Tokyo preview – Men’s 4 x 400m Relay

The USA look set to be the team to beat in Tokyo but a wide open race will mean an almighty fight for the rest of the medals. Here’s our Tokyo 4 x 400m men’s relay preview.


Friday 6 August 12:25 UK Time (Round 1) Saturday 7 August 13:50 UK Time (Final)

Fastest times since 2019

Ranking since 2019Time Team
102:56.7United States
402:59.0Texas A&M
502:59.2North Carolina A&T
602:59.3United States U20

British interest

GB & NI’s 4 x 400m is as follows (PBs in brackets):

Nicklas Baker (46.05), Joseph Brier (45.84) , Cameron Chalmers (45.64) Matthew Hudson-Smith (44.48), Michael Ohioze (46.30) , Lee Thompson (46.20)

This is not the quickest team GB & NI have ever sent but it will be interesting to see how close they can get to a medal.


  • Belgium – Kevin Borlée, Jonathan Borlée, Dylan Borlée, Alexander Doom, Jonathan Sacoor, Julien Watrin
  • Botswana – Isaac Makwala, Bayapo Ndori, Zibane Ngozi, Anthony Pasela, Leungo Scotch, Baboliki Thebe
  • Colombia – Raul Hernan Mena Pedroza, Diego Palomeque, Jhon Alejandro Perlaza, Carlos Romana, Jhon Alexander Solis, Anthony Jose Zambrano
  • Czech Republic – Michal Desensky, Matěj Krsek, Pavel Maslák, Vit Muller, Patrik Sorm, Jan Tesar
  • France – Mame-Ibra Anne, Gilles Biron, Thomas Jordier, Muhammad Kounta, Christopher Naliali, Ludovic Ouceni
  • Germany – Jean Paul Bredau, Torben Junker, Tobias Lange, Manuel Sanders, Marvin Schlegel
  • GB & NI – Nicklas Baker, Joseph Brier, Cameron Chalmers, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Michael Ohioze, Lee Thompson
  • Italy – Lorenzo Benati, Matteo Galvan, Giuseppe Leonardi, Davide Re, Edoardo Scotti
  • India – Amoj Jacob, Naganathan Pandi, Arokia Rajiv, Noah Nirmal Tom, Muhammed Anas Yahiya
  • Jamaica – Nathon Allen, Sean Bailey, Karayme Bartley, Demish Gaye, Christopher Taylor
  • Japan – Kosuke Ikeda, Rikuya Ito, Kaito Kawabata, Kentaro Sato, Aoto Suzuki, Julian Jrummi Walsh
  • Netherlands – Terrence Agard, Ramsey Angela, Liemarvin Bonevacia, Jochem Dobber, Nout Wardenburg
  • Poland – Kajetan Duszynski, Dariusz Kowaluk, Mateusz Rzezniczak, Wiktor Suwara, Karol Zalewski, Tymoteusz Zimny
  • Trinidad & Tobago – Machel Cedenio, Asa Guevara, Che Lara, Deon Lendore, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire
  • USA – Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Vernon Norwood, Randolph Ross, Trevor Stewart

The favourites

The USA possess nine of the twelve fastest 400m runners since the start of 2019 so it is no surprise that they will start red hot favourites for Olympic gold. They could likely send a B team and still challenge for gold. Michael Norman has run 43.45, Randolph Ross 43.85, Trevor Stewart 44.25 and Michael Cherry 44.35. They rank 1, 4, 8 and 12 over that period.

Their closest challengers look likely to be Trinidad and Tobago, the World Relay champs from 2019. Each of their four have world class bests and could lead to a genuine gold medal challenge. Their team looks likely to be Machel Cedenio who ran 44.01 for fourth in Rio, Dwight St. Hillaire who ran 44.55 in 2018 and 44.74 this year, Deon Londore who has ran slightly better this year in 44.73 and Jereem Richards who ran 45.21 in 2017 (he has not raced a 400m this year). Waiting in the wings maybe Asa Guevara (45.18 in 2018) and Che Lara who ran 46.43 this year.

Botswana deserve a mention. Isaac Makwala has run 44.47 this year. Leungo Scotch (45.00), Baboloki Thebe (45.08) and Zibane Ngozi (45.63), all ran their best times in 2019. If they had 800m star Nijel Amos (44.99) they may be even better but they are still a silver medal shout.

Jamaica posses a quartet all of whom boast impressive personal bests. Nathon Allen has run 44.13 in 2018, Demish Gaye 44.46 in 2019, Christopher Taylor 44.88 in 2018 and Sean Bailey 45.04.

Colombia may rely on their Doha silver medalist Anthony Jose Zambrano (44.15 best) but have a decent squad around him. John Alejandro Perlaza has dipped under 45 seconds (44.86 in 2018), Diego Palomeque ran 45.25 albeit back in 2016 and Carlos Romana 45.84 in Rio. Jhon Alexander Solis (46.15, 2020) makes up a competitive squad.

India have an exciting squad and could get in the mix. Amoj Jacob (45.68), Naganathan Pandi (46.09), Arokia Rajiv (45.47, 2019), Noah Nirmal Tom (45.75, 2019), Muhammed Anas Yahiya (45.21, 2019) provide a level of consistency which could see them aim for a medal.

The Belgium team isn’t quite the force of previous years with Jonathan Sacoor and Alexander Doom the only athletes to have run under 46.50 since the start of 2019. Jonathan Borlee ran 44.87 in August 2018, Kevin 45.07 in the same race and the youngest brother Dylan 45.55 that same summer.

Italy will perhaps provide Europe’s greatest challenge with a team featuring Davide Re (44.77, 2019), Matteo Galvan (45.12, 2016), Eduardo Scotti (45.21, 2020), Guiseppe Leonardi (46.19, 2017) and Lorenzo Benati (46.27, 2021).

Our medal predictions

  1. USA
  2. Trinidad & Tobago
  3. Botswana


WR: 2.54.29 USA (1993)

OR: 2.55.39 USA (2008 Beijing)

Like our men’s 4 x 400m preview. For this and more see below.

Featured image “Public Domain: 4 x 400 Relay at the Summer Olympics by Ken Hackman, August 1984 (DOD DD-SC-85-09738)” by is marked with CC PDM 1.0

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