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Athletics at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Montjuïc Olympic Stadium, Barcelona
Date Started: August 1, 1992
Date Finished: August 5, 1992

Gold: USA Quincy Watts
Silver: USA Steve Lewis
Bronze: KEN Samson Kitur

Summary

In August 1990, world record holder Harry "Butch" Reynolds tested positive for the steroid nandrolone at a meet in Monte Carlo. He was given a two-year suspension. He appealed this and in December 1991 The Athletics Congress (TAC) supported his appeal, asking that his suspension be lifted. This was denied by an IAAF panel and Reynolds appeared to be out of the Olympics. But then a federal judge ruled that Reynolds should be allowed to compete so he could qualify for the Olympic Trials, and should be allowed to compete in the Trials, if he qualified. The reasoning was that Reynolds' suspension would be lifted just before the Barcelona Olympics but he first had to qualify. Then the IAAF ruled that any athletes running against Reynolds would be subject to suspension from competition. Legal shenanigans went back and forth and eventually the Olympic Trials 400 heats were postponed a few days while it was sorted out. Finally, Reynolds got to run in the Trials in New Orleans, but in a bit of an anti-climax, did not make the Olympic team.

In his absence the favorites were still the American threesome of defending gold medalist Steve Lewis, the 1988 bronze medalist Danny Joe Everett, and Quincy Watts. Everett went out in the semi-finals in Seoul, with a leg injury. Another athlete to be injured in the semis was Britain's Derek Redmond, who hobbled and fell to the track. Suddenly a man appeared from the stands and helped him to his feet – it was his father. With his arm around his father, he limped the remaining 200 metres to the finish line, supported by his Dad, who told him, "We started your career together, so let's finish this race together." It was one of the more emotional moments in Olympic history and is still replayed often.

After all that drama, the final of the 400 metres seemed almost an afterthought. Watts and Lewis started fastest together and Watts pulled away by 200 metres. He powered thru the final curve and held on for a huge victory margin of almost seven metres over Lewis. Kenya's Samson Kitur, 1990 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, finished quickly to get third.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Quincy Watts 22 United States USA Gold OR
2 Steve Lewis 23 United States USA Silver
3 Samson Kitur 26 Kenya KEN Bronze
4 Ian Morris 30 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
5 Roberto Hernández 25 Cuba CUB
6 David Grindley 19 Great Britain GBR
7 Ibrahim Ismail 20 Qatar QAT
8 Susumu Takano 31 Japan JPN
5 h1 r3/4 Sunday Bada 23 Nigeria NGR
5 h2 r3/4 Roger Black 26 Great Britain GBR
6 h1 r3/4 Troy Douglas 29 Bermuda BER
6 h2 r3/4 Lahlou Ben Younès 27 Morocco MAR
7 h1 r3/4 Simon Kemboi 25 Kenya KEN
7 h2 r3/4 Bobang Phiri 24 South Africa RSA
8 h2 r3/4 Danny Joe Everett 25 United States USA
AC h1 r3/4 Derek Redmond 26 Great Britain GBR
5 h1 r2/4 Thomas Schönlebe 26 Germany GER
5 h2 r2/4 David Kitur 29 Kenya KEN
5 h3 r2/4 Devon Morris 31 Jamaica JAM
5 h4 r2/4 Sidney de Souza 25 Brazil BRA
6 h1 r2/4 Slobodan Branković 24 Individual Olympic Athletes IOA
6 h2 r2/4 Ediélson Tenório 25 Brazil BRA
6 h3 r2/4 Gaietà Cornet 28 Spain ESP
6 h4 r2/4 Rico Lieder 20 Germany GER
7 h1 r2/4 Andrea Nuti 24 Italy ITA
7 h2 r2/4 Alvin Daniel 23 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
7 h4 r2/4 Francis Ogola 19 Uganda UGA
8 h1 r2/4 Mark Garner 23 Australia AUS
8 h2 r2/4 Tamás Molnár 24 Hungary HUN
8 h4 r2/4 Dennis Blake 21 Jamaica JAM
AC h3 r2/4 Solomon Amegatcher 21 Ghana GHA
AC h3 r2/4 Cephas Lemba 22 Zambia ZAM
4 h2 r1/4 Seibert Straughn 24 Barbados BAR
4 h4 r1/4 Patrick Delice 24 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
4 h5 r1/4 Innocent Egbunike 30 Nigeria NGR
4 h6 r1/4 Anthony Wallace 23 Jamaica JAM
4 h9 r1/4 Marco Vaccari 26 Italy ITA
5 h1 r1/4 Aktawat Sakoolchan 19 Thailand THA
5 h2 r1/4 Delon Felix 18 Grenada GRN
5 h4 r1/4 Subul Babo 26 Papua New Guinea PNG
5 h5 r1/4 Dmitry Kosov 23 Unified Team EUN
5 h6 r1/4 Camera Ntereke 28 Botswana BOT
5 h7 r1/4 Apisai Driu Baibai 21 Fiji FIJ
5 h8 r1/4 Tim Hesse 24 Ghana GHA
5 h9 r1/4 Takahiro Watanabe 22 Japan JPN
6 h1 r1/4 Ali Faudet 22 Chad CHA
6 h2 r1/4 Mohamed Al-Malky 29 Oman OMA
6 h3 r1/4 Kossi Akoto 23 Togo TOG
6 h4 r1/4 Médard Makanga 25 Congo (Brazzaville) CGO
6 h5 r1/4 Joseph Adam 27 Seychelles SEY
6 h6 r1/4 Michael Joseph 20 Belize BIZ
6 h7 r1/4 Henry Mohoanyane 28 Lesotho LES
6 h8 r1/4 Michael McLean 22 Canada CAN
6 h9 r1/4 Foday Sillah 18 Sierra Leone SLE
7 h1 r1/4 Jaime Rodrigues 37 Mozambique MOZ
7 h2 r1/4 Randolph Foster 23 Costa Rica CRC
7 h3 r1/4 Martial Biguet 21 Central African Republic CAF
7 h4 r1/4 Kenmore Hughes 22 Antigua and Barbuda ANT
7 h5 r1/4 Baptiste Firiam 21 Vanuatu VAN
7 h7 r1/4 Mohamed Mehdi Hasan 20 Bangladesh BAN
7 h8 r1/4 Samba Fall 27 Mauritania MTN
7 h9 r1/4 João Francisco Capindica 21 Angola ANG
8 h2 r1/4 Vanxay Sinebandith 23 Laos LAO
8 h4 r1/4 Mohamed Amir 22 Maldives MDV
8 h5 r1/4 Eulogio Ngache 20 Equatorial Guinea GEQ
8 h9 r1/4 Stephen Lugor Sudan SUD
AC h6 r1/4 Lamin Marikong 22 Gambia GAM
AC h6 r1/4 Desai Wynter 26 United States Virgin Islands ISV