Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres

The men's 400 metres was an event at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The competition was held on the 3rd, 4th, & 7th of September.[1] Sixty-four athletes from 49 nations competed.[2] The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Vince Matthews of the United States, the nation's fifth consecutive and 12th overall victory in the event (all by different men). The Americans' hopes to repeat their podium sweep of four years earlier were dashed by injury in the final. Bronze medalist Julius Sang became the first black African to win a sprint Olympic medal, earning Kenya's first medal in the event.

Men's 400 metres
at the Games of the XX Olympiad
VenueOlympic Stadium, Munich, West Germany
Date3 September 1972
4 September 1972
7 September 1972
Competitors64 from 49 nations
Winning time44.66
Medalists
1st place, gold medalist(s) Vince Matthews
 United States
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Wayne Collett
 United States
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Julius Sang
 Kenya
← 1968
1976 →

On the victory podium, Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett talked to each other and failed to stand at attention during the medal ceremony. On the advice of Avery Brundage, the IOC banned them from further competition. Since the third American competitor, John Smith, had pulled a hamstring while leading 80 metres into the final and had been ruled unfit to run, the United States were left unable to field a 4 x 400 relay team, and were thus forced to scratch from the event.

BackgroundEdit

This was the seventeenth appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. Three finalists, but no medalists, from 1968 returned: fourth-place finisher Amadou Gakou of Senegal, sixth-place Tegegne Bezabeh of Ethiopia, and seventh-place Andrzej Badeński of Poland (who had won bronze in 1964). Despite the complete turnover from their 1968 podium sweep, the United States team was again favored—this time led by John Smith, the 440-yard world record holder and AAU champion.[2]

Benin, Cambodia, the Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Kuwait, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Paraguay, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and Zambia appeared in this event for the first time. The United States made its seventeenth appearance in the event, the only nation to compete in it at every Olympic Games to that point.

Competition formatEdit

The competition retained the basic four-round format from 1920. The "fastest loser" system, introduced in 1964, was applied in the first round and quarterfinals. There were 9, each scheduled to have 7 or 8 athletes but some with only 6 starters. The top four runners in each heat advanced to the quarterfinals along with the next four fastest overall. The 5 quarterfinals each had 8 runners; the top three athletes in each quarterfinal heat advanced to the semifinals, with one spot for the next fastest finisher. The semifinals featured 2 heats of 8 runners each. The top four runners in each semifinal heat advanced, making an eight-man final.[2][3]

RecordsEdit

Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record   Lee Evans (USA) 43.8 Mexico City, Mexico 18 October 1968
Olympic record   Lee Evans (USA) 43.8 Mexico City, Mexico 18 October 1968

No world or Olympic records were set during this event.

ScheduleEdit

All times are Central European Time (UTC+1)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 3 September 1972 16:00 Round 1
Monday, 4 September 1972 11:35
17:45
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Thursday, 7 September 1972 17:30 Final

ResultsEdit

Round 1Edit

The top four runners in each of the nine heats (darker green) and the next four fastest (lighter green), advanced to the quarterfinal round.

Heat 1Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 4 Andrzej Badeński   Poland 46.21 Q
2 3 Charles Joseph   Trinidad and Tobago 46.38 Q
3 5 Mulugetta Tadesse   Ethiopia 46.38 Q
4 7 Wickremasinghe Wimaladasa   Ceylon 46.62 Q
5 2 Bjarni Sefánsson   Iceland 46.76 q
6 6 Jozo Alebić   Yugoslavia 47.01
7 8 Silver Ayoo   Uganda 47.04
8 1 Nusrat Iqbal Sahi   Pakistan 49.57

Heat 2Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 2 David Jenkins   Great Britain 46.15 Q
2 7 Anders Faager   Sweden 46.29 Q
3 8 Munyoro Nyamau   Kenya 46.33 Q
4 5 Omar Ghizlat   Morocco 46.37 Q
5 3 Bruce Ijirighwo   Nigeria 46.59 q
6 6 Samuela Yavala   Fiji 47.76
7 1 Théophile Nkounkou   Republic of the Congo 47.86
8 4 Francisco Menocal   Nicaragua 50.96

Heat 3Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 8 Georg Nückles   West Germany 46.64 Q
2 6 Yoshiharu Tomonaga   Japan 47.01 Q
3 3 Francis Kerbiriou   France 47.01 Q
4 1 Sam Bugri   Ghana 47.83 Q
5 2 Thomas N'Ma   Liberia 49.73
6 5 Jean-Max Faustin   Haiti 52.33
Marcello Fiasconaro   Italy DNS
Michael Frederiksson   Sweden DNS

Heat 4Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 5 Alberto Juantorena   Cuba 45.94 Q
2 1 Wayne Collett   United States 46.00 Q
3 3 Claver Kamanya   Tanzania 46.18 Q
4 4 Gilles Bertould   France 46.36 Q
5 2 Eric Phillips   Venezuela 46.74 q
6 7 Pedro Ferrer   Puerto Rico 47.90
7 7 Nicodemus Maipampe   Zambia 48.84

Heat 5Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 2 Tegegne Bezabeh   Ethiopia 45.88 Q
2 1 Vince Matthews   United States 45.94 Q
3 7 Angelo Hussein   Sudan 47.01 Q
4 3 Robert Ojo   Nigeria 47.03 Q
5 5 Fanahan McSweeney   Ireland 47.07
6 6 Fernando Silva   Portugal 47.67
7 4 Kassem Hamzé   Lebanon 49.20

Heat 6Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 8 Charles Asati   Kenya 45.16 Q
2 5 Leighton Priestley   Jamaica 45.75 Q
3 2 Fernando Acevedo   Peru 45.80 Q
4 6 Jan Werner   Poland 45.93 Q
5 4 Gary Armstrong   Great Britain 46.48 q
6 3 Francisco Rojas   Paraguay 47.46
7 1 Brian MacLaren   Canada 47.65
Caspar Springer   Barbados DNF

Heat 7Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 5 Julius Sang   Kenya 45.24 Q
2 1 Martin Reynolds   Great Britain 46.46 Q
3 2 Daniel Velasques   France 46.70 Q
4 3 Karl Honz   West Germany 46.77 Q
5 7 Franklin Rahming   Bahamas 48.30
6 6 Ibrahima Idrissou   Benin 48.50
7 4 William Msiska   Malawi 48.81

Heat 8Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 3 Horst-Rüdiger Schlöske   West Germany 45.27 Q
2 7 John Smith   United States 46.00 Q
3 1 Kyriakos Onisiforou   Greece 46.94 Q
4 5 Reza Entezari   Iran 47.89 Q
5 6 Mohamed Saad   Kuwait 49.61
6 4 Mohamed Jaman Al-Dosari   Saudi Arabia 49.67
Lucijano Sušanj   Yugoslavia DNS

Heat 9Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 6 Markku Kukkoaho   Finland 46.05 Q
2 3 Zbigniew Jaremski   Poland 46.20 Q
3 7 Arthur Cooper   Trinidad and Tobago 47.15 Q
4 8 Amadou Gakou   Senegal 47.68 Q
5 4 Tambusamy Krishnan   Malaysia 48.31
6 1 Frédérique Andrianaivo   Madagascar 48.72
7 5 Savin Chem   Cambodia 48.82
Jimmy Sierra   Colombia DNS

QuarterfinalsEdit

The top three runners in each of the five heats, and the next fastest, advanced to the semifinal round.

Quarterfinal 1Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 2 Wayne Collett   United States 45.80 Q
2 6 Alberto Juantorena   Cuba 45.96 Q
3 7 Jan Werner   Poland 46.02 Q
4 5 Martin Reynolds   Great Britain 46.11 q
5 1 Charles Joseph   Trinidad and Tobago 46.14
6 8 Robert Ojo   Nigeria 46.73
7 4 Omar Ghizlat   Morocco 46.84
8 3 Sam Bugri   Ghana 47.34

Quarterfinal 2Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 2 Horst-Rüdiger Schlöske   West Germany 45.41 Q
2 3 Vince Matthews   United States 45.62 Q
3 6 Tegegne Bezabeh   Ethiopia 45.97 Q
4 1 Gilles Bertould   France 46.14
5 5 Wickremasinghe Wimaladasa   Ceylon 46.50
6 7 Leighton Priestley   Jamaica 47.76
7 4 Arthur Cooper   Trinidad and Tobago 48.29
8 8 Reza Entezari   Iran 48.69

Quarterfinal 3Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 7 David Jenkins   Great Britain 45.99 Q
2 8 John Smith   United States 46.04 Q
3 4 Markku Kukkoaho   Finland 46.11 Q
4 3 Munyoro Nyamau   Kenya 46.80
5 2 Bruce Ijirighwo   Nigeria 46.81
6 6 Daniel Velasques   France 46.91
7 5 Amadou Gakou   Senegal 46.96
8 1 Angelo Hussein   Sudan 47.33

Quarterfinal 4Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 3 Karl Honz   West Germany 45.87 Q
2 7 Julius Sang   Kenya 45.92 Q
3 5 Zbigniew Jaremski   Poland 46.52 Q
4 1 Anders Faager   Sweden 46.54
5 4 Francis Kerbiriou   France 46.63
6 2 Yoshiharu Tomonaga   Japan 46.92
7 6 Gary Armstrong   Great Britain 47.10
8 8 Kyriakos Onisiforou   Greece 47.22

Quarterfinal 5Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 1 Charles Asati   Kenya 46.04 Q
2 5 Andrzej Badeński   Poland 46.19 Q
3 4 Georg Nückles   West Germany 46.30 Q
4 8 Claver Kamanya   Tanzania 46.55
5 6 Mulugetta Tadesse   Ethiopia 46.85
6 7 Bjarni Stefánsson   Iceland 46.92
7 2 Eric Phillips   Venezuela 46.97
3 Fernando Acevedo   Peru DNS

SemifinalsEdit

Top four in each of the two heats advanced to the final round.

Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 4 Vince Matthews   United States 44.94 Q
2 3 Karl Honz   West Germany 45.32 Q
3 1 John Smith   United States 45.46 Q
4 2 Charles Asati   Kenya 45.47 Q
5 8 David Jenkins   Great Britain 45.91
6 6 Tegegne Bezabeh   Ethiopia 45.98
7 5 Georg Nückles   West Germany 46.28
8 7 Andrzej Badeński   Poland 46.38

Semifinal 2Edit

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 1 Julius Sang   Kenya 45.30 Q
2 3 Horst-Rüdiger Schlöske   West Germany 45.62 Q
3 2 Wayne Collett   United States 45.77 Q
4 4 Markku Kukkoaho   Finland 46.02 Q
5 5 Alberto Juantorena   Cuba 46.07
6 8 Jan Werner   Poland 46.26
7 7 Martin Reynolds   Great Britain 46.71
6 Zbigniew Jaremski   Poland DNS

FinalEdit

Smith was leading at 80 metres when he pulled his hamstring and could not finish.

Rank Lane Athlete Nation Time
  2 Vince Matthews   United States 44.66
  3 Wayne Collett   United States 44.80
  5 Julius Sang   Kenya 44.92
4 8 Charles Asati   Kenya 45.13
5 7 Horst-Rüdiger Schlöske   West Germany 45.31
6 4 Markku Kukkoaho   Finland 45.49
7 1 Karl Honz   West Germany 45.68
6 John Smith   United States DNF

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1972 Munich Summer Games: Men's 400 metres". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "400 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  3. ^ Official Report, vol. 3, p. 50.

External linksEdit