Athletics at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres hurdles
|Men's 400 metres hurdles
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
|Venue||White City Stadium|
|Dates||July 20 (quarterfinals)
July 21 (semifinals)
July 22 (final)
|Competitors||15 from 6 nations|
|Athletics at the
1908 Summer Olympics
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men|
|3200 m steeplechase||men|
|3 mile team race||men|
|3500 m walk||men|
|10 mile walk||men|
|Standing long jump||men|
|Standing high jump||men|
The men's 400 metres hurdles was the longer of two hurdling events at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. It was the third time the event had been featured at the Olympics. The Olympic record was beat three times in the course of the Games.
Ten sets of hurdles were set on the course. The hurdles were 3 feet (= 91.5 centimetre) tall and were placed 35 metres apart beginning 45 metres from the starting line.
The competition was held from Monday, July 20, 1908 to Wednesday, July 22, 1908.
15 runners from six nations competed.
These were the standing world and Olympic records (in seconds) prior to the 1908 Summer Olympics.
|World Record||55.8(*)||Charles Bacon||Philadelphia (USA)||July 6, 1908|
|Olympic Record||57.6(**)||Walter Tewksbury||Paris (FRA)||July 15, 1900|
(**) This track was 500 metres in circumference.
Harry Hillman ran 53.0 but he knocked over a hurdle and the hurdles were only 30 inches (76 cm) high.
In the first round Charles Bacon set a new Olympic record with 57.0 seconds. In the second round Harry Hillman set a new record with 56.4 seconds. In the final Charles Bacon set a new world record with 55.0 seconds. This record became the first official world record for the 400 metre hurdles.
First round, heat 1
There was no competition for Koops in the first heat.
First round, heat 2
A tight race from start to finish, Coe won by about a metre.
|1||Harry Coe||United States||58.8 seconds|
|2||John Densham||Great Britain||(59.0 seconds)|
First round, heat 3
Bacon won easily, breaking Godfrey Shaw's 440 yards world record.
|1||Charles Bacon||United States||57.0 seconds OR|
|2||Henry St Aubyn Murray||Australasia||(59.8 seconds)|
First round, heat 4
There was no competition for Harmer in the fourth heat.
|1||Frederick Harmer||Great Britain||walkover|
First round, heat 5
There was no competition for Burton in the fifth heat.
|1||G. Burton||Great Britain||walkover|
First round, heat 6
Dubois pulled up lame three-quarters of the way through the race, leaving Hillman with the win.
|1||Harry Hillman||United States||59.2 seconds|
First round, heat 7
There was no competition for Groenings in the seventh heat.
|1||Oswald Groenings||Great Britain||walkover|
First round, heat 8
There was no competition for Gould in the eighth heat.
|1||Wyatt Gould||Great Britain||walkover|
First round, heat 9
There was no competition for Kovacs in the ninth heat.
First round, heat 10
There was no competition for Tremeer in the tenth heat.
|1||Jimmy Tremeer||Great Britain||walkover|
First round, heat 11
The eleventh heat was cancelled as there were no starters.
First round, heat 12
In only the fourth actual race of the first round, and the third in which both runners finished, Burton won in the straight.
|1||Leslie Burton||Great Britain||1:00.4|
Second round, heat 1
Koops fell; Hillman won easily, breaking Bacon's record that was set in the first round.
|1||Harry Hillman||United States||56.4 seconds OR|
|2||Harry Coe||United States||(57.0 seconds)|
Second round, heat 2
Bacon started off fast, and the other two runners dropped out at 200m.
|1||Charles Bacon||United States||58.8 seconds|
|—||Oswald Groenings||Great Britain||DNF|
Second round, heat 3
Burton led after the hurdles, and won despite losing ground in the straight.
|1||Leslie Burton||Great Britain||59.8 seconds|
|2||Frederick Harmer||Great Britain||1:00.3|
|3||Wyatt Gould||Great Britain||unknown|
Second round, heat 4
Burton retired, allowing Tremeer to win with a jog.
|1||Jimmy Tremeer||Great Britain||1:00.6|
|—||G. Burton||Great Britain||DNF|
The final was held on Wednesday, July 22, 1908.
Halfway into the race, it was clear that the only question was which American would win. Bacon and Hillman were even all the way until the straight, with Bacon just barely pulling ahead to win by two yards, as both of the Americans came in under the world record set by Hillman in the second round.
|1||Charles Bacon||United States||55.0 seconds WR|
|2||Harry Hillman||United States||55.3 seconds|
|3||Jimmy Tremeer||Great Britain||57.0 seconds|
|4||Leslie Burton||Great Britain||58.0 seconds|
- Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008. (Polish)