| Event type

4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Men

Date10 – 11 August 2008
LocationBeijing Guojia Youyong Zhongxin, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants72 from 16 countries

The US men had won the first seven editions of this event at the Olympic Games but had suffered surprise defeats at both the 2000 and 2004 Games. It seemed that the balance of power that shifted back to the Americans when they won the world title in 2007. France were bronze medalists at the World Championships and, with soon to be 100 freestyle Olympic champion Alain Bernard anchoring the team, now emerged as a serious threat to the US. In the opening round, another French swimmer, Amaury Leveaux, opening with a world record of 47.76 for 100 metres, and France seemed to have a clear road to the gold.

Individual silver medalist Eamon Sullivan put Australia into the lead after the first leg, breaking Leveaux’s mark by recording a world record 47.24, but from then on it became a duel between the French and the Americans. A fine third leg from Fréd Bousquet put the French half a second ahead with 100 metres to go and left Bernard with a superb chance to clinch the victory. All this reckoned without a once-in-a-lifetime swim from American anchor Jason Lezak. Lezak would finish 0.4 of a second behind Bernard in the 100 freestyle final but here he took three quarters of a second off his French rival and guided the USA to a remarkable win in yet another world record time, also preserving Michael Phelps’s quest for eight gold medals.

1United StatesUSA3:12.23 (1 h1)3:08.24 (1)Gold
Michael PhelpsGarrett Weber-GaleCullen JonesJason LezakNathan AdrianBen Wildman-TobrinerMatt Grevers
2FranceFRA3:12.36 (1 h2)3:08.32 (2)Silver
Amaury LeveauxFabien GilotFréd BousquetAlain BernardGrégory MalletBoris Steimetz
3AustraliaAUS3:12.41 (2 h1)3:09.91 (3)Bronze
Eamon SullivanAndrew LautersteinAshley CallusMatt TargettLeith BrodiePatrick Murphy
4ItalyITA3:12.65 (2 h2)3:11.48 (4)
Alessandro CalviChristian GalendaMarco BelottiFilippo MagniniMichele Santucci
5SwedenSWE3:12.73 (3 h1)3:11.92 (5)
Petter StymneLars FrölanderStefan NystrandJonas Persson
6CanadaCAN3:13.68 (4 h1)3:12.26 (6)
Brent HaydenJoel GreenshieldsColin RussellRick Say
7South AfricaRSA3:13.06 (3 h2)3:12.66 (7)
Lyndon FernsDarian TownsendRoland SchoemanRyk Neethling
8Great BritainGBR3:13.69 (4 h2)3:12.87 (8)
Simon BurnettAdam BrownBen HockinRoss Davenport
9Russian FederationRUS3:14.07 (5 h2)
Yevgeny LagunovAndrey GrechinAndrey KapralovSergey Fesikov
10NetherlandsNED3:14.90 (5 h1)
Mitja ZastrowPieter van den HoogenbandBas van VelthovenRobert Lijesen
11New ZealandNZL3:15.41 (6 h1)
Mark HerringCam GibsonWilly BensonOrinoco Faamausili-Banse
12People's Republic of ChinaCHN3:16.16 (6 h2)
Chen ZuoHuang ShaohuaLu ZhiwuCai Li
13SwitzerlandSUI3:16.80 (7 h2)
Dominik MeichtryKarel NovyFlori LangAdrien Perez
14JapanJPN3:17.28 (7 h1)
Takuro FujiiHisayoshi SatoMasayuki KishidaYoshihiro Okumura
15GermanyGER3:17.99 (8 h1)
Steffen DeiblerJens SchreiberBenjamin StarkePaul Biedermann
DQBrazilBRA– (DQ h2)
César Cielo FilhoRodrigo CastroFernando SilvaNicolas Oliveira

Round One (10 August 2008)

Fastest eight teams advanced to final

Heat One (20:46)

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 mTimeReactionExchange (Pos)
14United StatesUSA3:12.23QWR
Nathan Adrian23.1548.820.7548.82 (4)
Cullen Jones22.2047.610.161:36.43 (2)
Ben Wildman-Tobriner22.6948.030.242:24.46 (1)
Matt Grevers22.4347.770.273:12.23 (1)
Andrew Lauterstein23.1048.680.7548.68 (3)
Leith Brodie23.0848.420.351:37.10 (5)
Patrick Murphy23.0848.090.202:25.19 (3)
Matt Targett22.2947.220.253:12.41 (2)
Stefan Nystrand22.9848.310.9548.31 (2)
Petter Stymne22.2448.410.211:36.72 (4)
Lars Frölander22.7648.350.172:25.07 (2)
Jonas Persson21.9947.660.163:12.73 (3)
Brent Hayden23.2648.280.7648.28 (1)
Joel Greenshields23.0548.060.361:36.34 (1)
Rick Say23.7249.110.052:25.45 (4)
Colin Russell22.7148.230.133:13.68 (4)
Mitja Zastrow23.8849.400.7649.40 (6)
Pieter van den Hoogenband22.0647.170.201:36.57 (3)
Bas van Velthoven22.7649.080.232:25.65 (5)
Robert Lijesen23.1449.250.153:14.90 (5)
67New ZealandNZL3:15.41
Mark Herring23.7349.730.7949.73 (8)
Cam Gibson22.7648.070.111:37.80 (6)
Willy Benson22.8948.650.082:26.45 (6)
Orinoco Faamausili-Banse22.9748.960.043:15.41 (6)
Takuro Fujii23.7749.150.7149.15 (5)
Hisayoshi Sato22.9248.920.131:38.07 (7)
Masayuki Kishida23.4450.000.082:28.07 (7)
Yoshihiro Okumura23.8049.210.183:17.28 (7)
Steffen Deibler23.6249.610.8349.61 (7)
Jens Schreiber23.5049.580.081:39.19 (8)
Benjamin Starke23.4949.650.132:28.84 (8)
Paul Biedermann23.5549.150.283:17.99 (8)

Heat Two (20:53)

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 mTimeReactionExchange (Pos)
Amaury Leveaux23.1847.760.7747.76 (1)
Grégory Mallet22.5748.140.331:35.90 (1)
Boris Steimetz23.4549.830.172:25.73 (4)
Fréd Bousquet21.7746.630.123:12.36 (1)
Alessandro Calvi23.3548.580.8148.58 (6)
Christian Galenda22.5147.670.271:36.25 (2)
Michele Santucci23.5049.560.342:25.81 (5)
Filippo Magnini22.6546.840.233:12.65 (2)
33South AfricaRSA3:13.06Q
Lyndon Ferns22.9448.200.7848.20 (3)
Roland Schoeman22.7148.850.451:37.05 (5)
Ryk Neethling22.6948.510.352:25.56 (2)
Darian Townsend22.4547.500.283:13.06 (3)
41Great BritainGBR3:13.69Q
Simon Burnett23.1648.200.6748.20 (3)
Adam Brown23.2248.430.301:36.63 (4)
Ben Hockin23.3148.550.262:25.18 (1)
Ross Davenport23.0048.510.073:13.69 (4)
56Russian FederationRUS3:14.07
Yevgeny Lagunov23.0248.450.7548.45 (5)
Andrey Grechin22.3148.080.351:36.53 (3)
Andrey Kapralov23.4649.070.582:25.60 (3)
Sergey Fesikov22.7748.470.483:14.07 (5)
67People's Republic of ChinaCHN3:16.16
Chen Zuo23.8349.160.7749.16 (8)
Huang Shaohua23.2248.830.281:37.99 (8)
Lu Zhiwu22.8648.720.052:26.71 (7)
Cai Li23.6949.450.233:16.16 (6)
Dominik Meichtry23.4848.960.6848.96 (7)
Karel Novy23.0048.600.131:37.56 (7)
Flori Lang23.1849.340.012:26.90 (8)
Adrien Perez23.5749.900.153:16.80 (7)
César Cielo Filho22.5347.910.6947.91 (2)
Rodrigo Castro23.6249.230.261:37.14 (6)
Fernando Silva23.0349.530.342:26.67 (6)
Nicolas Oliveira-0.04– (AC)

Final (11 August 2008 — 11:27)

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 mTimeReactionExchange (Pos)
14United StatesUSA3:08.24WR
Michael Phelps23.3147.510.7547.51 (2)
Garrett Weber-Gale21.8947.020.061:34.53 (1)
Cullen Jones22.6847.650.382:22.18 (2)
Jason Lezak21.5046.060.043:08.24 (1)
Amaury Leveaux23.3947.910.7747.91 (4)
Fabien Gilot21.9847.050.161:34.96 (2)
Fréd Bousquet21.9646.630.082:21.59 (1)
Alain Bernard21.2746.730.193:08.32 (2)
Eamon Sullivan22.4847.240.7147.24 (1)
Andrew Lauterstein22.1947.870.251:35.11 (3)
Ashley Callus22.4447.550.282:22.66 (3)
Matt Targett22.1747.250.293:09.91 (3)
Alessandro Calvi23.1248.490.7848.49 (7)
Christian Galenda22.1347.490.301:35.98 (5)
Marco Belotti22.8148.230.132:24.21 (5)
Filippo Magnini22.6547.270.173:11.48 (4)
Petter Stymne23.2049.170.8549.17 (8)
Lars Frölander22.3048.020.061:37.19 (8)
Stefan Nystrand22.1847.250.172:24.44 (6)
Jonas Persson22.1847.480.013:11.92 (5)
Brent Hayden22.7247.560.7547.56 (3)
Joel Greenshields22.6847.770.141:35.33 (4)
Colin Russell23.1348.490.082:23.82 (4)
Rick Say23.0448.440.003:12.26 (6)
77South AfricaRSA3:12.66
Lyndon Ferns22.7448.150.6448.15 (5)
Darian Townsend22.2748.110.261:36.26 (7)
Roland Schoeman22.2848.320.242:24.58 (7)
Ryk Neethling22.4748.080.093:12.66 (7)
88Great BritainGBR3:12.87
Simon Burnett23.3948.340.6848.34 (6)
Adam Brown23.0447.750.311:36.09 (6)
Ben Hockin22.9548.500.382:24.59 (8)
Ross Davenport23.2248.280.193:12.87 (8)