The Fourth Olympiad London 1908 - page 9

49
in
bicycling and swimming completed the programme for the day. There
was not much sun. hine, but the rain of the morning held off during most
of the afternoon.
ATHLETICS.*'
In
describing the various events grouped together under the heading
of" Athletics," I have chosen the order in which they were printed in the
first Official Programme of these Game::;. The winners ame up for their
prizes
in
the same order.
As it was impossible for all the competitors to remain in England the
whole fortnight, and as this was especially the case with the gymnasts and
cyclist , these two divisions of the Games were mostly completed in the
first week, during which also the greater part of the field events and the
long distance racing (with the exception of the Marathon Race) was
carried out. This occasionally led to unavoidable hardship, as, for
instance, when a man, in order to win his gold medal, had to win a heat
one day and walk in the final the next; or when runners in a three-mile
team race had to turn out for a five-mile race on the same day. But such
occurrences were not limited to the British team, or to any single nation–
ality; and the drawing of heats was guided by the principle of dividing
the nationalities as equally as possible throughout; only when the total of
the representatives of a single nation exceeded the total of preliminary
heats did athlete of the same nation compete in them against each other ;
and,
in
su h cases, all competitors were consider d as lympic repre–
sentatives of equal value, their positions in
a
heat being then entirely
guided by the luck of the draw. It wa · fortunate that the numerous
heats for short distances in the second week were chiefly decided in fine
weather.
The sequence of events as actually carried out
in
the tadrnm was
far
too complicated to admit of any logical reproduction here · but as it
occasionally had a very definite bearing upon results
I
have printed in the
• ppendix the programme for every day, with the names of the officials
managing ach event. The weather was unfavourable, on the whole, during
the first
we
k,
but much better during the ·econd, and very hot
on
th,
last two <lays.
*
For the sake of uniformity I have used the phras " United Kingdom"
to <le cribe the Briti h competitors throughout this Report. But it is right to
say that by arrangement between the A.A.A., the Scottish A.A.•. , and the
Irish A.A.A., they were entered in the official athletic programme as "Great
Britain and Ireland."
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