4 × 100 metres relay at the World Championships in Athletics
|4 × 100 metres relay|
at the World Championships in Athletics
The 2009-winning men's relay team from Jamaica
|Gender||Men and women|
|Years held||Men: 1983 – 2017 |
Women: 1983 – 2017
|Men||37.04 Jamaica (2011)|
|Women||41.07 Jamaica (2015)|
|Men||Great Britain (GBR)|
|Women||United States (USA)|
The 4×100 metres relay at the World Championships in Athletics has been contested by both men and women since the inaugural edition in 1983. It is the second most prestigious title in the discipline after the 4×100 metres relay at the Olympics. The competition format typically has one qualifying round leading to a final between eight teams. As of 2015, nations can qualify for the competition through a top eight finish at the previous IAAF World Relays event, with the remaining teams coming through the more traditional route of ranking highly on time in the seasonal lists.
The championship records for the event are 37.04 seconds for men, set by Jamaica in 2011, and 41.07 seconds for women, set by Jamaica in 2015. The men's world record has been broken or equalled at the competition on four occasions. The women's world record has never been broken or equalled at the competition.
The United States is the most successful nation in the discipline, with seven men's gold medals and six women's gold medals. The next most successful nation is Jamaica, which has won four gold medals in both the men's and women's events. Those two nations share the highest medal tally at eighteen. France and Canada, with two golds each, are the only other nations to have won multiple titles. Great Britain has the third highest medal tally in the event at nine medals.
Jamaica's Usain Bolt is the most successful athlete of the event, with four consecutive gold medals from 2009 to 2015 and a silver medal in 2007. His female compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart are the next most successful, with three gold medals and two silver medals. Another Jamaican woman, Beverly McDonald, has the highest number of medals in the event at six (although only one of them gold). Nesta Carter and Carl Lewis are the only other athletes to have won three gold medals in the relay event.
The United States has twice been stripped of the gold medal due to doping by athletes on the national team, having lost both men's and women's titles in 2001.
- All information from IAAF
|Distinction||Male athlete||Age||Female athlete||Age|
|Youngest champion||Eddy De Lépine||21 years, 136 days||Silke Gladisch||19 years, 51 days|
|Youngest medalist||Darrel Brown||16 years, 305 days||Aleen Bailey||18 years, 277 days|
|Youngest participant||Yahya Al-Ghahes||15 years, 174 days||Elizabeth Wilson||16 years, 221 days[nb1]|
|Oldest champion||Asafa Powell||32 years, 279 days||Patricia Girard||35 years, 144 days|
|Oldest medalist||Troy Douglas||40 years, 274 days||Chandra Sturrup||37 years, 344 days|
|Oldest participant||Troy Douglas||40 years, 274 days||Merlene Ottey||43 years, 111 days|
- nb1 Only the birth year is known for Ghana's Elizabeth Wilson, although calculating her age from 1 January that year still makes her the youngest female participant.
The men's event was affected by doping in its debut tournament in 1983, with Ben Johnson running for Canada, although the team did not progress beyond the first round. Johnson's drug use was only self-admitted during this period and he did not fail a drug test that year. Johnson ran for the fourth-placed Canada team at the 1987 event. His Canadian team mate Angella Issajenko later became the first female relay athlete to be sanctioned – she helped Canada to fifth at the same edition.
The positive drug test for Nigeria's Innocent Asonze in 1999 marked the first instance where a medal-winning team was disqualified at the World Championships in Athletics. Brazil was elevated to the bronze medal as a result. Doping persisted two years later, as France's Christophe Cheval was disqualified after a positive test for nandrolone shortly before the event (the team were semi-finalists only). The greatest disqualifications yet followed after the BALCO scandal in 2005. Tim Montgomery of the 2001-winning men's team was later disqualified following his admission of doping during the period, meaning that the American gold medallists were stricken from the record (South Africa were elevated as champions). Similarly, Marion Jones's and Kelli White's admitted usage led to the disqualification of the winning American women's team (Germany were made champions as a result).
The impact of the BALCO scandal extended to the 2003 edition, as medals were again reassigned as a result of British athlete Dwain Chambers doping. Brazil were elevated to silver and the Netherlands became the bronze medallists. The next doping disqualification to occur in the relay was in 2009, when Nigerian women's runner Toyin Augustus had her team's first round result annulled. A similar fate met Lim Hee-Nam and the South Korean men in 2011. The fourth-placed Trinidad and Tobago team had their result retrospectively disqualified due to Semoy Hackett's failed doping test prior to the competition. A third straight championships was affected as a result of Ukraine's Yelyzaveta Bryzhina failing a doping test for drostanolone (as of 2015 the Ukrainian relay team's first round result still stands, however).
Note * Indicates athletes who ran only in the preliminary round and also received medals.
- dq1 The United States team of Mickey Grimes, Bernard Williams, Dennis Mitchell and Tim Montgomery originally won the 2001 World Championship in a time of 37.96 seconds, but were disqualified after Montgomery admitted to drug use as a result of the BALCO scandal in 2005.
|1||Usain Bolt||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2017||4||1||0||5|
|2||Nesta Carter||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2015||3||1||0||4|
|3||Carl Lewis||United States (USA)||1983–1991||3||0||0||3|
|4=||Robert Esmie||Canada (CAN)||1993–1997||2||1||0||3|
|4=||Glenroy Gilbert||Canada (CAN)||1993–1997||2||1||0||3|
|4=||Bruny Surin||Canada (CAN)||1993–1997||2||1||0||3|
|4=||Asafa Powell||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2015||2||1||0||3|
|8=||Calvin Smith||United States (USA)||1983–1993||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Andre Cason||United States (USA)||1991–1993||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Dennis Mitchell||United States (USA)||1991–1993||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Leroy Burrell||United States (USA)||1991–1993||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Donovan Bailey||Canada (CAN)||1995–1997||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Jon Drummond||United States (USA)||1993–1999||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Darvis Patton||United States (USA)||2003–2007||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Michael Frater||Jamaica (JAM)||2009–2011||2||0||0||2|
|8=||Nickel Ashmeade||Jamaica (JAM)||2011–2013||2||0||0||2|
|17=||Dwight Thomas||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2009||1||1||0||2|
|17=||Steve Mullings||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2009||1||1||0||2|
|19=||Marc Burns||Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)||2001–2009||0||3||0||3|
|19=||Darrel Brown||Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)||2001–2009||0||3||0||3|
|20||Jacey Harper||Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)||2001–2005||0||2||0||2|
|21||Marlon Devonish||Great Britain (GBR)||1999–2009||0||1||3||4|
|22||Darren Braithwaite||Great Britain (GBR)||1991–1997||0||1||2||3|
|23=||Vladimir Muravyov||Soviet Union (URS)||1983–1987||0||1||1||2|
|23=||Tony Jarrett||Great Britain (GBR)||1991–1993||0||1||1||2|
|23=||John Regis||Great Britain (GBR)||1991–1993||0||1||1||2|
|23=||Linford Christie||Great Britain (GBR)||1991–1993||0||1||1||2|
|23=||Steve Brimacombe||Australia (AUS)||1995–2001||0||1||1||2|
|23=||Darren Campbell||Great Britain (GBR)||1997–1999||0||1||1||2|
|23=||Dwain Chambers||Great Britain (GBR)||1997–1999||0||1||1||2|
|23=||Jason Gardener||Great Britain (GBR)||1999–2005||0||1||1||2|
|31=||Christian Malcolm||Great Britain (GBR)||2005–2007||0||0||2||2|
|31=||Mark Lewis-Francis||Great Britain (GBR)||2005–2007||0||0||2||2|
|31=||Aaron Brown||Canada (CAN)||2013–2015||0||0||2||2|
|31=||Justyn Warner||Canada (CAN)||2013–2015||0||0||2||2|
Medals by country
|1||United States (USA)||7||1||0||8|
|5||South Africa (RSA)||1||0||0||1|
|6||Trinidad and Tobago (TTO)||0||3||0||3|
|7||Great Britain (GBR)||0||2||5||7|
|8=||Soviet Union (URS)||0||1||1||2|
|14=||Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKN)||0||0||1||1|
Note * Indicates athletes who ran only in the preliminary round and also received medals.
- dq2 The United States team of Kelli White, Chryste Gaines, Inger Miller, and Marion Jones originally won the 2001 World Championship in a time of 41.71 seconds, but were disqualified after Jones admitted to drug use as a result of the BALCO scandal in 2005.
|1=||Kerron Stewart||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2015||3||2||0||5|
|1=||Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2015||3||2||0||5|
|3=||Chryste Gaines||United States (USA)||1995–2003||2||1||0||3|
|3=||Lauryn Williams||United States (USA)||2003–2007||2||1||0||2|
|3=||Allyson Felix||United States (USA)||2007–2015||2||1||0||3|
|6||Carmelita Jeter||United States (USA)||2007–2011||2||0||0||2|
|7||Beverly McDonald||Jamaica (JAM)||1991–2005||1||3||2||6|
|8||Veronica Campbell||Jamaica (JAM)||2005–2015||1||3||0||4|
|9||Juliet Cuthbert||Jamaica (JAM)||1983–1997||1||2||1||4|
|10=||Muriel Hurtis||France (FRA)||1999–2003||1||2||0||3|
|10=||Sherone Simpson||Jamaica (JAM)||2005–2015||1||2||0||3|
|12=||Merlene Ottey||Jamaica (JAM)||1983–1995||1||1||2||4|
|12=||Merlene Frazer||Jamaica (JAM)||1991–2001||1||1||2||4|
|14=||Patricia Girard||France (FRA)||1997–2003||1||1||1||3|
|14=||Christine Arron||France (FRA)||1997–2003||1||1||1||3|
|14=||Sylviane Félix||France (FRA)||1997–2003||1||1||1||3|
|14=||Aleen Bailey||Jamaica (JAM)||1999–2009||1||1||1||3|
|18=||Silke Möller||East Germany (GDR)||1983–1987||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Marlies Göhr||East Germany (GDR)||1983–1987||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Irina Privalova|| Soviet Union (URS)
|18=||Gwen Torrence||United States (USA)||1993–1995||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Gail Devers||United States (USA)||1993–1997||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Chandra Sturrup||Bahamas (BAH)||1999–2009||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie||Bahamas (BAH)||1999–2009||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Inger Miller||United States (USA)||1997–2003||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Torri Edwards||United States (USA)||2003–2007||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Sheri-Ann Brooks||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2013||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Simone Facey||Jamaica (JAM)||2007–2009||1||1||0||2|
|18=||Alexandria Anderson||United States (USA)||2011–2013||1||1||0||2|
|30=||Natalya Pomoshchnikova-Voronova|| Soviet Union (URS)
|30=||Marion Wagner||Germany (GER)||2001–2009||1||0||1||2|
|32||English Gardner||United States (USA)||2013–2015||0||2||0||2|
|33=||Michelle Freeman||Jamaica (JAM)||1993–1995||0||1||1||2|
|33=||Frédérique Bangué||France (FRA)||1997–2001||0||1||1||2|
Medals by country
|1||United States (USA)||7||4||0||11|
|4=||East Germany (GDR)||1||1||0||2|
|8||Great Britain (GBR)||0||2||1||3|
|9=||Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)||0||0||1||1|
Championship record progression
- nb2 Russia and the United States team shared the same championship record time of 41.49, although Russia won the title when measuring the time down to thousandths of a second
- Butler, Mark et al. (2013). IAAF Statistics Book Moscow 2013 (archived). IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-07-06.
- Qualification System and Entry Standards (as approved by IAAF Council in April and November 2014. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-09-18.
- Championships Records. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-07-12.
- IAAF World Championships: IAAF Statistics Handbook Daegu 2011, pp. 595–6 (archived). IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-07-06.
- Butler 2013, p. 34–7.
- Butler 2013, p. 67–9.
- Sprinter afsløret med doping (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved on 2015-09-18.
- SA awarded 2001 worlds gold medal. BBC Sport (2006-11-22). Retrieved on 2015-09-18.
- T&T federation to confirm Hackett's positive test on Monday Archived December 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Track Alerts. Retrieved on 2012-03-15.
- IAAF World Championships in Athletics > 14th IAAF World Championships > 4x100 Metres Relay - women. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-09-18.
- Main > Men, 4×100 m > World Championships Records Progression. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 2015-07-07.
- Main > Women, 4×100 m > World Championships Records Progression. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 2015-07-07.