The 4x400 meter relay event for women entered the Olympics at the 1972 Munich Summer Games. Since then, it has been the part of Olympics athletics schedule. Traditionally, the 4x400 meter relay event has been the last event of a track meet. The event is exciting because the race lead can change hands frequently. The event is quite from individual 400 m performances.
Rules and Regulations
- Every team is allowed to have two substitutes.
- The baton can be passed to a team-mate only in the take-over zone.
- The sprinters are not permitted to move about their respective lanes after handing over and receiving the baton.
- Clear marks at every 100 meter on the track denote the distance ran in each phase.
- The baton carried by the sprinter is passed to the fellow athletes in the take over zone which is 20 meter long. The zone is marked in blue lines.
- The athletes can break their lanes after covering a certain distance in every leg.
- Causing obstruction in the race can lead to disqualification.
- The athletes are not allowed to leave the track during the race.
- The runners can be disqualified after two false starts.
- Athletes who fail to reach the finishing line are not given any credit.
- A team can also be disqualified for losing the baton.
The US teams have been dominating in the event. However, they have been traditionally challenged by British and Jamaican teams.
Top performers in 4x400 meter relay event for women are Yelena Ruzina, Mariya Pinigina, Tatyana Ledovskaya, Chandra Cheeseborough, Tatyana Goistchik, Tatyana Prorochenko, Christina Brehmer, Olga Nazarova, Lyudmila Dzhigalova, Olga Zaytseva, Olga Kotlyarova, Yuliya Gushchina, Irina Nazarova, Ellen Streidt, Brigitte Rohde,Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Sherri Howard, Lillie Leatherwood, Olesya Krasnomovets, Monique Hennagan, Sanya Richards, Monique Henderson, DeeDee Trotter, LaTasha Colander, Marion Jones, Jearl Miles-Clark, Kim Graham, Maicel Malone-Wallace, Rochelle Stevens, Olga Bryzgina, and Nina Zyuskova.