Athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres

Athletics At The 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 Metres

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Athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres

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The men's 800 metres made its fourth Olympic appearance at the 1908 Summer Olympics. The competition was held on July 20, 1908 and on July 21, 1908. The races were held on a track of 536.45 metres= mile in circumference. It was run in two rounds, with the winners of the eight heats of the first round competing in the final.

38 runners from eleven nations competed.


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1908 Summer Olympics.

(*) unofficial 880 yards (= 804.68 m)

(**) This track was 536.45 metres= mile in circumference.

In the final Mel Sheppard set a new Olympic and a new unofficial world record, his time of 1:52.8 being 3.2 seconds faster than the pace set by fellow American runner James Lightbody four years earlier.



The semifinals were held on July 20, 1908. The winner of each heat advanced to the final the next day, with all other runners eliminated.

Semifinal 1

Ashford went out fast, but tired quickly. The race was a tight match between Bodor, Butterfield, and Björn, each of whom led at times. Lightbody, the defending champion, was always close behind.

Semifinal 2

The second heat was less eventful than the preceding one, with Sheppard leading most of the way; Lintott closed quickly but was four yards behind at the finish.

Semifinal 3

Halstead took the lead after 500 metres and held on to beat Lee by two yards.

Semifinal 4

Lunghi broke away from the pack near the end of the first lap, leading the rest of the...
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