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2004 Olympic Games Athens - Women's 400 m

 

 

Host City: Athina, Greece Format: Top two in each heat and next two fastest advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 20, 2004 Format: Top three in each heat and next three fastest advanced to the semi-finals.
Date Finished: August 23, 2004  
(Competitors: 41; Countries: 30; Finalists: 8)  
    Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Maroussi
Overview by IAAF   2004-athens-stadium.jpg 
The World Champion Guevara, and Darling (née Williams) – the dominant 400m runner on the 2004 Grand Prix circuit – were the favourites, with tradition leaning towards the Mexican because the pre-Olympic World Champion had won the four previous Olympic titles. Fastest in the first round was Richards with 50.11, and only Darling (50.00) went faster in the semi-finals. Guevara won her semi in 50.15, and the duel was set. Hennagan was off fastest in the final, but Darling was able to key on her from one lane inside, and by halfway was leading, with Guevara and Richards one metre back. Guevara halved the deficit by 300m, reached by the Bahamian in 35.6, 0.1 ahead of Guevara. The Mexican drew level with Darling with 50m to go, but lost her form slightly in the last few strides and Darling won by a metre. The three Americans were battling for third place, but Antyukh came through quickly on their outside in the final stages to take the bronze by half a metre from Hennagan.
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
The defending champion, Maria Mutola, was the favorite, having won the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. The final pace was led by American Jearl Miles-Clark who led thru 600 metres. At the start of the homestretch Mutola and Britain's Kelly Holmes passed into the lead. It was expected to be a great battle but Mutola faded, and Holmes ran away from her. But the finish was very close as Morocco's Hasna Benhassi and Slovenia's Jolanda Čeplak closed quickly. Holmes held on to win, with almost nothing to choose between Benhassi and Ceplak, both clocked in 1:56.43, Benhassi getting the silver. Mutola dropped back to fourth, and Miles-Clark trailed in sixth place.
 

Records

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

World record  Marita Koch (GDR) 47.60 s Canberra, Australia 6 October 1985
Olympic record  Marie-José Pérec (FRA) 48.25 s Atlanta, United States 29 July 1996

No new records were set during the competition.

Qualification

The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's 400 metres, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 51.50 seconds or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 52.30 seconds or faster could be entered.
 
        Results        

The women's 400 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program were held at the Athens Olympic Stadium from August 21 to 24.

The first round had split a full roster of runners into eight heats with the first three gaining a direct qualification and then the next six fastest across all heats advancing to the semifinals. The top two runners in each of the three semifinal heats moved on directly to the final, and they are immediately joined by the next two fastest from any of the semifinals.

Coming into the final, the fastest qualifiers were Monique Hennagan and Natalya Antyukh challenging each other in their semi final, Tonique Williams-Darling racing DeeDee Trotter in theirs, with world champion Ana Guevara cruising her semi final just staying ahead of Christine Amertil. In the final, Hennagan again went for the lead with Amertil and Natalya Nazarova each taking their shot at her in the first 200, only to fade after. Starting slightly slower, Williams came on strongly on the backstretch, marked by Guevara around the second turn. Coming off the turn Guevara had Williams where she wanted her, and Sanya Richards about even with Hennigan a couple of steps behind, with Antyukh and Trotter another step behind. Less than 50 meters from the finish, Guevara moved into the lead, but Williams kicked it into a different gear and pulled away to finish with gold. On the inside, Trotter rocketed past Richards and was gaining on Hennagan. Hennagan tried to fight, long striding with a slowing cadence to the finish, losing ground to a fast closing Antyukh. Defeated, Guevara gave up the fight and glided across the finish line with silver. 3 meters back, Antyukh clearly beat a wilting Hennagan, who still managed to hold off the fast closing Trotter.

24 AUG 2004 General News Tonique Williams

Women's 400m Final

Darling had not been beaten in any races since March, and tonight the IAAF World Ranked No.1 in her event was not going to let that competitive record slip in the women’s Olympic 400 metres final, however tough and hard was the challenge from Ana Guevara, Mexico’s World champion.

Williams-Darling thus became the first individual Olympic gold medal-winner for the Bahamas, just four years after their women’s sprint relay squad landed the country’s first ever gold at the Sydney Games. She clocked 49.41 to Guevara’s 49.56, a season’s best, while Natalya Antyukh, of Russia, was delighted to take the bronze with 49.89, edging ahead of the American trio led by Monique Hennagan (49.97).

Guevara in lane three, with Williams-Darling in lane four, roared off at a tremendous pace in an effort to close down on her principle rival.

The first time the women had raced this season, in Rome, the Mexican’s two-year winning streak was brought to an abrupt end, and Williams-Darling had won again when they raced at the Zurich Golden League meeting, too. So Guevara, after an injury-hit season, would call on all her deepest reserves of strength.

Inside Guevara, Sanya Richards was trying to go with the Big Two, and they were so quick to halfway that they had caught up the stagger on Hennagan.

Off the last bend, and Guevara moved right to Williams-Darling’s shoulder. Who might crack first?

Williams-Darling proved to be the stronger, so wrote another piece of Olympic history.

400 m Women     Final 24 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 49.41     Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas BAH 17 Jan 76  
2 49.56     Ana Guevara Mexico MEX 4 Mar 77  
3 49.89     Natalya Antyukh Russia RUS 26 Jun 81  
4 49.97     Monique Hennagan United States USA 26 May 76  
5 50.00     Deedee Trotter United States USA 8 Dec 82  
6 50.19     Sanya Richards-Ross United States USA 26 Feb 85  
7 50.37     Christine Amertil Bahamas BAH 18 Aug 79  
8 50.65     Natalya Nazarova Russia RUS 26 May 79  
22 AUG 2004 General News If the first

Women's 400m - Semi-Finals

round heats had offered relatively trouble-free qualification, the qualifying conditions in the semi-finals of the women’s 400 metres were brutal: just the first two from each of three races guaranteed places in Tuesday night’s final.

Thus, Sanya Richards, the precocious teenaged American, had to wait for 20 minutes after placing third in 50.54 in the first semi to discover that she would go through to her first Olympic final, aged just 19.

World champion Ana Guevara took the first semi, having run almost shoulder-to-shoulder with Bahamas’ Christine Amertil, drawn in the lane inside her, as they finished in 50.15 and 50.17 (personal best - PB - for Amertil).

It meant that tiny Bahamas would have two finalists, as Tonique Williams-Darling, No 1 on the IAAF World Rankings for the event, demonstrated why she tops that list with her 50.00, ahead of DeeDee Trotter’s 50.14 (PB).

American champion Monique Hennagan laid down her medal credentials in winning the last semi, setting the fastest time of the night with 49.98, although it was clear that Katalya Antyukh, the European Indoor champion, was easing down in sight of the finishing line, reached in 50.04. With Novlene Williams of Jamaica third in 50.85, it meant that the last fastest loser place in the final went to a second Russian, Natalya Nazarova, who had finished third in semi-final two in 50.63.

400 m Women     Semifinal 1 22 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 50.15   Q Ana Guevara Mexico MEX 4 Mar 77  
2 50.17   Q Christine Amertil Bahamas BAH 18 Aug 79  
3 50.54   Q Sanya Richards-Ross United States USA 26 Feb 85  
4 51.00     Christine Ohuruogu Great Britain GBR 17 May 84  
5 51.33     Tiandra Ponteen Saint Kitts and Nevis SKN 9 Nov 84  
6 51.42     Sviatlana Usovich Belarus BLR 14 Oct 80  
7 51.47     Hazel-Ann Regis-Buckels Grenada GRN 1 Feb 81  
8 53.13     Egle Uljas Estonia EST 18 Dec 84  
400 m Women     Semifinal 2 22 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 50.00   Q Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas BAH 17 Jan 76  
2 50.14   Q Deedee Trotter United States USA 8 Dec 82  
3 50.63   Q Natalya Nazarova Russia RUS 26 May 79  
4 51.21     Fatou Binetou Fall Senegal SEN 23 Aug 81  
5 51.57     Kaltouma Nadjina Chad CHA 16 Nov 76  
6 51.77     Estie Wittstock South Africa RSA 15 Sep 80  
7 51.94     Donna Fraser Great Britain GBR 7 Nov 72  
8 51.96     Grażyna Prokopek-Janáček Poland POL 20 Apr 77  
400 m Women     Semifinal 3 22 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 49.88   Q Monique Hennagan United States USA 26 May 76  
2 50.04   Q Natalya Antyukh Russia RUS 26 Jun 81  
3 50.85     Novlene Williams-Mills Jamaica JAM 26 Apr 82  
4 51.20     Mariyana Dimitrova Bulgaria BUL 29 Jul 82  
5 51.61     Aliann Pompey Guyana GUY 9 Mar 78  
6 51.90     Antonina Yefremova Ukraine UKR 19 Jul 81  
7 52.21     Mireille Nguimgo Cameroon CMR 7 Nov 76  
8 52.63     Lee McConnell Great Britain GBR 9 Oct 78  
21 AUG 2004 General News Athens

Women's 400m Hurdles - Heats

The biggest uncertainty of the opening round of the Women’s 400 Hurdles concerned the fitness of Jana Pittman less than two weeks after the reigning World champion had undergone emergency arthroscopic knee surgery. 

But the 21-year-old Australian answered all questions with a resounding “yes”, as she led from the gun and had made up the lane stagger with her main rival in the heat, Russia’s Yekaterina Bikert, by the third hurdle.

With her time of 54.83, Pittman was able to conserve precious energy for Sunday’s semi-final by winning the day’s slowest heat. Bikert, at 54.95, closed the gap in the final metres while the Australian coasted at the end, always in control despite fighting the tight turn of lane two.

“I was so nervous before the race,” Pittman admitted afterwards. “I didn’t know if my knee was going to hold up, nor if I could hold my stride together through the sixth or eighth hurdle because I haven’t done it for so long.”  [In her post-operative rehabilitation, Pittman has been restricted to doing only three hurdles in training.]  “But technically, I feel fine. It’s the farthest I’ve gotten in the Olympics. In Sydney [as a seventeen-year-old], I was only fourth in my heat.” 

The full stadium was thick with Hellenic supporters who greeted Faní Halkiá with a loud ovation, and the Greek star responded with a 53.85 heat win, her fourth national record of the year. Halkiá used the usual fast start of American Lashinda Demus as a catalyst in her performance, as Demus settled back after leading over the first three hurdles and posted a relaxed 54.66 to finish in an automatically-qualifying second place.

The day’s fastest time came from Paris bronze medallist and current World record holder, Yuliya Pechonkina, in 53.57. The Russian, assigned in lane two like Pittman, was ably pulled along by the fast start of Jamaica’s Patrina Allen, who held or shared the lead through seven hurdles. As Allen faded during the run-in, Tetyana Tereshchuk of Ukraine slipped by for second in 54.63 as Allen’s 56.40 was insufficient for advancement. 

The season’s World list leader, US Trials champion Sheena Johnson, put on a strong exhibition of front-running during the first eight hurdles of her heat, but upon entering the final straight, she had attracted a large crowd. In the end, Ma³gorzata Pskit of Poland, with a PB 54.75, pipped the American’s 54.81, as China’s Huang Xiaoxiao, running almost unnoticed in lane eight, was close in a PB 54.83 for third. 

The remaining heat was won by Paris fourth-placer and the sixth-placer in Sydney, Romania’s Ionela Tîrlea-Manolache (54.41), ahead of Brenda Taylor of the US (54.72).

Tîrlea was likely speaking for the entire group of thirty-three hurdlers with her remarks about the early hour for the competition. “I had some problems with my pacing between 200m and 300m, but it was only nine o’clock in the morning, so I’m quite satisfied with my run.” 

Several past World champions fell out of the competition during the first round.  Running in the same stadium in which she won the first of her two World titles, Morocco’s Nezha Bidouane, who also won a bronze in Sydney, saw her third-place 55.69 barely miss out as a time qualifier. Sevilla World champion and Sydney fourth-placer, Daimi Pernia of Cuba, likewise was denied a spot in Sunday’s semifinals after her fifth-place 55.91. 

Also making an early exit was three-time World Championships finalist Andrea Blackett of Barbados after a sixth-place 56.49. 

400 m Women     Heat 1 21 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 50.93   Q Ana Guevara Mexico MEX 4 Mar 77  
2 51.19   Q Lee McConnell Great Britain GBR 9 Oct 78  
3 51.29   Q Grażyna Prokopek-Janáček Poland POL 20 Apr 77  
4 51.87   Q Fatou Binetou Fall Senegal SEN 23 Aug 81  
5 52.11     Hortense Béwouda Cameroon CMR 19 Oct 78  
6 52.94     Oksana Luneva Kyrgyzstan KGZ 2 Aug 79  
7 63.57     Ruwida El Hubti Libya LBA 16 Apr 89 NR
400 m Women     Heat 2 21 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 51.02   Q Monique Hennagan United States USA 26 May 76  
2 51.29   Q Mariyana Dimitrova Bulgaria BUL 29 Jul 82  
3 51.50   Q Kaltouma Nadjina Chad CHA 16 Nov 76  
4 52.04     Nadia Davy Jamaica JAM 24 Dec 80  
5 52.10     María Laura Almirão Brazil BRA 20 Sep 77  
6 52.53     Kirsi Mykkänen Finland FIN 7 Feb 78  
7 56.01     Bu Fanfang China CHN 10 Feb 78  
400 m Women     Heat 3 21 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 50.82   Q Natalya Nazarova Russia RUS 26 May 79  
2 51.19   Q Donna Fraser Great Britain GBR 7 Nov 72  
3 51.66   Q Hazel-Ann Regis-Buckels Grenada GRN 1 Feb 81  
4 51.89   Q Estie Wittstock South Africa RSA 15 Sep 80  
5 52.44     Amy Mbacké Thiam Senegal SEN 10 Nov 76  
6 53.77     Amantle Montsho Botswana BOT 4 Jul 83 NR
7 54.43     Zamira Amirova Uzbekistan UZB 11 Jun 79  
400 m Women     Heat 4 21 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 50.54   Q Natalya Antyukh Russia RUS 26 Jun 81  
2 50.56   Q Deedee Trotter United States USA 8 Dec 82  
3 50.59   Q Novlene Williams-Mills Jamaica JAM 26 Apr 82  
4 51.33   Q Aliann Pompey Guyana GUY 9 Mar 78  
5 51.91   Q Egle Uljas Estonia EST 18 Dec 84 NR NUR
6 53.35     Svetlana Bodritskaya Kazakhstan KAZ 7 Nov 71  
7 60.92     Shifana Ali Maldives MDV 6 Jun 84 NR
400 m Women     Heat 5 21 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 51.20   Q Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas BAH 17 Jan 76  
2 51.37   Q Sviatlana Usovich Belarus BLR 14 Oct 80  
3 51.53   Q Antonina Yefremova Ukraine UKR 19 Jul 81  
4 51.90   Q Mireille Nguimgo Cameroon CMR 7 Nov 76  
5 52.85     Allison Beckford Jamaica JAM 8 May 79  
6 52.87     Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni Togo TOG 21 Apr 76  
7 54.58     Damayanthi Dharsha Sri Lanka SRI 13 Feb 75  
400 m Women     Heat 6 21 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 50.11   Q Sanya Richards-Ross United States USA 26 Feb 85  
2 50.23   Q Christine Amertil Bahamas BAH 18 Aug 79  
3 50.50   Q Christine Ohuruogu Great Britain GBR 17 May 84  
4 51.17   Q Tiandra Ponteen Saint Kitts and Nevis SKN 9 Nov 84  
5 52.18     Geisa Coutinho Brazil BRA 1 Jun 80  
6 53.58     Makelesi Batimala Fiji FIJ 23 Oct 77  
7 63.28     Salamtou Hassane Niger NIG 87 NJR
 
Detailed View
 

Results

Round 1

Qualification rule: The first three finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next six fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the semifinals.

Heat 1

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 8 Ana Guevara Mexico 50.93 Q
2 5 Lee McConnell Great Britain 51.19 Q
3 4 Grażyna Prokopek Poland 51.29 Q, PB
4 7 Fatou Bintou Fall Senegal 51.87 q
5 2 Hortense Bewouda Cameroon 52.11  
6 6 Oksana Luneva Kyrgyzstan 52.94  
7 3 Ruwida El-Hubti Libya 1:03.57 NR

Heat 2

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 4 Monique Hennagan United States 51.02 Q
2 8 Mariyana Dimitrova Bulgaria 51.29 Q
3 7 Kaltouma Nadjina Chad 51.50 Q
4 3 Nadia Davy Jamaica 52.04  
5 2 Maria Laura Almirão Brazil 52.10  
6 6 Kirsi Mykkänen Finland 52.53  
7 5 Bo Fanfang China 56.01  

Heat 3

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 3 Natalya Nazarova Russia 50.82 Q
2 7 Donna Fraser Great Britain 51.19 Q
3 2 Hazel-Ann Regis Grenada 51.66 Q
4 5 Estie Wittstock South Africa 51.89 q
5 6 Amy Mbacke Thiam Senegal 52.44  
6 8 Amantle Montsho Botswana 53.77 NR
7 4 Zamira Amirova Uzbekistan 54.43  

Heat 4

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 7 Natalya Antyukh Russia 50.54 Q
2 5 DeeDee Trotter United States 50.56 Q
3 6 Novlene Williams Jamaica 50.59 Q, PB
4 3 Aliann Pompey Guyana 51.33 q
5 8 Egle Uljas Estonia 51.91 q, NR
6 2 Svetlana Bodritskaya Kazakhstan 53.35  
7 4 Shifana Ali Maldives 1:00.92 NR

Heat 5

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 8 Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas 51.20 Q
2 5 Sviatlana Usovich Belarus 51.37 Q
3 3 Antonina Yefremova Ukraine 51.53 Q
4 2 Mireille Nguimgo Cameroon 51.90 q
5 4 Allison Beckford Jamaica 52.85  
6 7 Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni Togo 52.87  
7 6 Damayanthi Dharsha Sri Lanka 54.58  

Heat 6

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 2 Sanya Richards United States 50.11 Q
2 3 Christine Amertil Bahamas 50.23 Q, PB
3 7 Christine Ohurougu Great Britain 50.50 Q, PB
4 8 Tiandra Ponteen Saint Kitts and Nevis 51.17 q
5 4 Geisa Coutinho Brazil 52.18  
6 5 Makelesi Bulikiobo Fiji 53.58  
7 6 Salamtou Hassane Niger 1:03.28 NR

Semifinals

Qualification rule: The first two finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next two fastest overall runners (q) moved on to the final.

Semifinal 1

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 4 Ana Guevara Mexico 50.15 Q
2 3 Christine Amertil Bahamas 50.17 Q, PB
3 5 Sanya Richards United States 50.54 q
4 1 Christine Ohurougu Great Britain 51.00  
5 2 Tiandra Ponteen Saint Kitts and Nevis 51.33  
6 6 Sviatlana Usovich Belarus 51.42  
7 7 Hazel-Ann Regis Grenada 51.47  
8 8 Egle Uljas Estonia 53.13  

Semifinal 2

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 4 Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas 50.00 Q
2 5 DeeDee Trotter United States 50.14 Q, PB
3 3 Natalya Nazarova Russia 50.63 q
4 1 Fatou Bintou Fall Senegal 51.21  
5 8 Kaltouma Nadjina Chad 51.57  
6 2 Estie Wittstock South Africa 51.77  
7 6 Donna Fraser Great Britain 51.94  
8 7 Grażyna Prokopek Poland 51.96  

Semifinal 3

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1 5 Monique Hennagan United States 49.88 Q
2 4 Natalya Antyukh Russia 50.04 Q
3 1 Novlene Williams Jamaica 50.85  
4 6 Mariyana Dimitrova Bulgaria 51.20 PB
5 7 Aliann Pompey Guyana 51.61  
6 2 Antonina Yefremova Ukraine 51.90  
7 8 Mireille Nguimgo Cameroon 52.21  
8 3 Lee McConnell Great Britain 52.63  

Final

Rank Lane Name Nationality Result Notes
1st 4 Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas 49.42  
2nd 3 Ana Guevara Mexico 49.56 SB
3rd 6 Natalya Antyukh Russia 49.89  
4 5 Monique Hennagan United States 49.97  
5 1 DeeDee Trotter United States 50.00 PB
6 2 Sanya Richards United States 50.19  
7 8 Christine Amertil Bahamas 50.37  
8 7 Natalya Nazarova Russia 50.65  

 

 

 

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