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Athletics at the 1904 St. Louis Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Hurdles

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Host City: St. Louis, United States
Venue(s): Francis Field, Washington University, St. Louis
Date Started: August 31, 1904
Date Finished: August 31, 1904
Format: Final only.

Gold: USA Harry Hillman
Silver: USA Frank Waller
Bronze: USA George Poage

Summary

Harry Hillman led from start to finish and had the race well in hand until the eighth hurdle. He hit that hurdle very hard, almost falling, and Frank Waller caught him at the ninth hurdle. Somehow, Hillman regained his momentum and took the run-in by two yards. In third place, George Poage won what is usually described as the first Olympic medal ever won by a black man, but on the same afternoon Joseph Stadler was winning a silver medal in the standing high jump, and in 1900, a black man had competed in the tug-of-war for France, winning a silver medal.

Hillman's time could not qualify as a world record for two reasons: 1) he knocked over a hurdle, which in those days invalidated hurdle marks for record purposes, and 2) the hurdles used were only 2'6" high, as opposed to the event standard of three feet.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T MB
1 Harry Hillman 22 United States USA Gold 53.0
2 Frank Waller 20 United States USA Silver 53.2
3 George Poage 23 United States USA Bronze 30 yds bh2
4 George Varnell 21 United States USA