| Event type

3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men

Date1 – 4 August 1928
LocationOlympisch Stadion, Amsterdam
Participants22 from 10 countries

Paavo Nurmi was expected to dominate this event. In his heat he fell over the water jump on an early lap and was helped by Frenchman Lucien Duquesne, who stopped to help him up. Nurmi reciprocated by pacing Duquesne throughout the remainder of the heat, helping him to qualify for the final. A few weeks before the Olympics, Nurmi’s teammate, Toivo Loukola, had run the best mark on record with 9:25.2 in Helsinki. The final was expected to be between Nurmi, Loukola, and the defending champion, Ville Ritola. But Ritola ran poorly, probably tired from his gold medal effort the previous day in the 5,000, and he would not finish. Loukola dominated the final, pulling away on the fifth lap, and winning by almost 10 seconds in a new world best time. His time was recorded as 9:21 4/5, but this the first race in Olympic history where an electronic time was taken, and is known to us (a system was used at Stockholm in 1912, but no times have been found), and that time was 9:21.60.

1790Toivo LoukolaFIN9:37.6 (1 h3)9:21.8 (1)GoldWR
2797Paavo NurmiFIN9:58.8 (1 h2)9:31.2 (2)Silver
3769Ove AndersenFIN– (2 h3)9:35.6 (3)Bronze
4844Nils EklöfSWE– (3 h1)9:38.0 (4)
568Henri DartiguesFRA– (3 h3)9:40.0 (5)
660Lucien DuquesneFRA9:58.9 (2 h2)9:40.5 (6)
7522Melvin DaltonUSA9:58.6est (2 h1)– (7)
8567William SpencerUSA– (3 h2)– (8)
AC800Ville RitolaFIN9:46.6 (1 h1)– (AC)
4 h1 r1/2530Walter GeganUSA– (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/2441Norman BiddulphGBR– (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/2851Jean-Gunnar LindgrenSWE– (4 h3)
5 h1 r1/2477Henry OliverGBR– (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/2629Edgard ViseurBEL– (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/2472Vernon MorganGBR– (5 h3)
6 h1 r1/2223Nello BartoliniITA– (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/2437Henrique SantosPOR– (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/2442Joe BlewittGBR– (6 h3)
7 h1 r1/2620Jozef LangenusBEL– (7 h1)
7 h3 r1/2551Jesse MontgomeryUSA– (7 h3)
8 h1 r1/2657Art KeayCAN– (8 h1)
AC h2 r1/2214Gerry CoughlanIRL– (AC h2)
DNS94Maurice NorlandFRA– (DNS h1)
DNS209Gurbachan SinghIND– (DNS h1)
DNS52Paul BontempsFRA– (DNS h2)
DNS866Edvin WideSWE– (DNS h2)
DNS656Billy KibblewhiteCAN– (DNS h2)
DNS648Vincent CallardCAN– (DNS h2)
DNS389Josef NěmeckýTCH– (DNS h3)
DNS599George HydeAUS– (DNS h3)
DNS653David GriffinCAN– (DNS h3)
DNS266Eugène BecSUI– (DNS h3)

Round One (1 August 1928 — 15:20)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

1800Ville RitolaFIN9:46.6Q
2522Melvin DaltonUSA9:58.6estQ
3844Nils EklöfSWEQ
4530Walter GeganUSA
5477Henry OliverGBR
6223Nello BartoliniITA
7620Jozef LangenusBEL
8657Art KeayCAN
DNS94Maurice NorlandFRA
DNS209Gurbachan SinghIND

Heat Two

1797Paavo NurmiFIN9:58.8Q
260Lucien DuquesneFRA9:58.9Q
3567William SpencerUSAQ
4441Norman BiddulphGBR
5629Edgard ViseurBEL
6437Henrique SantosPOR
AC214Gerry CoughlanIRLDNF
DNS52Paul BontempsFRA
DNS866Edvin WideSWE
DNS656Billy KibblewhiteCAN
DNS648Vincent CallardCAN

Heat Three

1790Toivo LoukolaFIN9:37.6Q
2769Ove AndersenFINQ
368Henri DartiguesFRAQ
4851Jean-Gunnar LindgrenSWE
5472Vernon MorganGBR
6442Joe BlewittGBR
7551Jesse MontgomeryUSA
DNS389Josef NěmeckýTCH
DNS599George HydeAUS
DNS653David GriffinCAN
DNS266Eugène BecSUI

Final (4 August 1928 — 15:30)

1790Toivo LoukolaFIN9:21.8WR
2797Paavo NurmiFIN9:31.2
3769Ove AndersenFIN9:35.6
4844Nils EklöfSWE9:38.0
568Henri DartiguesFRA9:40.0
660Lucien DuquesneFRA9:40.5
7522Melvin DaltonUSA
8567William SpencerUSA
AC800Ville RitolaFINDNF