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1968 Olympic Games Ciudad de México, Mexico - Men's 4 x 100 m

 

 

Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico Format: Top four in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: October 19, 1968 Format: Top five in each heat and next fastest advanced to the semi-finals.
Date Finished: October 20, 1968  
(Competitors: 76; Countries: 19; Finalists: 32/8)  
    Venue(s): University Olympic Stadium, Ciudad de México
Overview by IAAF    1968_olympic_stadium.jpg
The altitude did wonders for the times. Cuba won the first heat from the USA – 38.7 to 38.8, both national records – with Greene leaving the USA more than 5m back on the first leg. Jamaica then equalled the world record with 38.6, and the GDR won the final heat in 38.9, equalling the European record. Later in the day Jamaica and the GDR improved to 38.3 (38.39), a new world record, and 38.7 (38.72), a European best. Cuba then edged the USA, 38.6 for both teams, with France third in 38.8, again national records for all teams. The normally well drilled Soviet team dropped the baton, after almost doing so in their heat. In the final Charlie Greene was no longer hobbling, and the USA were in contact with Cuba and Jamaica, as both Caribbean teams had poor changeovers. Cuba showed better speed than the rest until the last changeover when Figuerola took over with 1.5m to spare over Hines. France were half a metre behind the USA. The technically proficient GDR team was in second place just ahead of the USA. Hines ran a scorching leg, almost certainly sub-9 seconds, to win by 2m from Cuba, while Bambuck just held off Miller, who lost only a metre to Hines. The first four teams crushed the pre-Olympic world record.
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
The high-altitude allowed the sprint teams to work on the world record. In the first round Jamaica equaled the world record with 38.6, and in the semis they ran 38.3 to better the mark. The Cubans led the final for the first three legs, with 100 metre champion Jim Hines getting the baton for the anchor 1½ metres behind Cuba’s Enrique Figuerola. But Hines scorched the track, pulling away to win by almost two metres in a world record 38.2 (38.24).
 

Records

These were the standing World and Olympic records (in seconds) prior to the 1968 Summer Olympics.

World Record 38.4yA United States Earl McCullouch
United States Fred Kuller
United States O.J. Simpson
Jamaica Lennox Miller
Provo (USA) June 17, 1967
Olympic Record 39.0 United States Paul Drayton
United States Gerry Ashworth
United States Richard Stebbins
United States Bob Hayes
Tokyo (JPN) October 21, 1964
 
        Results          

These are the official results of the men's 4 x 100 metres relay event at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. The event was held on Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th of October 1968. There were a total number of 24 nations competing. The race was won by the United States, beating Cuba in world record time.

During the heats, Jamaica had equalled the world record 38.6 (38.65) and improved upon it in the semi-finals 38.3 (38.39).

The random seeding of the final had semifinal 1 winner, with the fastest time, Jamaica in lane 5, but heat 1 winner Cuba in lane one and runner up United States in lane 2, both regarded as inferior lanes. While Charles Greene got a quick start, USA struggled with poor handoffs so East Germany in lane 4 was the clear leader on the backstretch, with Jamaica and Cuba the closest competitors and Mel Pender racing to catch up. Through the turn Ronnie Ray Smith continued to chase Pablo Montes ahead of him on the inside. East Germany still had the lead going in to the final handoff, USA still behind Cuba but with a smooth handoff and France in lane 8 in competitive position. The East Germans took three attempts to finally make a handoff, losing ground. Once with baton in hand Jim Hines was clearly faster than Enrique Figuerola, catching him halfway down the straightaway and on to a two metre victory. Lennox Miller equally outran Harald Eggers, but Roger Bambuck was able to hold off Miller and dive for the bronze medal for France.

The USA's time was a Fully automatic timing world record that was faster than the hand timed mark from before the Olympics (also set at attitude at 440 yards). Miller had been the anchor of that previous record as well as the two Jamaican records earlier in the competition, though the 1967 USC record was never accepted as a world record because Miller was from a different country from his American college teammates (who included Earl McCullouch and the now infamous O. J. Simpson).

4 x 100 m Men     Final 20 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records Notes
1 38.24     Charlie Greene, Mel Pender, Ronnie Ray Smith, Jim Hines United States USA   WR 38.2 h
2 38.40     Hermes Ramírez, Juan Morales, Pablo Montes, Enrique Figuerola Cuba CUB     38.3 h
3 38.43     Gérard Fenouil, Jocelyn Delecour, Claude Piquemal, Roger Bambuck France FRA     38.4 h
4 38.47     Errol Stewart, Michael Fray, Clifton Forbes, Lennox Miller Jamaica JAM     38.4 h
5 38.66     Heinz Erbstösser, Hartmut Schelter, Peter Haase, Harald Eggers East Germany GDR     38.6 h
6 38.76     Karl-Peter Schmidtke, Gert Metz, Gerhard Wucherer, Joachim Eigenherr West Germany FRG     38.7 h
7 39.22     Sergio Ottolina, Ennio Preatoni, Angelo Sguazzero, Livio Berruti Italy ITA     39.2 h
8 39.22     Wiesław Maniak, Edward Romanowski, Zenon Nowosz, Marian Dudziak Poland POL     39.2 h
4 x 100 m Men     Semi-Finals Heat One 19 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records Notes
1 38.39   Q   Jamaica JAM   WR 38.3 h
2 38.72   Q   East Germany GDR     38.7 h
3 38.93   Q   West Germany FRG     38.9 h
4 38.99   Q   Poland POL     38.9 h
5 39.46       Great Britain GBR     39.4 h
6 39.52       Trinidad and Tobago TTO     39.5 h
7 39.69       Cote d'Ivoire CIV     39.6 h
8 40.89       Malaysia MAS     40.8 h
4 x 100 m Men     Semi-Finals Heat Two 19 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records Notes
1 38.64   Q   Cuba CUB     38.6 h
2 38.69   Q   United States USA     38.6 h
3 38.83   Q   France FRA     38.8 h
4 39.46   Q   Italy ITA     39.4 h
5 39.96       Ghana GHA     39.9 h
AC DQ       Soviet Union URS      
AC DQ       Nigeria NGR      
AC DQ       Bahamas BAH      
4 x 100 m Men     Round One Heat One 19 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records Notes
1 38.76   Q   Cuba CUB   OR 38.7 h
2 38.86   Q   United States USA     38.8 h
3 38.97   Q   Trinidad and Tobago TTO     38.9 h
4 39.45   Q   Bahamas BAH     39.4 h
5 39.47   Q   Nigeria NGR     39.4 h
6 39.87   Q   Ghana GHA     39.8 h
7 41.48       Dominican Republic DOM     41.4 h
4 x 100 m Men     Round One Heat Two 19 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records Notes
1 38.65   Q   Jamaica JAM   (=)WR 38.6 h
2 39.03   Q   France FRA     39.0 h
3 39.16   Q   West Germany FRG     39.1 h
4 39.33   Q   Great Britain GBR     39.3 h
5 39.68   Q   Cote d'Ivoire CIV     39.6 h
6 40.02       Japan JPN     40.0 h
7 40.09       Mexico MEX     40.0 h
4 x 100 m Men     Round One Heat Three 19 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records Notes
1 38.93   Q   East Germany GDR     38.9 h
2 39.03   Q   Soviet Union URS     39.0 h
3 40.27   Q   Poland POL     40.2 h
4 40.69   Q   Malaysia MAS     40.6 h
5 41.59   Q   Italy ITA     41.5 h

 Detailed View

 

Final

  • Held on Sunday 20 October 1968
 RANK
  NATION ATHLETES TIME
Gold medal with cup.svg  United States (USA) • Charles Greene
• Mel Pender
• Ronnie Ray Smith
• Jim Hines
38.24
(WR)
Silver medal with cup.svg  Cuba (CUB) • Hermes Ramírez
• Juan Morales
• Pablo Montes
• Enrique Figuerola
38.40
Bronze medal with cup.svg  France (FRA) • Gérard Fenouil
• Jocelyn Delecour
• Claude Piquemal
• Roger Bambuck
38.43
4.  Jamaica (JAM) • Errol Stewart
• Michael Fray
• Clifton Forbes
• Lennox Miller
38.4
5.  East Germany (GDR) • Heinz Erbstösser
• Hartmut Schelter
• Peter Haase
• Harald Eggers
38.6
6.  West Germany (FRG) • Karl-Peter Schmidtke
• Gert Metz
• Gerhard Wucherer
• Joachim Eigenherr
38.7
7.  Italy (ITA) • Sergio Ottolina
• Ennio Preatoni
• Angelo Sguazzero
• Livio Berruti
39.2
8.  Poland (POL) • Wieslaw Maniak
• Edward Romanowski
• Zenon Nowosz
• Marian Dudziak
39.2
 

Semifinals

  • Held on Saturday 19 October 1968
 

Heat 1

Heat 2
RANK NATION ATHLETES TIME
1.  Jamaica (JAM) • Errol Stewart
• Michael Fray
• Clifton Forbes
• Lennox Miller
38.3
(WR)
2.  East Germany (GDR) • Heinz Erbstösser
• Hartmut Schelter
• Peter Haase
• Harald Eggers
38.7
3.  West Germany (FRG) • Karl-Peter Schmidtke
• Gert Metz
• Gerhard Wucherer
• Joachim Eigenherr
38.9
4.  Poland (POL) • Wieslaw Maniak
• Edward Romanowski
• Zenon Nowosz
• Marian Dudziak
38.9
5.  Great Britain (GBR) • Joseph Speake
• Ron Jones
• Ralph Banthorpe
• Barrie Kelly
39.4
6.  Trinidad and Tobago (TRI) • Raymond Fabien
• Winston Short
• Carl Archer
• Edwin Roberts
39.5
7.  Ivory Coast (CIV) • Atta Kouaukou
• N'dri Kouame
• Boy Diby
• Gaoussou Kone
39.6
8.  Thailand (THA) • Manikavasagam Jegathesan
• Krishnan Thambusamy
• Gunaratnam Rajalingam
• Jai Hock Lim
40.8
RANK NATION ATHLETES TIME
1.  Cuba (CUB) • Hermes Ramírez
• Juan Morales
• Pablo Montes
• Enrique Figuerola
38.6
2.  United States (USA) • Charles Greene
• Mel Pender
• Ronnie Ray Smith
• Jim Hines
38.6
3.  France (FRA) • Gérard Fenouil
• Jocelyn Delecour
• Claude Piquemal
• Roger Bambuck
38.8
4.  Italy (ITA) • Sergio Ottolina
• Ennio Preatoni
• Angelo Sguazzero
• Livio Berruti
39.4
5.  Ghana (GHA) • Edward Owusu
• Micheal Ahey
• William Quaye
• James Addy
39.9
 Bahamas (BAH) • Gerald Wisdom
• Thomas Robinson
• Bernard Nottage
• Edwin Johnson
DQ
 Nigeria (NGR) • Timon Oyebami
• Robert Ojo
• Benedict Majekodunmi
• Kolawole Abdulai
DQ
 Soviet Union (URS) • Aleksey Khlopotnov
• Eugeny Siniaev
• Nickolay Ivanov
• Vladislav Sapeia
DQ

 

 

 

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