Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres hurdles
|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|
|Athletics at the
2008 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|
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. 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||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.
|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|
|7||Pieter de Villiers||South Africa||49.44|
|8||Javier Culson||Puerto Rico||49.85|
|1||Kerron Clement||United States||48.27||Q|
|5||Alwyn Myburgh||South Africa||49.16|
|Angelo Taylor||United States||47.25||PB|
|Kerron Clement||United States||47.98|
|Bershawn Jackson||United States||48.06|
|5||L. J. van Zyl||South Africa||48.42|
- "Olympic Athletics Competition Schedule". IAAF. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
- "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.
- "400 Metres Hurdles - M. Heats". IAAF. Archived from the original on 23 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-13.