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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


[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.

View a Phase of this EventFinal Standings

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