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| Event type

4 x 400 metres Relay, Men

Date19 – 20 October 1968
StatusOlympic
LocationEstadio Olímpico Universitario, Ciudad de México
Participants65 from 16 countries
Olympic Record 3:00.7 WR / United States USA / 21 October 1964

Having swept the medals in the 400 metres, the US could only lose by dropping the baton or an injury. In the heats the US equaled the Olympic record with 3:00.71. Aided by altitude the American team was dominant in the final, defeating Kenya by over 30 metres in a mark that shattered the world record of 2:59.6. The mark of 2:56.16 was altitude aided, but would last until it was equaled at the 1988 Olympics by another US relay team and it would not be broken until the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Despite the acclaim given to Bob Beamon’s long jump mark, this was the world record from Ciudad de México that lasted for the longest period of time. The US actually did not lead on the opening leg, as Charles Asati put Kenya four metres ahead of Vince Matthews. But the outcome was settled on the second leg when 400 bronze medalist Ron Freeman ran 43.2, the fastest leg to that time, and still a remarkable time. With Larry James, the 400 silver medalist, and Lee Evans, the gold medalist, running the last two legs, the race was over.

PosNrTeamNOCR1Final
1United StatesUSA3:00.7 (1 h1)2:56.1 (1)GoldWR
Vince MatthewsRon FreemanLarry JamesLee Evans
2KenyaKEN3:00.8 (2 h1)2:59.6 (2)Silver
Charles AsatiMunyoro NyamauNaftali BonDaniel Rudisha
3West GermanyFRG3:03.8 (1 h3)3:00.5 (3)Bronze
Helmar MüllerGerhard HennigeManfred KinderMartin Jellinghaus
4PolandPOL3:03.0 (1 h2)3:00.5 (4)
Stanisław GrędzińskiJan BalachowskiJan WernerAndrzej Badeński
5Great BritainGBR3:03.6 (2 h2)3:01.2 (5)
Martin Winbolt-LewisColin CampbellDave HemeryJohn Sherwood
6Trinidad and TobagoTTO3:04.5 (2 h3)3:04.5 (6)
George SimonEuric BobbBen CayenneEdwin Roberts
7ItalyITA3:04.8 (3 h1)3:04.6 (7)
Sergio OttolinaGiacomo PuosiFurio FusiSergio Bello
8FranceFRA3:04.6 (3 h3)3:07.5 (8)
Jean-Claude NalletJacques CaretteGilles BertouldJean-Pierre BoccardoChristian Nicolau
3 h2 r1/2NigeriaNGR3:05.7 (3 h2)
Mamman MakamaDavid EjokeMusa Dogon YaroAnthony Egwunyenga
4 h1 r1/2East GermanyGDR3:06.9 (4 h1)
Hartmut SchwabeDieter FrommWolfgang MüllerMichael Zerbes
4 h2 r1/2SenegalSEN3:06.9 (4 h2)
Amadou GakouDaour M'baye GuèyePapa M'Baye N'DiayeMamadou Sarr
4 h3 r1/2CubaCUB3:05.2 (4 h3)
Carlos MartínezEddy TéllezMiguel OliveraRodobaldo Díaz
5 h1 r1/2Dominican RepublicDOM3:19.4 (5 h1)
Rolando GómezJosé L'OficialRadhamés MoraDavid Soriano
5 h3 r1/2VenezuelaVEN3:07.6 (5 h3)
Víctor PatíñezRaúl DomeVíctor MaldonadoJosé Jacinto Hidalgo
6 h3 r1/2MexicoMEX3:08.1 (6 h3)
Melesio PiñaSalvador MedinaCarlos CastroFrancisco Sardo
7 h3 r1/2CanadaCAN3:09.6 (7 h3)
Ross MacKenzieBrian MacLarenBill CrothersWes Brooker
DNSMalaysiaMAS
DNSJamaicaJAM
DNSBelgiumBEL

Round One (19 October 1968 — 16:40)

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

Heat One

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1United StatesUSA3:00.73:00.71Q=OR
Vince MatthewsRon FreemanLarry JamesLee Evans
2KenyaKEN3:00.83:00.84Q
Daniel RudishaMunyoro NyamauNaftali BonCharles Asati
3ItalyITA3:04.83:04.93q
Sergio OttolinaGiacomo PuosiFurio FusiSergio Bello
4East GermanyGDR3:06.93:07.00
Hartmut SchwabeDieter FrommWolfgang MüllerMichael Zerbes
5Dominican RepublicDOM3:19.43:19.42
Rolando GómezJosé L'OficialRadhamés MoraDavid Soriano

Heat Two

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1PolandPOL3:03.03:03.02Q
Stanisław GrędzińskiJan BalachowskiJan WernerAndrzej Badeński
2Great BritainGBR3:03.63:03.67Q
Martin Winbolt-LewisColin CampbellDave HemeryJohn Sherwood
3NigeriaNGR3:05.73:05.78
Mamman MakamaDavid EjokeMusa Dogon YaroAnthony Egwunyenga
4SenegalSEN3:06.93:06.94
Amadou GakouDaour M'baye GuèyePapa M'Baye N'DiayeMamadou Sarr

Heat Three

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1West GermanyFRG3:03.83:03.90Q
Helmar MüllerGerhard HennigeManfred KinderMartin Jellinghaus
2Trinidad and TobagoTTO3:04.53:04.55Q
George SimonEuric BobbBen CayenneEdwin Roberts
3FranceFRA3:04.63:04.69q
Jean-Claude NalletJacques CaretteGilles BertouldChristian Nicolau
4CubaCUB3:05.23:05.28
Carlos MartínezEddy TéllezMiguel OliveraRodobaldo Díaz
5VenezuelaVEN3:07.63:07.65
Víctor PatíñezRaúl DomeVíctor MaldonadoJosé Jacinto Hidalgo
6MexicoMEX3:08.13:08.19
Melesio PiñaSalvador MedinaCarlos CastroFrancisco Sardo
7CanadaCAN3:09.63:09.70
Ross MacKenzieBrian MacLarenBill CrothersWes Brooker

Final (20 October 1968 — 16:50)

PosNrTeamNOCTime (H)Time (A)Split (Pos)
1United StatesUSA2:56.12:56.16WR
288Vince Matthews45.045.0 (2)
273Ron Freeman43.21:28.2 (1)
280Larry James43.82:12.0 (1)
270Lee Evans44.12:56.1 (1)
2KenyaKEN2:59.62:59.64
571Daniel Rudisha44.644.6 (1)
569Munyoro Nyamau45.21:29.8 (2)
563Naftali Bon45.22:15.0 (2)
561Charles Asati44.62:59.6 (2)
3West GermanyFRG3:00.53:00.57
32Helmar Müller46.246.2 (=4)
22Manfred Kinder44.81:31.0 (3)
16Gerhard Hennige44.72:15.7 (=3)
19Martin Jellinghaus44.83:00.5 (=3)
4PolandPOL3:00.53:00.58
668Stanisław Grędziński46.846.8 (8)
662Jan Balachowski44.71:31.5 (5)
686Jan Werner44.52:16.0 (5)
661Andrzej Badeński44.53:00.5 (=3)
5Great BritainGBR3:01.23:01.21
434Martin Winbolt-Lewis46.246.2 (=4)
393Colin Campbell44.91:31.1 (4)
402Dave Hemery44.62:15.7 (=3)
422John Sherwood45.53:01.2 (5)
6Trinidad and TobagoTTO3:04.53:04.54
778George Simon46.146.1 (3)
772Euric Bobb46.71:32.8 (8)
773Ben Cayenne45.92:18.7 (=6)
776Edwin Roberts45.83:04.5 (6)
7ItalyITA3:04.63:04.64
514Sergio Ottolina46.446.4 (6)
518Giacomo Puosi45.81:32.2 (6)
507Furio Fusi46.52:18.7 (=6)
496Sergio Bello45.93:04.6 (7)
8FranceFRA3:07.53:07.51
361Jean-Claude Nallet46.646.6 (7)
350Jacques Carette45.81:32.4 (7)
346Gilles Bertould47.12:19.5 (8)
Jean-Pierre Boccardo48.03:07.5 (8)