| Event type

200 metres, Men

Date15 – 16 October 1968
LocationEstadio Olímpico Universitario, Ciudad de México
Participants50 from 37 countries

Coming into the year, Tommie Smith was considered the best 200 runner but John Carlos had won the Olympic Trials in an unratified world record of 19.7/19.92 – it was not accepted because his shoes had too many spikes. Smith had won the AAU in 1967-68, while Carlos was 1967 Pan American Champion. In the semi-final, Smith pulled an adductor muscle and ran the final with his thigh wrapped. Carlos came off the turn 1½ metres in the lead but Smith then accelerated, turning on what he called his “Tommie Jets” and powered past the field to win with almost a 2½ metre lead despite closing it down in the last 10 metres, still running a world record 19.83. Carlos slowed near the end after Smith passed him and the gold medal was gone, and was passed on the run-in by Australia’s Peter Norman.

Smith and Carlos almost did not compete in the Olympics. African-Americans, they considered joining a black boycott of the Olympics that was being organized by San José State professor Harry Edwards. But they elected to make their own protest instead. On the victory podium, they mounted it barefoot, wearing civil rights badges, and as The Star-Spangled Banner played, they lowered their heads and raised a single, black-gloved fist. The IOC was irate at this political protest during the Olympics, and the US Olympic Committee expelled them from the team. Peter Norman joined them in the protest by also wearing the civil rights badge. Vilified by the American and international media, Smith and Carlos have since become heroes to the cause of American civil rights, and human rights in general. They also never forgot Norman, and when he died in 2006, they served as pallbearers at his funeral. In 2008 Smith and Carlos received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, presented by ESPN. Carlos has made some noise in recent years, claiming he let Tommie Smith win the gold medal in 1968, but those who saw the race have no doubt as to Smith’s dominance.

1307Tommie SmithUSA20.3 (1 h2)20.2 (1 h3)20.1 (1 h2)19.8 (1)GoldWR
2111Peter NormanAUS20.2 (1 h6)20.4 (1 h2)20.2 (2 h1)20.0 (2)Silver
3259John CarlosUSA20.5 (1 h1)20.6 (1 h1)20.1 (1 h1)20.0 (3)Bronze
4776Edwin RobertsTTO20.6 (4 h2)20.4 (2 h3)20.4 (2 h2)20.3 (4)
5344Roger BambuckFRA20.5 (2 h6)20.6 (3 h4)20.4 (4 h1)20.5 (5)
6297Larry QuestadUSA20.7 (1 h3)20.5 (2 h4)20.4 (3 h2)20.6 (6)
7533Mike FrayJAM20.6 (1 h4)20.3 (1 h4)20.4 (3 h1)20.6 (7)
89Jochen EigenherrFRG20.6 (3 h2)20.5 (2 h2)20.4 (4 h2)20.6 (8)
5 h1 r3/4227Iván MorenoCHI20.9 (1 h5)20.8 (4 h2)20.8 (5 h1)
5 h2 r3/4109Greg LewisAUS20.7 (1 h7)20.8 (2 h1)20.5 (5 h2)
6 h1 r3/4424Dick SteaneGBR20.6 (3 h6)20.8 (3 h1)20.8 (6 h1)
6 h2 r3/4678Edward RomanowskiPOL20.9 (3 h3)20.8 (3 h3)20.7 (6 h2)
7 h1 r3/4807Nikolay IvanovURS20.7 (3 h7)20.8 (4 h3)20.8 (7 h1)
7 h2 r3/4386Ralph BanthorpeGBR20.7 (2 h7)20.8 (4 h4)20.8 (7 h2)
8 h1 r3/4659Fernando AcevedoPER21.0 (4 h5)20.7 (3 h2)20.8 (8 h1)
8 h2 r3/4588Mani JegathesanMAS20.9 (3 h1)21.0 (4 h1)21.0 (8 h2)
5 h1 r2/4573Julius SangKEN20.8 (2 h3)21.0 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/4561Charles AsatiKEN20.6 (2 h2)20.8 (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/4639David EjokeNGR21.0 (5 h2)20.9 (5 h3)
5 h4 r2/4374James AddyGHA20.9 (3 h5)20.9 (5 h4)
6 h1 r2/4350Jacques CaretteFRA20.9 (2 h5)21.1 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/4497Livio BerrutiITA21.0 (4 h1)21.0 (6 h2)
6 h3 r2/497Andrés CalongeARG20.8 (2 h1)21.0 (6 h3)
6 h4 r2/4816Valentin MaslakovURS21.0 (5 h1)20.9 (6 h4)
7 h1 r2/4126Kevin JohnsonBAH21.2 (6 h2)21.4 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/4777Winston ShortTTO20.9 (2 h4)21.5 (7 h2)1
7 h3 r2/4757Hansruedi WiedmerSUI21.0 (3 h4)21.4 (7 h3)
7 h4 r2/4182Pedro GrajalesCOL21.0 (4 h7)21.0 (7 h4)
8 h1 r2/4171Harry JeromeCAN21.2 (5 h5)21.4 (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/4592Rajalingam GunaratnamMAS21.5 (4 h6)21.5 (8 h2)
8 h3 r2/4612Miguel Ángel GonzálezMEX21.3 (4 h3)21.5 (8 h3)
8 h4 r2/4128Bernie NottageBAH21.3 (4 h4)21.5 (8 h4)
5 h3 r1/4583Jean-Louis RavelomanantsoaMAD21.5 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/4135Philippe HousiauxBEL21.4 (5 h4)
5 h6 r1/4702Alberto TorresDOM21.9 (5 h6)
5 h7 r1/430Gert MetzFRG21.2 (5 h7)
6 h1 r1/4769Norman ChihotaTAN21.2 (6 h1)
6 h3 r1/4130Norris StubbsBAH21.6 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/4703Porfirio VerasDOM21.5 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/4787William DraluUGA21.3 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/4234José AstacioESA23.1 (6 h6)
6 h7 r1/4492Carl PlaskettISV21.2 (6 h7)
7 h1 r1/4719Canagasabai KunalanSGP21.3 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/4764Kun Min-MuTPE22.4 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/4721Morgan GesmallaSUD22.6 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/4627Juan ArgüelloNCA22.7 (7 h4)
7 h5 r1/4454Colin ThurtonBIZ22.1 (7 h5)
7 h7 r1/4860Cristóbal CorralesHON23.9 (7 h7)
8 h1 r1/4858Hadley HindsBAR22.3 (8 h1)
AC h6 r1/4690Juan FranceschiPUR– (DNF h6)
DNS207Pablo MontesCUB– (DNS h2)
DNS510Ito GianiITA– (DNS h6)
DNS536Lennox MillerJAM– (DNS h5)
DNS598Hassan El-MechMAR– (DNS h7)
DNS376Stanley AlloteyGHA
DNS509Pasquale GiannattasioITA
DNS538Don QuarrieJAM
DNS850Thành Liem MaiVNM

Round One

Date15 October 1968 — 10:30
FormatTop four in each heat and next four fastest advanced to the quarter-finals.

Heat #1

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1259John CarlosUSA20.520.54Q
297Andrés CalongeARG20.820.81Q
3588Mani JegathesanMAS20.920.92Q
4497Livio BerrutiITA21.021.06Q
5816Valentin MaslakovURS21.021.07q
6769Norman ChihotaTAN21.221.28
7719Canagasabai KunalanSGP21.321.39
8858Hadley HindsBAR22.322.35

Heat #2

Wind0.5 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1307Tommie SmithUSA20.320.37Q=OR
2561Charles AsatiKEN20.620.66Q
39Jochen EigenherrFRG20.620.69Q
4776Edwin RobertsTTO20.620.69Q
5639David EjokeNGR21.021.09q
6126Kevin JohnsonBAH21.221.22q
7764Kun Min-MuTPE22.422.44
DNS207Pablo MontesCUB

Heat #3

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1297Larry QuestadUSA20.720.75Q
2573Julius SangKEN20.820.90Q
3678Edward RomanowskiPOL20.920.95Q
4612Miguel Ángel GonzálezMEX21.321.31Q
5583Jean-Louis RavelomanantsoaMAD21.521.53
6130Norris StubbsBAH21.621.64
7721Morgan GesmallaSUD22.622.70

Heat #4

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1533Mike FrayJAM20.620.62Q
2777Winston ShortTTO20.921.00Q2
3757Hansruedi WiedmerSUI21.021.06Q
4128Bernie NottageBAH21.321.31Q
5135Philippe HousiauxBEL21.421.41
6703Porfirio VerasDOM21.521.53
7627Juan ArgüelloNCA22.722.80

Heat #5

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1227Iván MorenoCHI20.920.93Q
2350Jacques CaretteFRA20.920.97Q
3374James AddyGHA20.921.00Q
4659Fernando AcevedoPER21.021.02Q
5171Harry JeromeCAN21.221.22q
6787William DraluUGA21.321.38
7454Colin ThurtonBIZ22.122.14
DNS536Lennox MillerJAM

Heat #6

Wind1.2 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1111Peter NormanAUS20.220.23QOR
2344Roger BambuckFRA20.520.61Q
3424Dick SteaneGBR20.620.66Q
4592Rajalingam GunaratnamMAS21.521.58Q
5702Alberto TorresDOM21.921.99
6234José AstacioESA23.123.13
DNF690Juan FranceschiPUR
DNS510Ito GianiITA

Heat #7

Wind1.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1109Greg LewisAUS20.720.71Q
2386Ralph BanthorpeGBR20.720.73Q
3807Nikolay IvanovURS20.720.78Q
4182Pedro GrajalesCOL21.021.07Q
530Gert MetzFRG21.221.24
6492Carl PlaskettISV21.221.29
7860Cristóbal CorralesHON23.923.93
DNS598Hassan El-MechMAR


Date15 October 1968 — 15:40
FormatTop four in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat #1

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1259John CarlosUSA20.620.69Q
2109Greg LewisAUS20.820.81Q
3424Dick SteaneGBR20.820.81Q
4588Mani JegathesanMAS21.021.01Q
5573Julius SangKEN21.021.04
6350Jacques CaretteFRA21.121.15
7126Kevin JohnsonBAH21.421.41
8171Harry JeromeCAN21.421.43

Heat #2

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1111Peter NormanAUS20.420.44Q
29Jochen EigenherrFRG20.520.53Q
3659Fernando AcevedoPER20.720.78Q
4227Iván MorenoCHI20.820.83Q
5561Charles AsatiKEN20.820.84
6497Livio BerrutiITA21.021.01
7777Winston ShortTTO21.521.51
8592Rajalingam GunaratnamMAS21.521.52

Heat #3

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1307Tommie SmithUSA20.220.28Q=OR
2776Edwin RobertsTTO20.420.50Q
3678Edward RomanowskiPOL20.820.85Q
4807Nikolay IvanovURS20.820.90Q
5639David EjokeNGR20.920.99
697Andrés CalongeARG21.021.03
7757Hansruedi WiedmerSUI21.421.42
8612Miguel Ángel GonzálezMEX21.521.57

Heat #4

Wind0.0 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1533Mike FrayJAM20.320.39Q
2297Larry QuestadUSA20.520.54Q
3344Roger BambuckFRA20.620.63Q
4386Ralph BanthorpeGBR20.820.83Q
5374James AddyGHA20.920.90
6816Valentin MaslakovURS20.920.96
7182Pedro GrajalesCOL21.021.05
8128Bernie NottageBAH21.521.53


Date16 October 1968 — 15:20
FormatTop four in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat #1

Wind0.2 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1259John CarlosUSA20.120.12QOR
2111Peter NormanAUS20.220.22Q
3533Mike FrayJAM20.420.46Q
4344Roger BambuckFRA20.420.47Q
5227Iván MorenoCHI20.820.84
6424Dick SteaneGBR20.820.85
7807Nikolay IvanovURS20.820.89
8659Fernando AcevedoPER20.820.91

Heat #2

Wind0.6 m/s
PosLaneCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1307Tommie SmithUSA20.120.14Q=OR
2776Edwin RobertsTTO20.420.44Q
3297Larry QuestadUSA20.420.48Q
49Jochen EigenherrFRG20.420.49Q
5109Greg LewisAUS20.520.53
6678Edward RomanowskiPOL20.720.80
7386Ralph BanthorpeGBR20.820.88
8588Mani JegathesanMAS21.021.05


Date16 October 1968 — 17:50
Wind0.9 m/s
PosCompetitorNOCTime (Hand)Time (Automatic)
1Tommie SmithUSA19.819.83WR
2Peter NormanAUS20.020.06
3John CarlosUSA20.020.10
4Edwin RobertsTTO20.320.34
5Roger BambuckFRA20.520.51
6Larry QuestadUSA20.620.62
7Mike FrayJAM20.620.63
8Jochen EigenherrFRG20.620.66