- Australasia at the 1908 Summer Olympics
Infobox Country Olympics
flagcaption=Australasian Olympic Flag
Henry St Aubyn Murray
summerappearances = 1908 • 1912• Australia 1920• New Zealand 1920
Australasiawas the name of a combined team from Australiaand New Zealandthat competed at the 1908 Summer Olympicsin London, England. It was the fourth appearance of Australia, which had not missed any edition of the Summer Olympic Games, and the first appearance of New Zealand. The two would compete together again as Australasia at the 1912 Summer Olympicsbefore competing separately at every edition of the Summer Games since. In 1908 there were 3 New Zealanders, Harry Kerr, Henry St Aubyn Murray and Arthur Rowland (a fourth New Zealander, hurdler Arthur Halligan, competed for Great Britain)Heidenstrom, P. (1992) "Athletes of the Century." Wellington: GP Publications] , all other competitors were Australian.
Results by event
Australasia's best athletics result, and only medal, was
Harry Kerr's bronze medal in the 3500 metre walk.
Les Poidevinand Tony Wilding(who were partners in the 1906 Davis Cup preliminary round at Newport) were nominated for the Australasian team by the Australasian Lawn Tennis Association, but their nominations failed to reach the organisers. So the pair watched the "small, impoverished and out of place" Australasian contingent alongside the "tailored splendour" of some European teams. Although many leading tennis players bypassed the Olympic tournament (which followed almost immediately after Wimbledon) and his goal had been Wimbledon, Wilding regretted the missed opportunity and endorsed his mother's summing up of the administrative bungling: "seems very careless of them & very annoying" [ "ANTHONY WILDING, A Sporting Life" by Len and Shelley Richardson, page 176 (Canterbury University Press, 2005) ISBN 1 877257 01 X ] .
* [http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/nz-olympic-pioneers Cover of 1908 programme]
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