| Event type

400 metres Hurdles, Men

Date31 August 1904
LocationFrancis Field, Washington University, St. Louis
Participants4 from 1 countries
FormatFinal only.

Harry Hillman led from start to finish and had the race well in hand until the eighth hurdle. He hit that hurdle very hard, almost falling, and Frank Waller caught him at the ninth hurdle. Somehow, Hillman regained his momentum and took the run-in by two yards. In third place, George Poage won what is usually described as the first Olympic medal ever won by a Black man, but in 1900, a black man had competed in the tug-of-war for France, winning a silver medal. However, Poage’s bronze was the first individual Olympic medal won by a Black athlete.

Hillman’s time could not qualify as a world record for two reasons: 1) he knocked over a hurdle, which in those days invalidated hurdle marks for record purposes, and 2) the hurdles used were only 2-6 (76.2 cm) high, as opposed to the event standard of 3-0 feet (91.4 cm).

1155Harry HillmanUSA53.0Gold
2173Frank WallerUSA53.2Silver
3170George PoageUSAat 30 yardsBronze
4125George VarnellUSA
DNS166Edwin ClappUSA
DNS149Edward CairnsUSA
DNS127Harry HalleckUSA
DNS45Will GunnNZL
DNS22Leslie McPhersonAUS
DNS144Charles BaconUSA
DNS142Frank CastlemanUSA
DNS169Fred SchuleUSA