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Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 4 × 400 metres relay

The men's 4 × 400 metres relay competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium on 9–10 August.[1] It was won by the Bahamas.

Men's 4 × 400 metres relay
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
VenueOlympic Stadium
Date9–10 August
Winning time2:56.72
1st, gold medalist(s) Chris Brown
Demetrius Pinder
Michael Mathieu
Ramon Miller
2nd, silver medalist(s) Bryshon Nellum
Joshua Mance
Tony McQuay
Angelo Taylor
Manteo Mitchell*
 United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Lalonde Gordon
Jarrin Solomon
Ade Alleyne-Forte
Deon Lendore
 Trinidad and Tobago
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'Video on YouTube Official Video]

The qualifying round experienced more drama than is normal in these affairs. In the first heat, on the second leg, Kenya's Vincent Mumo Kiilu was boxed in near the back of the pack, with South Africa's Ofentse Mogawane on his shoulder. Coming into the home straight, Kiilu tried to step to the outside, tripping Mogawane, leaving him injured on the track. The much awaited return of Oscar Pistorius waiting to run the third leg never materialized. South Africa filed a protest in which Kenya was disqualified and South Africa was allowed to run in the final.[2] Conveniently, the London Olympic Stadium track has 9 lanes to accommodate such a circumstance, while normally only 8 lanes are used in Championship meets.

At the finish of the first heat, Trinidad and Tobago won the heat, setting their National Record, but host Great Britain was given exactly the same time.

In the second heat the United States led off with Manteo Mitchell. Halfway around the track, Mitchell heard a crack and felt pain.

“It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half. I felt it break.’’

Mitchell continued to the hand off, running a sub-par 46.1 split. It was later revealed that Mitchell did break his left fibula.[3] His American teammates continued on, running three sub 45 splits. Bahamas won the heat, but the Americans qualified, credited with exactly the same time as Bahamas, the fastest time in 2012. Both heats ending with the first and second place teams running the same times.

Also during the second heat, the Dominican Republic failed to make the second exchange between Felix Sánchez and Joel Mejía within the zone and were disqualified.[4] Then halfway through the third leg, Jamaica's Jermaine Gonzales pulled a muscle and was unable to continue.

In the final, Bahamas started off with their best 400 runners, 4th place Chris Brown and 7th place Demetrius Pinder. Brown had a clear lead through the first 350 metres before fading to hand off just slightly ahead of Bryshon Nellum. Over the next leg, Josh Mance brought the American team into contention, with the two teams separating from the rest of the field. On the final straightaway, Pinder extended the lead slightly, his relay split of 43.3 credited as the 7th (now 9th) fastest relay splits in history. On the third leg, Tony McQuay passed Michael Mathieu early on the back stretch and extended the lead by a few metres. McQuay's split was reported to be 43.4.[5] Last minute fill in Angelo Taylor took the baton in the lead, but Ramon Miller ran up to maintain contact. Coming off the final turn, he moved past Taylor with 50 meters to go and won. Trinidad and Tobago again improved their national record in winning the bronze.[6] It was only the third time an American team had been beaten in the Olympic 4 × 400 metres relay.

Oscar Pistorius ran the anchor leg for the South African team, but they were already well beaten before he received the baton.

The fifth place Russian team was later disqualified when two of its members received post dated doping bans.


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

World record   United States
(Andrew Valmon, Quincy Watts, Butch Reynolds, Michael Johnson)
2:54.29 Stuttgart, Germany 22 August 1993
Olympic record   United States
(LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, David Neville, Jeremy Wariner)
2:55.39 Beijing, China 23 August 2008
2012 World leading   University of Florida
(Dedric Dukes, Hugh Graham, Jr., Leonardo Seymore, Tony McQuay)
3:00.02 Des Moines, United States 9 June 2012
Broken records during the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 World leading   Bahamas
(Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu, Ramon Miller)
2:56.72 London, United Kingdom 10 August 2012

The Following new National records were set during this competition

Bahamas National Record   Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu, Ramon Miller (BAH) 2:56.72
Trinidad and Tobago National Record   Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte, Deon Lendore (TRI) 2:59.40


All times are British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Date Time Round
Thursday, 9 August 2012 11:35 Round 1
Friday, 10 August 2012 21:20 Finals


  • Q denotes automatic qualification (based on place).
  • q denotes provisional qualification (fastest non-automatic qualifiers).
  • DNS denotes did not start.
  • DNF denotes did not finish.
  • DQ denotes disqualified
  • AR denotes area record.
  • NR denotes national record.
  • PB denotes personal best.
  • SB denotes season's best.

Round 1Edit

Qual. rule: first 3 of each heat (Q) plus the 2 fastest times (q) qualified.

Heat 1

Rank Nation Competitors Time Notes
1   Trinidad and Tobago Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte, Deon Lendore 3:00.38 Q, NR
2   Great Britain Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams, Jack Green, Martyn Rooney 3:00.38 Q, SB
3   Cuba William Collazo, Raidel Acea, Orestes Rodriguez, Omar Cisneros 3:00.55 Q
4   Belgium Nils Duerinck, Jonathan Borlée, Antoine Gillet, Kevin Borlée 3:01.70 q
5   Poland Piotr Wiaderek, Marcin Marciniszyn, Michał Pietrzak, Kacper Kozłowski 3:02.86
6   Germany Jonas Plass, Kamghe Gaba, Eric Kruger, Thomas Schneider 3:03.50
N/A   South Africa Shaun de Jager, Ofentse Mogawane, Oscar Pistorius, Willem de Beer N/A DNF*
N/A   Kenya Boniface Ontuga Mweresa, Vincent Mumo Kiilu, Boniface Mucheru, Alphas Leken Kishoyian N/A DQ

Note: *South Africa's Ofentse Mogawane was injured in a collision with Kenya's Vincent Mumo Kiilu and failed to hand over to Oscar Pistorius who was supposed to run the third leg.

Heat 2

Rank Nation Competitors Time Notes
1   Bahamas Ramon Miller, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu, Chris Brown 2:58.87 Q, SB
2   United States Manteo Mitchell[a], Joshua Mance, Tony McQuay, Bryshon Nellum 2:58.87 Q, SB
3   Russia Maksim Dyldin, Denis Alekseyev, Vladimir Krasnov, Pavel Trenikhin 3:02.01 Q
4   Venezuela Arturo Ramirez, Alberto Aguilar, Albert Bravo, Jose Melendez 3:02.62 q
5   Australia Steven Solomon, Ben Offereins, Brendan Cole, John Steffensen 3:03.17
6   Japan Kei Takase, Yuzo Kanemaru, Yoshihiro Azuma, Hiroyuki Nakano 3:03.86
N/A   Jamaica Dane Hyatt, Riker Hylton, Jermaine Gonzales, Errol Nolan N/A DNF
N/A   Dominican Republic Gustavo Cuesta, Felix Sanchez, Joel Mejia, Luguelin Santos N/A DQ
a At approximately the 200 metre mark of the first leg, American runner Manteo Mitchell broke his left fibula. However, he still managed to finish his leg with a time of 46.1.[7]


Rank Lane Nation Competitors Time Notes
  4   Bahamas Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu, Ramon Miller 2:56.72 WL, NR
  7   United States Bryshon Nellum, Joshua Mance, Tony McQuay, Angelo Taylor 2:57.05 SB
  5   Trinidad and Tobago Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte, Deon Lendore 2:59.40 NR
4 6   Great Britain Conrad Williams, Jack Green, Dai Greene, Martyn Rooney 2:59.53 SB
5 8   Belgium Kevin Borlée, Antoine Gillet, Jonathan Borlée, Michael Bultheel 3:01.83
6 3   Venezuela Arturo Ramirez, Alberto Aguilar, Albert Bravo, Omar Longart 3:02.18
7 1   South Africa Shaun de Jager, Willem de Beer, Louis van Zyl, Oscar Pistorius 3:03.46 SB
9   Cuba William Collazo, Raidel Acea, Orestes Rodriguez, Omar Cisneros DNF
2   Russia Maksim Dyldin, Denis Alekseyev, Vladimir Krasnov, Pavel Trenikhin DQ (3:00.09) Doping

Note: South Africa was allowed to continue as the ninth finalists on appeal. Louis van Zyl replaced the injured Ofentse Mogawane.[8]


  1. ^ "Olympic Athletics - Information, History, Rules - London 2012".
  2. ^ Ross, Sam. "Oscar Pistorius and South Africa reinstated for 4x400m relay final after failing to finish heat due to Kenya clash". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Team USA's Manteo Mitchell, who finished 4 × 400 meter relay semifinal with broken leg, should inspire us all". 29 June 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Australia out of 4x400m relay". 19 October 2008. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "IAAF: The XXX Olympic Games Olympic Games". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Manteo Mitchell Broken Leg: U.S. 4x400M Runner Finishes Olympic Relay After Breaking Leg". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  8. ^ "Tight contests set up thrilling 400m Relay final".