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1896 Athens

1896 Olympic Games Athina, Greece - Men's 110 m Hurdles



Host City: Athina, Greece Format: Top two in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: April 7, 1896  
Date Finished: April 10, 1896  
(Competitors: 9; Countries: 6; Finalists: 2)  
    Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Overview by IAAF   1896_olympic_stadium.jpg 
The heats were won by Goulding in 18.4 from Alajos Szokolyi (HUN), and by Curtis (18.0) from William Hoyt (USA). The Slovak-born Hungarian (aka Alojz Szokol) didn’t appear for the final, and Hoyt decided to concentrate on the pole vault, which he won. Curtis started faster than Goulding and was quicker between the hurdles, but Goulding’s better technique over the very solid barriers got him to the 10th hurdle in the lead. Curtis’s speed told on the run-in, and he got to the line just under half a metre ahead.
Summary by      
A misprint in the 1896 Official Report has led some to believe that the distance was 100 metres. But there is little doubt that the race was contested over the standard distance of 110 metres. There was no real favorite, as the two top hurdlers in the world, Stephen Chase (USA) and Godfrey Shaw (GBR), elected not to make the trip. The Greeks felt their champion, Anastasios Andreou of Cyprus, was unbeatable. The British hurdler, Grantley Goulding, paraded around Athens wearing his medals on his coat, causing his American rival, Tom Curtis, to remark, )I never met a more confident athlete.)
Though four heats were scheduled, only two were contested, and they were held on 7 April. Goulding won the first heat easily in 18.4 over Hungary's Alajos Szokoly, and Andreou. Curtis won the second heat in 18.0 over his teammate Bill Hoyt, France's Frantz Reichel, and Germany's Kurt Doerry.
Reichel and Hoyt, though qualified, elected not to contest the finals on 10 April, leaving only Goulding and Curtis to race for the championship. Hoyt most likely withdrew to concentrate on the pole vault. Reichel did not start because he was seconding Lermusiaux in the marathon race, held concurrent with the hurdle final. Goulding was noted to be a better technical hurdler but Curtis was much the faster runner. Goulding led at the last hurdle but lost on the run-in by centimetres, with Curtis timed in 17 3/5 seconds.


The final of the 110 metre hurdles was run on 10 April. Reichel was unable to compete in the final as he was serving as an assistant to Albin Lermusiaux in the marathon, and Hoyt withdrew in order to prepare for the pole vault; thus, only two athletes competed, but they finished within one-tenth of a second. Goulding led at the final hurdle, being a better hurdler, but Curtis passed him in the straight and won a tight race by two inches.
110 m Hurdles Men     Final 10 April        
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 17 3/5     Tom Curtis United States USA 23 OR  
2 at 5 cm.     Grantley Goulding Great Britain GBR 22    


The heats were held on 7 April. The top two finishers in each of the two heats advanced to the final.

Heat 1

Grantley Goulding of Great Britain finished first, in a time of 18.4 seconds. Szokolyi hit the last hurdle and stumbled, allowing Reichel to pass him and finish second.

Heat 2

The Americans finished 1st and 2nd in this heat, with Thomas Curtis advancing to the final with a time of 18 seconds, and Hoyt second.

Athanasios Skaltsogiannis of Greece and Kurt Dörry of Germany also competed, though their final positions are not recorded.

110 m Hurdles Men     Round One Heat One 7 April        
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 18 2/5   Q Grantley Goulding Great Britain GBR 22 OR  
2     Q Frantz Reichel France FRA 25    
AC       Alajos Szokoly Hungary HUN 24    
AC       Anastasios Andreou Greece GRE      
110 m Hurdles Men     Round One Heat Two 7 April        
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 18   Q Tom Curtis United States USA 23 OR  
2     Q Bill Hoyt United States USA 20    
AC       Kurt Doerry Germany GER 21    
AC       Athanasios Skaltsogiannis Greece GRE      



Thomas Curtis
Thomas Curtis.jpg
Personal information
Born January 9, 1873
San Francisco, California, United States
Died May 23, 1944 (aged 71)
Nahant, Massachusetts, United States
Sport Sprinting
Event(s) 100m, 110m

Grantley Goulding


Full name: Grantley Thomas Smart Goulding
Gender: Male
Born: March 23, 1874 in Hartpury, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
Died: July 29, 1947 (Aged 73.128) in Umkomaas, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Affiliations: Gloucester Athletic Club
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Athletics


Medal record
Men's athletics
Competitor for  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1896 Athens 110 m hurdles


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