At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the Australian Men’s 4x400m Relay Team – dubbed the ‘Silver Bullets’ – not only surprised the nation, but also the world and quite possibly themselves as they not only made the final, but then beat every team, apart from the dominant Team USA, who were represented by all three individual medallists. It’s a feat made even more dramatic, given the team’s number 11 world ranking heading into the Heats.
In a true nod to them being a ‘champion team’ each Australian – John Steffensen, Mark Ormrod and Pat Dwyer ran superbly to give Clinton Hill a platform to launch from his anchor leg from. He took the baton fifth place and ran down three other runners with a blistering split of 44.61.
This medal was Australia’s first Olympic men’s relay medal since Kevan Gosper, Graham Gipson, David lean and Leon Gregory won silver in the same event in Melbourne in 1956 and the first men’s track medal since Rick Mitchell’s silver in the 400m in Moscow in 1980.
Athens Olympic Games
John Steffensen, Mark Ormrod, Pat Dwyer, Clinton Hill