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1908  London Summer Olympics

1908 Summer Olympics - The Results (Diving)

Diving at the 1908 London Summer Games

 

 

Host City: London, Great Britain
Date Started: July 14, 1908
Date Finished: July 24, 1908
Events: 2

Participants: 39 (39 men and 0 women) from 9 countries
Youngest Participant: SWE Erik Adlerz (15 years, 362 days)
Oldest Participant: SWE Harald Arbin (40 years, 351 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 7 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): SWE Sweden and GER Germany (3 medals)



A total of 39 divers from 9 nations competed at the London Games:

  •  Australasia (1)
  •  Belgium (1)
  •  Canada (1)
  •  Finland (2)
  •  Germany (5)
  •  Great Britain (16)
  •  Italy (1)
  •  Sweden (10)
  •  United States (2)
 

Overview

The two diving events at the 1908 Olympics were conducted as part of the swimming program, which also included water polo. They were held in the huge pool which had been built in the infield of the White City Stadium. At one side of the pool, a large diving tower was erected, which was retractable so that when in it was not in use, it was lowered below the surface of the water. The pool and the tower were designed by William Henry, Secretary of the Royal Life Saving Society, who had also competed in the 1900 and 1906 Olympic Games.

Two events were contested - a plain high diving, or platform-type diving, and fancy high diving off a springboard. In addition, on Saturday, 18 July, an exhibition of diving was given by two women - Valborg Florstr”m of Finland and Ebba Gisico of Sweden. Women would not make their official Olympic d‚but in swimming and diving until 1912 in Stockholm. This diving exhibition was the first appearance at the Olympics for women in the pool.

An unusual difference in the scoring systems is noted in the rules for the diving. In the plain high diving (platform) the judges' scores were multiplied by the degree of difficulty for each dive. But in the fancy diving (springboard), the degree of difficulty was added to the judges' scores. Also of note, the regulations stated that the final placements would be determined by an ordinal system of scoring, similar to figure skating, but the ordinal scores are not recorded in any source. In addition, the individual judges' scores are not known, so it is not possible to reconstruct the ordinal placements.

  

Medal summary

The events are labelled as 3 metre springboard and 10 metre platform by the International Olympic Committee,[1] and appeared on the 1908 Official Report as high diving and fancy diving.[2] The high diving event included dives from both 10 metre and 5 metre platforms, while the fancy diving included dives from 3 metre and 1 metre springboards.

EventGoldSilverBronze
3 m springboard
details
 Albert Zürner (GER)  Kurt Behrens (GER)  George Gaidzik (USA)
 Gottlob Walz (GER)
10 m platform
details
 Hjalmar Johansson (SWE)  Karl Malmström (SWE)  Arvid Spångberg (SWE)
  

Medal table

 
RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1  Germany 1 1 1 3
 Sweden 1 1 1 3
3  United States 0 0 1 1
Totals (3 nations) 2 2 3 7
 

Men's Springboard 3m

 Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 14, 1908
Date Finished: July 18, 1908
Format: 1 and 3 metre springboards.

Competitors 23from 8 nations

Summary

There were two springboards used, one of 1 metre and one of 3 metres. Each competitor made seven dives, four compulsory and three optional. Two compulsory dives were made from the 1-metre springboard, a plain running dive and a running forward somersault; and two were made from the 3-metre springboard, a 1 somersault and a backward spring with forward dive. The optional dives were made from the 3-metre springboard.

Germany dominated this event. In the first round, the top score was posted by Kurt Behrens, while in the semi-finals he was second to the United States' George Gaidzik. The winner in the finals, however, was the 18-year-old Albert Zürner, who narrowly defeated Behrens and whose main claim to fame was having been Champion of Hamburg (Germany) for the past four years. Tieing for third with Gaidzik was Gottlob Walz, who was the heavy favorite. Walz had won the platform competition at the 1906 Olympic Games, was an 11-time German champion, and had won the European championship three times, first in 1903.

The men's 3 metre springboard, also known as the fancy diving competition, was one of two diving events on the Diving at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme, along with the men's 10 metre platform.

The competition was actually held from both 3 metre and 1 metre boards. Divers performed a running plain dive and a running forward somersault from the 1 metre board, a one-and-a-half somersault and a backward spring and forward dive from the 3 metre board, and three dives of the competitor's choice from the 3 metre board. The competition was held on Tuesday 14 and Saturday 18 July 1908.

Twenty-three divers from eight nations competed.

Final

A tie for third place resulted in both divers receiving bronze medals.

PlaceDiverScore
1st, gold medalist(s)  Albert Zürner (GER) 85.5
2nd, silver medalist(s)  Kurt Behrens (GER) 85.3
3rd, bronze medalist(s)  George Gaidzik (USA) 80.8
 Gottlob Walz (GER) 80.8

Semifinals

The two divers from each semifinal with the highest scores advanced to the final

Semifinal 1

PlaceDiverScore
1  Kurt Behrens (GER) 83.0
2  Gottlob Walz (GER) 80.3
3  Herbert Pott (GBR) 79.6
4  Heinz Freyschmidt (GER) 79.3
5  Frank Errington (GBR) 72.6
6  Oskar Wetzell (FIN) 70.1

Semifinal 2

PlaceDiverScore
1  George Gaidzik (USA) 85.6
2  Albert Zürner (GER) 82.8
3  Fritz Nicolai (GER) 81.8
4  Harold Clarke (GBR) 81.1
5  Harold Grote (USA) 74.5

First round

The two divers who scored the greatest number of points in each group of the first round advanced to the semifinals. A tie in the third group for second place resulted in both divers joining the group winner in advancing, for a total of 11 divers in the semifinals.

Group 1

PlaceDiverScore
1  George Gaidzik (USA) 82.8
2  Heinz Freyschmidt (GER) 78.1
3  Robert Zimmerman (CAN) 74.0
4  Harry Crank (GBR) 70.3
5  Anthony Beckett (GBR) 67.5

Group 2

PlaceDiverScore
1  Albert Zürner (GER) 83.6
2  Harold Clarke (GBR) 78.6
3  Anthony Taylor (GBR) 58.8

Group 3

PlaceDiverScore
1  Kurt Behrens (GER) 83.6
2  Frank Errington (GBR) 70.83
 Oskar Wetzell (FIN) 70.83
4  Karl Malmström (SWE) 70.3
5  William Hoare (GBR) 67.8

Group 4

PlaceDiverScore
1  Herbert Ernest Potts (GBR) 82.5
2  Fritz Nicolai (GER) 67.1
3  William J. Bull (GBR) 66.0
4  Carlo Bonfanti (ITA) 65.8
5  Sigfrid T. Larsson (SWE) 64.5
6  Reginald L. Baker (ANZ) 61.3

Group 5

PlaceDiverScore
1  Gottlob Walz (GER) 81.3
2  Harold Grote (USA) 79.5
3  Harold Smyrk (GBR) 78.3
4  Thomas Cross (GBR) 64.5
 

Final Standings

RankAthleteAgeTeamNOCMedal 
1 Albert Zürner 18 Germany GER Gold  
2 Kurt Behrens 23 Germany GER Silver  
3T George Gaidzik 23 United States USA Bronze  
3T Gottlob Walz 26 Germany GER Bronze  
3 p1 r2/3 Ernest Pott 25 Great Britain GBR    
3 p2 r2/3 Fritz Nicolai 29 Germany GER    
4 p1 r2/3 Heinz Freyschmidt 20 Germany GER    
4 p2 r2/3 Harold Clarke   Great Britain GBR    
5 p1 r2/3 Ralph Errington   Great Britain GBR    
5 p2 r2/3 Harold Grote   United States USA    
6 p1 r2/3 Oskar Wetzell 19 Finland FIN    
3 p1 r1/3 Robert Zimmerman 26 Canada CAN    
3 p2 r1/3 Anthony Taylor 25 Great Britain GBR    
3 p4 r1/3 William Bull   Great Britain GBR    
3 p5 r1/3 Harold Smyrk 18 Great Britain GBR    
4 p1 r1/3 Harry Crank   Great Britain GBR    
4 p3 r1/3 Karl Malmström 32 Sweden SWE    
4 p4 r1/3 Carlo Bonfanti 32 Italy ITA    
4 p5 r1/3 Thomas Cross   Great Britain GBR    
5 p1 r1/3 James Beckett   Great Britain GBR    
5 p3 r1/3 William Hoare   Great Britain GBR    
5 p4 r1/3 Sigfrid Larsson 26 Sweden SWE    
6 p4 r1/3 Snowy Baker 24 Australasia ANZ  

Men's Platform 10m

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 20, 1908
Date Finished: July 24, 1908
Format: 5 and 10 metre platforms

Competitors 24from 6 nations

Summary

There were two platforms used, one of 5 metres and one of 10 metres. Each competitor made seven dives, four compulsory and three optional. Two compulsory dives were made from the 5-metre platform, a running plain dive and a backward somersault; and two were made from the 10-metre platform, a standing plain dive and a running plain dive. The optional dives were made from the 10-metre platform.

Sweden dominated this event, advancing seven to the semi-finals, and having the first four finishers in the final. America's Polish emigré George Gaidzik was a favorite, as he had won the 1908 British highboard championship earlier in the summer. Gaidzik the highest total in the first round but he performed very poorly in the finals. Hjalmar Johansson dominated the finals, and had trailed only Gaidzik in the qualifying rounds. He was the diving champion of Sweden from 1897 through 1908, except for 1900 and 1903 when he lived in London. He was also an accomplished swimmer, holding the Swedish record for the 100 breaststroke at the time of the 1908 Olympics. The two other Swedish medallists, Karl Malmström and Arvid Spångberg, were relative newcomers to diving.

In the preliminaries to this event, George Cane (GBR) had a poor dive and passed out upon landing. Spectators and officials were not certain why he was not leaving the pool. Hjalmar Johansson, the eventual gold medalist, realized what had happened and dove in to rescue Cane. Fortunately, Cane was quickly revived and sustained no major injuries.

In the semi-finals, George Gaidzik (USA), one of the favorites, finished 3rd and did not qualify for the final. He was actually briefly disqualified, as one of the judges felt he was receiving signals (coaching) from a teammate on the ground. The judges's scores for Gaidzik were as follows: one gave him an 8, a 6, and a 9; one gave him a 9 for each dive; while the third judge scored him 0 for each dive, and disqualified him, based on the above reasoning. The Americans protested, and after consideration by the judges, the protest was upheld and Gaidzik was advanced as an extra diver to the final.

The men's 10 metre platform, also known as the high diving competition, was one of two diving events on the diving at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme, along with the men's 3 metre springboard.

The competition was actually held from both 10 metre and 5 metre platforms. Divers performed a running plain dive and a backward somersault from the 5 metre board, a running plain dive and a standing plain dive from the 10 metre board, and three dives of the competitor's choice from the 10 metre board. The competition was held from Monday 20 to Friday 24 July 1908.

Twenty-four divers from six nations competed.

Final

PlaceDiverScore
1st, gold medalist(s)  Hjalmar Johansson (SWE) 83.75
2nd, silver medalist(s)  Karl Malmström (SWE) 78.73
3rd, bronze medalist(s)  Arvid Spångberg (SWE) 74.00
4  Robert Andersson (SWE) 68.30
5  George Gaidzik (USA) 56.30

Arvid Spångberg winning the bronze medal.

Semifinals

The two divers from each semifinal with the highest scores advanced to the final. Following a protest, a third diver from the second semifinal was also included in the final.

Semifinal 1

 
PlaceDiverScore
1  Arvid Spångberg (SWE) 72.3
2  Karl Malmström (SWE) 67.0
3  Toivo Aro (FIN) 62.7
4  Hilmer Löfberg (SWE) 59.18
5  Harald Arbin (SWE) 52.81

Semifinal 2

PlaceDiverScore
1  Hjalmar Johansson (SWE) 80.75
2  Robert Andersson (SWE) 66.75
3  George Gaidzik (USA) 61.0
4  Harold Goodworth (GBR) 59.48
5  Heinz Freyschmidt (GER) 48.8

First round

The two divers who scored the greatest number of points in each group of the first round advanced to the semifinals.

Group 1

PlaceDiverScore
1  George Gaidzik (USA) 81.8
2  Harold Goodworth (GBR) 76.0
3  Erik Adlerz (SWE) 74.1
4  Oskar Wetzell (FIN) 69.7
5  James Aldous (GBR) 68.0

Group 2

PlaceDiverScore
1  Hjalmar Johansson (SWE) 78.4
2  Karl Malmström (SWE) 73.95
3  William Hoare (GBR) 65.2
4  Joseph Huketick (BEL) DNF

Group 3

PlaceDiverScore
1  Hilmer Löfberg (SWE) 68.9
2  Heinz Freyschmidt (GER) 67.3
3  Sigfrid Larsson (SWE) 64.8
4  William Webb (GBR) 57.7
5  Thomas Collins (GBR) 56.5

Group 4

PlaceDiverScore
1  Arvid Spångberg (SWE) 79.2
2  Harald Arbin (SWE) 76.8
3  George F. Cane (GBR) 73.1
4  Karl Gustaf Vindqvist (SWE) 65.70

Group 5

PlaceDiverScore
1  Robert Andersson (SWE) 73.55
2  Toivo Aro (FIN) 69.5
3  Harold Grote (USA) 62.8
4  Axel Runström (SWE) 57.6
5  Fritz Nicolai (GER) 54.5
6  Thomas Harrington (GBR) 53.15
 

Final Standings

RankAthleteAgeTeamNOCMedal 
1 Hjalmar Johansson 34 Sweden SWE Gold  
2 Karl Malmström 32 Sweden SWE Silver  
3 Arvid SpÃ¥ngberg 18 Sweden SWE Bronze  
4 Robert Andersson 21 Sweden SWE    
5 George Gaidzik 23 United States USA    
3 p1 r2/3 Toivo Aro 21 Finland FIN    
4 p1 r2/3 Hilmer Löfberg 20 Sweden SWE    
4 p2 r2/3 Harold Goodworth   Great Britain GBR    
5 p1 r2/3 Harald Arbin 40 Sweden SWE    
5 p2 r2/3 Heinz Freyschmidt 20 Germany GER    
3 p1 r1/3 Erik Adlerz 15 Sweden SWE    
3 p2 r1/3 William Hoare   Great Britain GBR    
3 p3 r1/3 Sigfrid Larsson 26 Sweden SWE    
3 p4 r1/3 George Cane   Great Britain GBR    
3 p5 r1/3 Harold Grote   United States USA    
4 p1 r1/3 Oskar Wetzell 19 Finland FIN    
4 p3 r1/3 William Webb   Great Britain GBR    
4 p4 r1/3 Gunnar Wingqvist 22 Sweden SWE    
4 p5 r1/3 Axel Runström 24 Sweden SWE    
5 p1 r1/3 James Aldous 25 Great Britain GBR    
5 p3 r1/3 Thomas Collins   Great Britain GBR    
5 p5 r1/3 Fritz Nicolai 29 Germany GER    
6 p5 r1/3 Thomas Harrington   Great Britain GBR    
AC p2 r1/3 Joseph Huketick   Belgium BEL  

 

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