Athletics at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Dates 30 July – 8 August 2021
Medal Events 48

Athletics mostly took place at the Japanese National Stadium, which had been built for the 1964 Olympic Games but had been significantly updated for the 2020 Olympics. Because of the summer heat in Tokyo, there was concern about athletes in the long-distance events and, even before the pandemic postponement, the marathons and the race walks had been moved to Sapporo on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which had hosted the 1972 Olympic Winter Games.

The program had little changes from recent Olympics, with only the addition of a mixed 4 x 400 metre relay. Men still had one more event than women, as the women did not contest the 50 km race walk, but that was to end after Tokyo, as the 50 km was planned to be dropped from the program, with an expected mixed race walk relay to be added.

As was now common, athletics was the highlight of the second week of the Tokyo Olympics. There were three individual world records set, with the first coming on the final attempt of the women’s triple jump, when Yulimar Rojas leapt 15.67 metres, surpassing the long-standing world record of Inesa Kravets, who had jumped 15.50 at the 1995 World Championships.

On Tuesday of the second week one of the most anticipated match-ups was in the men’s 400 metre hurdles, featuring Norwegian Karsten Warholm, the 2017 and 2019 World Champion who had recently bettered the world record. His big rival was expected to be American Rai Benjamin. Benjamin ran superbly, far under Warholm’s world record with a time of 46.17, but it was not enough as Warholm took the event to a new level with his gold medal winning mark of 45.94.

The next day, the women’s 400 hurdles also featured two stars, this time both from the USA. Dalilah Muhammad was the defending gold medalist and had won the 2019 World Championships, but Sydney McLaughlin had defeated her at the US Olympic Trials, running 51.90 to break Muhammad’s world record. As with the men, the event lived up to its billing, with Muhammad running under the world record with 51.58, only to finish second, as McLaughlin broke her own world record with a time of 51.46.

Other top performers were Canadian Damian Warner, who won the decathlon and became the fourth person to better 9,000 points. Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan attempted an unprecedented triple of winning the 1,500, 5,000, and 10,000 metres. She won the 5 and 10Ks, but had to settle for bronze in the 1,500, beaten by Kenyan Faith Kibiegon and Great Britain’s Laura Muir.

The sprints were the first since the 2000 Sydney Olympics without Usain Bolt. With no Bolt, the 100 fell to the surprise Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs, while Canadian Andre De Grasse, coming back from injuries, won the 200. On the women’s side, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah won both the 100 and 200 as she had done at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, leading a Jamaican sweep in the 100. With Jamaica also winning the 4x100 relay, Thompson-Herah came away with three gold medals in the sprint events, equaling the feats of Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED-1948), Betty Cuthbert (AUS-1956), Wilma Rudolph (USA-1960), and Florence Griffith Joyner (USA-1988).

As they usually do, the United States won the most medals and gold medals, but noticeably their men won only two gold medals, and no individual running events for the first time ever at the Olympics. On the men’s side, the big winner was Italy, which claimed four titles.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 1 August 2021 78 59
200 metres, Men Olympic 3 – 4 August 2021 48 33
400 metres, Men Olympic 1 – 5 August 2021 48 33
800 metres, Men Olympic 31 July – 4 August 2021 47 29
1,500 metres, Men Olympic 3 – 7 August 2021 47 27
5,000 metres, Men Olympic 3 – 6 August 2021 38 23
10,000 metres, Men Olympic 30 July 2021 25 15
Marathon, Men Olympic 8 August 2021 106 46
110 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 3 – 5 August 2021 40 28
400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 30 July – 3 August 2021 36 26
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 30 July – 2 August 2021 44 22
4 x 100 metres Relay, Men Olympic 5 – 6 August 2021 64 16
4 x 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic 6 – 7 August 2021 71 16
20 kilometer Walk, Men Olympic 6 August 2021 57 28
50 kilometer Walk, Men Olympic 6 August 2021 59 29
High Jump, Men Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 33 24
Pole Vault, Men Olympic 31 July – 3 August 2021 29 18
Long Jump, Men Olympic 31 July – 2 August 2021 31 20
Triple Jump, Men Olympic 3 – 5 August 2021 31 19
Shot Put, Men Olympic 3 – 5 August 2021 31 22
Discus Throw, Men Olympic 30 – 31 July 2021 32 24
Hammer Throw, Men Olympic 2 – 4 August 2021 31 21
Javelin Throw, Men Olympic 4 – 7 August 2021 32 22
Decathlon, Men Olympic 4 – 5 August 2021 23 15
100 metres, Women Olympic 30 – 31 July 2021 71 55
200 metres, Women Olympic 2 – 3 August 2021 41 31
400 metres, Women Olympic 3 – 6 August 2021 45 34
800 metres, Women Olympic 30 July – 3 August 2021 46 29
1,500 metres, Women Olympic 2 – 6 August 2021 45 25
5,000 metres, Women Olympic 30 July – 2 August 2021 38 21
10,000 metres, Women Olympic 7 August 2021 29 18
Marathon, Women Olympic 7 August 2021 88 44
100 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 31 July – 2 August 2021 40 28
400 metres Hurdles, Women Olympic 31 July – 4 August 2021 39 25
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Women Olympic 1 – 4 August 2021 41 24
4 x 100 metres Relay, Women Olympic 5 – 6 August 2021 68 16
4 x 400 metres Relay, Women Olympic 5 – 7 August 2021 73 16
20 kilometer Walk, Women Olympic 6 August 2021 58 30
High Jump, Women Olympic 5 – 7 August 2021 31 20
Pole Vault, Women Olympic 2 – 5 August 2021 31 19
Long Jump, Women Olympic 1 – 3 August 2021 30 23
Triple Jump, Women Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 33 23
Shot Put, Women Olympic 30 July – 1 August 2021 32 22
Discus Throw, Women Olympic 31 July – 2 August 2021 31 19
Hammer Throw, Women Olympic 1 – 3 August 2021 31 21
Javelin Throw, Women Olympic 3 – 6 August 2021 30 20
Heptathlon, Women Olympic 4 – 5 August 2021 24 17
4 x 400 metres Relay, Mixed Olympic 30 – 31 July 2021 76 15
1913 (1012/901) 197 (177/146)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres, Men Lamont Marcell JacobsITA Fred KerleyUSA Andre De GrasseCAN
200 metres, Men Andre De GrasseCAN Kenny BednarekUSA Noah LylesUSA
400 metres, Men Steven GardinerBAH Anthony ZambranoCOL Kirani JamesGRN
800 metres, Men Emmanuel KorirKEN Ferguson RotichKEN Patryk DobekPOL
1,500 metres, Men Jakob IngebrigtsenNOR Timothy CheruiyotKEN Josh KerrGBR
5,000 metres, Men Joshua CheptegeiUGA Mohammed AhmedCAN Paul ChelimoUSA
10,000 metres, Men Selemon BaregaETH Joshua CheptegeiUGA Jacob KiplimoUGA
Marathon, Men Eliud KipchogeKEN Abdi NageeyeNED Bashir AbdiBEL
110 metres Hurdles, Men Hansle ParchmentJAM Grant HollowayUSA Ronald LevyJAM
400 metres Hurdles, Men Karsten WarholmNOR Rai BenjaminUSA Alison dos SantosBRA
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Soufiane El-BakkaliMAR Lamecha GirmaETH Benjamin KigenKEN
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men ItalyITA Great BritainGBR CanadaCAN
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men United StatesUSA NetherlandsNED BotswanaBOT
20 kilometres Walk, Men Massimo StanoITA Koki IkedaJPN Toshikazu YamanishiJPN
50 kilometres Walk, Men Dawid TomalaPOL Jonathan HilbertGER Evan DunfeeCAN
High Jump, Men Gianmarco Tamberi
Mutaz Essa Barshim
ITA
QAT
Maksim NedasekauBLR
Pole Vault, Men Mondo DuplantisSWE Chris NilsenUSA Thiago BrazBRA
Long Jump, Men Miltiadis TentoglouGRE Juan Miguel EchevarríaCUB Maykel MassóCUB
Triple Jump, Men Pedro Pablo PichardoPOR Zhu YamingCHN Hugues ZangoBUR
Shot Put, Men Ryan CrouserUSA Joe KovacsUSA Tom WalshNZL
Discus Throw, Men Daniel StåhlSWE Simon PetterssonSWE Lukas WeißhaidingerAUT
Hammer Throw, Men Wojciech NowickiPOL Eivind HenriksenNOR Paweł FajdekPOL
Javelin Throw, Men Neeraj ChopraIND Jakub VadlejchCZE Vítězslav VeselýCZE
Decathlon, Men Damian WarnerCAN Kévin MayerFRA Ashley MoloneyAUS
100 metres, Women Elaine Thompson-HerahJAM Shelly-Ann Fraser-PryceJAM Shericka JacksonJAM
200 metres, Women Elaine Thompson-HerahJAM Christine MbomaNAM Gabby ThomasUSA
400 metres, Women Shaunae Miller-UiboBAH Marileidy PaulinoDOM Allyson FelixUSA
800 metres, Women Athing MuUSA Keely HodgkinsonGBR Raevyn RogersUSA
1,500 metres, Women Faith KibiegonKEN Laura MuirGBR Sifan HassanNED
5,000 metres, Women Sifan HassanNED Hellen ObiriKEN Gudaf TsegayETH
10,000 metres, Women Sifan HassanNED Kalkidan GezahegneBRN Letesenbet GideyETH
Marathon, Women Peres JepchirchirKEN Brigid KosgeiKEN Molly SeidelUSA
100 metres Hurdles, Women Jasmine Camacho-QuinnPUR Keni HarrisonUSA Megan TapperJAM
400 metres Hurdles, Women Sydney McLaughlinUSA Dalilah MuhammadUSA Femke BolNED
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Women Peruth ChemutaiUGA Courtney FrerichsUSA Hyvin KiyengKEN
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women JamaicaJAM United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women United StatesUSA PolandPOL JamaicaJAM
20 kilometres Walk, Women Antonella PalmisanoITA Sandra ArenasCOL Liu HongCHN
High Jump, Women Mariya LasitskeneROC Nicola McDermottAUS Yaroslava MahuchikhUKR
Pole Vault, Women Katie NageotteUSA Anzhelika SidorovaROC Holly BradshawGBR
Long Jump, Women Malaika MihamboGER Brittney ReeseUSA Ese BrumeNGR
Triple Jump, Women Yulimar RojasVEN Patrícia MamonaPOR Ana PeleteiroESP
Shot Put, Women Gong LijiaoCHN Raven SaundersUSA Valerie AdamsNZL
Discus Throw, Women Valarie AllmanUSA Kristin PudenzGER Yaimé PérezCUB
Hammer Throw, Women Anita WłodarczykPOL Wang ZhengCHN Malwina KopronPOL
Javelin Throw, Women Liu ShiyingCHN Maria AndrejczykPOL Kelsey-Lee BarberAUS
Heptathlon, Women Nafi ThiamBEL Anouk VetterNED Emma OosterwegelNED
4 × 400 metres Relay, Mixed PolandPOL Dominican RepublicDOM United StatesUSA

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 7 12 7 26
Italy ITA 5 0 0 5
Kenya KEN 4 4 2 10
Poland POL 4 2 3 9
Jamaica JAM 4 1 4 9
Netherlands NED 2 3 3 8
People's Republic of China CHN 2 2 1 5
Canada CAN 2 1 3 6
Uganda UGA 2 1 1 4
Norway NOR 2 1 0 3
Sweden SWE 2 1 0 3
The Bahamas BAH 2 0 0 2
Germany GER 1 2 0 3
Ethiopia ETH 1 1 2 4
Portugal POR 1 1 0 2
Russian Olympic Committee ROC 1 1 0 2
Belgium BEL 1 0 1 2
Greece GRE 1 0 0 1
India IND 1 0 0 1
Morocco MAR 1 0 0 1
Puerto Rico PUR 1 0 0 1
Qatar QAT 1 0 0 1
Venezuela VEN 1 0 0 1
Great Britain GBR 0 3 3 6
Colombia COL 0 2 0 2
Dominican Republic DOM 0 2 0 2
Australia AUS 0 1 2 3
Cuba CUB 0 1 2 3
Czech Republic CZE 0 1 1 2
Japan JPN 0 1 1 2
Bahrain BRN 0 1 0 1
France FRA 0 1 0 1
Namibia NAM 0 1 0 1
Brazil BRA 0 0 2 2
New Zealand NZL 0 0 2 2
Austria AUT 0 0 1 1
Belarus BLR 0 0 1 1
Botswana BOT 0 0 1 1
Burkina Faso BUR 0 0 1 1
Grenada GRN 0 0 1 1
Nigeria NGR 0 0 1 1
Spain ESP 0 0 1 1
Ukraine UKR 0 0 1 1