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Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay

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Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue(s): National Stadium, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Date Started: October 20, 1964
Date Finished: October 21, 1964

Gold: USA United States
Silver: POL Poland
Bronze: FRA France

Summary

The USA was probably the favorite but their team did not have the dominating runners of most years. But they were led by Bob Hayes, who had won the 100 and was easily the top sprinter in the world. They were expected to be challenged by the French, led by Claude Piquemal and Jocelyn Delecour, and the Germans, but they failed to survive the semi-finals. With injuries to 100 metre runners Trent Jackson and Mel Pender, the US substituted 200 metre silver medalist Paul Drayton and Dick Stebbins. After some poor passing, the final exchange went to Hayes for the anchor, but by then he was his in fifth place, and at least three metres behind Delacour and Poland's Marian Dudziak. And then Bob Hayes ran the fastest relay leg ever seen, possibly even still. Estimates of his 100 metre split are as low as 8.5-8.6 seconds, although most track statisticians think 8.80-8.90 is more likely. That would still be in the range of another stunning anchor run by Carl Lewis at the Barcelona Olympics, 28 years later, and on an artificial surface track. Hayes won pulling away by almost three metres, having made up at least six metres on the other anchor runners. The rumor persists that Delecour told Mel Pender after the race, "All you guys had was Hayes", and he responded, "He's all we need, baby!"

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold WR
2 Poland POL Silver
3 France FRA Bronze
4 Jamaica JAM
5 Soviet Union URS
6 Venezuela VEN
7 Italy ITA
8 Great Britain GBR
5 h1 r2/3 Australia AUS
5 h2 r2/3 Germany GER
6 h1 r2/3 Nigeria NGR
6 h2 r2/3 Senegal SEN
7 h1 r2/3 Hungary HUN
7 h2 r2/3 India IND
8 h1 r2/3 Ghana GHA
8 h2 r2/3 Japan JPN
6 h1 r1/3 Malaysia MAS
6 h3 r1/3 Uganda UGA
7 h2 r1/3 Thailand THA
7 h3 r1/3 Philippines PHI
AC h1 r1/3 Iraq IRQ