| Event type

4 x 100 metres Relay, Men

Date21 – 22 August 2008
LocationBeijing Guojia Tiyuchang, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants66 from 16 countries

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. Trinidad & Tobago received their gold medals at a ceremony at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland on 5 July 2022.

1Trinidad and TobagoTTO38.26 (1 h1)38.06 (1)Gold
Keston BledmanMarc BurnsEmmanuel CallenderRichard ThompsonAaron Armstrong
2JapanJPN38.52 (2 h1)38.15 (2)Silver
Naoki TsukaharaShingo SuetsuguShinji TakahiraNobuharu AsaharaHitoshi Saito (DNS)
3BrazilBRA39.01 (4 h1)38.24 (3)Bronze
Vicente LenílsonSandro VianaBruno de Barros CodóNilson André (DNS)Rafael Ribeiro (DNS)
4GermanyGER38.93 (2 h2)38.58 (4)
Tobias UngerTill HelmkeAlexander KosenkowMartin KellerRonny Ostwald (DNS)Marius Broening (DNS)
5CanadaCAN38.77 (1 h2)38.66 (5)
Hank PalmerAnson HenryJared ConnaughtonPierre BrowneRichard Adu-Bobie (DNS)E. J. Parris (DNS)
AC r2/2People's Republic of ChinaCHN39.13 (3 h2)– (DQ)
Wen YongyiZhang PeimengLu BinHu KaiXing Yanan (DNS)Liang Jiahong (DNS)
AC r2/2NetherlandsNED38.87 (3 h1)[45.81] (DQ)
Maarten HeisenGuus HoogmoedPatrick van LuijkCaimin DouglasVirgil Spier (DNS)
5 h2 r1/2ThailandTHA39.40 (4 h2)
Apinan SukkaarphaiSiriroj DarasuriyongSompote SuwannarangsriSittichai SuwonprateepWachara Sondee (DNS)Taweesak Pooltong (DNS)
6 h2 r1/2FranceFRA39.53 (5 h2)
Yannick LesourdMartial MbandjockManuel ReynaertSamuel Coco-ViloinAimé-Issa Nthépé (DNS)David Alerte (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2NigeriaNGR– (DNF h1)
Onyeabor NgwoguObinna MetuChinedu OrialaUchenna EmedoluAdetoyi Durotoye (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2PolandPOL– (DNF h1)
Marcin NowakŁukasz ChyłaMarcin JędrusińskiDariusz KućRobert Kubaczyk (DNS)Kamil Masztak (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2South AfricaRSA– (DNF h1)
Hannes DreyerLeigh JuliusKagisho KumbaneThuso MpuangCorné Du Plessis (DNS)Sergio Mullins (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2United StatesUSA– (DNF h1)
Rodney MartinTravis PadgettDarvis PattonTyson GayLeroy Dixon (DNS)
AC h2 r1/2Great BritainGBR– (DQ h2)
Simeon WilliamsonTyrone EdgarMarlon DevonishCraig PickeringHarry Aikines-Aryeetey (DNS)Rikki Fifton (DNS)
AC h2 r1/2ItalyITA– (DQ h2)
Fabio CeruttiSimone CollioEmanuele Di GregorioJacques RiparelliMaurizio Checcucci (DNS)Massimiliano Donati (DNS)
DQJamaicaJAM[38.31] (DQ h2)[37.10] (DQ)1
Nesta Carter 2Michael FraterUsain BoltAsafa PowellDwight ThomasAndre Wellington (DNS)

Round One (21 August 2008)

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

Heat One (20:20)

PosNrTeamNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
1Trinidad and TobagoTTO38.260.201Q
Keston BledmanMarc BurnsAaron ArmstrongRichard Thompson
Naoki TsukaharaShingo SuetsuguShinji TakahiraNobuharu Asahara
Maarten HeisenGuus HoogmoedPatrick van LuijkCaimin Douglas
CodóBruno de BarrosVicente LenílsonSandro Viana
Onyeabor NgwoguObinna MetuChinedu OrialaUchenna Emedolu
Marcin NowakŁukasz ChyłaMarcin JędrusińskiDariusz Kuć
DNFSouth AfricaRSA0.171
Hannes DreyerLeigh JuliusKagisho KumbaneThuso Mpuang
DNFUnited StatesUSA0.203
Rodney MartinTravis PadgettDarvis PattonTyson Gay

Heat Two (20:30)

PosNrTeamNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
Hank PalmerAnson HenryJared ConnaughtonPierre Browne
Tobias UngerTill HelmkeAlexander KosenkowMartin Keller
3People's Republic of ChinaCHN39.130.172q
Wen YongyiZhang PeimengLu BinHu Kai
Apinan SukkaarphaiSiriroj DarasuriyongSompote SuwannarangsriSittichai Suwonprateep
Yannick LesourdMartial MbandjockManuel ReynaertSamuel Coco-Viloin
DQGreat BritainGBR[0.176]
Simeon WilliamsonTyrone EdgarMarlon DevonishCraig Pickering
Fabio CeruttiSimone CollioEmanuele Di GregorioJacques Riparelli
Nesta Carter 4Dwight ThomasMichael FraterAsafa Powell

Final (22 August 2008 — 22:10)

PosNrTeamNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
1Trinidad and TobagoTTO38.060.171
Keston BledmanMarc BurnsEmmanuel CallenderRichard Thompson
Naoki TsukaharaShingo SuetsuguShinji TakahiraNobuharu Asahara
Vicente LenílsonSandro VianaBruno de Barros Codó
Tobias UngerTill HelmkeAlexander KosenkowMartin Keller
Hank PalmerAnson HenryJared ConnaughtonPierre Browne
DQPeople's Republic of ChinaCHN[0.159]
Wen YongyiZhang PeimengLu BinHu Kai
Maarten HeisenGuus HoogmoedPatrick van LuijkCaimin Douglas
Nesta Carter 6Michael FraterUsain BoltAsafa Powell