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4x100 Meter Relay For Men at Olympics

4x100 meter Relay for Men at Olympics: The 4x100 meter relay event is also known as the sprint relay event. It is a track event held on the 400 meter running track. During the race, the track is divided into four legs, each of 100 meter length. The number of athletes competing in each relay team is four. Generally, the runners carry a baton with them at the time of running

their respective leg. The baton must be passed from one runner to another athlete during the race. Often, various strategies are taken by the teams to win the relay races. The last runner in the relay team is known as the "anchor". The anchor is generally the fastest runner of the team.

4x100 meter Relay for Men in Summer Olympics: The 4x100 meter relay event was introduced to the Olympic program in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games. Since then, the event has been held at every Summer Games. The domain of the 4x100 meter relay event has always been dominated by the athletes of the United States of America.

Rules for 4x100 meter Relay for Men at Olympics: The International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF is authorized to set rules for the track and field athletics events. The rules are strictly followed in the international competitions. The rules, which are vital for the 4x100 meter relay event at the international competitions, are-

  • The track will be properly marked at every 100 meter. This is essential to denote the distance covered in the legs.
  • The area where the baton is passed to the next runner is known as the "take-over zone". The length of the take-over zone is 20 meter.
  • The 4x100 meter relay event is held entirely on the lanes.
  • The relay team is allowed to have only two athletes as the substitutes after the commencement of the race.
  • Runners are not allowed to leave or change their respective lanes.
  • In the relay races, the baton used should be made of wood. The shape of the baton should be a hollow tube, essentially smooth. The size of baton has been specified by the IAAF.
  • The baton has to be passed from one athlete to the other within the specified area known as the take-over zone.
  • The athletes are not permitted to wear gloves or use any substances which can enable them to have a better grip on the baton.
  • Obstructing others' way during the race is a punishable offence. The athlete found to hinder others' pace deliberately can be disqualified from the competition.
  • The athletes should remain in their respective lanes even after handing over the baton and after receiving the baton.
  • If an athlete goes out of the track during the race, he is not permitted to enter the race again.
  • An athlete with two consecutive false starts is disqualified from the competition.
  • The athlete, who is unable to finish the race, is not given any credit for his performance.
  • The IAAF approved automatic timing device is only permitted to be used for measuring time during the race.

Medal Winners in the 4x100 meter Relay for Men at Olympics: The athletes of the United States of America have been the leading figures in the 4x100 meter relay event for a long time. Some of the leading athletes, who have won medals in the event, are David Jacobs, Henry Macintosh, Victor d'Arcy, William Applegarth, Charlie Paddock, Jackson Scholz, Loren Murchison, Morris Kirksey, Louis Clarke, Frank Hussey, Alfred LeConey, Frank Wykoff, James Quinn, Charles Borah, Henry Russell, Robert Kiesel, Emmett Toppino, Hector Dyer, Ralph Metcalfe, Foy Draper, Barney Ewell, Lorenzo Wright, Harrison Dillard, Mel Patton, Lindy Remigino, Bobby Joe Morrow, Thane Baker, Armin Hary, Bob Hayes, Jim Hines, Charles Greene, Robert Taylor, Mark Lewis-Francis, Marlon Devonish, Darren Campbell, Jason Gardener, Maurice Greene, Brian Lewis, Bernard Williams, Jon Drummond, Donovan Bailey, Carl Lewis, Mike Marsh and Sam Graddy.

Trivia: The USA relay team has been disqualified from the Olympic 4x100 relay competition thrice in 1912 semi finals, 1960 final and 1988 first round.

In the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games, the final of the 4x100 meter relay event was held between only two teams. The third team in the final, Germany was disqualified.

In the final of the 1948 London Summer Games, the American team was disqualified from the competition. However, after the review of the film footage of the race, the disqualification was withdrawn.

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