400 metres

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Athletics
400 metres
400m CIF San Diego Championship 2007.jpg
The closing stages of a men's 400 m race
Men's records
World  United States Michael Johnson 43.18 (1999)
Olympic  United States Michael Johnson 43.49 (1996)
Women's records
World  East Germany Marita Koch 47.60 (1985)
Olympic  France Marie-José Pérec 48.25 (1996)

The 400 metres, or 400 metre dash, is a common sprinting event in track and field competitions. It has been featured in the athletics programme at the Summer Olympics since 1896 (1964 for women). On a standard outdoor running track, it is exactly one lap around the track. Runners start in staggered positions and race in separate lanes for the entire course. In many countries, athletes previously competed in the 440 yard dash (402.336 m)—which is the length of a quarter of a mile and was referred to as the 'quarter-mile'—instead of the 400 m (437.445 yards), though this distance is now obsolete. An athlete who competes in the 400 m may still be referred to as 'quarter-miler'; the distance or event might still be called the "quarter."

Maximum sprint speed capability is a significant contributing factor to success in the event, but athletes also require substantial speed endurance and the ability to cope well with high amounts of lactic acid to sustain a fast speed over a whole lap. While considered to be predominantly an anaerobic event, there is some aerobic involvement and the degree of aerobic training required for 400 metre athletes is open to debate.[1]

The United States dominates the men's event. The current men's world record is held by American Michael Johnson, with a time of 43.18 seconds. The world indoor record holder is Kerron Clement, in 44.57 seconds. The current women's world record is held by Marita Koch, with a time of 47.60 seconds. Grenadan Kirani James is the reigning men's Olympic champion, while LaShawn Merritt holds the world title; Christine Ohuruogu is the reigning women's world champion, while Sanya Richards-Ross holds the women's Olympic title. The men's T43 (classification) Paralympic world record of 45.07 seconds is held by Oscar Pistorius.[2]

An Olympic double of 200 metres and 400 m was first achieved by Valerie Brisco-Hooks in 1984, and later by Michael Johnson from the United States and Marie-José Pérec of France both in 1996. Alberto Juantorena of Cuba at the 1976 Summer Olympics became the first and so far the only athlete to win both the 400 m and 800 m Olympic titles.

Fastest 400 m runners[edit]

All-time top 25 men[edit]

  • Updated July 2014
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Location Ref
1. 43.18 Michael Johnson  United States 26 August 1999 Seville
2. 43.29 Harry 'Butch' Reynolds  United States 17 August 1988 Zürich
3. 43.45 Jeremy Wariner  United States 31 August 2007 Osaka
4. 43.50 Quincy Watts  United States 5 August 1992 Barcelona
5. 43.74 LaShawn Merritt  United States 13 August 2013 Moscow
Kirani James  Grenada 3 July 2014 Lausanne [3]
7. 43.81 Danny Everett  United States 26 June 1992 New Orleans
8. 43.86 Lee Evans  United States 18 October 1968 Mexico City
9. 43.87 Steve Lewis  United States 28 September 1988 Seoul
10. 43.97 Larry James  United States 18 October 1968 Mexico City
11. 44.01 Isaac Makwala  Botswana 6 July 2014 La Chaux-de-Fonds [4]
12. 44.05 Angelo Taylor  United States 23 June 2007 Indianapolis
13. 44.09 Alvin Harrison  United States 19 June 1996 Atlanta
Jerome Young  United States 21 June 1998 New Orleans
15. 44.10 Gary Kikaya  Democratic Republic of the Congo 9 September 2006 Stuttgart
16. 44.13 Derek Mills  United States 4 June 1995 Eugene
17. 44.14 Roberto Hernandez  Cuba 30 May 1990 Seville
18. 44.15 Anthuan Maybank  United States 3 July 1996 Lausanne
19. 44.16 Otis Harris  United States 23 August 2004 Athens
20. 44.17 Innocent Egbunike  Nigeria 19 August 1987 Zurich
21. 44.18 Samson Kitur  Kenya 3 August 1992 Barcelona
22. 44.20 Charles Gitonga  Kenya 23 June 1996 Nairobi
23. 44.21 Ian Morris  Trinidad and Tobago 3 August 1992 Barcelona
24. 44.26 Alberto Juantorena  Cuba 29 July 1976 Montreal
25. 44.27 Alonzo Babers  United States 8 August 1984 Los Angeles
Antonio Pettigrew  United States 17 June 1989 Houston
Darold Williamson  United States 10 June 2005 Sacramento

Notable 4x400 m relay splits[edit]

Women[edit]

  • Updated August 2013
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Location
1. 47.60 Marita Koch  East Germany 6 October 1985 Canberra
2. 47.99 Jarmila Kratochvílová  Czechoslovakia 10 August 1983 Helsinki
3. 48.25 Marie-José Pérec  France 29 July 1996 Atlanta
4. 48.27 Olga Vladykina-Bryzgina  Soviet Union 6 October 1985 Canberra
5. 48.59 Taťána Kocembová  Czechoslovakia 10 August 1983 Helsinki
6. 48.63 Cathy Freeman  Australia 29 July 1996 Atlanta
7. 48.70 Sanya Richards-Ross  United States 16 September 2006 Athens
8. 48.83 Valerie Brisco-Hooks  United States 6 August 1984 Los Angeles
9. 48.89 Ana Guevara  Mexico 27 August 2003 Paris Saint-Denis
10. 49.05 Chandra Cheeseborough  United States 6 August 1984 Los Angeles
11. 49.07 Tonique Williams-Darling  Bahamas 12 September 2004 Berlin
12. 49.10 Falilat Ogunkoya  Nigeria 29 July 1996 Atlanta
13. 49.11 Olga Nazarova  Soviet Union 25 September 1988 Seoul
14. 49.16 Antonina Krivoshapka  Russia 5 July 2012 Cheboksary
15. 49.19 Mariya Pinigina  Soviet Union 10 August 1983 Helsinki
16. 49.24 Sabine Busch  East Germany June 1984 Erfurt
17. 49.28 Irena Szewinska  Poland 29 July 1976 Montreal
Pauline Davis-Thompson  Bahamas 29 July 1996 Atlanta
Yuliya Gushchina  Russia 5 July 2012 Cheboksary
20. 49.29 Charity Opara  Nigeria 14 July 1998 Rome
21. 49.30 Petra Muller  East Germany 3 June 1988 Jena
Lorraine Fenton  Jamaica 19 July 2002 Monaco
23. 49.32 Shericka Williams  Jamaica 18 August 2009 Berlin
24. 49.33 Amantle Montsho  Botswana 19 July 2013 Monaco
25. 49.35 Anastasiya Kapachinskaya  Russia 22 July 2011 Cheboksary

Notable 4x400 m relay splits[edit]

Most successful athletes[edit]

Multiple (3 or more) 400 metres victories at the Olympic Games and World Championships:

  • 6 wins: Michael Johnson (USA) - Olympic Champion in 1996 and 2000, World Champion in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999.
  • 4 wins: Marie-Jose Perec (FRA) - Olympic Champion in 1992 and 1996, World Champion in 1991 and 1995.
  • 3 wins: Cathy Freeman (AUS) - Olympic Champion in 2000, World Champion in 1997 and 1999
  • 3 wins: Jeremy Wariner (USA) - Olympic Champion in 2004, World Champion in 2005 and 2007.
  • 3 wins: Christine Ohuruogu (GBR) - Olympic Champion in 2008, World Champion in 2007 and 2013.
  • 3 wins: LaShawn Merritt (USA) - Olympic Champion in 2008, World Champion in 2009 and 2013.

Olympic medalists[edit]

Men[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
details
 Thomas Burke (USA)  Herbert Jamison (USA)  Charles Gmelin (GBR)
1900 Paris
details
 Maxie Long (USA)  William Holland (USA)  Ernst Schultz (DEN)
1904 St. Louis
details
 Harry Hillman (USA)  Frank Waller (USA)  Herman Groman (USA)
1908 London
details
 Wyndham Halswelle (GBR) None awarded None awarded
1912 Stockholm
details
 Charles Reidpath (USA)  Hanns Braun (GER)  Edward Lindberg (USA)
1920 Antwerp
details
 Bevil Rudd (RSA)  Guy Butler (GBR)  Nils Engdahl (SWE)
1924 Paris
details
 Eric Liddell (GBR)  Horatio Fitch (USA)  Guy Butler (GBR)
1928 Amsterdam
details
 Ray Barbuti (USA)  James Ball (CAN)  Joachim Büchner (GER)
1932 Los Angeles
details
 Bill Carr (USA)  Ben Eastman (USA)  Alex Wilson (CAN)
1936 Berlin
details
 Archie Williams (USA)  Godfrey Brown (GBR)  James LuValle (USA)
1948 London
details
 Arthur Wint (JAM)  Herb McKenley (JAM)  Mal Whitfield (USA)
1952 Helsinki
details
 George Rhoden (JAM)  Herb McKenley (JAM)  Ollie Matson (USA)
1956 Melbourne
details
 Charles Jenkins (USA)  Karl-Friedrich Haas (EUA)  Voitto Hellstén (FIN)
 Ardalion Ignatyev (URS)
1960 Rome
details
 Otis Davis (USA)  Carl Kaufmann (EUA)  Malcolm Spence (RSA)
1964 Tokyo
details
 Mike Larrabee (USA)  Wendell Mottley (TRI)  Andrzej Badeński (POL)
1968 Mexico City
details
 Lee Evans (USA)  Larry James (USA)  Ron Freeman (USA)
1972 Munich
details
 Vincent Matthews (USA)  Wayne Collett (USA)  Julius Sang (KEN)
1976 Montreal
details
 Alberto Juantorena (CUB)  Fred Newhouse (USA)  Herman Frazier (USA)
1980 Moscow
details
 Viktor Markin (URS)  Rick Mitchell (AUS)  Frank Schaffer (GDR)
1984 Los Angeles
details
 Alonzo Babers (USA)  Gabriel Tiacoh (CIV)  Antonio McKay (USA)
1988 Seoul
details
 Steve Lewis (USA)  Butch Reynolds (USA)  Danny Everett (USA)
1992 Barcelona
details
 Quincy Watts (USA)  Steve Lewis (USA)  Samson Kitur (KEN)
1996 Atlanta
details
 Michael Johnson (USA)  Roger Black (GBR)  Davis Kamoga (UGA)
2000 Sydney
details
 Michael Johnson (USA)  Alvin Harrison (USA)  Greg Haughton (JAM)
2004 Athens
details
 Jeremy Wariner (USA)  Otis Harris (USA)  Derrick Brew (USA)
2008 Beijing
details
 LaShawn Merritt (USA)  Jeremy Wariner (USA)  David Neville (USA)
2012 London
details
 Kirani James (GRN)  Luguelín Santos (DOM)  Lalonde Gordon (TRI)

Women[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1964 Tokyo
details
 Betty Cuthbert (AUS)  Ann Packer (GBR)  Judy Amoore (AUS)
1968 Mexico City
details
 Colette Besson (FRA)  Lillian Board (GBR)  Natalya Pechonkina (URS)
1972 Munich
details
 Monika Zehrt (GDR)  Rita Wilden (FRG)  Kathy Hammond (USA)
1976 Montreal
details
 Irena Szewińska (POL)  Christina Brehmer (GDR)  Ellen Streidt (GDR)
1980 Moscow
details
 Marita Koch (GDR)  Jarmila Kratochvílová (TCH)  Christina Lathan (GDR)
1984 Los Angeles
details
 Valerie Brisco-Hooks (USA)  Chandra Cheeseborough (USA)  Kathy Smallwood-Cook (GBR)
1988 Seoul
details
 Olga Bryzgina (URS)  Petra Müller (GDR)  Olga Nazarova (URS)
1992 Barcelona
details
 Marie-José Pérec (FRA)  Olga Bryzgina (EUN)  Ximena Restrepo (COL)
1996 Atlanta
details
 Marie-José Pérec (FRA)  Cathy Freeman (AUS)  Falilat Ogunkoya (NGR)
2000 Sydney
details
 Cathy Freeman (AUS)  Lorraine Graham (JAM)  Katharine Merry (GBR)
2004 Athens
details
 Tonique Williams-Darling (BAH)  Ana Guevara (MEX)  Natalya Antyukh (RUS)
2008 Beijing
details
 Christine Ohuruogu (GBR)  Shericka Williams (JAM)  Sanya Richards (USA)
2012 London
details
 Sanya Richards-Ross (USA)  Christine Ohuruogu (GBR)  DeeDee Trotter (USA)

References[edit]

External links[edit]