Each nation was allowed to enter up to 12 competitors in most of the events. In the team races (the medley relay and the 3 mile team race), each nation entered one team. The medley relay was run by four athletes, with four alternates allowed. In the 3 mile team race, five athletes from each nation ran with only three counting.
The competition was restricted to amateurs, and was held under the rules of the British Amateur Athletic Association.
|Totals (13 nations)||27||27||25||79|
The 1908 Games were the first to feature race walking, with two different events held. Two different forms of javelin throwing also appeared, introducing the new throwing apparatus to the programme. The 60 metre short sprint was dropped from the programme, as was the middle hurdle distance. Steeplechasing was done at 3200 metres instead of the 2500 metres that had been included at the previous two editions; the team race also had its distance shortened. A short track relay event was added. The multi-discipline triathlon and decathlon events that had been held at the 1904 Games were both absent. An event featuring the discus, which had become a staple of Olympic athletics, was held in which throwers had to follow a very specific throwing style. Overall there was one more event on the 1908 programme than there had been in 1904.
|●||Event competitions||●||Event finals|
|110 metres hurdles||●||●||●|
|400 metres hurdles||●||●||●|
|3200 metres steeplechase||●||●|
|3 miles team race||●||●|
|3500 metres walk||● ●|
|10 miles walk||●||●|
|Standing long jump||●|
|Standing high jump||●|
- Cook, Theodore Andrea (1908). The Fourth Olympiad, Being the Official Report. London: British Olympic Association.
- De Wael, Herman (2001). "Athletics 1908". Herman's Full Olympians. Retrieved 23 July 2006.
- Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2006.