400 meter sprint for women is an event which
demands excellent speed and stamina. The sprinters have to employ
running tactic and just running fast is not enough.
Debut in Olympics
The 400 meter sprint event for women made its debut at the 1964
Tokyo Summer Games. Thereafter, the event has been the part of every
- The length and width of the track and lanes within it has
been specified by the International Association of Athletics
- At the first false start, the sprinter is issued a warning.
Another false start attracts disqualification.
- Stepping on the inner line of the track could attract
- An athlete who steps outside the track when a race is on is
out of the event. She is prohibited from joining the race again.
- Maximum radius of the outside lane of the track has been set
to 50 meter.
- If the number of participants is more than ten, preliminary
heat events are organized. The top ten of these events enter the
- The track should be made of the substance which is capable of
enduring the spiked shoes.
- A standard automatic timing device recognized by the IAAF
should be used for measurement of time in the event.
- Any athlete who obstructs the path of her fellow athlete will
be disqualified from the competition. In this case, the event
will be organized again.
- Any athlete who fails to reach the finishing line is not
given any credit, even if she has run faster than the winner.
Athletes participating in the 400 meter sprint event apply a
different type of technique. Usually, after the start, the athletes
run hard up to the first curve. Then, they slow down a bit and run
comparatively slower till the second curve of the track. Once they
cross it, they take their maximum speed to reach the finishing line.
Famed sprinters in 400 meter sprint for women are Colette Besson,
Monika Zehrt, Irena Szewinska, Marita Koch, Valerie Brisco-Hooks,
Ann Packer, Lillian Board, Rita Wilden, Christina Brehmer, Jarmila
Kratochvilova, Olga Bryzgina, Marie-Jose Perec, Cathy Freeman,
Tonique Williams-Darling, Chandra Cheeseborough, Petra Schersing,
Lorraine Fenton, Betty Cuthbert, Ana Guevara and Sanya Richards.