heavy favorite in this event and won easily, setting a world record in the finals. His time of 14.8 was a world record for the metric distance, but he had recently won the U.S. intercollegiate championships (IC4A) in 14.4 seconds over 120 yards, a far superior performance. At the victory ceremony, the Belgian officials found that they had no Canadian flag to display, so they raised the British flag instead.

Tommy Thomson’s victory marked a dramatic return from a near fatal accident in 1914. When 14 years old, he stepped off a buggy onto a loaded shotgun, which discharged into the left side of his chest. He underwent a four-hour emergency surgery, but survived. After the Olympics, Thomson retired from competition, but he later became well known as a coach, first at Dartmouth, and then at West Virginia and the U.S. Naval Academy.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1SFFinal
184Tommy ThomsonCAN15.4est / at 1 metre (2 h2)15.0 (1 h2)14.8 (1)GoldWR
2132Hal BarronUSA15.2 (1 h2)15.0 (1 h1)15.1est / at 2 metres (2)Silver
3205Fred MurrayUSA15.8 (1 h3)15.2est / at 1 metre (2 h2)15.3est / at 2 metres (3)Bronze
4549Harry WilsonNZL15.8est / at 1 metre (2 h1)15.3est / at 1 metre (3 h1)15.3est / at ½ metres (4)
5240Walker SmithUSA15.8 (1 h6)15.2est / at 1 metre (2 h1)15.3est / close behind (5)
6573Carl-Axel ChristiernssonSWE16.0est (2 h6)15.3est / close behind (3 h2)15.5est / at 1 metre (6)
4 h1 r2/3404William HunterGBR– (2 h4)– (6 h1)
4 h2 r2/3393William YountUSA15.6 (1 h5)15.4est (4 h2)
5 h1 r2/3588Göran HultinSWE15.8est (2 h5)– (4 h1)
5 h2 r2/3255George GrayGBR16.0est (2 h3)– (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3110Henri ThorsenDEN16.8 (1 h4)– (5 h1)
6 h2 r2/3475Daciano ColbachiniITA15.6 (1 h1)– (6 h2)
3 h1 r1/3604Georg LindströmSWE15.9est / at 1 metre (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/3585Gösta HolmérSWE16.5est (3 h2)
3 h3 r1/3303Henri BernardFRA– (3 h3)
3 h5 r1/3556Harold JeppeRSA16.4est (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/3457Oscar, Ridder van RappardNED16.5est (3 h6)
4 h1 r1/33Wilfrid Kent HughesAUS– (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/3661Willi MoserSUI17.5est (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/330René Joannes-PowellBEL– (4 h3)
4 h5 r1/3668Adolf ReichTCH17.5est (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3389Eric DunbarGBR– (AC h6)
5 h3 r1/3428James AndromedasGRE– (5 h3)
DNS298Charles AudinotFRA
DNS317Yves DurierFRA– (DNS h4)
DNS330Maxime GirardFRA
DNS294Géo AndréFRA– (DNS h6)
DNS356Marcel OrfidanFRA– (DNS h1)
DNS562Attie van HeerdenRSA– (DNS h2)
DNS541Helge LøvlandNOR– (DNS h4)
DNSJosef VoňavkaTCH– (DNS h4)

Round One (17 August 1920 — 14:00)

Top two in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1475Daciano ColbachiniITA15.6Q
2549Harry WilsonNZL15.8est / at 1 metreQ
3604Georg LindströmSWE15.9est / at 1 metre
43Wilfrid Kent HughesAUS
DNS356Marcel OrfidanFRA

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1132Hal BarronUSA15.2Q
284Tommy ThomsonCAN15.4est / at 1 metreQ
3585Gösta HolmérSWE16.5est
4661Willi MoserSUI17.5est
DNS562Attie van HeerdenRSA

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1205Fred MurrayUSA15.8Q
2393George GrayGBR16.0estQ
3303Henri BernardFRA
430René Joannes-PowellBEL
5428James AndromedasGRE

Heat Four

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1110Henri ThorsenDEN16.8Q
2404William HunterGBRQ
DNS317Yves DurierFRA
DNS541Helge LøvlandNOR
DNSJosef VoňavkaTCH

Heat Five

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1255William YountUSA15.6Q
2588Göran HultinSWE15.8estQ
3556Harold JeppeRSA16.4est
4668Adolf ReichTCH17.5est

Heat Six

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1240Walker SmithUSA15.8Q
2573Carl-Axel ChristiernssonSWE16.0estQ
3457Oscar, Ridder van RappardNED16.5est
AC389Eric DunbarGBRDNF
DNS294Géo AndréFRA

Semi-Finals (17 August 1920 — 16:30)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1132Hal BarronUSA15.0QOR
2240Walker SmithUSA15.2est / at 1 metreQ
3549Harry WilsonNZL15.3est / at 1 metreQ
4588Göran HultinSWE
5110Henri ThorsenDEN
6404William HunterGBR

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
184Tommy ThomsonCAN15.0QOR
2205Fred MurrayUSA15.2est / at 1 metreQ
3573Carl-Axel ChristiernssonSWE15.3est / close behindQ
4255William YountUSA15.4est
5393George GrayGBR
6475Daciano ColbachiniITA

Final (18 August 1920 — 14:30)

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
184Tommy ThomsonCAN14.8WR
2132Hal BarronUSA15.1est / at 2 metres
3205Fred MurrayUSA15.3est / at 2 metres
4549Harry WilsonNZL15.3est / at ½ metres
5240Walker SmithUSA15.3est / close behind
6573Carl-Axel ChristiernssonSWE15.5est / at 1 metre