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1968 Olympic Games Ciudad de México, Mexico - Men's 400 m Hurdles

 

 

Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico Format: Top four in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: October 13, 1968 Format: Top four in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.
Date Finished: October 15, 1968  
(Competitors: 30; Countries: 24; Finalists: 8)  
    Venue(s): University Olympic Stadium, Ciudad de México
Overview by IAAF    
The altitude which had hurt so many distance runners here was a godsend to the 400m hurdlers, as all eight finalists ran faster in Mexico City than they ever did at low altitude. Six men ran quicker than 50 seconds in the first round, two more than in all Olympic history prior to 1958. Fastest was race favourite Whitney who edged Schubert 49.0 (49.06) to 49.1 (49.15), while Kimaru Songok (KEN) had the chastening experience of running 50.65, a time good enough to make any previous final, without getting through to the next round. Frinolli ran a lifetime best of 49.2 (49.14) in the first semi, 0.07 ahead of world record holder Vanderstock. Hennige equalled Schubert’s European record with 49.1 in the other semi, though, like his teammate, his time was .01 slower than Frinolli. Unfortunate losers in the semis were Juan Dyrzka (ARG) and Gary Knoke (AUS) who ran 49.82 and 49.61 in fifth place in the two races. As in 1964 Frinolli was off first in the final, and led by a metre at the first hurdle. By the fourth hurdle Skomorokhov and Hemery had joined the Italian up front, and at the fifth hurdle all three were timed in 21.5. Hemery was in the lead by halfway (23.3), and his superior hurdling technique and strength began to tell. His lead extended from 0.2 at the sixth barrier to 0.7 at the last hurdle. His second half of 24.8 was only approached by Whitney (24.9) who misjudged the race badly, being 9m behind Hemery at halfway.
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
The world record was 48.8, set by American Geoff Vanderstock in winning the US Olympic Trials. He was favored with Ron Whitney, AAU Champion in 1967-68. In the final, Roberto Frinolli led early as he had in 1964. By the fifth hurdle he led with Soviet Vyacheslav Skomorokhov and Britain's Dave Hemery. By the 10th hurdle Hemery had opened up almost a full second lead, and won in a world record 48.12. The bronze medal was won by John Sherwood (GBR), whose wife, Sheila Sherwood, had won a long jump silver medal the day before.
 

Records

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

World record  Geoff Vanderstock (USA) 48.8 Echo Summit, United States September 11, 1968
Olympic record  Glenn Davis (USA) 49.3 Rome, Italy September 2, 1960
 
        Results          
   
400 m Hurdles Men     Final 15 October        
In the final, David Hemery took the race out hard. By the final straightaway he had an ever growing lead over the world record holder Geoff Vanderstock. Hemery continued to pour it on, taking seven tenths of a second out of the world record, a huge improvement. Vanderstock struggled between the final barrier and the finish line, his 2 metre advantage over field evaporated. Gerhard Hennige, then John Sherwood edged past him at the line.
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 48.12     Dave Hemery Great Britain GBR 24 WR 48.1 h
2 49.02     Gerhard Hennige West Germany FRG 28   49.0 h
3 49.03     John Sherwood Great Britain GBR 23   49.0 h
4 49.07     Geoff Vanderstock United States USA 22   49.0 h
5 49.12     V'iacheslav Skomorokhov Soviet Union URS 28   49.1 h
6 49.27     Ron Whitney United States USA 26   49.2 h
7 49.30     Rainer Schubert West Germany FRG 27   49.2 h
8 50.13     Roberto Frinolli Italy ITA 27   50.1 h
400 m Hurdles Men     Semi-Finals Heat One 14 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 49.14   Q Roberto Frinolli Italy ITA 27   49.2 h
2 49.22   Q Geoff Vanderstock United States USA 22   49.2 h
3 49.37   Q John Sherwood Great Britain GBR 23   49.3 h
4 49.38   Q Rainer Schubert West Germany FRG 27   49.3 h
5 49.86     Juan Carlos Dyrzka Argentina ARG 27   49.8 h
6 50.82     Jaakko Tuominen Finland FIN 24   50.8 h
7 50.82     John Cooper Great Britain GBR 27   50.8 h
8 52.29     Víctor Maldonado Venezuela VEN 29   52.2 h
400 m Hurdles Men     Semi-Finals Heat Two 14 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 49.16   Q Gerhard Hennige West Germany FRG 28   49.1 h
2 49.29   Q Ron Whitney United States USA 26   49.2 h
3 49.37   Q Dave Hemery Great Britain GBR 24   49.3 h
4 49.61   Q V'iacheslav Skomorokhov Soviet Union URS 28   49.6 h
5 49.61     Gary Knoke Australia AUS 26   49.6 h
6 51.23     Robert Poirier France FRA 26   51.2 h
7 51.87     Roger Johnson New Zealand NZL 24   51.8 h
8 52.20     Mamadou Sarr Senegal SEN 30   52.1 h
400 m Hurdles Men     Round One Heat One 13 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 49.57   Q Gerhard Hennige West Germany FRG 28   49.5 h
2 50.62   Q Geoff Vanderstock United States USA 22   50.6 h
3 50.72   Q V'iacheslav Skomorokhov Soviet Union URS 28   50.7 h
4 51.46   Q Víctor Maldonado Venezuela VEN 29   51.4 h
5 51.56     Kiyoo Yui Japan JPN 25   51.5 h
6 51.84     Robert McLaren Canada CAN 23   51.8 h
7 51.98     Miguel Olivera Cuba CUB 22   51.9 h
8 54.34     Mohamed Asswai Khalifa Libya LBA     54.3 h
400 m Hurdles Men     Round One Heat Two 13 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 49.82   Q Juan Carlos Dyrzka Argentina ARG 27   49.8 h
2 51.39   Q Roger Johnson New Zealand NZL 24   51.3 h
3 51.43   Q John Cooper Great Britain GBR 27   51.4 h
4 51.58   Q Mamadou Sarr Senegal SEN 30   51.5 h
5 51.68     Wes Brooker Canada CAN 21   51.5 h
6 51.54     William Quaye Ghana GHA 27   51.6 h
400 m Hurdles Men     Round One Heat Three 13 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 49.06   Q Ron Whitney United States USA 26 OR 49.0 h
2 49.15   Q Rainer Schubert West Germany FRG 27   49.1 h
3 49.88   Q Gary Knoke Australia AUS 26   49.8 h
4 50.31   Q John Sherwood Great Britain GBR 23   50.2 h
5 50.71     Wilhelm Weistand Poland POL 23   50.7 h
6 51.27     Wilfried Geeroms Belgium BEL 27   51.2 h
7 52.43     Juan Santiago Gordón Chile CHI 25   52.4 h
8 53.23     Zambrose Abdul Rahman Malaysia MAS 24   53.2 h
400 m Hurdles Men     Round One Heat Four 13 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 49.95   Q Roberto Frinolli Italy ITA 27   49.9 h
2 50.33   Q Dave Hemery Great Britain GBR 24   50.3 h
3 50.51   Q Robert Poirier France FRA 26   50.5 h
4 50.63   Q Jaakko Tuominen Finland FIN 24   50.6 h
5 50.66     Kimaru Songok Kenya KEN     50.6 h
6 51.62     Alejandro Sánchez Mexico MEX 19   51.6 h
7 51.87     Juan García Cuba CUB 22   51.8 h
8 52.62     Georgios Birmbilis Greece GRE 23   52.6 h
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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