| Event type

400 metres, Men

Date4 – 6 August 2012
LocationOlympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Participants49 from 38 countries
Olympic Record 43.49 / Michael Johnson USA / 29 July 1996

The United States had dominated the men’s 400 metres at the Olympics, winning every gold medal since 1956, except for the boycott year of 1980, and Alberto Juantorena’s victory in 1976. But this was not a given in 2012. The best American one-lap runners over the last decade had been LaShawn Merritt, the defending gold medalist, and Jeremy Wariner, the 2004 gold medalist. But Wariner failed to make the Olympic team, and Merritt pulled up in the first round in London, the victim of a bad hamstring.

This left the event wide open, but the favorite, despite Merritt and Wariner’s status, had been the Grenadan 2011 World Champion, Kirani James. Many eyes were also looking to see how well the South African Oscar Pistorius would do. Nicknamed “The Blade Runner”, the bilateral amputee ran on artificial limbs, and had won numerous titles at the Paralympics. Pistorius had made the Olympic qualifying time, although there was some controversy about his running, as some experts felt his blades gave him extra propulsion and could give him an advantage. If so, they were not enough, as he was last in semi-final two, won by James. The other semis were won by Trindadian Lalonde Gordon and Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic, the 2012 World Junior Champion.

The final was also notable for the presence of Belgian twins Kevin Borlée, the 2010 European Champion, and Jonathan Borlée, who had just missed a European record when he won his heat in 44.43, and the absence of the American runners. No American qualified for the final for the first time at the Olympics save for the boycott year of 1980. The early leader in the final was Bahamian Demetrius Pinder but he was caught by James before the halfway mark. James led at 200 in 21.3 followed by Santos in 21.4, and James would only increase his lead to the tape, winning gold in 43.94, with a 5-metre lead on Santos, Gordon coming for the bronze medal. The Borlées placed 5-6, with Kevin leading his brother, and Pinder faded to seventh.

This was the first ever Olympic gold medal in any sport by a Grenadian athlete. The podium was also unusual in that the three athletes all represented three different Caribbean nations, the first time this had ever happened at the Olympics. James’ time also made him the first non-American to run under 44 seconds, and at only 19 years, 11 months, he was the second youngest ever under that barrier, behind only 1988 Olympic champion Steve Lewis.

12005Kirani JamesGRN45.23 (1 h2)44.59 (1 h2)43.94 (1)Gold
21564Luguelín SantosDOM45.04 (1 h1)44.78 (1 h3)44.46 (2)Silver
33044Lalonde GordonTTO45.43 (2 h6)44.58 (1 h1)44.52 (3)Bronze
41100Chris BrownBAH45.40 (1 h5)44.67 (2 h2)44.79 (4)
51133Kévin BorléeBEL45.14 (1 h7)44.84 (2 h3)44.81 (5)
61132Jonathan BorléeBEL44.43 (1 h3)44.99 (3 h2)44.83 (6)
71108Demetrius PinderBAH44.92 (1 h4)44.94 (2 h1)44.98 (7)
81060Steven SolomonAUS45.18 (1 h6)44.97 (3 h1)45.14 (8)
3 h3 r2/33241Bryshon NellumUSA45.29 (2 h4)45.02 (3 h3)
4 h1 r2/32968Rabah YousifSUD45.46 (3 h7)45.13 (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/33235Tony McQuayUSA45.48 (2 h5)45.31 (4 h2)
4 h3 r2/31105Ramon MillerBAH45.57 (2 h2)45.11 (4 h3)
5 h1 r2/31519Pavel MaslákCZE44.91 (2 h3)45.15 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/31816Nigel LevineGBR45.58 (3 h5)45.64 (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/31831Martyn RooneyGBR45.36 (2 h7)45.31 (5 h3)
6 h1 r2/32124Tabarie HenryISV45.43 (4 h4)45.19 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/33345Alberth BravoVEN45.61 (5 h4)46.22 (6 h2)
6 h3 r2/32177Dane HyattJAM45.14 (4 h3)45.59 (6 h3)
7 h1 r2/32835Pavel TrenikhinRUS45.00 (3 h3)45.35 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/32790Oscar PistoriusRSA45.44 (2 h1)46.54 (7 h2)
7 h3 r2/32374Yousef MasrahiKSA45.43 (3 h4)45.91 (7 h3)
8 h1 r2/31842Conrad WilliamsGBR46.12 (3 h6)45.53 (8 h1)
8 h3 r2/32078Liemarvin BonevaciaIOA45.60 (3 h2)1:36.42 (8 h3)
3 h1 r1/32179Rusheen McDonaldJAM46.67 (3 h1)
4 h1 r1/33126Vitaliy ButrymUKR47.62 (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/31212Isaac MakwalaBOT45.67 (4 h2)
4 h5 r1/32224Yuzo KanemaruJPN46.01 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/32041Marcell Deák NagyHUN46.17 (4 h6)
4 h7 r1/31448Nery BrenesCRC45.65 (4 h7)
5 h2 r1/33046Deon LendoreTTO45.81 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/32120Donald SanfordISR45.71 (5 h3)
5 h5 r1/32391Jānis LeitisLAT46.41 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/32025Winston GeorgeGUY46.86 (5 h6)
5 h7 r1/31556Erison HurtaultDMA46.05 (5 h7)
6 h2 r1/31281Daundre BarnabyCAN46.04 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/32641Nelson StonePNG46.71 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/32175Jermaine GonzalesJAM46.21 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/32626Augusto StanleyPAR47.21 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/32084Sajjad HashemiIRI47.75 (6 h6)
6 h7 r1/32661Marcin MarciniszynPOL46.35 (6 h7)
7 h2 r1/31682Bereket DestaETH47.40 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/32274Sergey ZaykovKAZ47.12 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/32519Kristijan EfremovMKD47.92 (7 h4)
8 h2 r1/32637Bahaa Al-FarraPLE49.93 (8 h2)
8 h3 r1/31262Ak Hafiy Tajuddin RositiBRU48.67 (8 h3)
8 h4 r1/32534Thet Zaw WinMYA50.07 (8 h4)
AC3237LaShawn MerrittUSA– (AC h6)DNF
AC1149Mathieu GnanligoBEN– (AC h7)DNF
AC2806Maksim DyldinRUS45.52 (AC h1)45.39 (AC h2)DQ1
DNS2619Ahmed Al-MerjabiOMA– (DNS h1)2
DNS3047Renny QuowTTO– (DNS h1)3

Round One (4 August 2012 — 10:35)

Top three in each heat and next three fastest advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat #1 (10:35)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
17Luguelín SantosDOM45.040.187Q
26Oscar PistoriusRSA45.440.236Q
38Rusheen McDonaldJAM46.670.243
42Vitaliy ButrymUKR47.620.165
AC4Maksim DyldinRUS45.520.190DQ Q4
DNS3Ahmed Al-MerjabiOMA5
DNS5Renny QuowTTO6

Heat #2 (10:43)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
16Kirani JamesGRN45.230.173Q
27Ramon MillerBAH45.570.160Q
34Liemarvin BonevaciaIOA45.600.232Q
48Isaac MakwalaBOT45.670.211
53Deon LendoreTTO45.810.205
65Daundre BarnabyCAN46.040.171
79Bereket DestaETH47.400.224
82Bahaa Al-FarraPLE49.930.212

Heat #3 (10:51)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
16Jonathan BorléeBEL44.430.179Q
27Pavel MaslákCZE44.910.186Q
34Pavel TrenikhinRUS45.000.194Q
49Dane HyattJAM45.140.261q
52Donald SanfordISR45.710.168
65Nelson StonePNG46.710.193
78Sergey ZaykovKAZ47.120.209
83Ak Hafiy Tajuddin RositiBRU48.670.188

Heat #4 (10:59)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
12Demetrius PinderBAH44.920.151Q
27Bryshon NellumUSA45.290.191Q
36Yousef MasrahiKSA45.430.147Q
43Tabarie HenryISV45.430.176q
55Alberth BravoVEN45.610.197q
64Jermaine GonzalesJAM46.210.171
78Kristijan EfremovMKD47.920.229
89Thet Zaw WinMYA50.070.181

Heat #5 (11:07)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
13Chris BrownBAH45.400.171Q
26Tony McQuayUSA45.480.155Q
32Nigel LevineGBR45.580.148Q
47Yuzo KanemaruJPN46.010.156
55Jānis LeitisLAT46.410.159
68Augusto StanleyPAR47.210.190

Heat #6 (11:15)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
17Steven SolomonAUS45.180.145Q
25Lalonde GordonTTO45.430.178Q
32Conrad WilliamsGBR46.120.164Q
48Marcell Deák NagyHUN46.170.186
56Winston GeorgeGUY46.860.245
64Sajjad HashemiIRI47.750.171
AC3LaShawn MerrittUSA0.195DNF

Heat #7 (11:23)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
12Kévin BorléeBEL45.140.166Q
25Martyn RooneyGBR45.360.186Q
38Rabah YousifSUD45.460.203Q
47Nery BrenesCRC45.650.237
54Erison HurtaultDMA46.050.158
63Marcin MarciniszynPOL46.350.180
AC6Mathieu GnanligoBEN0.168DNF

Semi-Finals (5 August 2012 — 20:40)

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

Heat #1 (20:40)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
17Lalonde GordonTTO44.580.168Q
25Demetrius PinderBAH44.940.161Q
36Steven SolomonAUS44.970.188q
49Rabah YousifSUD45.130.178
54Pavel MaslákCZE45.150.166
62Tabarie HenryISV45.190.167
78Pavel TrenikhinRUS45.350.198
83Conrad WilliamsGBR45.530.153

Heat #2 (20:48)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
17Kirani JamesGRN44.590.170Q
26Chris BrownBAH44.670.174Q
34Jonathan BorléeBEL44.990.164q
49Tony McQuayUSA45.310.230
53Nigel LevineGBR45.640.146
62Alberth BravoVEN46.220.185
75Oscar PistoriusRSA46.540.254
AC8Maksim DyldinRUS45.390.168DQ7

Heat #3 (20:56)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
15Luguelín SantosDOM44.780.155Q
24Kévin BorléeBEL44.840.147Q
36Bryshon NellumUSA45.020.173
48Ramon MillerBAH45.110.190
57Martyn RooneyGBR45.310.186
62Dane HyattJAM45.590.159
79Yousef MasrahiKSA45.910.146
83Liemarvin BonevaciaIOA1:36.420.153

Final (6 August 2012 — 21:30)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)Reaction Time
15Kirani JamesGRN43.940.163
27Luguelín SantosDOM44.460.185
34Lalonde GordonTTO44.520.159
46Chris BrownBAH44.790.166
59Kévin BorléeBEL44.810.151
62Jonathan BorléeBEL44.830.173
78Demetrius PinderBAH44.980.153
83Steven SolomonAUS45.140.143