Gold medal times in the 400m sprint at the Summer Olympics 1896-2016

The 400 meter sprint has been featured in every Olympic Games for men since Athens 1896, while the female event was introduced in 1964. Michael Johnson of the United States is the only male athlete to have won the event twice, while Marie-José Pérec of France is the only woman to have done so. US sprinter Valerie Brisco-Hooks (in 1984), along with Johnson and Pérec (in 1996), are the only athletes to have won the 400m and 200m double, while Cuban runner Alberto Juantorena (in 1976) is the only athlete to have won both the 400m and 800m events. The current men's world record was set in the 2016 Olympics by South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk, while Pérec still holds the women's Olympic record she set in 1996, although the world record of 47.6 seconds, set by Marita Koch (Olympic gold winner in 1980), has stood since 1985. Male athletes from the United States have claimed the gold the most times, with 19 gold medals in total, while the women's event has been won by athletes from a wider variety of nations.

Gold medal winning times in the Men's and Women's 400m Sprint at the Summer Olympics from 1896 to 2016

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Release date




Survey time period

1896 to 2016

Supplementary notes

This data was collected using the official site, as well as a spreadsheet from the Guardian that includes data from 1896-2008 (available here), 2012 and 2016 data was compared with that from Encyclopaedia Britannica, and several news outlets were used to update the table when medals were reassigned (i.e. for doping offenses).

The winning athletes (male listed first) and their represented countries are as follows:
1896 - Thomas Burke (US)
1900 - Maxwell Warburn Long (US)
1904 - Harry Hillman (Canada)
1908 - Wyndham Halswelle (Great Britain)
1912 - Charles Reidpath (US)
1920 - Bevil Rudd (South Africa)
1924 - Eric Liddell (Great Britain)
1928 - Raymond James Barbuti (US)
1932 - William Arthur Carr (US)
1936 - Archibald Franklin Williams (US)
1948 - Arthur Wint (Jamaica)
1952 - George Rhoden (Jamaica)
1956 - Charles Jenkins (US)
1960 - Otis Davis (US)
1964 - Mike Larrabee (US) & Betty Cuthbert (Australia)
1968 - Lee Evans (US) & Colette Besson (France)
1972 - Vince Matthews (US) & Monika Zehrt (East Germany)
1976 - Alberto Juantorena (Cuba) & Irena Kirszenstein (USSR)
1980 - Viktor Markin (USSR) & Marita Koch (East Germany)
1984 - Alonzo Babers (US) & Valerie Brisco (US)
1988 - Steve Lewis (US) & Olga Bryzgina (USSR)
1992 - Quincy Watts (US) & Marie-José Pérec (France)
1996 - Michael Johnson (US) & Marie-José Pérec (France)
2000 - Michael Johnson (US) & Cathy Freeman (Australia)
2004 - Jeremy Wariner (US) & Tonique Williams-Darling (Bahamas)
2008 - LaShawn Merritt (US) & Christine Ohuruogu (Great Britain)
2012 - Kirani James (Grenada) & Sanya Richards-Ross (US)
2016 - Wayde Van Niekerk (South Africa) & Shaunae Miller (Bahamas)

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