Athletics at the 1900 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres hurdles

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Men's 400 metres hurdles
at the Games of the II Olympiad
Venue Bois de Boulogne
Dates July 14 (semifinals)
July 15 (final)
Competitors 5 from 4 nations
1st, gold medalist(s) Walter Tewksbury
 United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Henri Tauzin
3rd, bronze medalist(s) George Orton
1904 →
Athletics at the
1900 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
60 m   men
100 m men
200 m men
400 m men
800 m men
1500 m men
110 m hurdles men
200 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
2500 m steeplechase men
4000 m steeplechase men
5000 m team race men
Road events
Marathon men
Field events
Long jump men
Triple jump men
High jump men
Pole vault men
Standing long jump men
Standing triple jump men
Standing high jump men
Shot put men
Discus throw men
Hammer throw men

The men's 400 metres hurdles was a track & field athletics event at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris. This event was held for the first time at the Olympics. The competition took part on July 14 and July 15, 1900. The race was held on a track of 500 metres in circumference. Five athletes from four nations competed in the longest of the three hurdling events.


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in seconds) prior to the 1900 Summer Olympics.

World Record 56.4(*) United States Jerome Buck New York (USA) September 19, 1896
Olympic Record none

(*) unofficial 440 yards (= 402.34 m)

The times set in the two heats are uncertain. In the final Walter Tewksbury set the new Olympic record with 57.6 seconds.


First round[edit]

In the first round, there were two heats run on July 14. The top two runners in each advanced to the final, meaning that only one athlete was eliminated in the heats.

First round, heat 1

Place Athlete Time
1  Walter Tewksbury (USA) 1:01.0
2  William Lewis (USA) (1:02.4)
3  Karel Nedvěd (BOH) Unknown

Tewksbury won from Lewis by ten yards (9 m). This meant that Nedvěd, placing third, was the only athlete eliminated in the round.

First round, heat 2

Place Athlete Time
1  Henri Tauzin (FRA) 1:00.2
2  George Orton (CAN) (1:00.2)

With only two athletes in the heat and both to qualify, neither hurdler ran anywhere near full speed. Tauzin beat Orton by three inches (8 cm).


Place Athlete Time
1  Walter Tewksbury (USA) 57.6
2  Henri Tauzin (FRA) (58.3)
3  George Orton (CAN) (58.8)
 William Lewis (USA) DNS

Lewis withdrew as the final was held on a Sunday. For the three who did start, it was the first race of the event that posed any sort of challenge, with hurdles fashioned out of 30-foot (9 m) long telegraph poles and a 16-foot (5 m) water jump on the final straight; Tewksbury still did not have much difficulty, leading from the start to win by about five yards (4.5 m), with Orton a further four yards (3.5 m) back.


  • International Olympic Committee.
  • De Wael, Herman. Herman's Full Olympians: "Athletics 1900". Accessed 18 March 2006. Available electronically at [1].
  • Mallon, Bill (1998). The 1900 Olympic Games, Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-7864-0378-0.