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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Men's 4 x 100 m



Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top three in each heat and next two fastest advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 21, 2008  
Date Finished: August 22, 2008  
(Competitors: 66; Countries: 16; Finalists: 32/8)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
The first of the two heats saw four of the eight teams failing to finish, with the USA the shock casualties. Leading into the final exchange, Darvis Patton failed to get the baton to Tyson Gay, while Nigeria, Poland and South Africa followed suit. Trinidad were easy winners in 38.26, while Japan, with three of its Athens squad still intact, were second in 38.52. In the second heat, Jamaica, resting Bolt, made 38.31 look easy, while Britain, challenging for second place, were disqualified when Craig Pickering set off too early on the anchor leg, and took the baton beyond the exchange zone. In the final, Jamaica took a slight lead from Japan on the first leg, and Frater increased the lead to about a metre with his 9.01 carry. Burns moved Trinidad into second place ahead of Japan. Bolt changed the tenor of the race, running what was probably the first ever sub-9 second third leg despite a baton change which could be politely described as very safe. A similarly careful exchange to Powell followed, and showing his true quality the former world record holder took a fourmetre lead and turned it into one of 10m, covering his stint in a breathtaking 8.70. Whereas the 2004 title was decided by one hundredth, the winning margin here was almost a full second as the long-standing world record was lowered from 37.40 to 37.10. Trinidad had momentarily dropped behind Japan and Brazil after the last exchange, but then Thompson raced clear to claim his second Beijing silver.
Summary by      
For one of the few times in Olympic history, the United States was not favored in the short relay, as Jamaica had all the cards. Usain Bolt had already won the 100 and 200 in world record times, and his teammate, Asafa Powell, was the 100 world-record holder coming into 2008. Aided by Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, it was thought that only poor baton passing could get the US ahead of the Caribbean powerhouse. But the US team never even got the chance. In the first heat of round one, Darvis Patton ran the third leg for the US and was leading as he went to hand-off to Tyson Gay. But the two dropped the baton and the US was out of the heat and the final. This left the way open for Jamaica to run virtually uncontested, though it is highly unlikely the US could have beaten Jamaica in the final, even at their absolute best. Jamaica dominated the final, shattering the previous world record of 37.40, to record 37.10. Bolt ran the third leg on the curve, clocking an estimated 9.0 around the turn, and Asafa Powell’s anchor was timed by tafnuts in 8.7. This gave Bolt his third sprint gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, all in world record time, a feat which had never been performed at the Olympics.


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

World record  United States
Michael Marsh
Leroy Burrell
Dennis Mitchell
Carl Lewis

 United States
Jon Drummond
Andre Cason
Dennis Mitchell
Leroy Burrell
37.40 s Barcelona

8 August 1992

21 August 1993
Olympic record  United States (USA)
Michael Marsh
Leroy Burrell
Dennis Mitchell
Carl Lewis
37.40 s Barcelona 8 August 1992

The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.

Date Event Name Nationality Time OR WR
22 August Final Nesta Carter
Michael Frater
Usain Bolt
Asafa Powell
Jamaica 37.10 OR WR

Qualification summary

Pos NOC 2 races 1 2
Total Average
1 United States 75.88 37.94 37.78 38.10
2 Jamaica 75.91 37.96 37.89 38.02
3 Great Britain 76.20 38.10 37.90 38.30
4 Japan 76.24 38.12 38.03 38.21
5 Brazil 76.26 38.13 37.99 38.27
6 Germany 77.12 38.56 38.56 38.56
7 France 77.18 38.59 38.40 38.78
8 Poland 77.23 38.62 38.61 38.62
9 Nigeria 77.34 38.67 38.43 38.91
10 Canada 77.53 38.77 38.72 38.81
11 Italy 77.56 38.78 38.54 39.02
12 Trinidad and Tobago 77.56 38.78 38.54 39.02
13 South Africa 77.80 38.90 38.75 39.05
  Australia 77.82 38.91 38.73 39.09
14 China 77.85 38.93 38.81 39.04
15 Thailand 77.89 38.95 38.94 38.95
16 Netherlands 77.95 38.98 38.92 39.03
17 Switzerland 78.01 39.01 38.99 39.02
18 Ghana 78.08 39.04 38.91 39.17
19 Russia 78.45 39.23 39.08 39.37

The Men's 4 × 100 metre relay event at the 2008 Olympic Games took place on 21 and 22 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. Australia was 14th but withdrew and the Netherlands was invited instead. The final was won by Jamaica in the new World record time 37.10.

Men's 4x100m Relay - FINAL


After bagging two gold medals and two World records Usain Bolt did not disappoint in his third and final event of this sensational Olympic Games which he has done so much to ignite.

It was another gold medal and another World record, although this time Bolt had to share the glory with his three Jamaican teammates as they obliterated the World record in 37.10* - hacking a massive 0.30 from the world record first set by the USA at the 1992 Barcelona Games and matched by the same nation at the following year's World Championships in Stuttgart.

Behind, a very long way behind, was Trinidad, who picked up the silver in 38.06 and Japan earned an unlikely bronze in 38.15 to go one better than four years ago in Athens, but this final was all about those Jamaicans and Mr Bolt.

Surprisingly, for a nation with Jamaica's sprinting heritage, this was their first gold medal in this event. It was also the biggest winning margin - 0.95 - since Jesse Owens inspired the USA to victory at the 1936 Berlin Games.

With the US absent from the final after committing a relay blunder in the heats and the defending champions Great Britain suffering the same fate, it was always likely to be a straight forward task for Jamaica providing, of course, they could suffer no mishaps with the baton.

However, we need not have worried. These Games - at least in the track and field programme - has all been about one athlete. Usain Bolt, the man with the Midas touch.

Nesta Carter gave Jamaica a solid base from which to build with an impressive opening leg and Michael Frater, the sixth place finisher in the Olympic 100m, extended their advantage ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Japan.

The second exchange between Frater and Bolt can politely be described as 'safe' as the 'big man' almost come to a stand still to make sure he grabbed the baton in his sizeable paw.

Next the fireworks, as Bolt called upon his brilliance for one last time here in the Bird's Nest Stadium to open up a sizeable winning lead and safely passed the baton on to Asafa Powell.

For Powell, the former world 100m record holder and the man who this season has been completely overshadowed by Bolt, he gained some consolation from what has otherwise been a heartbreaking season.

To be fair, he ran the anchor leg like a man possessed and with a 10m lead on the rest of the world crossed the line to record those World record figures.

Trinidad, anchored by the Olympic 100m silver medallist Richard Thompson, secured their first ever medal in this event with silver and it was also a first 4x100m podium for the bronze medallists, Japan.

Brazil, who won Olympic medals in this event in 1996 and 2000, this time wound up fourth in 38.24 with Germany fifth in 38.58. The hosts China were disqualified.

Perhaps the final words, though, belong to you know who?

"All I can say is, yo, Jamaican sprinters (are) taking over the world," said Bolt in the wake of his third gold medal and third World record of these Games. 

Steve Landells for the IAAF

* pending the usual ratification procedures

4 x 100 m Men     Final 22 August      
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records
1 37.10     Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell Jamaica JAM   WR
2 38.06     Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson Trinidad and Tobago TTO    
3 38.15     Naoki Tsukahara, Shingo Suetsugu, Shinji Takahira, Nobuharu Asahara Japan JPN    
4 38.24     Vicente de Lima, Sandro Viana, Bruno de Barros, José Carlos Moreira Brazil BRA    
5 38.58     Tobias Unger, Till Helmke, Alexander Kosenkow, Martin Keller Germany GER    
6 38.66     Hank Palmer, Anson Henry, Jared Connaughton, Pierre Browne Canada CAN    
7 45.81     Maarten Heisen, Guus Hoogmoed, Patrick van Luijk, Caimin Douglas Netherlands NED    
  DNF     Wen Yongyi, Zhang Peimeng, Lu Bin, Hu Kai China CHN    

Men's 4x100m Relay - Round 1


Total carnage. The heats were supposed to provide a nice, easy straight forward qualification but instead served up the kind of baton changing that would have been a disgrace at a school sport's day as the 15-time former winners USA and defending champions Great Britain were both disqualified.

On top of that Nigeria, Poland and South Africa all suffered the dreaded DNF in heat one and Italy were also DQd and in heat two. We could barely raise enough teams for the final.

It all looked to be very sensible from the US team in heat one. During the first two changes they adopted a safety first policy and entered the final change marginally ahead of Trinidad and Tobago on their outside.

Yet as Darvis Patton handed on to World 100m champion Tyson Gay, who had disappointingly crashed out of the 100m semi-finals, his Games went from bad to worse as the baton slipped out of his grasp. The USA were out.

Gay took resposibility for the error and admitted: "I tried to reach for it, but it wasn't there. I should have made sure. I guess it's my fault."

Maybe distracted by the USA's blunder Nigeria, the 2004 bronze medallists, and South Africa also messed up their last exchanges and Poland also crashed out, which left only four teams to complete the one lap with baton in hand.

Trinidad, anchored by the Olympic 100m silver medallist Richard Thompson, took the heat win, for what it was worth, in 38.25 from Japan 38.52. The Netherlands in 38.87 took the third automatic spot and Brazil in 39.01 qualified as one of the two next fastest.

The second heat also provided thrills and spills, although both Great Britain and Italy would rather prefer that it hadn't.

Jamaica, the red-hot favourites, even without there Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt running in the heats, showed how it should be done and cruised to victory anchored by former World record holder Asafa Powell in 38.31.

The British quartet crossed the line second, however, they were subsequently disqualified after anchor leg runner Craig Pickering took off too early and grabbed the baton from incoming Marlon Devonish out of the exchange zone.

Pickering offered an honest appraisal and said: "I feel like I let myself down. I let my country down." 

Canada, the 1996 Olympic champions, profited to claim second in 38.77. Germany took third in 38.93 and there was delight for the hosts as China qualified as one of the two next fastest in 39.13.

The only two teams who finished not to qualify for the final were Thailand (39.40) and France (39.53).

Steve Landells for the IAAF 

4 x 100 m Men     Heat 1 21 August      
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records
1 38.26   Q Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Aaron Armstrong, Richard Thompson Trinidad and Tobago TTO    
2 38.52   Q Naoki Tsukahara, Shingo Suetsugu, Shinji Takahira, Nobuharu Asahara Japan JPN    
3 38.87   Q Maarten Heisen, Guus Hoogmoed, Patrick van Luijk, Caimin Douglas Netherlands NED    
4 39.01   Q José Carlos Moreira, Bruno de Barros, Vicente de Lima, Sandro Viana Brazil BRA    
  DNF     Onyeabor Ngwogu, Obinna Metu, Chinedu Oriala, Uchenna Emedolu Nigeria NGR    
  DNF     Marcin Nowak, Łukasz Chyła, Marcin Jędrusiński, Dariusz Kuć Poland POL    
  DNF     Hannes Dreyer, Leigh Julius, Kagisho Kumbane, Thuso Mpuang South Africa RSA    
  DNF     Rodney Martin, Travis Padgett, Darvis Patton, Tyson Gay United States USA    
4 x 100 m Men     Heat 2 21 August      
Rank Mark     Team Country NOC   Records
1 38.31   Q Dwight Thomas, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell Jamaica JAM    
2 38.77   Q Hank Palmer, Anson Henry, Jared Connaughton, Pierre Browne Canada CAN    
3 38.93   Q Tobias Unger, Till Helmke, Alexander Kosenkow, Martin Keller Germany GER    
4 39.13   Q Wen Yongyi, Zhang Peimeng, Lu Bin, Hu Kai China CHN    
5 39.40     Apinan Sukaphai, Siriroj Darasuriyong, Sompote Suwannarangsri, Sittichai Suwonprateep Thailand THA    
6 39.53     Yannick Lesourd, Martial Mbandjock, Manuel Reynaert, Samuel Coco-Viloin France FRA    
  DQ     Simeon Williamson, Tyrone Edgar, Marlon Devonish, Craig Pickering Great Britain GBR    
  DQ     Fabio Cerutti, Simone Collio, Emanuele Di Gregorio, Jacques Riparelli Italy ITA    




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