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It was reported Usain Bolt’s Anchor Leg at the 2010 Penn Relays was 8.71 seconds. With a 9.58 second personal best, Bolt surely has the POTENTIAL to run 8.58 with a running start.
Was Usain Bolt the Fastest 100 meter split ever recorded in the 4×100 meter relay?
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Asafa Powell’s split time was recorded at 8.70 seconds by the USTAF High Performance Registered Split Analysis team. Remember, this is different than the IAAF Biomechanical Splits research teams (their list is shown below at the end of this article)
At the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Asafa Powell’s anchor split was 8.84 seconds.
Carl Lewis’ anchor leg at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was 8.85 en route to a World Record of 37.40 seconds. Bernard Williams also equaled this time with a 2nd leg backstretch run at the Edmonton 2001 World Championships.
“Bullet” Bob Hayes recorded a 8.5 second (hand time) 4×100 meter anchor relay leg at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Converted to FAT, that “translates” to 8.74 seconds.
But Wait.. What about Jim Hines in Mexico City 1968?
Jim Hines was coached by Ray Norton, a former Bud Winter student.
Lost in all the hoopla, was his anchor leg reported at 8.2 seconds in altitude. (The team went en route to a 38.24A performance) We are not sure if that time was recorded when he got the baton, or when he crossed the 10m mark of the 20 meter exchange zone.
From an interview on About.com:
On the 4 x 100 relay race in 1968:
“We were in sixth place when I got the baton and Jim McKay of ABC said there was no way in the world that we could win. … And I ran the greatest leg of my life, the fastest I ever ran in my life and my leg was clocked at 8.2 seconds, and that’s the fastest clocking of any anchor leg in history. And right now I’m trying to get to see that relay race because, you know, I have never seen that relay, (after) 40 years, yet. It needs to be shown. I want to see it myself, to see my own anchor leg and what I did.”
His thoughts when he took the baton, knowing the U.S. was in sixth place:
“It put a lot of pressure on me. I knew we were in trouble and I knew those other anchor men, they were all just as fast as I was. And I knew I had to get a great baton exchange (from Ronnie Ray Smith), and I did, and I just ran the fastest I ever ran in my life. I had to do it. I had to really do it.”
Note that Ronnie Ray Smith was also coached by Bud Winter.
Only source to view this video is possible here: http://www.runningmovies.com/title/618.htm
If anyone has access to this video, please let me know, and we’ll have our Video Analysis lab take a look.
IAAF Biomechanical Splits research team
Fastest 100m relay legs of a Men’s 4x100m relay are listed below by the IAAF Biomechanical Splits research team.
8.85s- Carl Lewis (USA)- 1992 Barcelona OG, Anchor leg (37.40s WR)
8.85s- Bernard Williams (USA)- 2001 Edmonton WCH, 2nd leg. (37.96s)
8.86s- Carl Lewis (USA)- 1987 Roma WCH, Anchor leg (37.90s WL)
8.86s- Andre Cason (USA)- 1993 Stuttgart WCH, 2nd leg (37.48s)
8.90s- Daniel Sangouma (FRA)- 1990 Split EurCh, 2nd leg (37.79s WR)
8.91s- Leroy Burrell (USA)- 1991 Tokyo WCH, 2nd leg (37.50s WR)
8.92s- Leroy Burrell (USA)- 1993 Stuttagrt WCH, Anchor leg (37.40s WR)
8.94s- Carl Lewis (USA)- 1984 Los Angeles OG, Anchor leg (37.86s WR)
8.94s- Donovan Bailey (CAN)- 1997 Athens WCH, Anchor leg (37.86s)
8.95s- Donovan Bailey (CAN)- 1996 Atlanta OG, Anchor leg (37.69s NR)
8.98s- Carl Lewis (USA)- 1983 Helsinki WCH, Anchor leg (37.86s WR)
8.98s- Dennis Mitchell (USA)- 1996 Atlanta OG, Anchor leg (37.96s)