Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Date Started: August 18, 2008
Date Finished: August 21, 2008
Since 2004 the world's best one-lap runner was [Jeremy Wariner]. He was the defending gold medalist and had won the World Championships in 2005 and 2007. But his 2008 season had shown some chinks in his armor. Early in the year he split from his long-time coach, Clyde Hart, and track experts thought this might hurt him. Whether it had an effect or not could not be known for sure, but [LaShawn Merritt], who Wariner had defeated 11 straight times over the past 3 years, moved up to challenge his title as the best 400 runner. Early in the year, Merritt finally defeated Wariner in Berlin, and he repeated that at the US Olympic Trials. They were the two heavy favorites. In the final, they were close coming to the final straight, but Merritt had far more left, pulling away to win easily by almost a full second, the largest margin of victory at the Olympics in this event since 1896. Wariner did shut down some in the straight but held on for the silver medal. The bronze medal looked like it would go to Bahamian [Chris Brown]. But America's [David Neville] closed quickly down the stretch and dove at the line, edging Brown and completing an American sweep of the medals.