| Event type

400 metres, Men

Date3 – 7 September 1972
LocationOlympiastadion, Olympiapark, München
Participants64 from 49 countries

The favorite was American John Smith, who had posted the best times of the year and in 1971 had broken the 440 yard world record in winning the AAU title. He made the final along with Americans Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett. Matthews was a surprise. He had just missed the US team in 1968 and had not competed much until 1972. In the final, Smith, with an injured leg, ran only a few steps before pulling up. Matthews led throughout and held off Collett down the final straight. Julius Sang (KEN) became the first black African to win a sprint Olympic medal. On the victory podium Collett and Matthews staged an impromptu “protest” in which they stood with their sweatsuits draped open, and during the national anthem, looked around, did not stand at attention, or look at the US flag, and talked openly to each other. It prompted multiple boos and whistles from the audience. The International Olympic Committee banned them from further competition. With Smith out from his injury, this prevented the US from having a 4×400 relay team, in which they would have been prohibitive favorites.

1999Vince MatthewsUSA45.94 (2 h5)45.62 (2 h2)44.94 (1 h1)44.66 (1)Gold
2978Wayne CollettUSA46.00 (2 h4)45.80 (1 h1)45.77 (3 h2)44.80 (2)Silver
3587Julius SangKEN45.24 (1 h7)45.92 (2 h4)45.30 (1 h2)44.92 (3)Bronze
4571Charles AsatiKEN45.16 (1 h6)46.04 (1 h5)45.47 (4 h1)45.13 (4)
5396Horst-Rüdiger SchlöskeFRG45.27 (1 h8)45.41 (1 h2)45.62 (2 h2)45.31 (5)
6210Markku KukkoahoFIN46.05 (1 h9)46.11 (3 h3)46.02 (4 h2)45.49 (6)
7370Karl HonzFRG46.77 (4 h7)45.87 (1 h4)45.32 (2 h1)45.68 (7)
AC r4/41018John SmithUSA46.00 (2 h8)46.04 (2 h3)45.46 (3 h1)– (AC)
5 h1 r3/4293David JenkinsGBR46.15 (1 h2)45.99 (1 h3)45.91 (5 h1)
5 h2 r3/4137Alberto JuantorenaCUB45.94 (1 h4)45.96 (2 h1)46.07 (5 h2)
6 h1 r3/4180Tegegne BezabehETH45.88 (1 h5)45.97 (3 h2)45.98 (6 h1)
6 h2 r3/4747Jan WernerPOL45.93 (4 h6)46.02 (3 h1)46.26 (6 h2)
7 h1 r3/4388Georg NücklesFRG46.64 (1 h3)46.30 (3 h5)46.28 (7 h1)
7 h2 r3/4306Martin ReynoldsGBR46.46 (2 h7)46.11 (4 h1)46.71 (7 h2)
8 h1 r3/4708Andrzej BadeńskiPOL46.21 (1 h1)46.19 (2 h5)46.38 (8 h1)
3 h4 r2/4718Zbigniew JaremskiPOL46.20 (2 h9)46.52 (3 h4)– (DNS h2)
4 h2 r2/4231Gilles BertouldFRA46.36 (4 h4)46.14 (4 h2)
4 h3 r2/4583Munyoro NyamauKEN46.33 (3 h2)46.80 (4 h3)
4 h4 r2/4843Anders FaagerSWE46.29 (2 h2)46.54 (4 h4)
4 h5 r2/4861Claver KamanyaTAN46.18 (3 h4)46.55 (4 h5)
5 h1 r2/4897Charles JosephTTO46.38 (2 h1)46.14 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/4109Wickramesinghe WimaladasaSRI46.62 (4 h1)46.50 (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/4664Bruce IjirighwoNGR46.59 (5 h2)46.81 (5 h3)
5 h4 r2/4251Francis KerbiriouFRA47.01 (3 h3)46.63 (5 h4)
5 h5 r2/4190Mulugetta TadesseETH46.38 (3 h1)46.85 (5 h5)
6 h1 r2/4668Robert OjoNGR47.03 (4 h5)46.73 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/4550Leighton PriestleyJAM45.75 (2 h6)47.76 (6 h2)
6 h3 r2/4270Roger VélasquezFRA46.70 (3 h7)46.91 (6 h3)
6 h4 r2/4567Yoshiharu TomonagaJPN47.01 (2 h3)46.92 (6 h4)
6 h5 r2/4493Bjarni StefánssonISL46.76 (5 h1)46.92 (6 h5)
7 h1 r2/4625Omar GhizlatMAR46.37 (4 h2)46.84 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/4894Arthur CooperTTO47.15 (3 h9)48.29 (7 h2)
7 h3 r2/4792Amadou GakouSEN47.68 (4 h9)46.96 (7 h3)
7 h4 r2/4273Gary ArmstrongGBR46.48 (5 h6)47.10 (7 h4)
7 h5 r2/41044Erick PhillipsVEN46.74 (5 h4)46.97 (7 h5)
8 h1 r2/4418Sam BugriGHA47.83 (4 h3)47.34 (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/4490Reza EntezariIRI47.89 (4 h8)48.69 (8 h2)
8 h3 r2/4816Angelo HusseinSUD47.01 (3 h5)47.33 (8 h3)
8 h4 r2/4432Kyriakos OnisiforouGRE46.94 (3 h8)47.22 (8 h4)
3 h6 r1/4706Fernando AcevedoPER45.80 (3 h6)
5 h3 r1/4600Thomas N'MaLBR49.73 (5 h3)
5 h5 r1/4487Fanahan McSweeneyIRL47.07 (5 h5)
5 h7 r1/448Franklin RahmingBAH48.30 (5 h7)
5 h8 r1/4594Mohamed SaadKUW49.61 (5 h8)
5 h9 r1/4614Tambusamy KrishnanMAS48.31 (5 h9)
6 h1 r1/41048Jozo AlebićYUG47.01 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/4199Samuela YavalaFIJ47.76 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/4442Jean-Max FaustinHAI52.33 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/4765Pedro FerrerPUR47.90 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/4756Fernando SilvaPOR47.67 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/41072Francisco RojasPAR47.46 (6 h6)
6 h7 r1/4146Ibrahima IdrissouBEN48.50 (6 h7)
6 h8 r1/420Mohamed Jaman Al-DosariKSA49.67 (6 h8)
6 h9 r1/4606Frédérique AndrianaivoMAD48.72 (6 h9)
7 h1 r1/4913Silver AyooUGA47.04 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/41066Théophile NkounkouCGO47.86 (7 h2)
7 h4 r1/41059Nicodemus MaipampeZAM48.84 (7 h4)
7 h5 r1/4604Kassem HamzéLBN49.20 (7 h5)
7 h6 r1/496Brian MacLarenCAN47.65 (7 h6)
7 h7 r1/4634William MsiskaMAW48.81 (7 h7)
7 h9 r1/4591Savin ChemCAM48.82 (7 h9)
8 h1 r1/4702Nusrat Iqbal SahiPAK49.57 (8 h1)
8 h2 r1/4653Francisco MenocalNCA50.96 (8 h2)
AC h6 r1/452Caspar SpringerBAR– (AC h6)
DNS519Marcello FiasconaroITA– (DNS h3)
DNS845Michael FredrikssonSWE– (DNS h3)
DNS129Jimmy SierraCOL– (DNS h9)
DNS1057Luciano SušanjYUG– (DNS h8)

Round One (3 September 1972 — 16:00)

Top four in each heat and next four fastest advanced to the quarter-finals.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
14Andrzej BadeńskiPOL46.21Q
23Charles JosephTTO46.38Q
35Mulugetta TadesseETH46.38Q
47Wickramesinghe WimaladasaSRI46.62Q
52Bjarni StefánssonISL46.76q
66Jozo AlebićYUG47.01
78Silver AyooUGA47.04
81Nusrat Iqbal SahiPAK49.57

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
12David JenkinsGBR46.15Q
27Anders FaagerSWE46.29Q
38Munyoro NyamauKEN46.33Q
45Omar GhizlatMAR46.37Q
53Bruce IjirighwoNGR46.59q
66Samuela YavalaFIJ47.76
71Théophile NkounkouCGO47.86
84Francisco MenocalNCA50.96

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
18Georg NücklesFRG46.64Q
26Yoshiharu TomonagaJPN47.01Q
33Francis KerbiriouFRA47.01Q
41Sam BugriGHA47.83Q
52Thomas N'MaLBR49.73
65Jean-Max FaustinHAI52.33
DNS7Marcello FiasconaroITA
DNS4Michael FredrikssonSWE

Heat Four

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
15Alberto JuantorenaCUB45.94Q
21Wayne CollettUSA46.00Q
33Claver KamanyaTAN46.18Q
44Gilles BertouldFRA46.36Q
52Erick PhillipsVEN46.74q
66Pedro FerrerPUR47.90
77Nicodemus MaipampeZAM48.84

Heat Five

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
12Tegegne BezabehETH45.88Q
21Vince MatthewsUSA45.94Q
37Angelo HusseinSUD47.01Q
43Robert OjoNGR47.03Q
55Fanahan McSweeneyIRL47.07
66Fernando SilvaPOR47.67
74Kassem HamzéLBN49.20

Heat Six

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
18Charles AsatiKEN45.16Q
25Leighton PriestleyJAM45.75Q
32Fernando AcevedoPER45.80Q
46Jan WernerPOL45.93Q
54Gary ArmstrongGBR46.48q
63Francisco RojasPAR47.46
71Brian MacLarenCAN47.65
AC7Caspar SpringerBARDNF

Heat Seven

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
15Julius SangKEN45.24Q
21Martin ReynoldsGBR46.46Q
32Roger VélasquezFRA46.70Q
43Karl HonzFRG46.77Q
57Franklin RahmingBAH48.30
66Ibrahima IdrissouBEN48.50
74William MsiskaMAW48.81

Heat Eight

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
13Horst-Rüdiger SchlöskeFRG45.27Q
27John SmithUSA46.00Q
31Kyriakos OnisiforouGRE46.94Q
45Reza EntezariIRI47.89Q
56Mohamed SaadKUW49.61
64Mohamed Jaman Al-DosariKSA49.67
DNS2Luciano SušanjYUG

Heat Nine

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
16Markku KukkoahoFIN46.05Q
23Zbigniew JaremskiPOL46.20Q
37Arthur CooperTTO47.15Q
48Amadou GakouSEN47.68Q
54Tambusamy KrishnanMAS48.31
61Frédérique AndrianaivoMAD48.72
75Savin ChemCAM48.82
DNS2Jimmy SierraCOL

Quarter-Finals (4 September 1972 — 11:35)

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

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
12Wayne CollettUSA45.80Q
26Alberto JuantorenaCUB45.96Q
37Jan WernerPOL46.02Q
45Martin ReynoldsGBR46.11q
51Charles JosephTTO46.14
68Robert OjoNGR46.73
74Omar GhizlatMAR46.84
83Sam BugriGHA47.34

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
12Horst-Rüdiger SchlöskeFRG45.41Q
23Vince MatthewsUSA45.62Q
36Tegegne BezabehETH45.97Q
41Gilles BertouldFRA46.14
55Wickramesinghe WimaladasaSRI46.50
67Leighton PriestleyJAM47.76
74Arthur CooperTTO48.29
88Reza EntezariIRI48.69

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
17David JenkinsGBR45.99Q
28John SmithUSA46.04Q
34Markku KukkoahoFIN46.11Q
43Munyoro NyamauKEN46.80
52Bruce IjirighwoNGR46.81
66Roger VélasquezFRA46.91
75Amadou GakouSEN46.96
81Angelo HusseinSUD47.33

Heat Four

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
13Karl HonzFRG45.87Q
27Julius SangKEN45.92Q
35Zbigniew JaremskiPOL46.52Q
41Anders FaagerSWE46.54
54Francis KerbiriouFRA46.63
62Yoshiharu TomonagaJPN46.92
76Gary ArmstrongGBR47.10
88Kyriakos OnisiforouGRE47.221

Heat Five

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
11Charles AsatiKEN46.04Q
25Andrzej BadeńskiPOL46.19Q
34Georg NücklesFRG46.30Q
48Claver KamanyaTAN46.55
56Mulugetta TadesseETH46.85
67Bjarni StefánssonISL46.92
72Erick PhillipsVEN46.97

Semi-Finals (4 September 1972 — 17:45)

Top four in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
14Vince MatthewsUSA44.94Q
23Karl HonzFRG45.32Q
31John SmithUSA45.46Q
42Charles AsatiKEN45.47Q
58David JenkinsGBR45.91
66Tegegne BezabehETH45.98
75Georg NücklesFRG46.28
87Andrzej BadeńskiPOL46.38

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
11Julius SangKEN45.30Q
23Horst-Rüdiger SchlöskeFRG45.62Q
32Wayne CollettUSA45.77Q
44Markku KukkoahoFIN46.02Q
55Alberto JuantorenaCUB46.07
68Jan WernerPOL46.26
77Martin ReynoldsGBR46.71
DNS6Zbigniew JaremskiPOL

Final (7 September 1972 — 17:30)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (A)
12Vince MatthewsUSA44.66
23Wayne CollettUSA44.80
35Julius SangKEN44.92
48Charles AsatiKEN45.13
57Horst-Rüdiger SchlöskeFRG45.31
64Markku KukkoahoFIN45.49
71Karl HonzFRG45.68