Last Ten 400 meters Dash Olympic Champions

I was going to post the last ten 400 meters dash Olympic Champions, but decided to post the last 16 Olympic medalists since the post WWII “modern era”.

To read more about these athletes, click on the link under their name. Some names require no introductions.

This list is a classic, but it leaves me with one question:

Who the heck is Viktor Markin?

Viktor Markin is a special case where a 400 meter sprinter went from 46 to 44 in one year! (Sidenote: see 400 Meters: Can you Drop from 45 to 43 in One Year?)

In April 1980, his personal best was 46.96. By July, he lowered that to 45.34. In the 1980 Moscow Olympic final, he won the Gold medal in a very respectable 44.60 without the Americans.

I’ll bet the readers of this Blog will have their theories of his great improvement (**cough cough** Constantine Kenteris **cough cough**)

Consider Jeremy Wariner who started the 2004 season with a PB of 45.13 (from 2003). He won the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 44.71 followed by the Olympic Gold medal in 44.00 in Athens.

Another interesting tidbit is 1964 Olympic bronze medalist Andrzej Badenski was coached by Gerard Mach, along with Irena Szewinska.

Olympics Gold Silver Bronze
1948 London Arthur Wint (JAM) Herb McKenley (JAM) Mal Whitfield (USA)
1952 Helsinki George Rhoden (JAM) Herb McKenley (JAM) Ollie Matson (USA)
1956 Melbourne Charlie Jenkins (USA) Karl-Friedrich Haas (EUA) Voitto Hellsten (FIN) & Ardalion Ignatyev (URS)
1960 Rome Otis Davis (USA) Carl Kaufmann (EUA) Malcolm Spence (RSA)
1964 Tokyo Michael Larrabee (USA) Wendell Mottley (TRI) Andrzej Badenski (POL)
1968 Mexico City Lee Evans (USA) Larry James (USA) Ron Freeman (USA)
1972 Munich Vincent Matthews (USA) Wayne Collett (USA) Julius Sang (KEN)
1976 Montreal Alberto Juantorena (CUB) Fred Newhouse (USA) Herman Frazier (USA)
1980 Moscow Viktor Markin (URS) Rick Mitchell (AUS) Frank Schaffer (GDR)
1984 Los Angeles Alonzo Babers (USA) Gabriel Tiacoh (CIV) Antonio McKay (USA)
1988 Seoul Steve Lewis (USA) Butch Reynolds (USA) Danny Everett (USA)
1992 Barcelona Quincy Watts (USA) Steve Lewis (USA) Samson Kitur (KEN)
1996 Atlanta Michael Johnson (USA) Roger Black (GBR) Davis Kamoga (UGA)
2000 Sydney Michael Johnson (USA) Alvin Harrison (USA) Greg Haughton (JAM)
2004 Athens Jeremy Wariner (USA) Otis Harris (USA) Derrick Brew (USA)
2008 Beijing LaShawn Merritt (USA) Jeremy Wariner (USA) David Neville (USA)

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • Very good list. Only one comment about something only obliquely related: in 1976 Olympics, Caribbean athletes captured all of the sprint titles: Crawford in the 100m, Quarrie in the 200m and Juantorena in the 400m. Interesting, hmmm?