| Event type

100 metres, Men

Date6 – 10 April 1896
LocationPanathinaiko Stadio, Athina
Participants15 from 8 countries

The first event of the Modern Olympic Games was the first heat of the 100 metre dash, held on 6 April. Five runners toed the mark, with Frank Lane of the United States, and Princeton University, winning the first Modern Olympic “event”. Lane was trailed by Hungary’s Alajos Szokoly and Britain’s Charles Gmelin. In heat two, Tom Curtis (USA) defeated Greece’s Alexandros Khalkokondylis. Tom Burke of the United States won heat three quite easily, defeating Germany’s Fritz Hofmann. Thus began the Modern Olympic Games.

The field for the 100 metres, however, was missing many top sprinters. The world’s best in 1896 were Bernie Wefers of the United States and Charles Bradley of England. They had matched up in September 1895 at the London Athletic Club versus New York Athletic Club meet, with Wefers winning. Although Tom Burke was the U.S. champion at 400 metres, he had no real reputation in the short sprint. Conversely, the best Continental sprinter was probably Fritz Hofmann, who was present in Athens, and who in 1893 had scored a double victory (100 and 400 metres) at the Championship of the Continent in Berlin.

The finals of the 100 metres were held on 10 April, four days after the heats. Five runners came to the starting line: Tom Burke and Frank Lane of the United States, Fritz Hofmann (GER), Alajos Szokoly (HUN), and Greece’s Alexandros Khalkokondylis. The start was even but Burke and Hofmann pulled away at 50 metres. Burke outran Hofmann over the last 50 metres, winning by about two metres in 12.0 seconds.

1Tom BurkeUSA11.8 (1 h3)12 (1)Gold
2Fritz HofmannGER12.75 (2 h3)at 2 metres (2)Silver
=3Alajos SzokolyHUN12.75 (2 h1)at 4 metres (=3)Bronze
=3Frank LaneUSA12.2 (1 h1)at 4 metres (=3)Bronze
5Alexandros ChalkokondylisGRE12.75 (2 h2)at 4 metres (5)
1 h2 r1/2Tom CurtisUSA12.2 (1 h2)
3 h1 r1/2Charles GmelinGBRat 1 metre (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/213Launceston ElliotGBRat 1 metre (3 h2)
3 h3 r1/2Fritz TraunGERat 6 metres (3 h3)
4 h1 r1/2Adolphe GriselFRA– (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/2Eugen SchmidtDEN– (4 h2)
5 h2 r1/2George MarshallGBR– (5 h2)
AC h1 r1/2Kurt DoerryGER– (AC h1)
AC h3 r1/2Georgios GennimatasGRE– (AC h3)
AC h3 r1/2Henrik SjöbergSWE– (AC h3)
DNSLuis SubercaseauxCHI
DNSLeonidasz MannoHUN
DNSJean TournoisFRA
DNSKonstantinos MouratisGRE
DNSIstván ZacharHUN
DNSRalph DerrUSA
DNSLouis AdlerFRA
DNSAlfred FlatowGER
DNSHarald ArbinSWE
DNSAlexandre TuffèriFRA
DNSNándor DániHUN
DNSCharles VanoniUSA

Round One (6 April 1896 — 15:30)

Top two in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One (15:30)

1Frank LaneUSA12.2QOR
2Alajos SzokolyHUN12.75Q
3Charles GmelinGBRat 1 metre
4Adolphe GriselFRA
ACKurt DoerryGER

Heat Two

1Tom CurtisUSA12.2Q=OR
2Alexandros ChalkokondylisGRE12.75Q
313Launceston ElliotGBRat 1 metre
4Eugen SchmidtDEN
5George MarshallGBR

Heat Three

1Tom BurkeUSA11.8Q
2Fritz HofmannGER12.75Q
3Fritz TraunGERat 6 metres
ACHenrik SjöbergSWE
ACGeorgios GennimatasGRE

Final (10 April 1896 — 14:30)

1Tom BurkeUSA12OR
2Fritz HofmannGERat 2 metres
=3Alajos SzokolyHUNat 4 metres
=3Frank LaneUSAat 4 metres
5Alexandros ChalkokondylisGREat 4 metres