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1900 Olympic Games Paris, France - Men's 400 m Hurdles



Host City: Paris, France Format: Top two in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: July 14, 1900
Date Finished: July 15, 1900
(Competitors: 5; Countries: 4; Finalists: 3)
Venue(s): Catalan Cross, Boulogne Forest, Paris
Overview by IAAF velodrome_de_vincennes.png 
Tewksbury won the first heat in 61.0, and Tauzin the other (no time was announced, though the New York Times refers to Orton beating Tauzin, while other sources refer to Tauzin’s loss in the final being his first ever defeat). Four of the five starters qualified for the final, but William Lewis did not compete in the final, held on a Sunday. The “hurdles” were a series of 30-foot long telegraph poles, except for the final hurdle – a water jump. Tewksbury went into the lead from the gun, and was never headed, and Orton closed on Tauzin at the finish, a creditable effort as he won the 2500m steeplechase that day!
Summary by
There were 10 entries, all of whom competed in some event in Paris, but strangely, only five started. Thus the heats served the ridiculous purpose of reducing the field from five to a final field of four. In addition, one qualifier, William Lewis, did not contest the final, probably as it was held on Sunday.
It was difficult to pick a favorite as the event was not contested by the AAU or AAA until 1914. The French, however, were certain that they had the favorite in Henri Tauzin, who had won five French titles in the event, held the continental record of 58.8, and was supposedly unbeaten.
The hurdles for this event were actually 30 feet long telephone poles laid across the track, except for the final "hurdle," which was actually a water jump! In the final, Walter Tewksbury went away to an early lead, and was never headed. He won easily, posting American records in the heats (probably the initial U.S. record) and the final.
The times set in the two heats are uncertain. In the final Walter Tewksbury set the new Olympic record with 57.6 seconds.
400 m Hurdles Men Final 15 July
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 long telegraph poles and a 16-foot water jump on the final straight; Tewksbury still did not have much difficulty, leading from the start to win by about five yards, with Orton a further four yards back.
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 57.6 Walter Tewksbury United States USA 24 OR
2 5 yds bh Henri Tauzin France FRA 21
3 4 yds bh2 George Orton Canada CAN 27
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat One 14 July
Tewksbury won from Lewis by ten yards. This meant that Nedvěd, placing third, was the only athlete eliminated in the round.
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 1.01.0 Q Walter Tewksbury United States USA 24 OR
2 at 9 m. Q William Lewis United States USA 24
3 Karel Nedvěd Bohemia BOH
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat Two 14 July
With only two athletes in the heat and both to qualify, neither hurdler ran anywhere near full speed. Tauzin beat Orton by three inches.
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 1.00.2 Q Henri Tauzin France FRA 21 by inches
2 Q George Orton Canada CAN 27




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