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Athletics at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay

Athletics at the 1980 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Grand Arena, Central Lenin Stadium Area, Moskva
Date Started: July 31, 1980
Date Finished: August 1, 1980

Gold: URS Soviet Union
Silver: GDR East Germany
Bronze: ITA Italy


The top three teams entering the Olympic year were considered to be the USA, Kenya, and West Germany. But all three boycotted the Moskva Olympics, leading to a severely devalued event. At this time, substitutes were not allowed in the early rounds of the relays, and a runner could only be replaced in the final due to an injury. The Soviets controversially held out 400 gold medalist [Viktor Markin] in the opening round, instead running [Viktor Burakov]. But Buryakov developed a mysterious injury before the final, allowing Markin to run. The final was quite close throughout with no more than 1-2 metres separating the USSR and the GDR. The GDR actually had a narrow lead at the bell, and their anchor was run by [Volker Beck], gold medalist in the 400 hurdles. But Markin ran him down on the final lap, and won by slightly over a metre. The winning time was the slowest since the 1960 Olympics.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 East Germany GDR Silver
3 Italy ITA Bronze
4 France FRA
5 Brazil BRA
6 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
7 Czechoslovakia TCH
AC Great Britain GBR
3 h1 r1/2 Yugoslavia YUG
3 h3 r1/2 Switzerland SUI
4 h1 r1/2 Poland POL
4 h3 r1/2 Iraq IRQ
5 h1 r1/2 Netherlands NED
5 h2 r1/2 Uganda UGA
5 h3 r1/2 Nigeria NGR
6 h1 r1/2 Spain ESP
6 h2 r1/2 Libya LBA
6 h3 r1/2 Sri Lanka SRI
7 h1 r1/2 Zambia ZAM
7 h2 r1/2 Ethiopia ETH
7 h3 r1/2 Seychelles SEY
8 h1 r1/2 Sierra Leone SLE
AC h2 r1/2 Belgium BEL
AC h3 r1/2 Jamaica JAM