Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Women's 400 metres

The women's 400 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program were held at the Athens Olympic Stadium from August 21 to 24.[1]

Women's 400 metres
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueAthens Olympic Stadium
Dates21–24 August
Competitors42 from 31 nations
Winning time49.42
Tonique Williams-Darling  Bahamas
Ana Guevara  Mexico
Natalya Antyukh  Russia

The first round had split a full roster of runners into eight heats with the first three gaining a direct qualification and then the next six fastest across all heats advancing to the semifinals. The top two runners in each of the three semifinal heats moved on directly to the final, and they are immediately joined by the next two fastest from any of the semifinals.

Coming into the final, the fastest qualifiers were Monique Hennagan and Natalya Antyukh challenging each other in their semi final, Tonique Williams-Darling racing DeeDee Trotter in theirs, with world champion Ana Guevara cruising her semi final just staying ahead of Christine Amertil. In the final, Hennagan again went for the lead with Amertil and Natalya Nazarova each taking their shot at her in the first 200, only to fade after. Starting slightly slower, Williams came on strongly on the backstretch, marked by Guevara around the second turn. Coming off the turn Guevara had Williams where she wanted her, and Sanya Richards about even with Hennigan a couple of steps behind, with Antyukh and Trotter another step behind. Less than 50 meters from the finish, Guevara moved into the lead, but Williams kicked it into a different gear and pulled away to finish with gold.[2][3] On the inside, Trotter rocketed past Richards and was gaining on Hennagan. Hennagan tried to fight, long striding with a slowing cadence to the finish, losing ground to a fast closing Antyukh. Defeated, Guevara gave up the fight and glided across the finish line with silver. 3 meters back, Antyukh clearly beat a wilting Hennagan, who still managed to hold off the fast closing Trotter.


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record Marita Koch (GDR)47.60 sCanberra, Australia6 October 1985
Olympic record Marie-José Pérec (FRA)48.25 sAtlanta, United States29 July 1996

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's 400 metres, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 51.50 seconds or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 52.30 seconds or faster could be entered.


All times are Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)

Date Time Round
Saturday, 21 August 200409:50Round 1
Sunday, 22 August 200422:20Semifinals
Tuesday, 24 August 200422:50Final


Round 1

Qualification rule: The first three finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next six fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the semifinals.[4]

Heat 1

18Ana Guevara Mexico50.93Q
25Lee McConnell Great Britain51.19Q
34Grażyna Prokopek Poland51.29Q, PB
47Fatou Bintou Fall Senegal51.87q
52Hortense Bewouda Cameroon52.11
66Oksana Luneva Kyrgyzstan52.94
73Ruwida El-Hubti Libya1:03.57NR

Heat 2

14Monique Hennagan United States51.02Q
28Mariyana Dimitrova Bulgaria51.29Q
37Kaltouma Nadjina Chad51.50Q
43Nadia Davy Jamaica52.04
52Maria Laura Almirão Brazil52.10
66Kirsi Mykkänen Finland52.53
75Bo Fanfang China56.01

Heat 3

13Natalya Nazarova Russia50.82Q
27Donna Fraser Great Britain51.19Q
32Hazel-Ann Regis Grenada51.66Q
45Estie Wittstock South Africa51.89q
56Amy Mbacke Thiam Senegal52.44
68Amantle Montsho Botswana53.77NR
74Zamira Amirova Uzbekistan54.43

Heat 4

17Natalya Antyukh Russia50.54Q
25DeeDee Trotter United States50.56Q
36Novlene Williams Jamaica50.59Q, PB
43Aliann Pompey Guyana51.33q
58Egle Uljas Estonia51.91q, NR
62Svetlana Bodritskaya Kazakhstan53.35
74Shifana Ali Maldives1:00.92NR

Heat 5

18Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas51.20Q
25Sviatlana Usovich Belarus51.37Q
33Antonina Yefremova Ukraine51.53Q
42Mireille Nguimgo Cameroon51.90q
54Allison Beckford Jamaica52.85
67Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni Togo52.87
76Damayanthi Dharsha Sri Lanka54.58

Heat 6

12Sanya Richards United States50.11Q
23Christine Amertil Bahamas50.23Q, PB
37Christine Ohuruogu Great Britain50.50Q, PB
48Tiandra Ponteen Saint Kitts and Nevis51.17q
54Geisa Coutinho Brazil52.18
65Makelesi Bulikiobo Fiji53.58
76Salamtou Hassane Niger1:03.28NR


Qualification rule: The first two finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next two fastest overall runners (q) moved on to the final.[5]

Semifinal 1

14Ana Guevara Mexico50.15Q
23Christine Amertil Bahamas50.17Q, PB
35Sanya Richards United States50.54q
41Christine Ohuruogu Great Britain51.00
52Tiandra Ponteen Saint Kitts and Nevis51.33
66Sviatlana Usovich Belarus51.42
77Hazel-Ann Regis Grenada51.47
88Egle Uljas Estonia53.13

Semifinal 2

14Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas50.00Q
25DeeDee Trotter United States50.14Q, PB
33Natalya Nazarova Russia50.63q
41Fatou Bintou Fall Senegal51.21
58Kaltouma Nadjina Chad51.57
62Estie Wittstock South Africa51.77
76Donna Fraser Great Britain51.94
87Grażyna Prokopek Poland51.96

Semifinal 3

15Monique Hennagan United States49.88Q
24Natalya Antyukh Russia50.04Q
31Novlene Williams Jamaica50.85
46Mariyana Dimitrova Bulgaria51.20PB
57Aliann Pompey Guyana51.61
62Antonina Yefremova Ukraine51.90
78Mireille Nguimgo Cameroon52.21
83Lee McConnell Great Britain52.63



4Tonique Williams-Darling Bahamas49.42
3Ana Guevara Mexico49.56SB
6Natalya Antyukh Russia49.89
45Monique Hennagan United States49.97
51DeeDee Trotter United States50.00PB
62Sanya Richards United States50.19
78Christine Amertil Bahamas50.37
87Natalya Nazarova Russia50.65


  1. "Athletics at the 2004 Athens Summer Games: Women's 400 metres". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  2. "Tonique Williams-Darling Wins Gold Medal". The Bahamas Post. 24 August 2004. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  3. "Williams claims 400m gold". BBC Sport. 24 August 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 400m Heats". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  5. "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 400m Semifinals". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  6. "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 400m Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
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