Athletics at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres hurdles

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Men's 400 metres hurdles
at the Games of the XVI Olympiad
Venue Melbourne Cricket Ground
Date November 23–24
Competitors 28 from 18 nations
Winning time 50.1
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s) Glenn Davis  United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Eddie Southern  United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Josh Culbreath  United States
← 1952
1960 →
Video on YouTube Official Video @11:15
Athletics at the
1956 Summer Olympics
Olympic Athletics.png
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men
800 m men
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
steeplechase
men
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
20 km walk men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Decathlon men

The Men's 400 metres hurdles competition at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia took place on November 23–24 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Earlier in the year, Glenn Davis had demolished Yuriy Lituyev's three year old world record, knocking almost a full second off the mark and taking the time under 50 seconds for the first time ever.

During the final, the six lanes were fairly even, with Lituyev pushing the backstretch to gain a slight advantage going in to the final turn. That was swallowed up during the turn as Davis surged, leading Eddie Southern and Gert Potgieter off the turn. Davis expanded his lead over Southern from 2 meters to 5 meters down the home stretch for the win. Over the final barrier, Potgieter caught his trail leg on the hurdle which knocked him off balance. He was able to take two more strides then did a face plant in the middle of the track. On the inside, Josh Culbreath was able to cruise by for bronze, completing the American sweep. Four years later, Davis would lead another American sweep in the event. USA also swept this event in 1904 and 2008.

Competition format[edit]

The men's 400m hurdles competition started with six heats, where the fastest two from each heat qualified to one of the two semifinals groups. The three fastest runners from each semifinals group advanced to the final.

Records[edit]

Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Glenn Davis (USA) 49.5 Los Angeles, United States June 29, 1956
Olympic record  Charles Moore (USA) 50.8 Helsinki, Finland July 21, 1952

Results[edit]

Heats[edit]

Heat 1

Rank Name Country Result
1 Glenn Davis  United States 51.3
2 David Lean  Australia 51.4
3 Keiji Ogushi  Japan 53.2
4 Ovidio de Jesús  Puerto Rico 54.0
5 Pablo Somblingo  Philippines 54.5

Heat 2

Rank Name Country Result
1 Eddie Southern  United States 51.3
2 Harry Kane  Great Britain 51.8
3 Geoff Goodacre  Australia 52.5
4 Kalim Khawaja Ghani  Pakistan 55.1
5 Jagdev Singh  India 55.2

Heat 3

Rank Name Country Result
1 Josh Culbreath  United States 50.9
2 Guy Cury  France 51.6
3 Jaime Aparicio  Colombia 52.0
4 Tom Farrell  Great Britain 52.7
5 Muhammad Yaqub  Pakistan 53.1
6 Tsai Cheng-Fu  Chinese Taipei 54.6

Heat 4

Rank Name Country Result
1 Ross Parker  Australia 53.5
2 Ioannis Kambadelis  Greece 53.7
3 Amadeo Francis  Puerto Rico 54.3

Heat 5

Rank Name Country Result
1 Yuriy Lituyev  Soviet Union 51.6
2 Gert Potgieter  South Africa 52.0
3 Ossi Mildh  Finland 52.1
4 Alexandre Yankoff  France 53.1
5 Marcel Lambrechts  Belgium 54.0

Heat 6

Rank Name Country Result
1 Anatoly Yulin  Soviet Union 52.1
2 Ilie Savel  Romania 52.2
3 Bob Shaw  Great Britain 52.5
4 Ulisses dos Santos  Brazil 53.8

Semifinals[edit]

Group 1

Rank Name Country Result
1 Eddie Southern  United States 50.1 OR
2 Glenn Davis  United States 50.7
3 Gert Potgieter  South Africa 51.3
4 Guy Cury  France 51.5
5 Anatoly Yulin  Soviet Union 51.7
6 Ross Parker  Australia 52.6

Group 2

Rank Name Country Result
1 Josh Culbreath  United States 50.9
2 David Lean  Australia 51.4
3 Yuriy Lituyev  Soviet Union 51.8
4 Ilie Savel  Romania 52.0
5 Harry Kane  Great Britain 52.7
6 Ioannis Kambadelis  Greece 53.8

Final[edit]

Rank Name Country Result
1st, gold medalist(s) Glenn Davis  United States 50.1
2nd, silver medalist(s) Eddie Southern  United States 50.8
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Josh Culbreath  United States 51.6
4 Yuriy Lituyev  Soviet Union 51.7
5 David Lean  Australia 51.8
6 Gert Potgieter  South Africa 56.0

References[edit]