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| Event type

800 metres, Men

Date 1 September 1904
StatusOlympic
LocationFrancis Field, Washington University, St. Louis
Participants13 from 3 countries
FormatFinal only.

Most of America’s top middle-distance men were present, save for Eli Parsons of Yale, the 1904 IC4A champion. There were several theories as to the favorites, but Jim Lightbody, a young Chicago runner, was not one of the prominent names mentioned. At the start, Harvey Cohn took the lead, followed by Emil Breitkreutz and German’s Johannes Runge, with Lightbody running last in the early going. At the 400 metre mark, Runge took over the lead, as Cohn flagged badly, and Lightbody began a sustained drive, passing the entire field on the outside. Coming into the final stretch, Breitkreutz and George Underwood led, but Lightbody was gaining fast. He eventually pulled away to win by two yards, with Breitkreutz holding onto second until the last yards. He was then passed by Howard Valentine, who closed quickly. This was probably the top race of the 1904 Olympics, as several runners were so badly spent they were carried from the track in exhaustion.

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
1114Jim LightbodyUSA1:56.0GoldOR
2153Howard ValentineUSA1:56.3Silver
3171Emil BreitkreutzUSA1:56.4Bronze
4152George UnderwoodUSA
5105Johannes RungeGER
6113Bill VernerUSA
AC137George BonhagUSA
AC139Harvey CohnUSA
AC27Peter DeerCAN
AC112Lacey HearnUSA
ACJohn JoyceUSA
AC25James PeckCAN
AC154Paul PilgrimUSA
DNS63Harry KienerUSA
DNS45Will GunnNZL
DNS144Charles BaconUSA
DNS160David MunsonUSA