Athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympics

Dates 26 July – 4 August 1996
Medal Events 44
Non-medal Events 2

The 1996 Olympics returned to the United States after 12 years, to the southern city of Atlanta. The Europeans were concerned about the heat of the American heat for the athletes, but Atlanta had a strangely cool summer. These were the final Olympics for American Carl Lewis, possibly the greatest ever track & field athlete. He had made the ill-fated US team in 1980, and competed since 1984, winning four gold medals in 1984. Now somewhat past his prime, he was still considered a threat in the long jump, although Mike Powell, who had defeated Lewis in their epic battle at the 1991 World Championships, was favored. But in Atlanta Powell was injured and finished only fifth. Lewis hit the winning mark on his third jump (8.50/27-10¾) to win his fourth consecutive gold medal, matching the feat of Al Oerter in the discus. He also controversially lobbied to be placed on the 4x100 relay team but this was denied, and the Americans did not win that event, losing to Canada, led by 100 metre gold medalist Donovan Bailey.

The big hero of the Atlanta track was another American, Michael Johnson. Johnson became the first ever to win the 200/400 double, setting a remarkable world record of 19.32 in the 200 in the process. He was supposed to run the 4x400 as well, but tweaked his hamstring in the 200 final and did not run. The Americans still won the 1600 relay. Among the women, France’s Marie-José Pérec duplicated Johnson’s feat by winning the 200/400. Russian Svetlana Masterkova was another doubler, winning the 800 and 1,500.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 26 – 27 July 1996 106 75
200 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1996 78 57
400 metres, Men Olympic 26 – 29 July 1996 62 42
800 metres, Men Olympic 28 – 31 July 1996 56 40
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 29 July – 3 August 1996 57 37
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 3 August 1996 37 22
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 26 – 29 July 1996 46 29
Marathon, Men Olympic 4 August 1996 124 79
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 28 – 29 July 1996 62 39
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 29 July – 1 August 1996 55 35
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 29 July – 2 August 1996 35 22
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 2 – 3 August 1996 154 37
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 2 – 3 August 1996 151 35
20 kilometres Race Walk, Men Olympic 26 July 1996 60 33
50 kilometres Race Walk, Men Olympic 2 August 1996 51 27
High Jump, Men Olympic 26 – 28 July 1996 37 27
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 31 July – 2 August 1996 37 24
Long Jump, Men Olympic 28 – 29 July 1996 52 40
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 26 – 27 July 1996 43 32
Shot Put, Men Olympic 26 July 1996 36 24
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 29 – 31 July 1996 40 30
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 27 – 28 July 1996 37 22
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 2 – 3 August 1996 34 21
Decathlon, Men Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1996 40 24
100 metres, Women Olympic 26 – 27 July 1996 56 38
200 metres, Women Olympic 31 July – 1 August 1996 47 34
400 metres, Women Olympic 26 – 29 July 1996 49 35
800 metres, Women Olympic 26 – 29 July 1996 36 30
1,500 metres, Women Olympic 31 July – 3 August 1996 32 21
5,000 metres, Women Olympic 26 – 28 July 1996 46 25
10,000 metres, Women Olympic 27 July – 2 August 1996 35 19
Marathon, Women Olympic 28 July 1996 88 53
100 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 29 – 31 July 1996 44 28
400 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 28 – 31 July 1996 30 21
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 2 – 3 August 1996 93 22
4 x 400 metres Relay, Women Olympic 2 – 3 August 1996 59 14
10 kilometres Race Walk, Women Olympic 29 July 1996 44 26
High Jump, Women Olympic 1 – 3 August 1996 32 24
Long Jump, Women Olympic 1 – 2 August 1996 48 35
Triple Jump, Women Olympic 29 – 31 July 1996 32 23
Shot Put, Women Olympic 31 July – 2 August 1996 25 16
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 28 – 29 July 1996 39 24
Javelin Throw, Women Olympic 26 – 27 July 1996 32 23
Heptathlon, Women Olympic 27 – 28 July 1996 29 21
2057 (1302/755) 190 (180/142)

Non-medal events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
1,500 metres Wheelchair, Men Olympic (non-medal) 1 August 1996 8 4
800 metres Wheelchair, Women Olympic (non-medal) 1 August 1996 8 6
16 (8/8) 9 (5/6)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Donovan BaileyCAN Frankie FredericksNAM Ato BoldonTTO
200 metres, Men Michael JohnsonUSA Frankie FredericksNAM Ato BoldonTTO
400 metres, Men Michael JohnsonUSA Roger BlackGBR Davis KamogaUGA
800 metres, Men Vebjørn RodalNOR Hezekiél SepengRSA Fred OnyanchaKEN
1,500 metres, Men Noureddine MorceliALG Fermín CachoESP Stephen KipkorirKEN
5,000 metres, Men Vénuste NiyongaboBDI Paul BitokKEN Khalid BoulamiMAR
10,000 metres, Men Haile GebrselassieETH Paul TergatKEN Salah HissouMAR
Marathon, Men Josia ThugwaneRSA Lee Bong-JuKOR Eric WainainaKEN
110 metres Hurdles, Men Allen JohnsonUSA Mark CrearUSA Florian SchwarthoffGER
400 metres Hurdles, Men Derrick AdkinsUSA Samuel MateteZAM Calvin DavisUSA
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Joseph KeterKEN Moses KiptanuiKEN Alessandro LambruschiniITA
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men CanadaCAN United StatesUSA BrazilBRA
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR JamaicaJAM
20 kilometres Race Walk, Men Jefferson PérezECU Ilya MarkovRUS Bernardo SeguraMEX
50 kilometres Race Walk, Men Robert KorzeniowskiPOL Mikhail ShchennikovRUS Valentí MassanaESP
High Jump, Men Charles AustinUSA Artur PartykaPOL Steve SmithGBR
Pole Vault, Men Jean GalfioneFRA Igor TrandenkovRUS Andrej TiwontschikGER
Long Jump, Men Carl LewisUSA James BeckfordJAM Joe GreeneUSA
Triple Jump, Men Kenny HarrisonUSA Jonathan EdwardsGBR Yoelbi QuesadaCUB
Shot Put, Men Randy BarnesUSA John GodinaUSA Oleksandr BahachUKR
Discus Throw, Men Lars RiedelGER Uladzimir DubroushchykBLR Vasil KapiukhBLR
Hammer Throw, Men Balázs KissHUN Lance DealUSA Oleksandr KrykunUKR
Javelin Throw, Men Jan ŽeleznýCZE Steve BackleyGBR Seppo RätyFIN
Decathlon, Men Dan O'BrienUSA Frank BusemannGER Tomáš DvořákCZE
100 metres, Women Gail DeversUSA Merlene OtteyJAM Gwen TorrenceUSA
200 metres, Women Marie-José PérecFRA Merlene OtteyJAM Mary OnyaliNGR
400 metres, Women Marie-José PérecFRA Cathy FreemanAUS Falilat OgunkoyaNGR
800 metres, Women Svetlana MasterkovaRUS Ana Fidelia QuirósCUB Maria MutolaMOZ
1,500 metres, Women Svetlana MasterkovaRUS Gabriela SzaboROU Theresia KieslAUT
5,000 metres, Women Wang JunxiaCHN Pauline KongaKEN Roberta BrunetITA
10,000 metres, Women Fernanda RibeiroPOR Wang JunxiaCHN Gete WamiETH
Marathon, Women Fatuma RobaETH Valentina YegorovaRUS Yuko ArimoriJPN
100 metres Hurdles, Women Ludmila EngquistSWE Brigita BukovecSLO Patricia Girard-LénoFRA
400 metres Hurdles, Women Deon HemmingsJAM Kim BattenUSA Tonja BufordUSA
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women United StatesUSA The BahamasBAH JamaicaJAM
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women United StatesUSA NigeriaNGR GermanyGER
10 kilometres Race Walk, Women Yelena NikolayevaRUS Elisabetta PerroneITA Wang YanCHN
High Jump, Women Stefka KostadinovaBUL Niki BakogianniGRE Inha BabakovaUKR
Long Jump, Women Chioma AjunwaNGR Fiona MayITA Jackie Joyner-KerseeUSA
Triple Jump, Women Inesa KravetsUKR Inna LasovskayaRUS Šárka KašpárkováCZE
Shot Put, Women Astrid KumbernussGER Sui XinmeiCHN Irina KhudoroshkinaRUS
Discus Throw, Women Ilke WyluddaGER Nataliya SadovaRUS Elina ZveravaBLR
Javelin Throw, Women Heli RantanenFIN Louise McPaulAUS Trine HattestadNOR
Heptathlon, Women Ghada ShouaaSYR Natasha SazanovichBLR Denise LewisGBR

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 13 5 5 23
Russian Federation RUS 3 6 1 10
Germany GER 3 1 3 7
France FRA 3 0 1 4
Ethiopia ETH 2 0 1 3
Canada CAN 2 0 0 2
Kenya KEN 1 4 3 8
Jamaica JAM 1 3 2 6
People's Republic of China CHN 1 2 1 4
Nigeria NGR 1 1 2 4
Poland POL 1 1 0 2
South Africa RSA 1 1 0 2
Ukraine UKR 1 0 3 4
Czech Republic CZE 1 0 2 3
Finland FIN 1 0 1 2
Norway NOR 1 0 1 2
Algeria ALG 1 0 0 1
Bulgaria BUL 1 0 0 1
Burundi BDI 1 0 0 1
Ecuador ECU 1 0 0 1
Hungary HUN 1 0 0 1
Portugal POR 1 0 0 1
Sweden SWE 1 0 0 1
Syrian Arab Republic SYR 1 0 0 1
Great Britain GBR 0 4 2 6
Belarus BLR 0 2 2 4
Italy ITA 0 2 2 4
Australia AUS 0 2 0 2
Namibia NAM 0 2 0 2
Cuba CUB 0 1 1 2
Spain ESP 0 1 1 2
Greece GRE 0 1 0 1
Republic of Korea KOR 0 1 0 1
Romania ROU 0 1 0 1
Slovenia SLO 0 1 0 1
The Bahamas BAH 0 1 0 1
Zambia ZAM 0 1 0 1
Morocco MAR 0 0 2 2
Trinidad and Tobago TTO 0 0 2 2
Austria AUT 0 0 1 1
Brazil BRA 0 0 1 1
Japan JPN 0 0 1 1
Mexico MEX 0 0 1 1
Mozambique MOZ 0 0 1 1
Uganda UGA 0 0 1 1