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1956 Olympic Games Melbourne, Australia - Men's 400 m Hurdles

 

 

Host City: Melbourne, Australia Format: Top three in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: November 23, 1956 Format: Top two in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.
Date Finished: November 24, 1956
(Competitors: 28; Countries: 18; Finalists: 6)
Venue(s): Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Overview by IAAF  1956_melbournestadium.jpg
Before 1956 Southern had two races at one-lap hurdling under his belt, two more than Davis. In the US Trials Davis ran 49.5, with Southern just behind at 49.7. The US third-string – Culbreath – was fastest in the heats with 50.9 (51.07), and six others ran under 52 seconds. Southern and Davis were drawn in the same semi-final, and Southern’s pattern was 15 strides between hurdles rather than his usual 13 (to hurdle seven). It worked well, as he looked very easy in running the third fastest time ever of 50.1 (50.26). Davis struggled, and was only fourth at the eighth hurdle. He kicked hard and finished in a good 50.7 (50.78). Culbreath was a convincing winner of the other semi-final with 50.9 (50.97). Southern led in the final, passing the fifth hurdle in 22.7 with Davis two yards behind. Davis made a big effort round the curve, and was a metre up on Southern at the eighth hurdle. He built on this lead and was more than 2m up at the last hurdle, with Potgieter 3m behind just ahead of Culbreath. The South African hit the last barrier and fell, and the USA had another clean sweep. Davis’s time was equal third-fastest ever on hand timing.
Summary by Sports-reference.com
Coming in to 1956, the top American was Josh Culbreath, AAU Champion in 1953-55 and Pan-American Champion in 1955. The world record holder at the beginning of the year was Soviet Yury Lituyev with 50.4 set in 1953. Lituyev had been second at the European Championships in 1950 and 1954 and was the top European in 1956. But two young Americans took up the intermediate hurdles in 1956. Glenn Davis was a top 200/400 runner at Ohio State and won the US Olympic Trials in a world record 49.5, narrowly defeating Eddie Southern, still only a junior, who ran 49.7. In Melbourne again established his superiority, winning the final by 7/10ths over Southern, with Culbreath completing a US medal sweep, Lituyev trailing in fourth. South Africa’s Gert Potgieter had been in the medal hunt until he fell on the last barrier, finishing last.
 
 

Records

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

World record  Glenn Davis (USA) 49.5 Los Angeles, United States June 29, 1956
Olympic record  Charles Moore (USA) 50.8 Helsinki, Finland July 21, 1952
 
 
Results
400 m Hurdles Men Final 24 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 50,29 Glenn Davis United States USA 22 (=)OR 50.1 h
2 50,94 Eddie Southern United States USA 18 50.8 h
3 51,74 Josh Culbreath United States USA 24 51.6 h
4 51,91 Yury Lituyev Soviet Union URS 31 51.7 h
5 51,93 David Lean Australia AUS 21 51.8 h
6 56.0 Gert Potgieter South Africa RSA 19
400 m Hurdles Men Semi-Finals Heat One 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 50,26 Q Eddie Southern United States USA 18 OR 50.1 h
2 50,78 Q Glenn Davis United States USA 22 50.7 h
3 51,30 Q Gert Potgieter South Africa RSA 19 51.3 h
4 51,66 Guy Cury France FRA 26 51.5 h
5 51,79 Anatoly Yulin Soviet Union URS 27 51.7 h
6 52,72 Ross Parker Australia AUS 21 52.6 h
400 m Hurdles Men Semi-Finals Heat Two 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 50,97 Q Josh Culbreath United States USA 24 50.9 h
2 51,45 Q David Lean Australia AUS 21 51.4 h
3 51,78 Q Yury Lituyev Soviet Union URS 31 51.8 h
4 52,06 Ilie Savel Romania ROU 29 52.0 h
5 52,95 Harry Kane Great Britain GBR 23 52.7 h
6 53,93 Ioannis Kambadelis Greece GRE 29 53.8 h
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat One 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 51,33 Q Glenn Davis United States USA 22 51.3 h
2 51,55 Q David Lean Australia AUS 21 51.4 h
3 53,22 Keiji Ogushi Japan JPN 22 53.2 h
4 54,08 Ovidio de Jesús Puerto Rico PUR 23 54.0 h
5 54,66 Pablo Somblingo Philippines PHI 54.5 h
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat Two 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 51,41 Q Eddie Southern United States USA 18 51.3 h
2 51,85 Q Harry Kane Great Britain GBR 23 51.8 h
3 52,85 Geoff Goodacre Australia AUS 29 52.5 h
4 55,36 Kalim Khawaja Ghani Pakistan PAK 55.1 h
5 55,36 Jagdev Singh India IND 55.2 h
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat Three 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 51,06 Q Josh Culbreath United States USA 24 50.9 h
2 51,76 Q Guy Cury France FRA 26 51.6 h
3 52,14 Jaime Aparicio Colombia COL 27 52.0 h
4 52,88 Tom Farrell Great Britain GBR 24 52.7 h
5 53,18 Muhammad Yaqub Pakistan PAK 30 53.1 h
6 54,84 Tsai Cheng-Fu Chinese Taipei TPE 54.6 h
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat Four 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 53,51 Q Ross Parker Australia AUS 21 53.5 h
2 53,66 Q Ioannis Kambadelis Greece GRE 29 53.7 h
3 54,38 Amadeo Francis Puerto Rico PUR 25 54.3 h
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat Five 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 51,69 Q Yury Lituyev Soviet Union URS 31 51.6 h
2 52,05 Q Gert Potgieter South Africa RSA 19 52.0 h
3 52,19 Ossi Mildh Finland FIN 26 52.1 h
4 53,3 Alexandre Yankoff France FRA 25 53.1 h
5 54,24 Marcel Lambrechts Belgium BEL 25 54.0 h
400 m Hurdles Men Round One Heat Six 23 November
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 52,22 Q Anatoly Yulin Soviet Union URS 27 52.1 h
2 52,31 Q Ilie Savel Romania ROU 29 52.2 h
3 52,62 Bob Shaw Great Britain GBR 23 52.5 h
4 53,99 Ulisses dos Santos Brazil BRA 27 53.8 h
 
 
 

 

 

 

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