Athletics at the 1900 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres hurdles

The men's 400 metres hurdles was a track & field athletics event at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris. This event was held for the first time at the Olympics. The competition took part on July 14 and July 15, 1900. The race was held on a track of 500 metres in circumference. Five athletes from four nations competed in the longest of the three hurdling events.[1]

Men's 400 metres hurdles
at the Games of the II Olympiad
VenueBois de Boulogne
DatesJuly 14 (semifinals)
July 15 (final)
Competitors5 from 4 nations
1st place, gold medalist(s) Walter Tewksbury
 United States
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Henri Tauzin
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) George Orton
1904 →


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in seconds) prior to the 1900 Summer Olympics.

World Record 56.4(*)   Jerome Buck New York (USA) September 19, 1896
Olympic Record none

(*) unofficial 440 yards (= 402.34 m)

The times set in the two heats are uncertain. In the final Walter Tewksbury set the new Olympic record with 57.6 seconds.


First roundEdit

In the first round, there were two heats run on July 14. The top two runners in each advanced to the final, meaning that only one athlete was eliminated in the heats.

First round, heat 1

Place Athlete Time
1   Walter Tewksbury (USA) 1:01.0
2   William Lewis (USA) (1:02.4)
3   Karel Nedvěd (BOH) Unknown

Tewksbury won from Lewis by ten yards (9 m). This meant that Nedvěd, placing third, was the only athlete eliminated in the round.

First round, heat 2

Place Athlete Time
1   Henri Tauzin (FRA) 1:00.2
2   George Orton (CAN) (1:00.2)

With only two athletes in the heat and both to qualify, neither hurdler ran anywhere near full speed. Tauzin beat Orton by three inches (8 cm).


Place Athlete Time
1   Walter Tewksbury (USA) 57.6
2   Henri Tauzin (FRA) (58.3)
3   George Orton (CAN) (58.8)
  William Lewis (USA) DNS

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 (9 m) long telegraph poles and a 16-foot (5 m) water jump on the final straight; Tewksbury still did not have much difficulty, leading from the start to win by about five yards (4.5 m), with Orton a further four yards (3.5 m) back.


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's 400 metres Hurdles". Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2017.