Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres hurdles

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Men's 400 metres hurdles
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
Venue Beijing National Stadium
Dates August 15 (heats)
August 16 (semifinal)
August 18 (final)
Competitors 26 from 19 nations
Gold medal    United States
Silver medal    United States
Bronze medal    United States
«2004 2012»
Athletics at the
2008 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men women
5000 m men women
10,000 m men women
100 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men women
3000 m
men women
4 × 100 m relay men women
4 × 400 m relay men women
Road events
Marathon men women
20 km walk men women
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men women
High jump men women
Pole vault men women
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men women
Combined events
Heptathlon women
Decathlon men

The Men's 400 metres hurdles at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 16–18 August at the Beijing National Stadium.[1]

The defending champion was "The Dictator" Félix Sánchez, but his reign ended short when he received the news of his grandmother, Lilian's death, just before his heat. He ran an uninspired race and was eliminated, though he returned four years later to again win the gold medal.[2] The current world champion, defeating Sanchez, Kerron Clement looked like the likely favorite. Also in the field was 2000 Olympic champion Angelo Taylor. Taylor and Bershawn Jackson ran the fastest times in the semi-finals and got the outer center lanes Taylor in 6, Jackson in 7. The other semi was won by Clement in 4 and masters aged Danny McFarlane in 5. Nobody was in lane one in lane races at these Olympics.

Taylor and Clement were out fast, with Taylor making up the stagger on the typically slow starting Jackson by the third hurdle. McFarlane was the only one to stay with the American duo who were almost clearing hurdles in unison to the middle of the second turn. Starting at the seventh hurdle, Taylor started to have a slight edge, with both Taylor and Clement coming off the turn together, free of McFarlane and the rest of the field. McFarlane took the ninth hurdle awkwardly at the same time as "Batman" Jackson began his patented sprint to the finish. Clement also hit the ninth hurdle and struggled, taking two extra steps to carefully clear the tenth hurdle. Meanwhile Taylor kept his stride, powerfully clearing the final hurdle and sprinting to victory. With Clement slowing and Jackson sprinting, the gap between the two narrowed quickly but Clement was able to hold on for silver. McFarlane took the final hurdle smoothly and also mounted a charge, but was not able to catch Jackson's furious dive at Clement leaving the results as an American sweep. Three days later, America would duplicate the sweep in the 400 metres.

In repeating as Olympic champion non-consecutively, Taylor joined a rare club including Paavo Nurmi, Volodymyr Holubnychy, Heike Drechsler, Nina Romashkova and Edwin Moses (caused by the boycott). Ulrike Meyfarth did it remarkably 12 years apart. Sánchez, along with Meseret Defar and Ezekiel Kemboi would complete the same feat four years later.


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

World record United States Kevin Young (United States) 46.78 s Barcelona, Spain 6 August 1992
Olympic record  Kevin Young (USA) 46.78 s Barcelona, Spain 6 August 1992

No new world or Olympic records were set for this event.


Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) was able to enter up to three entrants providing they had met the A qualifying standard (49.20) in the qualifying period (1 January 2007 to 23 July 2008). NOCs were also permitted to enter one athlete providing he had met the B standard (49.50) in the same qualifying period.[3]


Round 1[edit]

Rank Heat Athlete Nationality Time Notes[4]
1 3 Markino Buckley Jamaica 48.65 Q, PB
2 2 Angelo Taylor United States 48.67 Q
3 2 Danny McFarlane Jamaica 48.86 Q
3 3 L. J. van Zyl South Africa 48.86 Q
5 2 Alwyn Myburgh South Africa 48.92 Q, SB
6 2 Bayano Kamani Panama 49.05 q, SB
7 3 Marek Plawgo Poland 49.17 Q
8 2 Aleksandr Derevyagin Russia 49.19 q
9 1 Bershawn Jackson United States 49.20 Q
10 1 Pieter de Villiers South Africa 49.24 Q
11 4 Kerron Clement United States 49.42 Q
12 1 Mahau Suguimati Brazil 49.45 Q
13 4 Periklis Iakovakis Greece 49.50 Q
14 4 Isa Phillips Jamaica 49.55 Q
15 3 Javier Culson Puerto Rico 49.60 q
16 1 Jonathan Williams Belize 49.61 q
17 1 Kenji Narisako Japan 49.63
18 3 Meng Yan China 49.73 SB
19 4 Dai Tamesue Japan 49.82
20 1 Edivaldo Monteiro Portugal 49.89 SB
21 2 Ibrahima Maiga Mali 50.57
22 4 Félix Sánchez Dominican Republic 51.10
23 4 Mowen Boino Papua New Guinea 51.47 SB
23 3 Aleksey Pogorelov Kyrgyzstan 51.47
25 1 Harouna Garba Niger 55.14
4 Yevgeniy Meleshenko Kazakhstan DNF


Semifinal 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Angelo Taylor United States 47.94 Q
2 Bershawn Jackson United States 48.02 Q
3 L. J. van Zyl South Africa 48.57 Q
4 Marek Plawgo Poland 48.75 Q
5 Isa Phillips Jamaica 48.85
6 Aleksandr Derevyagin Russia 49.23
7 Pieter de Villiers South Africa 49.44
8 Javier Culson Puerto Rico 49.85

Semifinal 2[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Kerron Clement United States 48.27 Q
2 Danny McFarlane Jamaica 48.33 Q
3 Markino Buckley Jamaica 48.50 Q
4 Periklis Iakovakis Greece 48.69 Q
5 Alwyn Myburgh South Africa 49.16
6 Jonathan Williams Belize 49.64
7 Mahau Suguimati Brazil 50.16
8 Bayano Kamani Panama 50.48


Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Angelo Taylor United States 47.25 PB
2nd, silver medalist(s) Kerron Clement United States 47.98
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Bershawn Jackson United States 48.06
4 Danny McFarlane Jamaica 48.30 SB
5 L. J. van Zyl South Africa 48.42
6 Marek Plawgo Poland 48.52 SB
7 Markino Buckley Jamaica 48.60
8 Periklis Iakovakis Greece 49.96


  1. ^ "Olympic Athletics Competition Schedule". IAAF. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Entry Standards - The XXIX Olympic Games - Beijing, China - 8/24 August 2008". IAAF. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  4. ^ "400 Metres Hurdles - M. Heats". IAAF. Archived from the original on 23 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-13.