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John Tewksbury
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John Tewksbury

John Walter Beardsley Tewksbury (March 21, 1876-April 25, 1968) was an American track and field athlete. At the 1900 Summer Olympics, he won 5 five medals, of which two gold.

Born in Ashley, Pennsylvania, Tewksbury studied for a dental degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Running for the university team, he won the IC4A titles in the 110 and 220 y in 1898 and 1899.

After graduating, he headed for Paris to compete in the Olympic Games. Tewksbury entered in 5 events, but had strong competition, among others from fellow Penn student Alvin Kraenzlein. In the 100 m, Tewksbury equalled the world record in the semi-finals, but placed second in the final to Frank Jarvis. The following day, he took another second place, behind Kraenzlein, in the 60 m, before entering the 400 m hurdles.

At the time, this event had probably never been contested in the United States, but Tewksbury easily beat the local favourite for the title. The event was quite different from present day, as the hurdles were actually telephone poles laid over the track, and the final hurdles was a water barrier (like in the steeplechase). In the final of the 200 m hurdles, he placed third (with Kraenzlein the winner). The final of the 200 m was held a week later, and Tewksbury won his second Olympic title, clearly defeating Norman Pritchard of India.

He retired from sports to open a dental practice in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. He died there in 1968, at age 92.

Olympic Champions in Men's 200 m
John Tewksbury | Archie Hahn | Bobby Kerr | Ralph Craig | Allen Woodring | Jackson Scholz | Percy Williams | Eddie Tolan | Jesse Owens | Mel Patton | Andy Stanfield | Bobby Joe Morrow | Livio Berruti | Henry Carr | Tommie Smith | Valeri Borzov | Don Quarrie | Pietro Mennea | Carl Lewis | Joe DeLoach | Mike Marsh | Michael Johnson | Konstantinos Kenteris