Athletics at the 1920 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres hurdles
The men's 400 metres hurdles event was part of the track and field athletics programme at the 1920 Summer Olympics. The competition was held on Sunday, August 15, 1920, and on Monday, August 16, 1920. 19 runners from 9 nations competed. Nations were limited to 4 hurdlers each. The event was won by Frank Loomis of the United States, the fourth consecutive victory (in four appearances of the event) by an American. The United States secured its second sweep in the event, and first with other nations competing (only Americans had run in 1900), with John Norton taking silver and August Desch bronze.
|Men's 400 metres hurdles|
at the Games of the VII Olympiad
Frank Loomis in the final
|Competitors||19 from 9 nations|
|Winning time||54.0 WR|
This was the fourth time the event was held. It had been introduced along with the men's 200 metres hurdles in 1900, with the 200 being dropped after 1904 and the 400 being held through 1908 before being left off the 1912 programme. However, when the Olympics returned after World War I, the men's 400 metres hurdles was back and would continue to be contested at every Games thereafter.
There was no favorite in the event, which was not a common competition (and had not been held at the previous Games).
Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Finland, South Africa, and Sweden each made their debut in the event. The United States made its fourth appearance, the only nation to have competed at every edition of the event to that point.
As in 1908, the competition consisted of three rounds: quarterfinals, semifinals, and a final. Ten sets of hurdles were set on the course. The hurdles were 3 feet (91.5 centimetres) tall and were placed 35 metres apart beginning 45 metres from the starting line, resulting in a 40 metres home stretch after the last hurdle.
There were 5 quarterfinal heats, with between 2 and 5 athletes each. The top 2 men in each quarterfinal advanced to the semifinals. The 10 semifinalists were divided into 2 semifinals of 5 athletes each, with the top 3 in each semifinal advancing to the 6-man final.
These were the standing world and Olympic records (in seconds) prior to the 1920 Summer Olympics.
|World record||John Norton (USA)||54.2||Pasadena, United States||26 June 1920|
|Olympic record||Charles Bacon (USA)||55.0||London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland||22 July 1908|
Frank Loomis set a new world record with 54.0 seconds in the final.
|Sunday, 15 August 1920||11:30
|Monday, 16 August 1920||14:30||Final|
|1||August Desch||United States||57.6||Q|
|3||George Gray||Great Britain||58.8|
|Attie van Heerden||South Africa||DNF|
|1||John Norton||United States||57.6||Q|
|2||Edward Wheller||Great Britain||58.4||Q|
|2||Charles Daggs||United States||56.7||Q|
|1||Frank Loomis||United States||55.8||Q|
|1||August Desch||United States||55.4||Q|
|3||John Norton||United States||56.2||Q|
|1||Frank Loomis||United States||55.4||Q|
|3||Charles Daggs||United States||55.8||Q|
|4||Edward Wheller||Great Britain||Unknown|
The final was held on Monday, August 16, 1920.
|Frank Loomis||United States||54.0||WR|
|John Norton||United States||54.6|
|August Desch||United States||54.7|
|6||Charles Daggs||United States||55.7|
|Frank Loomis||United States||55.8||55.4||54.0||WR|
|John Norton||United States||57.6||56.2||54.6|
|August Desch||United States||57.6||55.4||54.7|
|6||Charles Daggs||United States||56.7||55.8||55.7|
|7||Gösta Bladin||Sweden||57.7||56.5||Did not advance|
|9||Edward Wheller||Great Britain||58.4||Unknown||4th in semifinal|
|10||Erik Wilén||Finland||58.4||Unknown||5th in semifinal|
|11||Valdemar Wickholm||Finland||57.9||Did not advance|
|12||George Gray||Great Britain||58.8|
|15||Albert Lucas||France||Unknown||4th in quarterfinal|
|František Marek||Czechoslovakia||Unknown||4th in quarterfinal|
|17||Attie van Heerden||South Africa||DNF|
- "Athletics at the 1920 Antwerp Summer Games: Men's 400 metres Hurdles". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "400 metres Hurdles, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
- Belgium Olympic Committee (1957). Olympic Games Antwerp 1920: Official Report (in French).
- Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Retrieved 16 August 2007.