4 × 400 metres relay
The 4 × 400 metres relay or long relay is an athletics track event in which teams comprise four runners who each complete 400 metres or one lap. It is traditionally the final event of a track meet. At top class events, the first 500 metres is run in lanes. Start lines are thus staggered over a greater distance than in an individual 400 metres race; the runners then typically move to the inside of the track.
Relay race runners typically carry a relay baton which they must transfer between teammates. Runners have a 20 m box (usually marked with blue lines) in which to transfer the baton. The first transfer is made within the staggered lane lines; for the second and third transfers, runners typically line up across the track despite the fact that runners are usually running in line on the inside of the track. This prevents confusion and collisions during transfer. Unlike the 4 × 100 m relay, runners in the 4 × 400 typically look back and grasp the baton from the incoming runner, due to the fatigue of the incoming runner, and the wider margins allowed by the longer distance of the race. Consequently, disqualification is rare.
As runners have a running start, split times cannot be compared to individual 400 m performances. Internationally, the U.S. men's team has dominated the event, but have been challenged by Jamaica in the 1950s and Britain in the 1990s. The current men's Olympic champions are from the Bahamas.
|Men's Outdoor World Record|
|USA||Andrew Valmon, Quincy Watts, Butch Reynolds, Michael Johnson||Stuttgart, Germany||22 August 1993||2:54.29|
Note: The IAAF announced on 12 August 2008 that they had rescinded the world record of 2:54.20 set by the USA (Jerome Young, Antonio Pettigrew, Tyree Washington, Michael Johnson) on 22 July 1998 after Pettigrew admitted to using human growth hormone and EPO between 1997 and 2003.
|Men's Indoor World Record (pending ratification)|
|USA||Kyle Clemons, David Verburg. Kind Butler III, Calvin Smith Jr.||Sopot, Poland||9 March 2014||3:02.13|
|Women's Outdoor World Record|
|USSR||Tatyana Ledovskaya (BLR), Olga Nazarova (RUS), Mariya Pinigina (UKR), Olga Bryzgina (UKR)||Seoul, Korea||1 October 1988||3:15.17|
|Women's Indoor World Record|
|Russia||Yuliya Gushchina, Olga Kotlyarova, Olga Zaytseva, Olesya Krasnomovets||Glasgow, Scotland||27 January 2006||3:23.37|
Note: * Indicates athletes who ran in preliminary rounds and also received medals.
Note: Marion Jones was stripped of all her Olympic medals in 2000. Crystal Cox was stripped of her Olympic medal in 2004, both being found guilty of doping violations.
World Championship medalists
Note * Indicates athletes who ran only in the preliminary round and also received medals.
European Championship medalists
- Herb McKenley (Jamaica) ran a 44.6 split in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic final.
- Ron Freeman (USA) ran a 43.2 split in the 1968 Mexico Olympic final.
- Julius Sang (Kenya) ran a 43.6 split in the 1972 Munich Olympic final.
- Quincy Watts ran a 43.1 split and Steve Lewis (USA) ran a 43.5 split in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic final.
- Michael Johnson (USA) ran a 42.91 split in the 1993 Stuttgart World Championship final (current world record)
- Jeremy Wariner (USA) ran a 42.93 split in the 2007 Osaka World Championship final.
- Jeremy Wariner (USA) ran a 43.18 split in the 2008 Beijing Olympic final.
- Marita Koch (East Germany) ran a 47.70 split in Erfurt 1984.
- Jarmila Kratochvílová (Czechoslovakia) ran a 47.80 split in the 1983 Helsinki World Championship final.
- Olga Nazarova and Olga Bryzgina (USSR) both ran a 47.80 split in the 1988 Seoul Olympic final (current world record)
- Florence Griffith Joyner ran a 48.08 split in the 1988 Seoul Olympic final
- Allyson Felix ran a 48.20 split in the 2012 London Olympic final.
- "4x400 Metres Relay Records – outdoor". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "IAAF remove Americans’ 4x400m world record". The Star Online. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2011.