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Athletics at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay

Athletics at the 2012 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: August 9, 2012
Date Finished: August 10, 2012

Gold: BAH Bahamas
Silver: USA United States
Bronze: TTO Trinidad and Tobago

Summary

In 1952 Jamaica had won the gold medal in this event, which was the last time anyone besides the United States had won, when they were present at the Olympics (save 1980), and had a team present (in 1972 injuries eliminated the US team). But the USA was not favored in London. Their two best 400 metre runners over the last few years had been Jeremy Wariner (2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2005/07 World Champion) and LaShawn Merritt (2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2009 World Champion). But Wariner had not made the US Olympic team, and Merritt withdrew in the first round of the 400 with an injury was not available. The US 4x400 relay team in London was a patchwork of their back-up runners and some 400 hurdlers, notably Angelo Taylor.

It was not enough. The Bahamas started off with their two best runners, leading off with Chris Brown and Demetrius Pinder, hoping to take the lead and hold on. Brown took the lead on the opener with his 44.8, leading Trinidad & Tobago with the USA third. Pinder opened the lead further with a 43.6 second leg. On the third leg, American Tony McQuay ran the fastest split of the race, recording 43.41, giving the Americans the lead at the final exchange, as he handed the baton to Taylor. Bahamian Ramon Miller pulled up to Taylor's shoulder at the head of the stretch, and with 50 metres left, he moved into the lead and Taylor could not match him, as the Bahamas won the gold medal, with the United States second. Trinidad & Tobago filled out the podium.

The United States was fortunate to even make the final. In the heats, Manteo Mitchell led off for the Americans and felt a pop in his leg halfway through his leg. It would turn out to be a broken fibula, but he struggled on and finished his lap in 45.9, and the last three runners brought the US home in second in the heat to qualify. In the other heat, South Africa did not finish when they were bumped by Kenyan runners at the first exchange. But after a protest South Africa was advanced to the final which allowed Oscar Pistorius, "The Blade Runner", to run the anchor. They would finish eighth in the final, ahead only of Cuba, which did not finish.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Bahamas BAH Gold
2 United States USA Silver
3 Trinidad and Tobago TTO Bronze
4 Great Britain GBR
5 Russia RUS
6 Belgium BEL
7 Venezuela VEN
8 South Africa RSA
AC r2/2 Cuba CUB
5 h1 r1/2 Poland POL
5 h2 r1/2 Australia AUS
6 h1 r1/2 Germany GER
6 h2 r1/2 Japan JPN
AC Jamaica JAM DNF
AC Dominican Republic DOM DQ
AC Kenya KEN DQ