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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Men's 4 x 400 m



Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top three in each heat and next two fastest advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 22, 2008  
Date Finished: August 23, 2008  
(Competitors: 70; Countries: 16; Finalists: 32/8)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
As in 2004, the USA had the three medallists on their squad, together with hurdles winner Taylor. All qualifying teams ran quicker than 3:01, with Britain recording the fastest time of the heats (2:59.33). Individual champion Merritt sent the USA into a 10m lead with his leg estimated at 44.4. Taylor maintained stayed ahead with an excellent 43.7, but was matched by Jonathan Borlée. Belgium were 8m clear of the Bahamas, with Jamaica and Russia close behind. Neville gained ground for the USA as Belgium slipped three metres further back. The Bahamas were now third after Williams’s fine 44.02. Wariner, wanting to make up for his poor run in the individual final, blasted the anchor in 43.18 – the second fastest leg in Olympic history (after Quincy Watts’s 43.1 in 1992), and the US won by over 25m with the second fastest legal time ever. Behind them Brown just held off Russia, for whom Alekseyev ran a sensational 43.56 (this from a man with a lifetime best of 45.35). The Russians were so unexpecting of a place on the podium that they had to borrow the ceremonial tracksuits worn earlier by their triumphant compatriots in the women’s 4x100m relay. Men's 4 x 400 Metres Relay, continued Should the teams finishing behind the disqualified USA in 2000 final be all upgraded by the IOC, then the following statistics are correct: Result 1, Nigeria 2:58.68; 2, Jamaica 2:58.78; 3, Bahamas 2:59.23; 4, France 3:01.02; 5, Great Britain 3:01.22; 6, Poland 3:03.22; 7, Australia 3:03.91; dq, United States (2:56.35)
Summary by      
The United States had swept the medals in the 400 metre flat race and had by far the fastest team. With hand-offs less critical than in the 4x100 relay, there seemed no way for them to lose the gold medal. In the final, they used their 400 medalists, LaShawn Merritt, Jeremy Wariner, and David Neville, with 400 hurdle gold medalist Angelo Taylor running the second leg. Merritt led off with a 44.35 leg that put the US in the lead by over a second on Belgium. Taylor took over and maintained that lead, Belgium still in second at the second hand-off. Neville ran the third leg for the Americans and increased the lead over Belgium slightly to 1.28 seconds as he handed the baton to Wariner. Wariner ran 43.18 on the anchor to win the gold medal for the Americans by over 25 metres. Belgium was still in second at the bell, but they had placed their three best runners up front and they were passed by four teams on the final lap, eventually finishing fifth. The Bahamas and Russia closed quickly on the final leg to get the silver and bronze medals, respectively.


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

World record  United States
Andrew Valmon
Quincy Watts
Butch Reynolds
Michael Johnson
2:54.29 Stuttgart, Germany 22 August 1993
Olympic record  United States (USA)
Andrew Valmon
Quincy Watts
Michael Johnson
Steve Lewis
2:55.74 Barcelona, Spain 8 August 1992

The following Olympic record was set during this competition.

Date Event Name Nationality Time OR WR
23 August Final LaShawn Merritt
Angelo Taylor
David Neville
Jeremy Wariner
United States 2:55.39 OR  

Qualification summary

Pos NOC 2 races 1 2
Total Average
1 United States 5:54.74 2:57.37 2:55.56 2:59.18
2 Bahamas 5:59.55 2:59.78 2:59.18 3:00.37
3 Jamaica 6:01.20 3:00.60 3:00.44 3:00.76
4 Poland 6:01.75 3:00.87 3:00.05 3:01.70
5 Russia 6:02.69 3:01.34 3:01.07 3:01.62
6 Great Britain 6:03.14 3:01.57 3:01.22 3:01.92
7 Germany 6:03.98 3:01.99 3:01.77 3:02.21
8 Australia 6:04.05 3:02.03 3:01.52 3:02.53
9 Belgium 6:04.64 3:02.32 3:02.13 3:02.51
10 Dominican Republic 6:04.97 3:02.48 3:02.48 3:02.49
11 Japan 6:05.20 3:02.60 3:02.44 3:02.76
12 Cuba 6:05.32 3:02.66 3:02.10 3:03.22
13 France 6:05.98 3:02.99 3:02.33 3:03.65
14 Trinidad and Tobago 6:06.52 3:03.26 3:02.92 3:03.60
15 Greece 6:07.86 3:03.93 3:02.21 3:05.65
16 South Africa 6:08.24 3:04.12 3:03.58 3:04.66
17 Italy 6:08.77 3:04.38 3:03.66 3:05.11
18 Botswana 6:09.12 3:04.56 3:03.16 3:05.96
19 Ireland 6:09.14 3:04.57 3:04.43 3:04.71
20 Brazil 6:09.51 3:04.76 3:04.36 3:05.15

The Men's 4 x 400 metres relay event at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 22 and 23 August at the Beijing National Stadium.

There were 16 NOCs competing at this event. These 16 NOCs were selected by the average of the two best marks at the qualifying period. The final was won by the United States in the new Olympic record time 2:55.39

Men's 4x400m Relay - FINAL

After podium sweeps of the flat 400m and 400m Hurdles, Team USA was the overwhelming favourite to add yet another 4x400m title to their vast collection. They hardly disappointed, clocking 2:55.39, the second fastest time in history.

400m champion LaShawn Merritt gave the quartet a one second lead after his opening 44.35 run; after that it was smooth – and very swift – sailing. He handed off to Angelo Taylor, the 400m Hurdles champion, who produced a 43.70 second leg. But he had some unexpected company in rising Belgian star Jonathan Borlee, who kept his squad in the hunt with a blistering 43.62 leg, to remain within a second of the Americans.

The American parade of medallists continued with David Neville. The 400m bronze medallist added a half second to the margin after his 44.16 leg, giving Jeremy Wariner a lead of nearly a second and a half for the last leg. But two-time World champion Wariner, who ran to the silver here, clearly had his sights set on the world mark of 2:54.29, set by an American squad at the 1993 World championships in Stuttgart.

With another phenomenal performance, Wariner covered the final lap in a sensation 43.18, finishing just 0.10 seconds shy of the World mark, but well under the previous Olympic record of 2:55.74 set by the American gold medal squad in Barcelona 16 years ago.

“We wanted to come here and do something special,” said Merritt, who handed off to his Olympic village teammate Taylor. “I had three great men here to follow me.”

Added Taylor, “We’re wonderful. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

“The way these guys ran before I got the stick was amazing,” said Wariner, who also collected 4x400m gold in Athens four years ago. “It was a great race by all four.”

Behind them, The Bahamas produced a solid run. Moving past Belgium on the final leg, Chris Brown anchored the Island nation to a 2:58.03 performance. Russia, with an inspired 43.56 anchor leg by Denis Alexeev – one of five sub-44 splits in the race – moved from fourth into third to take the bronze with a national record 2:56.08.

Further back, Martyn Rooney, propelled by a 43.73, moved Great Britain from sixth to fourth, in 2:58.81, with Belgium fifth in 2:59.37, also a national record.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

4 x 400 m Men     Final 23 August      
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records
1 2.55.39     LaShawn Merritt 44.35, Angelo Taylor 43.70, David Neville 44.16, Jeremy Wariner 43.18 United States USA    
2 2.58.03     Andretti Bain 45.92, Michael Mathieu 44.04, Andrae Williams 44.02, Chris Brown 44.05 Bahamas BAH    
3 2.58.06     Maksim Dyldin 45.52, Vladislav Frolov 44.64, Anton Kokorin 44.34, Denis Alekseyev 43.56 Russia RUS   NR
4 2.58.81     Andrew Steele 45.69, Robert Tobin 44.78, Michael Bingham 44.61, Martyn Rooney 43.73 Great Britain GBR    
5 2.59.37     Kevin Borlée 45.43, Jonathan Borlée 43.62, Cédric Van Branteghem 44.44, Arnaud Ghislain 45.88 Belgium BEL   NR
6 3.00.02     Sean Wroe 46.07, John Steffensen 45.26, Clinton Hill 44.41, Joel Milburn 44.28 Australia AUS    
7 3.00.32     Rafał Wieruszewski 46.02, Piotr Klimczak 44.54, Piotr Kędzia 45.10, Marek Plawgo 44.66 Poland POL    
8 3.01.45     Michael Blackwood 45.60, Ricardo Chambers 44.47, Sanjay Ayre 44.86, Lansford Spence 46.52 Jamaica JAM    

Men's 4x400m Relay - Round 1

Since its inception as an Olympic event in 1912, The United States has just about owned the men’s 4x400m relay. There’s little indication that that will change in Beijing.

Aiming for the seventh straight gold in the event, the first round responsibilities from the planet’s deepest pool of one-lap talent fell upon David Neville, Kerron Clement, Reggie Witherspoon and Angelo Taylor. Neville was competing less than 24 hours after taking the bronze in the 400m, while Clement and Taylor returned to the track after taking silver and gold, respectively, in the 400m Hurdles four days ago.

Neville carried a slight lead for the U.S. at the first exchange, one which Clement extended with a solid, if somewhat conservative 45.12 lap. Witherspoon’s fresh legs produced the quickest U.S. split, 44.62, to put the race out of reach. Running comfortably and cruising to the finish line, Taylor crossed the line in 2:59.98.

“We needed to be nice and smooth,” said Taylor, who took the 400m hurdles gold for the second time. “We are ready. We think it’s possible to go for the World record. We definitely want to break it.” The World record of 2:54.29 was set at the 1993 World championships in Stuttgart.

Behind them Russia, Belgium and Australia battled it out for the two remaining automatic spots. Denis Alekseyev ran down Belgian anchor Kevin Borlee to give Russia the runner spot in 3:00.14 to Belgium’s 3:00.67, national records for both.

Australia’s Clinton Hill and Poland’s Rafal Wieruszewski were next across the line, clocking 3:00.68 and 3:00.74 respectively, to easily advance to tomorrow’s final by time.

Heat two was marginally faster and in reality considerably more competitive. Jamaican lead-off Michael Blackwood was the first to hand off, passing the baton to Allodin Fothergill. But he was quickly reeled in and overtaken by Briton Robert Tobin (45.32) who gave Great Britain a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Both Tobin and third leg, Michael Bingham (44.56), successfully fended off Jamaican challenges before Martyn Rooney put it away with his 44.42 closing leg, winning comfortably in 2:59.33.

Bahamian anchor Andrae Miller beat back Jamaican anchor Ricardo Chambers with the two Carribean nations, taking the remaining two spots for the final, clocking 2:59.88 and 3:00.09, respectively.

Fireworks on par with those that lit up the opening ceremonies are expected in the final tomorrow, with LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner, the gold and silver medallists in yesterday’s 400m, returning to the track for the U.S. squad.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

4 x 400 m Men     Heat 1 22 August      
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records
1 2.59.98   Q David Neville, Kerron Clement, Reggie Witherspoon, Angelo Taylor United States USA    
2 3.00.14   Q Maksim Dyldin, Vladislav Frolov, Anton Kokorin, Denis Alekseyev Russia RUS   NR
3 3.00.67   Q Cédric Van Branteghem, Jonathan Borlée, Arnaud Ghislain, Kevin Borlée Belgium BEL   NR
4 3.00.68   Q Joel Milburn, Mark Ormrod, John Steffensen, Clinton Hill Australia AUS    
5 3.00.74   Q Marek Plawgo, Piotr Klimczak, Piotr Kędzia, Rafał Wieruszewski Poland POL    
6 3.01.26     Pieter Smith, Ofentse Mogawane, Alwyn Myburgh, LJ van Zyl South Africa RSA    
7 3.02.24     Yunier Pérez, Yunior Díaz, William Collazo, Omar Cisneros Cuba CUB    
8 3.03.19     Teddy Venel, Idrissa M'Barke, Brice Panel, Richard Maunier France FRA    
4 x 400 m Men     Heat 2 22 August      
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records
1 2.59.33   Q Andrew Steele, Robert Tobin, Michael Bingham, Martyn Rooney Great Britain GBR    
2 2.59.88   Q Michael Mathieu, Avard Moncur, Ramon Miller, Andrae Williams Bahamas BAH    
3 3.00.09   Q Michael Blackwood, Allodin Fothergill, Sanjay Ayre, Ricardo Chambers Jamaica JAM    
4 3.03.49     Simon Kirch, Kamghe Gaba, Ruwen Faller, Bastian Swillims Germany GER    
5 3.04.12     Ato Stephens, Jovan Toppin, Cowin Mills, Stann Waithe Trinidad and Tobago TTO    
6 3.04.18     Mitsuhiro Abiko, Dai Tamesue, Yoshihiro Horigome, Kenji Narisako Japan JPN    
7 3.04.30     Stilianós Dimótsios, Dimítrios Grávalos, Padelís Melahrinoúdis, Konstadínos Anastasíou Greece GRE    
8 3.04.31     Carlos Santa, Arismendy Peguero, Pedro Mejía, Yoel Tapia Dominican Republic DOM    




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