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1968 Olympic Games Ciudad de México, Mexico - Men's 4 x 400 m



Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico Format: Top two in each heat and next two fastest advanced to the final.
Date Started: October 19, 1968
Date Finished: October 20, 1968
(Competitors: 65; Countries: 16; Finalists: 32/8)
Venue(s): University Olympic Stadium, Ciudad de México
Overview by IAAF 1968_olympic_stadium.jpg 
With the slowest man on the United States squad a 44.4 man – appreciably faster than the best of any other team – the winner was never in doubt. The heats were notable for the USA’s 3:00.71, equalling the Olympic record, highlighted by a 43.4 leg by Freeman. Kenya ran 3:00.84 behind the USA, with Rudisha running 44.0 on the anchor leg. Cuba and Nigeria ran 3:05.28 and 3:05.78 respectively, but failed to make the final. Matthews was not only held by Asati on the first leg in the final, but headed as the little (1.76/65Kg) Kenyan gained 4m on his American rival, with the rest of the field more than 10m back. Freeman broke the race open on the second leg, handing over 12m clear of Kenya after a 43.2 leg, still one of the fastest ever splits 44 years later. James ran a fine solo 43.8, and the lead was now 30m, and Evans brought the team home in 2:56.16, altitude aided to be sure, but the longest lasting world record of the altitude affected Games. Behind them, Kenya finished as the first non-American team to run under three minutes.
Summary by
Having swept the medals in the 400 metres, the US could only lose by dropping the baton or an injury. In the heats the US equaled the Olympic record with 3:00.71. Aided by altitude the American team was dominant in the final, defeating Kenya by over 30 metres in a mark that shattered the world record of 2:59.6. The mark of 2:56.16 was altitude aided, but would last until it was equaled at the 1988 Olympics by another US relay team and it would not be broken until the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Despite the acclaim given to Bob Beamon’s long jump mark, this was the world record from Ciudad de México that lasted for the longest period of time. The US actually did not lead on the opening leg, as Charles Asati put Kenya four metres ahead of Vince Matthews. But the outcome was settled on the second leg when 400 bronze medalist Ron Freeman ran 43.2, the fastest leg to that time, and still a remarkable time. With Larry James, the 400 silver medalist, and Lee Evans, the gold medalist, running the last two legs, the race was over.
4 x 400 m Men Final 20 October
Rank Mark Team Country NOC Records Notes
1 2.56.16 Vince Matthews 45.0, Ron Freeman 43.2, Larry James 43.8, Lee Evans 44.1 United States USA WR 2.56.1 h
2 2.59.64 Charles Asati 44.6, Munyoro Nyamau 45.2, Naftali Bon 45.2, Daniel Rudisha 44.6 Kenya KEN 2.59.6 h
3 3.00.57 Helmar Müller 46.2, Manfred Kinder 44.8, Gerhard Hennige 44.7, Martin Jellinghaus 44.8 West Germany FRG 3.00.5 h
4 3.00.58 Stanisław Gredziński 46.8, Jan Balachowski 44.7, Jan Werner 44.5, Andrzej Badeński 44.5 Poland POL 3.00.5 h
5 3.01.21 Martin Winbolt-Lewis 46.2, Colin Campbell 44.9, David Hemery 44.6, John Sherwood 45.5 Great Britain GBR 3.01.2 h
6 3.04.54 George Simon 46.1, Euric Bobb 46.7, Benedict Cayenne 45.9, Edwin Roberts 45.8 Trinidad and Tobago TTO 3.04.5 h
7 3.04.64 Sergio Ottolina 46.4, Giacomo Puosi 45.8, Furio Fusi 46.5, Sergio Bello 45.9 Italy ITA 3.04.6 h
8 3.07.51 Jean-Claude Nallet 46.6, Jacques Carette 45.8, Gilles Bertould 47.1, Jean-Pierre Boccardo 48.0 [Christian Nicolau] France FRA 3.07.5 h
4 x 400 m Men Round One Heat One 19 October
Rank Mark Team Country NOC Records Notes
1 3.00.71 Q  Vincent Matthews Ronald Freeman Larry James Lee Evans United States USA (=)OR 3.00.7 h
2 3.00.84 Q  Daniel Rudisna Munyoro Nyamau Naftali Bon Charles Asati Kenya KEN 3.00.8 h
3 3.04.93 Q  Sergio Ottolina Giacomo Puosi Furio Fusi Sergio Bello Italy ITA 3.04.8 h
4 3.07.00  Hartmut Schwabe Dieter Fromm Wolfgang Müller Michael Zerbes East Germany GDR 3.06.9 h
5 3.19.42  Rolando Gómez Jose L'Oficial Radhames Mora David Soriano Dominican Republic DOM 3.19.4 h
4 x 400 m Men Round One Heat Two 19 October
Rank Mark Team Country NOC Records Notes
1 3.03.02 Q  Stanislaw Gredzinski Jan Balachwski Jan Werner Andrzej Badenski Poland POL 3.03.0 h
2 3.03.67 Q  Martin Winbolt-Lewis Colin Campbell David Hemery John Sherwood Great Britain GBR 3.03.6 h
3 3.05.78  Mamman Makama David Ejoke Musa Dogon Yaro Anthony Egwunyenga Nigeria NGR 3.05.7 h
4 3.06.94  Amadou Gakou Daour M'baye Papa N'diaye Mamadou Sarr Senegal SEN 3.06.9 h
4 x 400 m Men Round One Heat Three 19 October
Rank Mark Team Country NOC Records Notes
1 3.03.90 Q  Helmar Müllier Manfred Kinder Gerhard Hennige Martin Jellinghaus West Germany FRG 3.03.8 h
2 3.04.55 Q  George Simon Euric Bobb Benedict Cayenne Edwin Roberts Trinidad and Tobago TTO 3.04.5 h
3 3.04.69 Q  Jean Nallet Jacques Carette Gilles Bertould Christian Nicolau France FRA 3.04.6 h
4 3.05.28  Carlos Martínez Eddy Tellez Miguel Olivera Rodobaldo Díaz Cuba CUB 3.05.2 h
5 3.07.65  Víctor Patinez Raul Dome Víctor Maldonado José Hidalgo Venezuela VEN 3.07.6 h
6 3.08.19  Melesio Piña Salvador Medina Carlos Castro Francisco Sardo Mexico MEX 3.08.1 h
7 3.09.70  Ross Mackenzie Brian Maclaren William Crothers Wesley Brooker Canada CAN 3.09.6 h




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