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Athletics at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: September 3, 1972
Date Finished: September 7, 1972

Gold: USA Vince Matthews
Silver: USA Wayne Collett
Bronze: KEN Julius Sang

Summary

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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Vince Matthews 24 United States USA Gold
2 Wayne Collett 22 United States USA Silver
3 Julius Sang 26 Kenya KEN Bronze
4 Charles Asati 26 Kenya KEN
5 Horst-Rüdiger Schlöske 26 West Germany FRG
6 Markku Kukkoaho 25 Finland FIN
7 Karl Honz 21 West Germany FRG
AC John Smith 22 United States USA
5 h1 r3/4 David Jenkins 20 Great Britain GBR
5 h2 r3/4 Alberto Juantorena 21 Cuba CUB
6 h1 r3/4 Tegegne Bezabeh 30 Ethiopia ETH
6 h2 r3/4 Jan Werner 26 Poland POL
7 h1 r3/4 Georg Nückles 24 West Germany FRG
7 h2 r3/4 Martin Reynolds 23 Great Britain GBR
8 h1 r3/4 Andrzej Badeński 29 Poland POL
3 h4 r2/4 Zbigniew Jaremski 23 Poland POL
4 h2 r2/4 Gilles Bertould 23 France FRA
4 h3 r2/4 Munyoro Nyamau 29 Kenya KEN
4 h4 r2/4 Anders Faager 25 Sweden SWE
4 h5 r2/4 Claver Kamanya 25 Tanzania TAN
5 h1 r2/4 Charles Joseph 20 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
5 h2 r2/4 Wickramesinghe Wimaladasa 28 Sri Lanka SRI
5 h3 r2/4 Bruce Ijirighwo 22 Nigeria NGR
5 h4 r2/4 Francis Kerbiriou 21 France FRA
5 h5 r2/4 Mulugetta Tadesse 26 Ethiopia ETH
6 h1 r2/4 Robert Ojo 31 Nigeria NGR
6 h2 r2/4 Leighton Priestley 21 Jamaica JAM
6 h3 r2/4 Roger Vélasquez 28 France FRA
6 h4 r2/4 Yoshiharu Tomonaga 22 Japan JPN
6 h5 r2/4 Bjarni Stefánsson 21 Iceland ISL
7 h1 r2/4 Omar Ghizlat 21 Morocco MAR
7 h2 r2/4 Arthur Cooper 20 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
7 h3 r2/4 Amadou Gakou 32 Senegal SEN
7 h4 r2/4 Gary Armstrong 20 Great Britain GBR
7 h5 r2/4 Eric Phillips 17 Venezuela VEN
8 h1 r2/4 Sam Bugri 29 Ghana GHA
8 h2 r2/4 Reza Entezari 26 Iran IRI
8 h3 r2/4 Angelo Hussein Sudan SUD
8 h4 r2/4 Kyriakos Onisiforou 21 Greece GRE
3 h6 r1/4 Fernando Acevedo 26 Peru PER
5 h3 r1/4 Thomas N'Ma 28 Liberia LBR
5 h5 r1/4 Fanahan McSweeney 25 Ireland IRL
5 h7 r1/4 Franklin Rahming 27 Bahamas BAH
5 h8 r1/4 Mohamed Saad 23 Kuwait KUW
5 h9 r1/4 Tambusamy Krishnan 28 Malaysia MAS
6 h1 r1/4 Jozo Alebić 25 Yugoslavia YUG
6 h2 r1/4 Samuela Yavala 25 Fiji FIJ
6 h3 r1/4 Jean-Max Faustin 21 Haiti HAI
6 h4 r1/4 Pedro Ferrer 18 Puerto Rico PUR
6 h5 r1/4 Fernando Silva 20 Portugal POR
6 h6 r1/4 Francisco Rojas 21 Paraguay PAR
6 h7 r1/4 Ibrahima Idrissou Benin BEN
6 h8 r1/4 Mohamed Jaman Al-Dosari 26 Saudi Arabia KSA
6 h9 r1/4 Frédérique Andrianaivo 24 Madagascar MAD
7 h1 r1/4 Silver Ayoo 21 Uganda UGA
7 h2 r1/4 Théophile Nkounkou 20 Congo (Brazzaville) CGO
7 h4 r1/4 Nicodemus Maipampe 30 Zambia ZAM
7 h5 r1/4 Kassem Hamzé 22 Lebanon LIB
7 h6 r1/4 Brian MacLaren 28 Canada CAN
7 h7 r1/4 William Msiska 24 Malawi MAW
7 h9 r1/4 Savin Chem 28 Cambodia CAM
8 h1 r1/4 Nusrat Iqbal Sahi 22 Pakistan PAK
8 h2 r1/4 Francisco Menocal 26 Nicaragua NCA
AC h6 r1/4 Caspar Springer 35 Barbados BAR