All Athletics Menu

3. Olympic Games (Athletics) - Events

Olympic Events in Athletics - 4 × 400 metres Relay

4 × 400 metres Relay


The 4×400 metres relay at the Summer Olympics is the longest track relay event held at the multi-sport event. The men's relay has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1912 and the women's event has been continuously held since the 1972 Olympics. It is the most prestigious 4×400 m relay race at elite level. At the 1908 Summer Olympics, a precursor to this event was held – the 1600 m medley relay. This event, with two legs of 200 m, one of 400 m, and a final leg of 800 m, was the first track relay in Olympic history.

The competition has two parts: a first round and an eight-team final. Historically, there has been a semi-final round, but this has been eliminated as selection is now determined by time – the sixteen fastest nations during a pre-Olympic qualification period are entered. Since 1984, teams may enter up to six athletes for the event. Larger nations typically have two reserves runners in the first round in order to preserve the fitness of their top runners for the final. Heat runners of medal-winning teams receive medals even if they did not run in the final.

The Olympic records for the event are 2:55.39 minutes for men, set by the United States in 2008, and 3:15.17 minutes for women, set by the Soviet Union in 1988. The women's record is also the world record for the 4×400 metres relay. The first two women's Olympic finals (1972 and 1976) resulted in new world records for the winning East German teams. The men's world record has been profoundly shaped by Olympic competition with ten records set (1912, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1952, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1988, and 1992) – the record has only been broken twice in a 4×400 m relay race outside of the multi-sport event.

The United States is by far the most dominant nation in the event. The country has won the men's race 16 times and the women's race on six occasions. The American have finished in the top two at all but three Olympics (fourth in 1920, non-starters in 1972, and boycotted in 1980). The team won the 2000 Olympic gold medals, but were stripped of these due to doping bans for Antonio Pettigrew and Jerome Young.
Relais 4x400 m Jeux olympiques 2008.jpg
The 2008 Olympic men's 4×400 m relay final
Sport Athletics
Gender Men and women
Years held Men: 1912 – 2016
Women: 1972 – 2016
Olympic record
Men 2:55.39  United States (USA) (2008)
Women 3:15.17  Soviet Union (URS) (1988)
Reigning champion
Men  United States (USA)
Women  United States (USA)
  The American women have accrued five straight victories, remaining unbeaten since the 1992 Olympics. As of 2012, no other country has won more than two golds in the event. Great Britain (two wins, thirteen medals) and Jamaica (one win, eight medals) and the Soviet Union (three wins, four medals) are the next most successful nations.

Participants in this event are often competitors in the 400 metres and 400 metres hurdles individual Olympic events (and, less commonly, the 800 metres and 200 metres). Marion Jones was stripped of her Olympic medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but the American result was allowed to stand and the remainder of the team are still listed as gold medallists.[6] Another American runner, Crystal Cox, was stripped of her 2004 Olympic title for doping offences, but again the American team remain champions.[7] Sanya Richards-Ross is the most successful athlete in the event, having three straight wins from 2004 to 2012. Americans Steve Lewis and Jeremy Wariner are the only men to win the title twice and Chris Brown of the Bahamas is the only man to reach the podium three times.

History, Records and Statistics of Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay

History, Records and Statistics of Women's 4 × 400 metres Relay

Medal summary


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1912 Stockholm  United States (USA)
Mel Sheppard
Edward Lindberg
Ted Meredith
Charles Reidpath
 France (FRA)
Charles Lelong
Robert Schurrer
Pierre Failliot
Charles Poulenard
 Great Britain (GBR)
George Nicol
Ernest Henley
James Soutter
Cyril Seedhouse
1920 Antwerp  Great Britain (GBR)
Cecil Griffiths
Robert Lindsay
John Ainsworth-Davis
Guy Butler
 South Africa (RSA)
Henry Dafel
Clarence Oldfield
Jack Oosterlaak
Bevil Rudd
 France (FRA)
Géo André
Gaston Féry
Maurice Delvart
André Devaux
1924 Paris  United States (USA)
Commodore Cochran
Alan Helffrich
Oliver MacDonald
William Stevenson
 Sweden (SWE)
Artur Svensson
Erik Byléhn
Gustaf Wejnarth
Nils Engdahl
 Great Britain (GBR)
Edward Toms
George Renwick
Richard Ripley
Guy Butler
1928 Amsterdam  United States (USA)
George Baird
Emerson Spencer
Fred Alderman
Ray Barbuti
 Germany (GER)
Otto Neumann
Harry Werner Storz
Richard Krebs
Hermann Engelhard
 Canada (CAN)
Alex Wilson
Phil Edwards
Stanley Glover
James Ball
1932 Los Angeles  United States (USA)
Ivan Fuqua
Ed Ablowich
Karl Warner
Bill Carr
 Great Britain (GBR)
Crew Stoneley
Tommy Hampson
David Burghley
Godfrey Rampling
 Canada (CAN)
Ray Lewis
James Ball
Phil Edwards
Alex Wilson
1936 Berlin  Great Britain (GBR)
Freddie Wolff
Godfrey Rampling
Bill Roberts
Godfrey Brown
 United States (USA)
Harold Cagle
Robert Young
Edward O’Brien
Al Fitch
 Germany (GER)
Helmut Hamann
Friedrich von Stülpnagel
Harry Voigt
Rudolf Harbig
1948 London  United States (USA)
Arthur Harnden
Cliff Bourland
Roy Cochran
Mal Whitfield
 France (FRA)
Jean Kerebel
Francis Schewetta
Robert Chef d'Hôtel
Jacques Lunis
 Sweden (SWE)
Kurt Lundquist
Lars-Erik Wolfbrandt
Folke Alnevik
Rune Larsson
1952 Helsinki  Jamaica (JAM)
Arthur Wint
Leslie Laing
Herb McKenley
George Rhoden
 United States (USA)
Ollie Matson
Gene Cole
Charles Moore
Mal Whitfield
 Germany (GER)
Hans Geister
Günther Steines
Heinz Ulzheimer
Karl-Friedrich Haas
1956 Melbourne  United States (USA)
Charles Jenkins
Lou Jones
Jesse Mashburn
Tom Courtney
 Australia (AUS)
Graham Gipson
Leon Gregory
David Lean
Kevan Gosper
 Great Britain (GBR)
Peter Higgins
Michael Wheeler
John Salisbury
Derek Johnson
1960 Rome  United States (USA)
Jack Yerman
Earl Young
Glenn Davis
Otis Davis
 United Team of Germany (EUA)
Hans-Joachim Reske
Manfred Kinder
Johannes Kaiser
Carl Kaufmann
 British West Indies (BWI)
Malcolm Spence
Jim Wedderburn
Keith Gardner
George Kerr
1964 Tokyo  United States (USA)
Ollan Cassell
Mike Larrabee
Ulis Williams
Henry Carr
 Great Britain (GBR)
Tim Graham
Adrian Metcalfe
John Cooper
Robbie Brightwell
 Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)
Edwin Skinner
Kent Bernard
Edwin Roberts
Wendell Mottley
1968 Mexico City  United States (USA)
Vincent Matthews
Ron Freeman
Larry James
Lee Evans
 Kenya (KEN)
Daniel Rudisha
Munyoro Nyamau
Naftali Bon
Charles Asati
 West Germany (FRG)
Helmar Müller
Manfred Kinder
Gerhard Hennige
Martin Jellinghaus
1972 Munich  Kenya (KEN)
Charles Asati
Munyoro Nyamau
Robert Ouko
Julius Sang
 Great Britain (GBR)
Martin Reynolds
Alan Pascoe
David Hemery
David Jenkins
 France (FRA)
Gilles Bertould
Daniel Velasques
Francis Kerbiriou
Jacques Carette
1976 Montreal  United States (USA)
Herman Frazier
Benny Brown
Fred Newhouse
Maxie Parks
 Poland (POL)
Ryszard Podlas
Jan Werner
Zbigniew Jaremski
Jerzy Pietrzyk
 West Germany (FRG)
Franz-Peter Hofmeister
Lothar Krieg
Harald Schmid
Bernd Herrmann
1980 Moscow  Soviet Union (URS)
Remigijus Valiulis
Mikhail Linge
Nikolay Chernetskiy
Viktor Markin
 East Germany (GDR)
Klaus Thiele
Andreas Knebel
Frank Schaffer
Volker Beck
 Italy (ITA)
Stefano Malinverni
Mauro Zuliani
Roberto Tozzi
Pietro Mennea
1984 Los Angeles  United States (USA)
Sunder Nix
Ray Armstead
Alonzo Babers
Antonio McKay
 Great Britain (GBR)
Kriss Akabusi
Garry Cook
Todd Bennett
Phil Brown
 Nigeria (NGR)
Sunday Uti
Moses Ugbusien
Rotimi Peters
Innocent Egbunike
1988 Seoul  United States (USA)
Danny Everett
Steve Lewis
Kevin Robinzine
Butch Reynolds
 Jamaica (JAM)
Howard Davis
Devon Morris
Winthrop Graham
Bert Cameron
 West Germany (FRG)
Norbert Dobeleit
Edgar Itt
Jörg Vaihinger
Ralf Lübke
1992 Barcelona  United States (USA)
Andrew Valmon
Quincy Watts
Michael Johnson
Steve Lewis
Darnell Hall
Charles Jenkins
 Cuba (CUB)
Lázaro Martínez
Héctor Herrera
Norberto Téllez
Roberto Hernández
 Great Britain (GBR)
Roger Black
David Grindley
Kriss Akabusi
John Regis
Du'aine Ladejo
Mark Richardson
1996 Atlanta  United States (USA)
LaMont Smith
Alvin Harrison
Derek Mills
Anthuan Maybank
Jason Rouser
 Great Britain (GBR)
Iwan Thomas
Jamie Baulch
Mark Richardson
Roger Black
Du'aine Ladejo
Mark Hylton
 Jamaica (JAM)
Michael McDonald
Roxbert Martin
Greg Haughton
Davian Clarke
Dennis Blake
Garth Robinson
2000 Sydney  Nigeria (NGR)
Clement Chukwu
Jude Monye
Sunday Bada
Enefiok Udo-Obong
Nduka Awazie
Fidelis Gadzama
 Jamaica (JAM)
Michael Blackwood
Greg Haughton
Christopher Williams
Danny McFarlane
Sanjay Ayre
Michael McDonald
 Bahamas (BAH)
Avard Moncur
Troy McIntosh
Carl Oliver
Chris Brown
2004 Athens  United States (USA)
Otis Harris
Derrick Brew
Jeremy Wariner
Darold Williamson
Kelly Willie
Andrew Rock
 Australia (AUS)
John Steffensen
Mark Ormrod
Patrick Dwyer
Clinton Hill
 Nigeria (NGR)
James Godday
Musa Audu
Saul Weigopwa
Enefiok Udo-Obong
2008 Beijing  United States (USA)
LaShawn Merritt
Angelo Taylor
David Neville
Jeremy Wariner
Kerron Clement
Reggie Witherspoon
 Bahamas (BAH)
Andretti Bain
Michael Mathieu
Andrae Williams
Chris Brown
Avard Moncur
Ramon Miller
 Great Britain (GBR)
Martyn Rooney
Andrew Steele
Robert Tobin
Michael Bingham
2012 London  Bahamas (BAH)
Chris Brown
Michael Mathieu
Ramon Miller
Demetrius Pinder
 United States (USA)
Joshua Mance
Manteo Mitchell
Tony McQuay
Bryshon Nellum
Angelo Taylor
 Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)
Ade Alleyne-Forte
Lalonde Gordon
Deon Lendore
Jarrin Solomon
2016 Rio  United States (USA)
Arman Hall
Tony McQuay
Gil Roberts
LaShawn Merritt
Kyle Clemons*
David Verburg*
 Jamaica (JAM)
Peter Matthews
Nathon Allen
Fitzroy Dunkley
Javon Francis
Rusheen McDonald*
 Bahamas (BAH)
Alonzo Russell
Michael Mathieu
Steven Gardiner
Chris Brown
Stephen Newbold*

Multiple medalists

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1= Steve Lewis  United States (USA) 1988–1992 2 0 0 2
1= Jeremy Wariner  United States (USA) 2004-2008 2 0 0 2
3 Chris Brown  Bahamas (BAH) 2000–2016 1 1 2 4
4= Godfrey Rampling  Great Britain (GBR) 1932–1936 1 1 0 2
4= Mal Whitfield  United States (USA) 1948–1952 1 1 0 2
4= Charles Asati  Kenya (KEN) 1968–1972 1 1 0 2
4= Munyoro Nyamau  Kenya (KEN) 1968–1972 1 1 0 2
4= Michael Mathieu  Bahamas (BAH) 2008–2012 1 1 0 2
4= Ramon Miller  Bahamas (BAH) 2008–2012 1 1 0 2
4= Andrae Williams  Bahamas (BAH) 2008–2012 1 1 0 2
4= Angelo Taylor  United States (USA) 2008–2012 1 1 0 2
11= Guy Butler  Great Britain (GBR) 1920–1924 1 0 1 2
11= Enefiok Udo-Obong  Nigeria (NGR) 2000–2004 1 0 1 2
13= Mark Richardson  Great Britain (GBR) 1992–1996 0 1 1 2
13= Roger Black  Great Britain (GBR) 1992–1996 0 1 1 2
13= Du'aine Ladejo  Great Britain (GBR) 1992–1996 0 1 1 2
13= Avard Moncur  Bahamas (BAH) 2000–2008 0 1 1 2

Medals by country

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 17 3 0 20
2  Great Britain (GBR) 2 5 5 12
3  Jamaica (JAM) 1 2 1 4
4  Bahamas (BAH) 1 1 1 3
5  Kenya (KEN) 1 1 0 2
6  Nigeria (NGR) 1 0 2 3
7  Soviet Union (URS) 1 0 0 1
8=  France (FRA) 0 2 2 4
8=  Germany (GER)[nb] 0 2 2 4
10  Australia (AUS) 0 2 0 2
11  Sweden (SWE) 0 1 1 2
12=  Cuba (CUB) 0 1 0 1
12=  East Germany (GDR) 0 1 0 1
12=  Poland (POL) 0 1 0 1
12=  South Africa (RSA) 0 1 0 1
16  West Germany (FRG) 0 0 3 3
17=  Canada (CAN) 0 0 2 2
17=  Trinidad and Tobago (TTO) 0 0 2 2
19=  British West Indies (BWI) 0 0 1 1
19=  Italy (ITA) 0 0 1 1
  • nb The German total includes teams both competing as Germany and the United Team of Germany, but not East or West Germany.


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1972 Munich  East Germany (GDR)
Dagmar Käsling
Rita Kühne
Helga Seidler
Monika Zehrt
 United States (USA)
Mable Fergerson
Madeline Manning
Cheryl Toussaint
Kathy Hammond
 West Germany (FRG)
Anette Rückes
Inge Bödding
Hildegard Falck
Rita Wilden
1976 Montreal  East Germany (GDR)
Doris Maletzki
Brigitte Rohde
Ellen Streidt
Christina Brehmer
 United States (USA)
Debra Sapenter
Sheila Ingram
Pamela Jiles
Rosalyn Bryant
 Soviet Union (URS)
Inta Kļimoviča
Lyudmila Aksyonova
Natalya Sokolova
Nadezhda Ilyina
1980 Moscow  Soviet Union (URS)
Tatyana Prorochenko
Tatyana Goyshchik
Nina Zyuskova
Irina Nazarova
 East Germany (GDR)
Gabriele Löwe
Barbara Krug
Christina Lathan
Marita Koch
 Great Britain (GBR)
Linsey MacDonald
Michelle Probert
Joslyn Hoyte-Smith
Donna Hartley
1984 Los Angeles  United States (USA)
Lillie Leatherwood
Sherri Howard
Valerie Brisco-Hooks
Chandra Cheeseborough
Diane Dixon*
Denean Howard*
 Canada (CAN)
Charmaine Crooks
Jillian Richardson
Molly Killingbeck
Marita Payne
Dana Wright*
 West Germany (FRG)
Heike Schulte-Mattler
Ute Thimm
Heidi-Elke Gaugel
Gaby Bußmann
1988 Seoul  Soviet Union (URS)
Tatyana Ledovskaya
Olga Nazarova
Mariya Pinigina
Olha Bryzhina
Lyudmyla Dzhyhalova*
 United States (USA)
Denean Howard
Diane Dixon
Valerie Brisco-Hooks
Florence Griffith-Joyner
Sherri Howard*
Lillie Leatherwood*
 East Germany (GDR)
Dagmar Neubauer-Rübsam
Kirsten Emmelmann
Sabine Busch
Petra Müller
Grit Breuer*
1992 Barcelona  Unified Team (EUN)
Yelena Ruzina
Lyudmyla Dzhyhalova
Olga Nazarova
Olha Bryzhina
Marina Shmonina*
Liliya Nurutdinova*
 United States (USA)
Natasha Kaiser-Brown
Gwen Torrence
Jearl Miles
Rochelle Stevens
Denean Howard-Hill*
Dannette Young*
 Great Britain (GBR)
Phylis Smith
Sandra Douglas
Jennifer Stoute
Sally Gunnell
1996 Atlanta  United States (USA)
Rochelle Stevens
Maicel Malone
Kim Graham
Jearl Miles
Linetta Wilson*
 Nigeria (NGR)
Olabisi Afolabi
Fatima Yusuf
Charity Opara
Falilat Ogunkoya
 Germany (GER)
Uta Rohländer
Linda Kisabaka
Anja Rücker
Grit Breuer
2000 Sydney  United States (USA)
Jearl Miles Clark
Monique Hennagan
LaTasha Colander
Marion Jones[nb1]
Andrea Anderson*
 Jamaica (JAM)
Sandie Richards
Catherine Scott
Deon Hemmings
Lorraine Graham
Charmaine Howell*
Michelle Burgher*
 Russia (RUS)
Yuliya Sotnikova
Svetlana Goncharenko
Olga Kotlyarova
Irina Privalova
Natalya Nazarova*
Olesya Zykina*
2004 Athens  United States (USA)
DeeDee Trotter
Monique Henderson
Sanya Richards
Monique Hennagan
Crystal Cox[nb2]*
Moushaumi Robinson*
 Russia (RUS)
Olesya Krasnomovets
Natalya Nazarova
Olesya Zykina
Natalya Antyukh
Tatyana Firova*
Natalya Ivanova*
 Jamaica (JAM)
Novlene Williams
Michelle Burgher
Nadia Davy
Sandie Richards
Ronetta Smith*
2008 Beijing
 United States (USA)
Mary Wineberg
Allyson Felix
Monique Henderson
Sanya Richards
Natasha Hastings*
 Jamaica (JAM)
Shericka Williams
Shereefa Lloyd
Rosemarie Whyte
Novlene Williams
Bobby-Gaye Wilkins*
 Great Britain (GBR)
Christine Ohuruogu
Kelly Sotherton
Marilyn Okoro
Nicola Sanders
2012 London
 United States (USA)
DeeDee Trotter
Allyson Felix
Francena McCorory
Sanya Richards-Ross
Keshia Baker*
Diamond Dixon*
 Jamaica (JAM)
Christine Day
Rosemarie Whyte
Shericka Williams
Novlene Williams-Mills
Shereefa Lloyd*
Dominique Blake[nb3]
 Ukraine (UKR)
Alina Lohvynenko
Olha Zemlyak
Hanna Yaroshchuk
Nataliya Pyhyda
2016 Rio de Janeiro  United States (USA)
Allyson Felix
Phyllis Francis
Natasha Hastings
Courtney Okolo
Taylor Ellis-Watson*
Francena McCorory*
 Jamaica (JAM)
Stephenie Ann McPherson
Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby
Shericka Jackson
Novlene Williams-Mills
Christine Day*
Chrisann Gordon*
 Great Britain (GBR)
Eilidh Doyle
Anyika Onuora
Emily Diamond
Christine Ohuruogu
Kelly Massey*

Note: * Indicates athletes who ran in preliminary rounds and also received medals.

  • nb1 Marion Jones was stripped of her Olympic medal in 2000.
  • nb2 Crystal Cox was stripped of her Olympic medal in 2004.
  • nb3 Dominique Blake was accidentally given her Olympic medal and she returned it in 2017.
  • a Original silver medalists, Russia, and 4th place finishers, Belarus, were stripped of their results for doping offenses. Following reallocation, Jamaica were promoted to the silver medal, and Great Britain to the bronze.
  • b Original silver medalists, Russia, were stripped of their medal for doping offenses. Following reallocation, Jamaica will be promoted to the silver medal, and Ukraine to the bronze.

Multiple medalists

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
=1 Sanya Richards-Ross  United States (USA) 2004–2012 3 0 0 3
=1 Allyson Felix  United States (USA) 2008–2016 3 0 0 3
2 Jearl Miles-Clark  United States (USA) 1992–2000 2 1 0 3
3= Olga Nazarova  Soviet Union (URS)
 Unified Team (EUN)
1988–1992 2 0 0 2
3= Olga Bryzgina  Soviet Union (URS)
 Unified Team (EUN)
1988–1992 2 0 0 2
3= Lyudmila Dzhigalova  Soviet Union (URS)
 Unified Team (EUN)
1988–1992 2 0 0 2
3= Monique Hennagan  United States (USA) 2000–2004 2 0 0 2
3= Monique Henderson  United States (USA) 2004–2008 2 0 0 2
3= DeeDee Trotter  United States (USA) 2004–2012 2 0 0 2
10 Denean Howard-Hill  United States (USA) 1984–1992 1 2 0 3
11= Lillie Leatherwood  United States (USA) 1984–1988 1 1 0 2
11= Sherri Howard  United States (USA) 1984–1988 1 1 0 2
11= Valerie Brisco-Hooks  United States (USA) 1984–1988 1 1 0 2
11= Diane Dixon  United States (USA) 1984–1988 1 1 0 2
11= Rochelle Stevens  United States (USA) 1992–1996 1 1 0 2
16 Tatyana Firova  Russia (RUS) 2004–2012 0 3 0 3
17= Natalya Antyukh  Russia (RUS) 2004–2012 0 2 0 2
17= Yuliya Gushchina  Russia (RUS) 2008–2012 0 2 0 2
17= Anastasiya Kapachinskaya  Russia (RUS) 2008–2012 0 2 0 2
20= Sandie Richards  Jamaica (JAM) 2000–2004 0 1 1 2
20= Natalya Nazarova  Russia (RUS) 2000–2004 0 1 1 2
20= Olesya Zykina  Russia (RUS) 2000–2004 0 1 1 2
20= Michelle Burgher  Jamaica (JAM) 2000–2004 0 1 1 2
24 Novlene Williams-Mills  Jamaica (JAM) 2004–2012 0 0 3 3
25= Grit Breuer  East Germany (GDR)
 Germany (GER)
1988–1996 0 0 2 2
25= Shericka Williams  Jamaica (JAM) 2008–2012 0 0 2 2
25= Shereefa Lloyd  Jamaica (JAM) 2008–2012 0 0 2 2
25= Rosemarie Whyte  Jamaica (JAM) 2008–2012 0 0 2 2

Medalists by country

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 7 4 0 11
2  East Germany (GDR) 2 1 1 4
3  Soviet Union (URS) 2 0 1 3
4  Unified Team (EUN) 1 0 0 1
5  Russia (RUS) 0 3 1 4
6  Jamaica (JAM) 0 1 3 4
7=  Canada (CAN) 0 1 0 1
7=  Nigeria (NGR) 0 1 0 1
9=  Great Britain (GBR) 0 0 2 2
9=  West Germany (FRG) 0 0 2 2
11  Germany (GER) 0 0 1 1


Real time web analytics, Heat map tracking

Athletics in Olympic Games 2




Olympic Games



All Events


You are here: Home Athletics Olympic Games (Athletics) 3. Olympic Games (Athletics) - Events Olympic Events in Athletics - 4 × 400 metres Relay