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1908  London Summer Olympics

1908 Summer Olympics - The Results (Rackets)

Rackets at the 1908 London Summer Games

 

 

Host City: London, Great Britain
Date Started: April 27, 1908
Date Finished: May 1, 1908
Events: 2

Participants: 7 (7 men and 0 women) from 1 country
Youngest Participant: GBR Henry Brougham (19 years, 293 days)
Oldest Participant: GBR Henry Leaf (45 years, 194 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): GBR Great Britain (7 medals)

A total of seven rackets players from only one nation competed at the London Games:

  •  Great Britain (7)
  

Overview

The 1908 Olympic Games began in the afternoon of 27 April 1908, when Evan Noel defeated Cecil Browning in the first round of the racquets tournament. Racquets is another racket sport, somewhat similar to squash rackets, which is a modern, now more popular variant. In 1908 racquets was primarily popular in Great Britain. In fact, there were no entrants or competitors from any other nation. The Official Report noted, "Racquets, it may be noted, is always so expensive a game that, except at the public schools, the number of players is always so restricted and, out of the United Kingdom, India and the United States of America are the only countries where the game is played, which may be a reason for not including it in future programmes for the Olympic Games."

  

Medal summary

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's singles  Evan Noel (GBR)  Henry Leaf (GBR)  John Jacob Astor (GBR)
 Henry Brougham (GBR)
Men's doubles

 Vane Pennell
and John Jacob Astor (GBR)
 Edmund Bury
and Cecil Browning (GBR)
 Evan Noel
and Henry Leaf (GBR)
  

Medal table

 
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Great Britain 2 2 3 7
Totals (1 nations) 2 2 3 7
 

Men's Singles

 Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Queen's Club, West Kensington
Date Started: April 27, 1908
Date Finished: May 1, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament

Competitors 6from 1 nation

Summary

Professional racquets was quite popular in 1908 and the greatest player ever was Britain's Peter Latham, who had won the championship in 1887 and held it until 1903 when India's J. Jamsetjhi became the holder. The top amateur player of the era was Edgar Maximilian Baerlein, who entered both events, but did not compete in either. Baerlein was British Amateur champion in 1903, 1905, 1908-1911, and 1920-1921. He was also British champion at court tennis (jeu de paume) from 1914-1927 and again in 1929-1930. He had won the 1908 amateur title by defeating Evan Noel in the final and with Baerlein not competing, Noel had a relatively easy time of it, losing only one of 10 games en route to the singles' final. The singles' final was not held as Henry Leaf had to scratch because of an injury he had received during the doubles. Noel won one British Amateur championship, that in 1907.

Standings

Place Name Nation
1 Evan Noel  Great Britain
2 Henry Leaf  Great Britain
3 John Jacob Astor  Great Britain
Henry Brougham  Great Britain
5 Vane Pennell  Great Britain
6 Cecil Browning  Great Britain

Bracket

  First round   Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Final
                                     
   Noel (GBR) 3  
   Browning (GBR) 1      Noel (GBR) 3  
           Pennell (GBR) 0  
             Noel (GBR) 3  
             Astor (GBR) 0  
               
               
             Noel (GBR) w/o1
             Leaf (GBR)  
               
               
             Leaf (GBR) 3    
             Brougham (GBR) 0  
                   
                   
       

1 Leaf broke his hand in the doubles competition and was forced to withdraw from the final; Noel was awarded the gold medal.

Men's Doubles

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Queen's Club, West Kensington
Date Started: April 30, 1908
Date Finished: May 1, 1908
Format: Single elimination tournament

Summary

The 1908 doubles champions of Great Britain were Vane Pennell and F. Dames Longworth. Longworth did not enter for the Olympic tournament. Pennell joined up with John Jacob Astor (whose mother and father perished in the Titanic disaster), and they won two closely fought matches, narrowly defeating Noel and Leaf in the semi-finals.

Results

  Semifinal     Final
                 
     John Jacob Astor
and Vane Pennell (GBR)
4
   John Jacob Astor
and Vane Pennell (GBR)
4      Cecil Browning
and Edmund Bury (GBR)
1
   Henry Leaf
and Evan Noel (GBR)
2  
   
   
   
   

 

 

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