| Event type

4 x 100 metres Relay, Men

Date21 – 22 August 2008
LocationBeijing Guojia Tiyuchang, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants66 from 16 countries
Olympic Record 37.40 WR / United States USA / 8 August 1992

For one of the few times in Olympic history, the United States was not favored in the short relay, as Jamaica had all the cards. Usain Bolt had already won the 100 and 200 in world record times, and his teammate, Asafa Powell, was the 100 world-record holder coming into 2008. Aided by Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, it was thought that only poor baton passing could get the US ahead of the Caribbean powerhouse. But the US team never even got the chance. In the first heat of round one, Darvis Patton ran the third leg for the US and was leading as he went to hand-off to Tyson Gay. But the two dropped the baton and the US was out of the heat and the final. This left the way open for Jamaica to run virtually uncontested, though it is highly unlikely the US could have beaten Jamaica in the final, even at their absolute best. Jamaica dominated the final, shattering the previous world record of 37.40, to record 37.10. Bolt ran the third leg on the curve, clocking an estimated 9.0 around the turn, and Asafa Powell’s anchor was timed by tafnuts in 8.7. This gave Bolt his third sprint gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, all in world record time, a feat which had never been performed at the Olympics.

That was how the event and the results seemed to have ended. In 2015, however, the IOC began re-testing samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, using newer, more advanced testing techniques, in an effort to find those who had used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), but in whom it could not be detected at the time of those Olympics. This was one of the many events affected.

In January 2017 Jamaican Nesta Carter was revealed to have a positive re-test for methylhexaneamine. The possible disqualification would impact on the stellar Olympic record of Jamaican sprint great Usain Bolt, since Carter’s positive test would also disqualify the Jamaican team and Bolt would lose this gold medal. However, Carter appealed this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). On 31 May 2018 the appeal was dismissed by the CAS and Carter and the Jamaican team remained disqualified, which cost Bolt his ninth gold medal.

1Trinidad and TobagoTTO38.26 (1 h1)38.06 (1)Gold
3017Keston Bledman
3019Marc Burns
3020Emmanuel Callender
3025Richard Thompson
3016Aaron Armstrong
2JapanJPN38.52 (2 h1)38.15 (2)Silver
2222Naoki Tsukahara
2185Shingo Suetsugu
2186Shinji Takahira
2184Nobuharu Asahara
Hitoshi Saito (DNS)
3BrazilBRA39.01 (4 h1)38.24 (3)Bronze
1238Vicente Lenílson
1237Sandro Viana
1222Bruno Lins
1231 Codó
Nilson André (DNS)
Rafael Ribeiro (DNS)
4GermanyGER38.93 (2 h2)38.58 (4)
1900Tobias Unger
1892Till Helmke
1902Alexander Kosenkow
1918Martin Keller
Ronny Ostwald (DNS)
Marius Broening (DNS)
5CanadaCAN38.77 (1 h2)38.66 (5)
1315Hank Palmer
1291Anson Henry
1300Jared Connaughton
1308Pierre Browne
Richard Adu-Bobie (DNS)
E. J. Parris (DNS)
AC r2/2People's Republic of ChinaCHN39.13 (3 h2)– (AC)
1352Wen Yongyi
1331Zhang Peimeng
1366Lu Bin
1355Hu Kai
Xing Yanan (DNS)
Liang Jiahong (DNS)
AC r2/2NetherlandsNED38.87 (3 h1)45.81 (AC)
2487Maarten Heisen
2488Guus Hoogmoed
2498Patrick van Luijk
2486Caimin Douglas
Virgil Spier (DNS)
5 h2 r1/2ThailandTHA39.40 (4 h2)
2982Apinan Sukkaarphai
2992Siriroj Darasuriyong
2979Sompote Suwannarangsri
2980Sittichai Suwonprateep
Wachara Sondee (DNS)
Taweesak Pooltong (DNS)
6 h2 r1/2FranceFRA39.53 (5 h2)
1747Yannick Lesourd
1771Martial Mbandjock
1762Manuel Reynaert
1727Samuel Coco-Viloin
Aimé-Issa Nthépé (DNS)
David Alerte (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2NigeriaNGR– (AC h1)
2524Onyeabor Ngwogu
2503Obinna Metu
2519Chinedu Oriala
2520Uchenna Emedolu
Adetoyi Durotoye (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2PolandPOL– (AC h1)
2631Marcin Nowak
2574Łukasz Chyła
2588Marcin Jędrusiński
2596Dariusz Kuć
Robert Kubaczyk (DNS)
Kamil Masztak (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2South AfricaRSA– (AC h1)
2740Hannes Dreyer
2735Leigh Julius
2726Kagisho Kumbane
2741Thuso Mpuang
Corné Du Plessis (DNS)
Sergio Mullins (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2United StatesUSA– (AC h1)
3200Rodney Martin
3286Travis Padgett
3215Darvis Patton
3265Tyson Gay
Leroy Dixon (DNS)
AC h2 r1/2Great BritainGBR– (AC h2)
1844Simeon Williamson
1801Tyrone Edgar
1797Marlon Devonish
1824Craig Pickering
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (DNS)
Rikki Fifton (DNS)
AC h2 r1/2ItalyITA– (AC h2)
2091Fabio Cerutti
2092Simone Collio
2124Emanuele Di Gregorio
2110Jacques Riparelli
Maurizio Checcucci (DNS)
Massimiliano Donati (DNS)
ACJamaicaJAM38.31 (AC h2)37.10 (AC)DQ1
2160Nesta Carter
2148Michael Frater
2163Usain Bolt
2142Asafa Powell
2158Dwight Thomas
Andre Wellington (DNS)

Round One (21 August 2008)

Top three in each heat and next two fastest advanced to the final.

Heat One (20:20)

PosLaneTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
18Trinidad and TobagoTTO38.260.201Q
Keston BledmanMarc BurnsAaron ArmstrongRichard Thompson
Naoki TsukaharaShingo SuetsuguShinji TakahiraNobuharu Asahara
Maarten HeisenGuus HoogmoedPatrick van LuijkCaimin Douglas
CodóBruno LinsVicente LenílsonSandro Viana
Onyeabor NgwoguObinna MetuChinedu OrialaUchenna Emedolu
Marcin NowakŁukasz ChyłaMarcin JędrusińskiDariusz Kuć
AC5South AfricaRSA0.171DNF
Hannes DreyerLeigh JuliusKagisho KumbaneThuso Mpuang
AC7United StatesUSA0.203DNF
Rodney MartinTravis PadgettDarvis PattonTyson Gay

Heat Two (20:30)

PosLaneTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
Hank PalmerAnson HenryJared ConnaughtonPierre Browne
Tobias UngerTill HelmkeAlexander KosenkowMartin Keller
39People's Republic of ChinaCHN39.130.172q
Wen YongyiZhang PeimengLu BinHu Kai
Apinan SukkaarphaiSiriroj DarasuriyongSompote SuwannarangsriSittichai Suwonprateep
Yannick LesourdMartial MbandjockManuel ReynaertSamuel Coco-Viloin
AC5Great BritainGBR0.176DQ
Simeon WilliamsonTyrone EdgarMarlon DevonishCraig Pickering
Fabio CeruttiSimone CollioEmanuele Di GregorioJacques Riparelli
AC6JamaicaJAM38.310.181DQ QU2
Nesta Carter 3Dwight ThomasMichael FraterAsafa Powell

Final (22 August 2008 — 22:10)

PosLaneTeamNOCTimeReaction Time
14Trinidad and TobagoTTO38.060.171
Keston BledmanMarc BurnsEmmanuel CallenderRichard Thompson
Naoki TsukaharaShingo SuetsuguShinji TakahiraNobuharu Asahara
Vicente LenílsonSandro VianaBruno Lins Codó
Tobias UngerTill HelmkeAlexander KosenkowMartin Keller
Hank PalmerAnson HenryJared ConnaughtonPierre Browne
AC2People's Republic of ChinaCHN0.159DQ
Wen YongyiZhang PeimengLu BinHu Kai
Maarten HeisenGuus HoogmoedPatrick van LuijkCaimin Douglas
Nesta Carter 5Michael FraterUsain BoltAsafa Powell