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Athletics at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay

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Events:
Phases:

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

Summary

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