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4x100 Meters Relay

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4x100 Meters Relay

The 4 × 100 metres relay or sprint relay is an athletics track event run in lanes over one lap of the track with four runners completing 100 metres each. The first runners begin in the same stagger as for the individual 400 m race. A relay baton is carried by each runner and must be passed within a 20 m changeover box (usually marked by yellow lines) which extends 10 m on either side of each 100 m mark of the race. Another line is marked 10 m further back, marking the earliest point at which the outgoing runner may begin (giving up to 10 m of acceleration before entering the passing zone).

Transferring of the baton in this race is typically blind. The outgoing runner reaches a straight arm backwards when they enter the changeover box, or when the incoming runner makes a verbal signal. The outgoing runner does not look backwards, and it is the responsibility of the incoming runner to thrust the baton into the outstretched hand, and not let go until the outgoing runner takes hold of it. Runners on the first and third legs typically run on the inside of the lane with the baton in their right hand, while runners on the second and fourth legs take the baton in their left. Polished handovers can compensate for a lack of basic speed to some extent, and disqualification for dropping the baton or failing to transfer it within the box is common, even at the highest level.

The United States has historically dominated this event in the men's, having won 15 Olympic gold medals and 7 IAAF world championships. Carl Lewis ran the anchor leg on five U.S relay teams that broke the World Record from 1983–92, the first team to break 38 seconds.

The current men's world record stands at 36.84 as set by the Jamaican team at the 2012 London Olympic games on 11 August 2012. So far, the only team to break 37 seconds. The previous record was 37.04 seconds as set by the Jamaican team at the 2011 World Championships. The fastest electronically timed anchor leg run is 8.70 seconds by Asafa Powell in the 2008 Beijing Olympic final (and later matched by Usain Bolt in the 2012 London Olympic final[1]). Bob Hayes was hand-timed as running between 8.5 and 8.9 seconds on a cinder track at the 1964 Tokyo Games.[2]

In the women's event, the United States was considered by many to be a strong team after years of East German domination, but failed to make it to the finals in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games. Evelyn Ashford ran on three consecutive Olympic gold medal winning teams 1984–92, and in 1984 final ran an anchor leg of 9.77 seconds, the fastest ever.[3]

The women's world record stands at 40.82 seconds, set by the United States of America in 2012 at the London Olympics.

Olympic Games


Olympics Gold Time Silver Bronze
2012  Jamaica
Nesta Carter (2)
Michael Frater (2)
Yohan Blake
Usain Bolt (2)
Kemar Bailey-Cole
36.84 WR  United States
Trell Kimmons
Justin Gatlin
Tyson Gay
Ryan Bailey
Jeff Demps
Darvis Patton
 Trinidad and Tobago
Keston Bledman
Marc Burns
Emmanuel Callender
Richard Thompson
2008  Jamaica
Nesta Carter
Michael Frater
Usain Bolt
Asafa Powell
Dwight Thomas
37.10 WR  Trinidad and Tobago
Keston Bledman
Marc Burns
Emmanuel Callender
Richard Thompson
Aaron Armstrong
Naoki Tsukahara
Shingo Suetsugu
Shinji Takahira
Nobuharu Asahara
2004  Great Britain
Jason Gardener
Darren Campbell
Marlon Devonish
Mark Lewis-Francis
38.07  United States
Shawn Crawford
Justin Gatlin
Coby Miller
Maurice Greene
Darvis Patton
Olusoji Fasuba
Uchenna Emedolu
Aaron Egbele
Deji Aliu
2000  United States
Jon Drummond
Bernard Williams
Brian Lewis
Maurice Greene
Kenneth Brokenburr
Tim Montgomery
37.61  Brazil
André da Silva
Claudinei da Silva
Vicente de Lima
Édson Ribeiro
Cláudio Roberto Souza
José Ángel César
Iván García
Freddy Mayola
Luis Alberto Pérez-Rionda
1996  Canada
Robert Esmie
Glenroy Gilbert
Bruny Surin
Donovan Bailey
Carlton Chambers
37.69 CNR  United States
Jon Drummond
Tim Harden
Michael Marsh
Dennis Mitchell
Tim Montgomery
Arnaldo da Silva
Robson da Silva
Édson Ribeiro
André da Silva
1992  United States
Michael Marsh
Leroy Burrell
Dennis Mitchell
Carl Lewis (2)
James Jett
37.40 WR  Nigeria
Oluyemi Kayode
Chidi Imoh
Olapade Adeniken
Davidson Ezinwa
Osmond Ezinwa
Andrés Simón
Joel Lamela
Joel Isasi
Jorge Aguilera
1988  Soviet Union
Viktor Bryzhin
Vladimir Krylov
Vladimir Muravyov (2)
Vitaliy Savin
38.19  Great Britain
Elliot Bunney
Linford Christie
Mike McFarlane
John Regis
Bruno Marie-Rose
Max Morinière
Gilles Quénéhervé
Daniel Sangouma
1984  United States
Sam Graddy
Ron Brown
Calvin Smith
Carl Lewis
37.83 WR  Jamaica
Al Lawrence
Greg Meghoo
Don Quarrie
Ray Stewart
Sterling Hinds
Ben Johnson
Tony Sharpe
Desai Williams
1980  Soviet Union
Vladimir Muravyov
Nikolay Sidorov
Andrey Prokofyev
Aleksandr Aksinin
38.26  Poland
Krzysztof Zwoliński
Zenon Licznerski
Leszek Dunecki
Marian Woronin
Antoine Richard
Pascal Barré
Patrick Barré
Hermann Panzo
1976  United States
Harvey Glance
Johnny Jones
Millard Hampton
Steve Riddick
38.33  East Germany
Manfred Kokot
Jörg Pfeifer
Klaus-Dieter Kurrat
Alexander Thieme
 Soviet Union
Aleksandr Aksinin
Nikolay Kolesnikov
Juris Silovs
Valeriy Borzov
1972  United States
Larry Black
Robert Taylor
Gerald Tinker
Eddie Hart
38.19 WR  Soviet Union
Aleksandr Kornelyuk
Vladimir Lovetsky
Juris Silovs
Valeriy Borzov
 West Germany
Jobst Hirscht
Karlheinz Klotz
Gerhard Wucherer
Klaus Ehl
1968  United States
Charles Greene
Mel Pender
Ronnie Ray Smith
Jim Hines
38.24 WR  Cuba
Hermes Ramírez
Juan Morales
Pablo Montes
Enrique Figuerola
Gérard Fenouil
Jocelyn Delecour
Claude Piquemal
Roger Bambuck
1964  United States
Paul Drayton
Gerry Ashworth
Richard Stebbins
Robert Hayes
39.0 WR  Poland
Andrzej Zielinski
Wieslaw Maniak
Marian Foik
Marian Dudziak
Paul Genevay
Bernard Laidebeur
Claude Piquemal
Jocelyn Delecour
1960  Germany
Bernd Cullmann
Armin Hary
Walter Mahlendorf
Martin Lauer
39.5 EWR  Soviet Union
Gusman Kosanov
Leonid Bartenev
Yuriy Konovalov
Edvin Ozolin
 Great Britain
Peter Radford
David Jones
David Segal
Nick Whitehead
1956  United States
Ira Murchison
Leamon King
Thane Baker
Bobby Morrow
39.5 WR  Soviet Union
Leonid Bartenev
Yuriy Konovalov
Vladimir Sukharev
Boris Tokarev
Heinz Fütterer
Manfred Germar
Lothar Knörzer
Leonhard Pohl
1952  United States
Dean Smith
Harrison Dillard (2)
Lindy Remigino
Andy Stanfield
40.1  Soviet Union
Boris Tokarev
Levan Kalyayev
Levan Sanadze
Vladimir Sukharev
László Zarándi
Géza Varasdi
György Csányi
Béla Goldoványi
1948  United States
Barney Ewell
Lorenzo Wright
Harrison Dillard
Mel Patton
40.6  Great Britain
Alastair McCorquodale
John Gregory
Ken Jones
John Archer
Michele Tito
Enrico Perucconi
Carlo Monti
Antonio Siddi
1936 United States
Jesse Owens
Ralph Metcalfe
Foy Draper
Frank Wykoff (3)
39.8 WR Italy
Orazio Mariani
Gianni Caldana
Elio Ragni
Tullio Gonnelli
Wilhelm Leichum
Erich Borchmeyer
Erwin Gillmeister
Gerd Hornberger
1932  United States
Bob Kiesel
Emmett Toppino
Hector Dyer
Frank Wykoff (2)
40.0 WR  Germany
Helmut Körnig
Fritx Hendrix
Erich Borchmeyer
Arthur Jonath
Giuseppe Castelli
Ruggero Maregatti
Gabriele Salviati
Edgardo Toetti
1928  United States
Frank Wykoff
James Quinn
Charles Borah
Henry Russell
41.0 EWR  Germany
Georg Lammers
Richard Corts
Hubert Houben
Helmut Körnig
 Great Britain
Cyril Gill
Edward Smouha
Walter Rangeley
Jack London
1924  United States
Frank Hussey
Louis Clarke
Loren Murchison (2)
Alfred LeConey
41.0 EWR  Great Britain
Harold Abrahams
William Nichol
Walter Rangeley
Lancelot Royle
Jaap Boot
Harry Broos
Jan de Vries
Rinus van den Berge
1920  United States
Charles Paddock
Jackson Scholz
Loren Murchison
Morris Kirksey
42.2 WR  France
Émile Ali-Khan
René Lorain
René Mourlon
René Tirard
Agne Holmström
Sven Malm
William Petersson
Nils Sandström
1912  Great Britain
David Jacobs
Henry Macintosh
Victor d'Arcy
Willie Applegarth
42.4  Sweden
Ivan Möller
Charles Luther
Ture Person
Knut Lindberg
Not awarded
 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 15 3 0 18
2  Soviet Union 2 4 1 7
3  Great Britain 2 3 2 7
4  Jamaica 2 1 0 3
5  Canada 1 0 1 2
6  Germany 1 0 1 2
7  Germany 0 2 1 3
8  Poland 0 2 0 2
9  France 0 1 4 5
10  Italy 0 1 2 3
10  Cuba 0 1 2 3
12  Sweden 0 1 1 2
12  Brazil 0 1 1 2
12  Nigeria 0 1 1 2
12  Trinidad and Tobago 0 1 1 2
16  East Germany 0 1 0 1
17  Netherlands 0 0 1 1
17  Hungary 0 0 1 1
17  West Germany 0 0 1 1
17  Japan 0 0 1 1


Olympics Team Final runners Other runners Time
2012  United States Tianna Madison
Allyson Felix
Bianca Knight
Carmelita Jeter
Jeneba Tarmoh (SF)
Lauryn Williams (SF)
40.82 WR
2008  Russia Evgeniya Polyakova
Aleksandra Fedoriva
Yulia Gushchina
Yuliya Chermoshanskaya
2004  Jamaica Aleen Bailey
Veronica Campbell
Tayna Lawrence
Sherone Simpson
Beverly McDonald 41.73
2000  Bahamas Savatheda Fynes
Chandra Sturrup
Pauline Davis-Thompson
Debbie Ferguson
Eldece Clarke-Lewis 41.95
1996  United States Chryste Gaines
Gail Devers
Inger Miller
Gwen Torrence (2)
Carlette Guidry 41.95
1992  United States Evelyn Ashford (3)
Esther Jones
Carlette Guidry
Gwen Torrence
Michelle Finn 42.11
1988  United States Alice Brown (2)
Sheila Echols
Florence Griffith-Joyner
Evelyn Ashford (2)
1984  United States Alice Brown
Jeanette Bolden
Chandra Cheeseborough
Evelyn Ashford
1980  East Germany Romy Müller
Bärbel Wöckel (2)
Ingrid Auerswald
Marlies Göhr
41.60 WR
1976  East Germany Marlies Oelsner
Renate Stecher
Carla Bodendorf
Bärbel Wöckel
42.55 OR
1972  West Germany Christiane Krause
Ingrid Mickler-Becker
Annegret Richter
Heidemarie Rosendahl
42.81 WR
1968  United States Barbara Ferrell
Margaret Bailes
Mildrette Netter
Wyomia Tyus
42.88 WR
1964  Poland Teresa Ciepły
Irena Kirszenstein
Halina Górecka
Ewa Kłobukowska
43.6 WR
1960  United States Martha Hudson
Lucinda Williams
Barbara Jones
Wilma Rudolph
1956  Australia Shirley Strickland de la Hunty
Norma Croker
Fleur Mellor
Elizabeth Cuthbert
44.5 WR
1952  United States Mae Faggs
Barbara Jones
Janet Moreau
Catherine Hardy
45.9 WR
1948  Netherlands Xenia Stad-de Jong
Netty Witziers-Timmer
Gerda van der Kade-Koudijs
Fanny Blankers-Koen
1936  United States Harriet Bland
Annette Rogers (2)
Elizabeth Robinson
Helen Stephens
1932  United States Mary Carew
Evelyn Furtsch
Annette Rogers
Wilhelmina von Bremen
46.9 WR
1928  Canada Fanny Rosenfeld
Ethel Smith
Jane Bell
Myrtle Cook
48.4 WR
 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 10 2 2 14
2  East Germany 2 2 0 4
3  Germany 1 3 1 5
4  Canada 1 2 2 5
5  Jamaica 1 2 1 4
6  Australia 1 1 0 2
6  Bahamas 1 1 0 2
6  Russia 1 1 0 1
9  Poland 1 0 1 2
10  Netherlands 1 0 0 1
11  Great Britain 0 2 5 7
12  Soviet Union 0 1 3 4
13  Cuba 0 1 1 2
14 Unified Team 0 1 0 1
14  Belgium 0 1 0 1
16  Nigeria 0 0 2 2
17  France 0 0 1 1
17  Ukraine 0 0 1 1

World Championships in Athletics


World Championships Team Final runners Other runners Time
2013  Jamaica Nesta Carter
Kemar Bailey-Cole
Nickel Ashmeade
Usain Bolt
Warren Weir
Oshane Bailey
2011  Jamaica Nesta Carter
Michael Frater (2)
Yohan Blake
Usain Bolt (2)
Dexter Lee 37.04 WR
2009  Jamaica Steve Mullings
Michael Frater
Usain Bolt
Asafa Powell
Dwight Thomas
Lerone Clarke
37.31 CR
2007  United States Darvis Patton
Wallace Spearmon
Tyson Gay
LeRoy Dixon
Rodney Martin 37.78
2005  France Ladji Doucouré
Ronald Pognon
Eddy De Lépine
Lueyi Dovy
Oudere Kankarafou 38.08
2003  United States John Capel
Bernard Williams
Darvis Patton
Joshua J. Johnson
2001  South Africa Morne Nagel
Corne Du Plessis
Lee-Roy Newton
Matthew Quinn
1999  United States Jon Drummond
Tim Montgomery
Brian Lewis
Maurice Greene
1997  Canada Robert Esmie (2)
Glenroy Gilbert (2)
Bruny Surin (2)
Donovan Bailey (2)
Carlton Chambers 37.86
1995  Canada Robert Esmie
Glenroy Gilbert
Bruny Surin
Donovan Bailey
1993  United States Jon Drummond
Andre Cason (2)
Dennis Mitchell (3)
Leroy Burrell (2)
1991  United States Andre Cason
Leroy Burrell
Dennis Mitchell (2)
Carl Lewis (3)
Michael Marsh 37.50 WR
1987  United States Lee McRae
Lee McNeill
Harvey Glance
Carl Lewis (2)
Dennis Mitchell 37.90
1983  United States Emmit King
Willie Gault
Calvin Smith
Carl Lewis
37.86 WR

1 The  United States team of Mickey Grimes, Bernard Williams, Dennis Mitchell and Tim Montgomery originally won the 2001 championship in a time of 37.96, but were disqualified after Tim Montgomery admitting to drug use in 2005 as a result of the BALCO scandal.


World Championships Team Final runners Other runners Time
2013  Jamaica Carrie Russell
Kerron Stewart
Schillonie Calvert
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (2)
Sheri-Ann Brooks 41.26 CR
2011  United States Bianca Knight
Allyson Felix (2)
Marshevet Myers
Carmelita Jeter (2)
Shalonda Solomon
Alexandria Anderson
2009  Jamaica Simone Facey
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Aleen Bailey
Kerron Stewart
2007  United States Lauryn Williams (2)
Allyson Felix
Mikele Barber
Torri Edwards
Carmelita Jeter
Mechelle Lewis
2005  United States Angela Daigle
Muna Lee
Me'Lisa Barber
Lauryn Williams
2003  France Patricia Girard-Léno
Muriel Hurtis
Sylviane Félix
Christine Arron
2001  Germany Melanie Paschke
Gaby Rockmeier
Birgit Rockmeier
Marion Wagner
1999  Bahamas Savatheda Fynes
Chandra Sturrup
Pauline Davis-Thompson
Debbie Ferguson
Eldece Clarke-Lewis 41.92
1997  United States Chryste Gaines (2)
Marion Jones
Inger Miller
Gail Devers
41.47 CR
1995  United States Celena Mondie-Milner
Carlette Guidry-White
Chryste Gaines
Gwen Torrence
D'Andre Hill 42.12
1993  Russia Olga Bogoslovskaya
Galina Malchugina
Natalya Pomoshchnikova-Voronova
Irina Privalova
Marina Trandenkova 41.49 CR
1991  Jamaica Dahlia Duhaney
Juliet Cuthbert
Beverly McDonald
Merlene Ottey
Merlene Frazer 41.94
1987  United States Alice Brown
Diane Williams
Florence Griffith-Joyner
Pam Marshall
41.58 CR
1983  East Germany Silke Gladisch-Möller
Marita Koch
Ingrid Auerswald-Lange
Marlies Göhr

1 The  United States team of Kelli White, Chryste Gaines, Inger Miller, and Marion Jones originally won the 2001 championship in a time of 41.71, but were disqualified as a result of Kelli White admitting to steroid use in 2004.

See also

  • Men's 4 x 100 metres relay world record progression
  • Italy national relays team at the international athletics championships


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