Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics

Dates 15 – 24 August 2008
Medal Events 47

As always at the Olympics, the track & field athletics competition was featured during the second week of the competition. It got off with a bang. On the second day of athletics, Usain Bolt (JAM) won the men’s 100 metres in a shocking world record of 9.69, despite showboating over the last 20 metres of the race, his victory assured. Bolt was the star in the National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, winning the 100, 200, and helping Jamaica to the 4x100 relay victory, all in world record times. The other stars on the track were Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele who defended his 10K gold medal and doubled in the 5 and 10K; and his countrywoman, Tirunesh Dibaba, who also doubled in the distaff 5/10K. The field events featured one world record, set in the women’s pole vault by Yelena Isinbayeva, her 12th consecutive world mark in the event. A leading story of the competition was the remarkable performances of the Jamaican sprinters. On the female side they swept the medals in the 100 metres, won gold and bronze in the 200, and a silver medal in the 400. The United States, usually the dominant nation in track & field, had a disappointing Olympics. They led the medal tables with seven gold and 23 medals, but on the men’s side won only four gold medals. Several of their favorites were upset, and in the field events, save for the shot put, only one American man made the finals, and they won no medals. One new event was added to the program for women, the steeplechase.

In 2015 the IOC began re-testing samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, using newer, more advanced testing techniques, in an effort to find those who had used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), but in whom it could not be detected at the time of those Olympics. The 2008 athletics events were markedly affected, causing many of the results to be changed. In all, there were 40 PED disqualifications from the 2008 athletics events, with 4 gold medalists and 21 medalists losing their medals.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 15 – 16 August 2008 80 64
200 metres, Men Olympic 18 – 20 August 2008 63 53
400 metres, Men Olympic 18 – 21 August 2008 55 40
800 metres, Men Olympic 20 – 23 August 2008 58 40
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 15 – 19 August 2008 48 30
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 20 – 23 August 2008 39 24
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 17 August 2008 38 20
Marathon, Men Olympic 24 August 2008 95 56
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 18 – 21 August 2008 42 32
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 15 – 18 August 2008 26 19
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 16 – 18 August 2008 39 26
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 21 – 22 August 2008 66 16
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 22 – 23 August 2008 70 16
20 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 16 August 2008 51 30
50 kilometres Walk, Men Olympic 22 August 2008 59 32
High Jump, Men Olympic 17 – 19 August 2008 40 28
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 20 – 22 August 2008 38 25
Long Jump, Men Olympic 16 – 18 August 2008 38 32
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 18 – 21 August 2008 39 26
Shot Put, Men Olympic 15 August 2008 44 34
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 16 – 19 August 2008 37 29
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 15 – 17 August 2008 33 26
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 21 – 23 August 2008 38 29
Decathlon, Men Olympic 21 – 22 August 2008 40 28
100 metres, Women Olympic 16 – 17 August 2008 85 69
200 metres, Women Olympic 19 – 21 August 2008 46 36
400 metres, Women Olympic 16 – 19 August 2008 50 40
800 metres, Women Olympic 15 – 18 August 2008 42 33
1,500 metres, Women Olympic 21 – 23 August 2008 33 18
5,000 metres, Women Olympic 19 – 22 August 2008 31 19
10,000 metres, Women Olympic 15 August 2008 31 17
Marathon, Women Olympic 17 August 2008 81 45
100 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 17 – 19 August 2008 40 31
400 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 17 – 20 August 2008 27 21
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Women Olympic 15 – 17 August 2008 51 30
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 21 – 22 August 2008 68 16
4 x 400 metres Relay, Women Olympic 22 – 23 August 2008 69 16
20 kilometres Walk, Women Olympic 21 August 2008 48 30
High Jump, Women Olympic 21 – 23 August 2008 32 24
Pole Vault, Women Olympic 16 – 18 August 2008 36 24
Long Jump, Women Olympic 19 – 22 August 2008 42 33
Triple Jump, Women Olympic 15 – 17 August 2008 36 26
Shot Put, Women Olympic 16 August 2008 35 22
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 15 – 18 August 2008 38 24
Hammer Throw, Women Olympic 18 – 20 August 2008 50 30
Javelin Throw, Women Olympic 19 – 21 August 2008 54 40
Heptathlon, Women Olympic 15 – 16 August 2008 43 28
2056 (1082/974) 200 (195/181)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Usain BoltJAM Richard ThompsonTTO Walter DixUSA
200 metres, Men Usain BoltJAM Shawn CrawfordUSA Walter DixUSA
400 metres, Men LaShawn MerrittUSA Jeremy WarinerUSA David NevilleUSA
800 metres, Men Wilfred BungeiKEN Ismail Ahmed IsmailSUD Alfred Kirwa YegoKEN
1,500 metres, Men Asbel KipropKEN Nick WillisNZL Mehdi BaalaFRA
5,000 metres, Men Kenenisa BekeleETH Eliud KipchogeKEN Edwin SoiKEN
10,000 metres, Men Kenenisa BekeleETH Sileshi SihineETH Micah KogoKEN
Marathon, Men Sammy WanjiruKEN Jaouad GharibMAR Tsegaye KebedeETH
110 metres Hurdles, Men Dayron RoblesCUB David PayneUSA David OliverUSA
400 metres Hurdles, Men Angelo TaylorUSA Kerron ClementUSA Bershawn JacksonUSA
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Brimin KiprutoKEN Mahiedine Mekhissi-BenabbadFRA Richard MateelongKEN
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men Trinidad and TobagoTTO JapanJPN BrazilBRA
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA The BahamasBAH Great BritainGBR
20 kilometres Walk, Men Valeriy BorchinRUS Jefferson PérezECU Jared TallentAUS
50 kilometres Walk, Men Alex SchwazerITA Jared TallentAUS Denis NizhegorodovRUS
High Jump, Men Andrey SilnovRUS Germaine MasonGBR Yaroslav RybakovRUS
Pole Vault, Men Steve HookerAUS Yevgeny LukyanenkoRUS Derek MilesUSA
Long Jump, Men Irving SaladinoPAN Godfrey Khotso MokoenaRSA Ibrahim CamejoCUB
Triple Jump, Men Nelson ÉvoraPOR Phillips IdowuGBR Leevan SandsBAH
Shot Put, Men Tomasz MajewskiPOL Christian CantwellUSA Dylan ArmstrongCAN
Discus Throw, Men Gerd KanterEST Piotr MałachowskiPOL Virgilijus AleknaLTU
Hammer Throw, Men Primož KozmusSLO Vadzim DzeviatouskiBLR Ivan TsikanBLR
Javelin Throw, Men Andreas ThorkildsenNOR Ainārs KovalsLAT Tero PitkämäkiFIN
Decathlon, Men Bryan ClayUSA Andrei KrauchankaBLR Leonel SuárezCUB
100 metres, Women Shelly-Ann FraserJAM Sherone Simpson
Kerron Stewart
JAM
JAM
200 metres, Women Veronica Campbell-BrownJAM Allyson FelixUSA Kerron StewartJAM
400 metres, Women Christine OhuruoguGBR Shericka WilliamsJAM Sanya Richards-RossUSA
800 metres, Women Pamela JelimoKEN Janeth JepkosgeiKEN Hasna BenhassiMAR
1,500 metres, Women Nancy LangatKEN Iryna LishchynskaUKR Nataliya TobiasUKR
5,000 metres, Women Tirunesh DibabaETH Meseret DefarETH Sylvia KibetKEN
10,000 metres, Women Tirunesh DibabaETH Shalane FlanaganUSA Linet MasaiKEN
Marathon, Women Constantina TomescuROU Catherine NderebaKEN Zhou ChunxiuCHN
100 metres Hurdles, Women Dawn HarperUSA Sally McLellanAUS Priscilla Lopes-SchliepCAN
400 metres Hurdles, Women Melaine WalkerJAM Sheena TostaUSA Tasha DanversGBR
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Women Gulnara GalkinaRUS Eunice JepkorirKEN Tatyana PetrovaRUS
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women BelgiumBEL NigeriaNGR BrazilBRA
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women United StatesUSA JamaicaJAM
20 kilometres Walk, Women Olga KaniskinaRUS Kjersti Tysse-PlätzerNOR Elisa RigaudoITA
High Jump, Women Tia HellebautBEL Blanka VlašićCRO Chaunté HowardUSA
Pole Vault, Women Yelena IsinbayevaRUS Jenn StuczynskiUSA Svetlana FeofanovaRUS
Long Jump, Women Maurren MaggiBRA Blessing OkagbareNGR
Triple Jump, Women Françoise MbangoCMR Olga RypakovaKAZ Yargelis SavigneCUB
Shot Put, Women Valerie ViliNZL Misleydis GonzálezCUB Gong LijiaoCHN
Discus Throw, Women Stephanie Brown-TraftonUSA Olena AntonovaUKR Song AiminCHN
Hammer Throw, Women Yipsi MorenoCUB Zhang WenxiuCHN Manuèla MontebrunFRA
Javelin Throw, Women Barbora ŠpotákováCZE Christina ObergföllGER Goldie SayersGBR
Heptathlon, Women Nataliya DobrynskaUKR Hyleas FountainUSA Kelly SothertonGBR

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 7 10 8 25
Kenya KEN 6 4 6 16
Jamaica JAM 5 4 1 10
Russian Federation RUS 5 1 4 10
Ethiopia ETH 4 2 1 7
Cuba CUB 2 1 3 6
Belgium BEL 2 0 0 2
Great Britain GBR 1 2 4 7
Australia AUS 1 2 1 4
Ukraine UKR 1 2 1 4
New Zealand NZL 1 1 0 2
Norway NOR 1 1 0 2
Poland POL 1 1 0 2
Trinidad and Tobago TTO 1 1 0 2
Brazil BRA 1 0 2 3
Italy ITA 1 0 1 2
Cameroon CMR 1 0 0 1
Czech Republic CZE 1 0 0 1
Estonia EST 1 0 0 1
Panama PAN 1 0 0 1
Portugal POR 1 0 0 1
Romania ROU 1 0 0 1
Slovenia SLO 1 0 0 1
Belarus BLR 0 2 1 3
People's Republic of China CHN 0 1 3 4
France FRA 0 1 2 3
Morocco MAR 0 1 1 2
Nigeria NGR 0 1 1 2
The Bahamas BAH 0 1 1 2
Croatia CRO 0 1 0 1
Ecuador ECU 0 1 0 1
Germany GER 0 1 0 1
Japan JPN 0 1 0 1
Kazakhstan KAZ 0 1 0 1
Latvia LAT 0 1 0 1
South Africa RSA 0 1 0 1
Sudan SUD 0 1 0 1
Canada CAN 0 0 2 2
Finland FIN 0 0 1 1
Lithuania LTU 0 0 1 1