Athletics at the 1992 Summer Olympics

Dates 31 July – 9 August 1992
Medal Events 43
Non-medal Events 2

The Barcelona Olympic track & field was held in Estadi Olímpic high above the city, on Montjuïc. The competitions were marked by upsets with several favorites failing to come thru. Sergey Bubka was a heavy favorite in the pole vault but he no-heighted and had no placement. Algeria’s Noureddine Morceli was favored in the 1,500 but he ran poorly in the final and placed seventh, with Spanish favorite Fermín Cacho winning gold. Americans Danny Everett (400) and Michael Johnson (200) failed to even make the finals in their events. One favorite who did win was Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won the heptathlon easily, defending her title from Seoul. JJK also competed in the long jump, winning a bronze medal.

There were two very poignant and meaningful moments on the track. In the men’s 400 metres, Briton Derek Redmond started in the semi-finals, after winning his heat and quarter. But he pulled up on the backstretch and fell with a hamstring injury. He got up and started hobbling, trying to at least finish his Olympic appearance. Suddenly his father appeared from the stands, getting past security, and ran to his side. Redmond, in obvious pain, was supported by his father, placing his arm around his shoulder. He hobbled into the finish line. His father later commented that they had started this together and they would finish it together.

In the women’s 10,000 metres, the gold medal was won by Ethiopian Derartu Tulu. It was the first distance running gold for an African woman, after decades of dominance by the men. But on the 10th lap, Tulu and South African Elana Meyer broke open the race and ran together for the last 15 laps, winning gold and silver. South Africa had been banned from the Olympics since 1964 and only returned in Barcelona. The ban had been because South Africa had not allowed their blacks equal opportunity in sports. The irony could not be missed that a black African ran alongside a white South African on their return to the Olympic Stadium. At the end of the race, Tulu and Meyer embraced.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1992 81 66
200 metres, Men Olympic 3 – 6 August 1992 79 65
400 metres, Men Olympic 1 – 5 August 1992 68 52
800 metres, Men Olympic 1 – 5 August 1992 59 49
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 3 – 8 August 1992 51 40
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 6 – 8 August 1992 56 41
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 3 August 1992 56 38
Marathon, Men Olympic 9 August 1992 110 72
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 2 – 3 August 1992 39 27
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 3 – 6 August 1992 47 35
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 3 – 7 August 1992 32 23
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 7 – 8 August 1992 104 25
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 7 – 8 August 1992 102 24
20 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 31 July 1992 42 23
50 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 7 August 1992 42 20
High Jump, Men Olympic 31 July – 2 August 1992 43 27
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 5 – 7 August 1992 34 25
Long Jump, Men Olympic 5 – 6 August 1992 50 37
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 1 – 3 August 1992 47 32
Shot Put, Men Olympic 31 July 1992 26 18
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 3 – 5 August 1992 32 24
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 1 – 2 August 1992 27 19
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 7 – 8 August 1992 32 21
Decathlon, Men Olympic 5 – 6 August 1992 36 24
100 metres, Women Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1992 54 41
200 metres, Women Olympic 3 – 6 August 1992 51 40
400 metres, Women Olympic 1 – 5 August 1992 41 29
800 metres, Women Olympic 31 July – 3 August 1992 36 26
1,500 metres, Women Olympic 5 – 8 August 1992 43 31
3,000 metres, Women Olympic 31 July – 2 August 1992 33 21
10,000 metres, Women Olympic 1 – 7 August 1992 48 28
Marathon, Women Olympic 1 August 1992 47 31
100 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 5 – 6 August 1992 37 23
400 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 2 – 5 August 1992 27 18
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 7 – 8 August 1992 57 14
4 x 400 metres Relay, Women Olympic 7 – 8 August 1992 62 14
10 kilometres Walk, Women Olympic 3 August 1992 44 21
High Jump, Women Olympic 6 – 8 August 1992 41 26
Long Jump, Women Olympic 6 – 7 August 1992 35 23
Shot Put, Women Olympic 5 – 7 August 1992 18 11
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 2 – 3 August 1992 28 16
Javelin Throw, Women Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1992 25 17
Heptathlon, Women Olympic 1 – 2 August 1992 32 22
1726 (1104/622) 156 (151/103)

Non-medal events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
1,500 metres Wheelchair, Men Olympic (non-medal) 2 August 1992 7 5
800 metres Wheelchair, Women Olympic (non-medal) 2 August 1992 8 6
15 (7/8) 10 (5/6)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Linford ChristieGBR Frankie FredericksNAM Dennis MitchellUSA
200 metres, Men Mike MarshUSA Frankie FredericksNAM Michael BatesUSA
400 metres, Men Quincy WattsUSA Steve LewisUSA Samson KiturKEN
800 metres, Men William TanuiKEN Nixon KiprotichKEN Johnny GrayUSA
1,500 metres, Men Fermín CachoESP Rachid El-BasirMAR Mohamed SuleimanQAT
5,000 metres, Men Dieter BaumannGER Paul BitokKEN Fita BayissaETH
10,000 metres, Men Khalid SkahMAR Richard ChelimoKEN Addis AbebeETH
Marathon, Men Hwang Yeong-JoKOR Koichi MorishitaJPN Stephan FreigangGER
110 metres Hurdles, Men Mark McKoyCAN Tony DeesUSA Jack PierceUSA
400 metres Hurdles, Men Kevin YoungUSA Winthrop GrahamJAM Kriss AkabusiGBR
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Matthew BirirKEN Patrick SangKEN William MutwolKEN
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA NigeriaNGR CubaCUB
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA CubaCUB Great BritainGBR
20 kilometres Walk, Men Daniel PlazaESP Guillaume LeBlancCAN Giovanni De BenedictisITA
50 kilometres Walk, Men Andrey PerlovEUN Carlos MercenarioMEX Ronald WeigelGER
High Jump, Men Javier SotomayorCUB Patrik SjöbergSWE Tim Forsyth
Artur Partyka
Hollis Conway
AUS
POL
USA
Pole Vault, Men Maksim TarasovEUN Igor TrandenkovEUN Javier GarcíaESP
Long Jump, Men Carl LewisUSA Mike PowellUSA Joe GreeneUSA
Triple Jump, Men Mike ConleyUSA Charlie SimpkinsUSA Frank RutherfordBAH
Shot Put, Men Mike StulceUSA Jim DoehringUSA Vyacheslav LykhoEUN
Discus Throw, Men Romas UbartasLTU Jürgen SchultGER Roberto MoyaCUB
Hammer Throw, Men Andrey AbduvaliyevEUN Ihar AstapkovichEUN Igor NikulinEUN
Javelin Throw, Men Jan ŽeleznýTCH Seppo RätyFIN Steve BackleyGBR
Decathlon, Men Robert ZmělíkTCH Antonio PeñalverESP Dave JohnsonUSA
100 metres, Women Gail DeversUSA Juliet CuthbertJAM Irina PrivalovaEUN
200 metres, Women Gwen TorrenceUSA Juliet CuthbertJAM Merlene OtteyJAM
400 metres, Women Marie-José PérecFRA Olga BryzginaEUN Ximena RestrepoCOL
800 metres, Women Ellen van LangenNED Liliya NurutdinovaEUN Ana Fidelia QuirotCUB
1,500 metres, Women Hassiba BoulmerkaALG Lyudmila RogachovaEUN Qu YunxiaCHN
3,000 metres, Women Yelena RomanovaEUN Tetiana DorovskikhEUN Angela ChalmersCAN
10,000 metres, Women Derartu TuluETH Elana MeyerRSA Lynn JenningsUSA
Marathon, Women Valentina YegorovaEUN Yuko ArimoriJPN Lorraine MollerNZL
100 metres Hurdles, Women Voula PatoulidouGRE LaVonna MartinUSA Yordanka DonkovaBUL
400 metres Hurdles, Women Sally GunnellGBR Sandra Farmer-PatrickUSA Janeene VickersUSA
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women United StatesUSA Unified TeamEUN NigeriaNGR
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women Unified TeamEUN United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR
10 kilometres Walk, Women Chen YuelingCHN Yelena NikolayevaEUN Li ChunxiuCHN
High Jump, Women Heike HenkelGER Galina AstafeiROU Ioamnet QuinteroCUB
Long Jump, Women Heike DrechslerGER Inesa KravetsEUN Jackie Joyner-KerseeUSA
Shot Put, Women Svetlana KrivelyovaEUN Huang ZhihongCHN Kathrin NeimkeGER
Discus Throw, Women Maritza MarténCUB Tsvetanka KhristovaBUL Daniela CostianAUS
Javelin Throw, Women Silke RenkGER Natallia ShykalenkaEUN Karen ForkelGER
Heptathlon, Women Jackie Joyner-KerseeUSA Irina BelovaEUN Sabine BraunGER

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 12 8 10 30
Unified Team EUN 7 11 3 21
Germany GER 4 1 5 10
Kenya KEN 2 4 2 8
Cuba CUB 2 1 4 7
Spain ESP 2 1 1 4
Great Britain GBR 2 0 4 6
Czechoslovakia TCH 2 0 0 2
People's Republic of China CHN 1 1 2 4
Canada CAN 1 1 1 3
Morocco MAR 1 1 0 2
Ethiopia ETH 1 0 2 3
Algeria ALG 1 0 0 1
France FRA 1 0 0 1
Greece GRE 1 0 0 1
Lithuania LTU 1 0 0 1
Netherlands NED 1 0 0 1
Republic of Korea KOR 1 0 0 1
Jamaica JAM 0 3 1 4
Japan JPN 0 2 0 2
Namibia NAM 0 2 0 2
Bulgaria BUL 0 1 1 2
Nigeria NGR 0 1 1 2
Finland FIN 0 1 0 1
Mexico MEX 0 1 0 1
Romania ROU 0 1 0 1
South Africa RSA 0 1 0 1
Sweden SWE 0 1 0 1
Australia AUS 0 0 2 2
Colombia COL 0 0 1 1
Italy ITA 0 0 1 1
New Zealand NZL 0 0 1 1
Poland POL 0 0 1 1
Qatar QAT 0 0 1 1
The Bahamas BAH 0 0 1 1