Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres
|Men's 400 metres
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
|Venue||Athens Olympic Stadium|
|Dates||August 20 to August 23|
|Competitors||63 from TBD nations|
|Athletics at the
2004 Summer Olympics
|100 m hurdles||women|
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men||women|
|4×100 m relay||men||women|
|4×400 m relay||men||women|
|20 km walk||men||women|
|50 km walk||men|
For the first round competitors were split into eight heats with the first two finishers in each gaining automatic qualification and the next eight fastest runners from across all heats also qualifying for the semifinals. There were three semifinals, with the fastest two runners in each semifinal and the next two fastest runners from any of the semifinals qualifying for the final.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:
|World record||Michael Johnson (USA)||43.18 s||Seville, Spain||26 August 1999|
|Olympic record||Michael Johnson (USA)||43.49 s||Atlanta, United States||29 July 1996|
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 45.55 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 45.95 seconds or faster could be entered.
All times shown are in seconds. Q denotes qualification by place. q denotes qualification by time. DNS denotes did not start. DNF denotes did not finish. NR denotes national record. PB denotes personal best. SB denotes season best.
Qualification: First 2 in each heat (Q) and the next 8 fastest (q) advance to the Round 2.
|3||Marcus la Grange||South Africa||45.95|
Clarke and la Grange led from the start but la Grange tired considerably in the final straight to let Alleyne, who ran a more even paced race, ease to a win with Clarke strong enough to hold onto second place.
|1||Chris Brown||Bahamas||45.09||Q, SB|
|2||Otis Harris||United States||45.11||Q|
|5||Vincent Mumo Kiilu||Kenya||46.31|
|8||Abdulla Mohamed Hussein||Somalia||51.52|
Dimotsios got a huge cheer from the home crowd, searching for a new sprint star, when his name was announced but unfortunately could not live up to their hopes trailing in seventh albeit in a seasons best time. Melizar led from the gun and forced Brown, who also ran a season's best, to work harder than he would have liked in the last 100 m but it was Harris who looked more relaxed than the others.
|4||Gary Kikaya||DR Congo||45.57||q|
|5||Ato Modibo||Trinidad and Tobago||46.29|
|7||Takeshi Fujiwara||El Salvador||48.46|
This was by far the closest of the heats. Cardenas went off hard from the start and led into the home straight ahead of Galkin and Kinlaya who were battling for second. Kinlaya started to tire but not as much as Cardenas whose 5 metre lead soon disappeared with the fastest finisher, Lopez, pouncing at the last moment to cross the line in a photofinish with Galkin and Cardenas. Some recompense for Cardenas getting beaten on the line was his fastest loser qualification along with Kikaya.
|1||Derrick Brew||United States||45.41||Q|
|4||Daniel Caines||Great Britain||46.15|
|5||Rohan Pradeep Kumara||Sri Lanka||46.20|
|Lezin Christian Elongo Ngoyikonda||Congo||DNS|
With lane one empty and the Congolese athlete failing to start just six competitors challenged for the two automatic qualifying places. Caines, the 2001 World Indoor Champion went stride for stride with Brew on his outside but, not fully fit after a knee injury, lost form after 250 m. leaving Brew free to accelerate away and pass Simpson who had taken the lead at the last bend and finished second. The fast finishing Labidi came from nowhere to take third.
|1||Carlos Santa||Dominican Republic||45.31||Q|
|3||K. Mathews Binu||India||45.48||q, NR|
|4||Cédric Van Branteghem||Belgium||45.70||q|
|7||Fawzi Al Shammari||Kuwait||48.25|
|8||Saeed Al Adhreai||Yemen||49.39|
If the race had been over 300 m. van Branteghem might have stood a chance as he went out like a bullet before tiring very quickly in the final straight. This let in Santa and Banda to relatively easy qualification. An improving Binu broke his national record in placing third and gained a fastest losers place along with Molefe and van Branteghem who must work on his pacing if he is to reach the final.
|1||Jeremy Wariner||United States||45.56||Q|
|3||Young Talkmore Nyongani||Zimbabwe||46.03|
|5||Malachi Davis||Great Britain||46.28|
Michael Johnson's successor looked like coming from this round in the shape of Jeremy Wariner who eased down to nearly walking pace in the last ten metres such was the difference in class. Schultze took second but had to work quite hard.
|2||Hamdan O Al Bishi||Saudi Arabia||45.31||Q|
|6||Nagmeldin Ali Abubakr||Sudan||46.32|
Blackwood's class told as he and Al Bishi controlled the race, easing down the nearer they got to the line. Weigopwa and Sestak both maintained their form and ran through the line which gave them both a place in the next round. Muhammad and Kamut though someway back both ran their season's best.
|3||Timothy Benjamin||Great Britain||45.69||q|
|8||Anderson Jorge dos Santos||Brazil||48.77|
After a false start by Santos and then a prolonged delay before the restart the race was relatively straightforward. Sambu led for the first ninety percent of the race before Djhine eased past him with an out of form Tim Benjamin back in third.
Qualification: First 2 in each heat (Q) and the next 2 fastest (q) advance to the Final.
|1||Jeremy Wariner||United States||44.87||Q|
|6||Gary Kikaya||DR Congo||45.58|
|8||Cédric Van Branteghem||Belgium||46.03|
Wariner was fastest away and immediately closed down on Banda in the lanes outside him but Djhone ran a very fast second and third hundreds to take the lead round the final bend. With Djhone tiring Wariner eased into the lead when they entered the home straight and although not as comfortable as in the first round he held on to cross the line first with the fastest semi-final time. Blackwood stayed on well to catch the very tired Djhone on the line and claim the second automatic qualifying spot by 1/100th of a second.
|1||Derrick Brew||United States||45.05||Q|
|6||K. Mathews Binu||India||45.97|
Brown of The Bahamas, the fastest qualifier from round one, again started very quickly and held a metre advantage over the field entering the final 100m. Brew then took control and eased to a relatively easy first place with Brown paying for his initial effort to be run down by the fast finishing Clarke.
|2||Otis Harris||United States||44.99||Q|
|4||Carlos Santa||Dominican Republic||45.58|
|5||Hamdan O Al Bishi||Saudi Arabia||45.59|
|8||Timothy Benjamin||Great Britain||46.28|
The erratically long holds on the blocks by the starter once again upset the athletes and they all rose to compose themselves for another attempt at the start. It was a very even break but at 200 m. Francique began to pull away. Harris of the United States soon closed him down and ran on for first with Simpson, finishing strongly, taking second ahead of the very tired Francique who was coming to a standstil as he crossed the line.
|1||1||Jeremy Wariner||United States||44.87||Q|
|3||3||Otis Harris||United States||44.99||Q|
|6||2||Derrick Brew||United States||45.05||Q|
|13||1||Gary Kikaya||DR Congo||45.58|
|13||3||Carlos Santa||Dominican Republic||45.58|
|15||3||Hamdan O Al Bishi||Saudi Arabia||45.59|
|19||2||K. Mathews Binu||India||45.97|
|20||1||Cedric van Branteghem||Belgium||46.03|
|22||3||Timothy Benjamin||Great Britain||46.28|
|Jeremy Wariner||United States||44.00||PB|
|Otis Harris||United States||44.16||PB|
|Derrick Brew||United States||44.42||PB|
Wariner looked older than his twenty years as he ran a near perfect race. Prior to the race he had been advised by his mentor Michael Johnson that there would be nobody setting a fast pace and that he was not to panic finding himself in the lead entering the final straight.
Otis Harris blew the plans out of the water as he went off hard and Wariner would not close on him until the last hundred meters. Harris held on strongly to take silver with Brew giving the United States a clean sweep as they had also previously managed at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and 1988 Seoul Olympics.
The winning time of 44.00 seconds was the fastest time recorded for the event since Michael Johnson's gold medal winning time at the Sydney Olympics. Seven sprinters ran under 45 seconds and five personal bests were recorded.
This was the third consecutive Summer Olympiad where the gold medal winner in the 400m was a present or former member of the Baylor University track team.