The Men’s 4 x 400 meter relays is one of the most exciting and most watched evens of the Summer Olympics. Traditionally, Team USA dominates this event. There have been several memorable finishes by Team USA including the team’s showing in Beijing.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing the USA 4 x 400 meters men’s relay team set an Olympic record, finishing the relay in 2’55.39’’. The gold medal earned by Team USA was one of the 7 gold medals won for the United States. The USA won 23 total medals at the Beijing Olympics and secured first place for the total number of medals earned.
Team USA 2008
The record setting men’s relay team included members LaShawn Merritt, David Neville, Angelo Taylor and Jeremy Wariner.
The Virginia native made his first Olympic appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He had already won a gold medal in the Men’s 400 meters in which he competed against fellow relay team members, Neville and Wariner. Incidentally, Team USA swept the 400 meters with Wariner bringing home the silver medal and Neville winning bronze.
Neville made his first Olympic showing in 2008. He won two gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, including the gold medal he won as part of the 4x400 relay team, and the bronze medal that he earned competing in the men’s 400 meter alongside teammates Jeremy Wariner who won the silver medal and LaShawn Merritt who took home the gold.
The Beijing Olympics were the third consecutive time Taylor competed at the Olympics. Taylor competed as part of Team USA in the 4x400m relay in the 2000 Olympics in Athens. He won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles in the 2000 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
Wariner is a four time Olympic gold medalist. Prior to his appearance in Beijing he competed in the 2004 Athens Olympics. His three gold medals include his wins in 2004 in the 400m and 4x400m relay and the 2008 4x400 meters. His silver medal comes from his second place finish in the 400m in which his main rival LaShawn Merritt took home gold and fellow Team USA member David medal placed second.
Go Team USA!
Previous Team USA Wins in the Men’s 4 x 400 Meters Relays
Team USA has dominated the 4x400m relays, winning 15 of the previous 21 4x400 relays prior to the 2008 Olympics because of this Team USA was favored to win at Beijing.
The USA Team of Otis Harris, Derrick Brew, Jeremy Wariner, and Darold Williamson took home the gold in Athens in 2004 with a time of 2’55.91”.
True to tradition the USA were top contenders though they the team was later disqualified due to the actions of two team members.
At the 1996 Olympics Lamont Smith, Alvin Harrison, Derek Mills and Anthuan Maybank of Team USA won the gold medal with a time of 2’55.99”.
At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona The team of Andrew Valmon, Quincy Watts, Steve Lewis, anchor leg Michael Johnson finished the relay with a time of 2’55.74” and won the gold medal as well as set an Olympic and World Record (which were later broken by the USA.)
The team of Danny Everett, Steve, Lewis, Kevin Robinzine and Butch Reynolds went home with the gold medal after finishing with a time of 2’56.16”.
Los Angeles 1984
Sunder Nix, Ray Armstead, Alonzo Babers, and Antonio McKay of the USA finished with a time of 2’57.91” and took home the gold.
In addition to the gold medal wins listed above Team USA had first place wins in 1976, 1968, 1964, 1960, 1956, 1948, 1932, 1928, 1924, 1912 as well as silver medals in 1952, 1936, and a fourth place finish in 1920.
Beijing 2008 Olympic Record
History is Made
Team USA lined up in lane 7. LaShawn Merritt ran the first leg of the relay, finishing in 44.01. He successfully completed the exchange of the relay, passing the baton to Angelo Taylor who opened up a huge gap between himself and Ricardo Chambers of Jamaica. Taylor finished the second lap in 43.98 and handed the baton to David Neville who finished his lap in 44.17. Again Team USA had no problem executing a clean exchange, setting up Jeremy Wariner to run a strong anchor leg to finish the relay. Wariner completed his lap in 43.23 securing the victory for Team USA and surpassing the previous Olympic record of 2’56.7’’ with a finishing time of 2’55.39”
Amazingly, Team USA walked away with yet another first place and one more gold medal. In 2008the USA won 23 total medals across all sports, seven of which were gold medals earned in part due to the efforts of LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, David Neville, and Jeremy Wariner- the USA’s 2008 record setting men’s 4x400 m relay team.