Athletics at the 1988 Summer Olympics

Dates 23 September – 2 October 1988
Medal Events 42
Non-medal Events 2

After three straight Olympic track & field competitions affected by boycotts, Seoul presented virtually full fields for the 1988 Olympics, with only Cuba boycotting among top athletics nations. The biggest headline of the athletics, unfortunately, related to the doping disqualification of Canadian Ben Johnson in the 100 metres. This allowed Carl Lewis to defend his 100 title, and he also defended in the long jump. But the big star in Seoul was Florence Griffith Joyner, who dominated the 100 and 200, winning the latter in a stunning world record of 21.34, and also led the US team to victory in the 4x100. Finally, Griffith Joyner ran the US anchor leg on the 4x400 relay. Certainly the best single race of the Olympics, and one of the greatest ever, the Soviet Union held off the United States in world record time of 3:15.17. The anchor was contested by Griffith Joyner and 400 metre champion Olga Bryzgina. With the USSR leading by about two strides at the start of the anchor, Bryzgina held off Flo-Jo, who pulled to her shoulder on the final turn but could never get past her in the homestretch.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 23 – 24 September 1988 102 69
200 metres, Men Olympic 26 – 28 September 1988 72 59
400 metres, Men Olympic 24 – 28 September 1988 75 55
800 metres, Men Olympic 23 – 26 September 1988 70 53
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 29 September – 1 October 1988 59 46
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 28 September – 1 October 1988 56 39
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 23 – 26 September 1988 52 35
Marathon, Men Olympic 2 October 1988 118 66
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 25 – 26 September 1988 41 31
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 23 – 25 September 1988 37 28
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 26 – 30 September 1988 32 24
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 30 September – 1 October 1988 127 30
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 30 September – 1 October 1988 99 22
20 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 23 September 1988 53 28
50 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 30 September 1988 42 22
High Jump, Men Olympic 24 – 25 September 1988 27 18
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 26 – 28 September 1988 21 13
Long Jump, Men Olympic 25 – 26 September 1988 41 31
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 23 – 24 September 1988 43 31
Shot Put, Men Olympic 23 September 1988 21 17
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 30 September – 1 October 1988 29 20
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 25 – 26 September 1988 30 16
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 24 – 25 September 1988 38 22
Decathlon, Men Olympic 28 – 29 September 1988 39 26
100 metres, Women Olympic 24 – 25 September 1988 64 42
200 metres, Women Olympic 28 – 29 September 1988 59 42
400 metres, Women Olympic 23 – 26 September 1988 46 33
800 metres, Women Olympic 24 – 26 September 1988 29 20
1,500 metres, Women Olympic 29 September – 1 October 1988 28 19
3,000 metres, Women Olympic 23 – 25 September 1988 35 24
10,000 metres, Women Olympic 26 – 30 September 1988 34 20
Marathon, Women Olympic 23 September 1988 70 39
100 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 28 – 30 September 1988 36 24
400 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 25 – 28 September 1988 35 25
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 30 September – 1 October 1988 81 19
4 x 400 metres Relay, Women Olympic 30 September – 1 October 1988 61 13
High Jump, Women Olympic 29 – 30 September 1988 24 15
Long Jump, Women Olympic 28 – 29 September 1988 30 20
Shot Put, Women Olympic 30 September – 1 October 1988 25 14
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 28 – 29 September 1988 22 13
Javelin Throw, Women Olympic 25 – 26 September 1988 29 18
Heptathlon, Women Olympic 23 – 24 September 1988 30 19
1618 (1063/555) 148 (139/98)

Non-medal events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
1,500 metres Wheelchair, Men Olympic (non-medal) 30 September 1988 8 6
800 metres Wheelchair, Women Olympic (non-medal) 30 September 1988 8 5
16 (8/8) 9 (6/5)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Carl LewisUSA Linford ChristieGBR Calvin SmithUSA
200 metres, Men Joe DeLoachUSA Carl LewisUSA Róbson Caetano da SilvaBRA
400 metres, Men Steve LewisUSA Butch ReynoldsUSA Danny EverettUSA
800 metres, Men Paul ErengKEN Joaquim CruzBRA Saïd AouitaMAR
1,500 metres, Men Peter RonoKEN Peter ElliottGBR Jens-Peter HeroldGDR
5,000 metres, Men John NgugiKEN Dieter BaumannFRG Hansjörg KunzeGDR
10,000 metres, Men Brahim BoutayebMAR Salvatore AntiboITA Kipkemboi KimeliKEN
Marathon, Men Gelindo BordinITA Douglas WakiihuriKEN Ahmed SalahDJI
110 metres Hurdles, Men Roger KingdomUSA Colin JacksonGBR Tonie CampbellUSA
400 metres Hurdles, Men André PhillipsUSA Amadou Dia BâSEN Edwin MosesUSA
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Julius KariukiKEN Peter KoechKEN Mark RowlandGBR
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men Soviet UnionURS Great BritainGBR FranceFRA
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA JamaicaJAM West GermanyFRG
20 kilometres Walk, Men Jozef PribilinecTCH Ronald WeigelGDR Maurizio DamilanoITA
50 kilometres Walk, Men Vyacheslav IvanenkoURS Ronald WeigelGDR Hartwig GauderGDR
High Jump, Men Gennady AvdeyenkoURS Hollis ConwayUSA Patrik Sjöberg
Rudolf Povarnitsyn
SWE
URS
Pole Vault, Men Sergey BubkaURS Rodion GataullinURS Grigory YegorovURS
Long Jump, Men Carl LewisUSA Mike PowellUSA Larry MyricksUSA
Triple Jump, Men Khristo MarkovBUL Igor LapshinURS Aleksandr KovalenkoURS
Shot Put, Men Ulf TimmermannGDR Randy BarnesUSA Werner GünthörSUI
Discus Throw, Men Jürgen SchultGDR Romas UbartasURS Rolf DannebergFRG
Hammer Throw, Men Sergey LitvinovURS Yury SedykhURS Jüri TammURS
Javelin Throw, Men Tapio KorjusFIN Jan ŽeleznýTCH Seppo RätyFIN
Decathlon, Men Christian SchenkGDR Torsten VossGDR Dave SteenCAN
100 metres, Women Florence Griffith JoynerUSA Evelyn AshfordUSA Heike DrechslerGDR
200 metres, Women Florence Griffith JoynerUSA Grace JacksonJAM Heike DrechslerGDR
400 metres, Women Olga BryzginaURS Petra MüllerGDR Olga NazarovaURS
800 metres, Women Sigrun WodarsGDR Christine WachtelGDR Kim GallagherUSA
1,500 metres, Women Paula IvanROU Laimutė BaikauskaitėURS Tetiana SamolenkoURS
3,000 metres, Women Tetiana SamolenkoURS Paula IvanROU Yvonne MurrayGBR
10,000 metres, Women Olga BondarenkoURS Liz McColganGBR Yelena ZhupiyevaURS
Marathon, Women Rosa MotaPOR Lisa MartinAUS Katrin DörreGDR
100 metres Hurdles, Women Yordanka DonkovaBUL Gloria SiebertGDR Claudia ZaczkiewiczFRG
400 metres Hurdles, Women Debbie Flintoff-KingAUS Tatsiana LedauskayaURS Ellen FiedlerGDR
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women United StatesUSA East GermanyGDR Soviet UnionURS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women Soviet UnionURS United StatesUSA East GermanyGDR
High Jump, Women Louise RitterUSA Stefka KostadinovaBUL Tamara BykovaURS
Long Jump, Women Jackie Joyner-KerseeUSA Heike DrechslerGDR Halyna ChystiakovaURS
Shot Put, Women Nataliya LisovskayaURS Kathrin NeimkeGDR Li MeisuCHN
Discus Throw, Women Martina HellmannGDR Diana GanskyGDR Tsvetanka KhristovaBUL
Javelin Throw, Women Petra FelkeGDR Fatima WhitbreadGBR Beate KochGDR
Heptathlon, Women Jackie Joyner-KerseeUSA Sabine JohnGDR Anke BehmerGDR

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 13 7 6 26
Soviet Union URS 10 6 10 26
East Germany GDR 6 11 10 27
Kenya KEN 4 2 1 7
Bulgaria BUL 2 1 1 4
Italy ITA 1 1 1 3
Australia AUS 1 1 0 2
Czechoslovakia TCH 1 1 0 2
Romania ROU 1 1 0 2
Finland FIN 1 0 1 2
Morocco MAR 1 0 1 2
Portugal POR 1 0 0 1
Great Britain GBR 0 6 2 8
Jamaica JAM 0 2 0 2
West Germany FRG 0 1 3 4
Brazil BRA 0 1 1 2
Senegal SEN 0 1 0 1
Canada CAN 0 0 1 1
Djibouti DJI 0 0 1 1
France FRA 0 0 1 1
People's Republic of China CHN 0 0 1 1
Sweden SWE 0 0 1 1
Switzerland SUI 0 0 1 1