IAAF 4×400 Meter Relay Split Times from Beijing 2008

The IAAF article can be found here. Click here to download the PDF file.

How were these splits recorded?

Transponder antennas were laid under the track at the 0m, 100m, 200m and 300m. Athletes wore chips on the inside of their front bib numbers, so when they crossed the transponder threshold, a time was registered.

This sound similar to RFID chips attached on shoes for distance events with the tracking pad at the start and finish line.

Unfortunately, we do not have accurate 10 meter splits for the 100 meter sprints. For now we’ll have to rely on video analysis for the 100 meters and 200 meters. Let’s hope in 2012 these will be in place.

The data was derived by ST SPORTSERVICE GmbH, a service by Swiss Timing. The following results gave actual (3rd and 4th legs) and estimated (1st and 2nd legs) times for all runners in the 2008 Beijing Olympic 4x400m relay races (Men’s and Women’s).

For the first and second legs, the time given is an estimate (denoted with an “e”) based on photo-finish time at the finish line by first leg runner before stagger on the 3-turn stagger. The third and fourth legs times are computed from photo-finish pictures of the baton holder at the finish line.

This is the correct method for taking splits in any relay: when the baton crosses the line, not where the baton is exchanged.

Men’s 4 x 400 Meters Relay Final (Aug 23, 2008)

Position, Country, Time (and Record), Reaction Time

1. United States 2:55.39 (OR) 0.336
2. Bahamas 2:58.03 0.297
3. Russia 2:58.06 (NR) 0.220
4. Great Britain & NI 2:58.81 0.246
5. Belgium 2:59.37 (NR) 0.166
6. Australia 3:00.02 0.212
7. Poland 3:00.32 0.180
8. Jamaica 3:01.45 0.196

Teams & Splits

USA LaShawn Merritt 44.35e, Angelo Taylor 43.70e, David Neville 44.16, Jeremy Wariner 43.18
BAH Andretti Bain 45.92e, Michael Mathieu 44.04e, Andrae Williams 44.02, Chris Brown 44.05
RUS Maksim Dyldin 45.52e, Vladislav Frolov 44.64e, Anton Kokorin 44.34, Denis Alekseyev 43.56
GBR Andrew Steele 45.69e, Robert Tobin 44.78e, Michael Bingham 44.61, Martyn Rooney 43.73
BEL Kevin Borlée 45.43e, Jonathan Borlée 43.62e, Cédric Van Branteghem 44.44, Arnaud Ghislain 45.88
AUS Sean Wroe 46.07e, John Steffensen 45.26e, Clinton Hill 44.41, Joel Milburn 44.28
POL Rafal Wieruszewski 46.02e, Piotr Klimczak 44.54e, Piotr Kedzia 45.10, Marek Plawgo 44.66
JAM Michael Blackwood 45.60e, Ricardo Chambers 44.47e, Sanjay Ayre 44.86, Lansford Spence 46.52

I’m not surprised at Jeremy Wariner or Angelo Taylor sub 44 splits on the fly, or even Great Britain’s Martyn Rooney, but who the heck is Jonathan Borlée from Belgium?

Click here to download the PDF file for all results (Semi-Finals, Finals, Men’s, Women’s).

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at SpeedEndurance.com
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
  • In februari you may not know Jonathan Borlée but now you should know him already.
    He ran a belgian record of 44.78 to win the NCAA final this season…
    Unfortunatly he’s unable to compete in Berlin due to injury.

  • Well Jonathan has a stress fractue at his foot and won’t be running anymore this season.
    But be well aware of the fact that Kevin was good for 44.88 (the previous BR) at the Beijing semifinal. Good for the eight fastest time from those semis but unluckily missing the final.
    So watch out for him at Berlin…