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| Event type

Marathon, Men

Date 4 August 1996 — 7:05
StatusOlympic
LocationCentennial Olympic Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Participants124 from 79 countries
Format42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.
Olympic Record 2-09:21 / Carlos Lopes POR / 12 August 1984

The 1996 Olympic Games were assigned to Atlanta, Georgia, in the Southern United States, and the biggest concern for the marathon was the stifling summer heat and humidity of the American South. Though the European press did not realize it, the two weeks of the Atlanta Olympics were about as cool as that region of the nation ever gets in late July and August. To avoid the heat, the race started at 7:05 AM, but by the time the race ended, the temperature had risen to almost 80° F. (26° C.), with humidity approaching 80%. The Olympic course was designed to basically follow the outline of the course used for the annual Atlanta Marathon, but changed slightly to allow for a start and finish in the Olympic Stadium on the out-and-back course.

There was again no dominant male marathoner entering the 1996 Olympics and the race was considered wide-open. The concern over the heat, and the lack of any favorites, led the pack to run almost together for the bulk of the race and resulted in the closest finish of any Olympic marathon. The three medalists finished within eight seconds of one another, and contested the final outcome on the Olympic track. The race was won by the unheralded Josia Thugwane of South Africa, who held off Korea’s Lee Bong-Ju, who finished second, only three seconds back, and Kenya’s Erick Wainaina, who won the bronze medal. Thugwane was an experienced marathoner, as the Atlanta race was the 19th of his career. He had won several races in South Africa, but his only marathon victory outside his native country had come in Honolulu in December 1995. He would later win at Fukuoka in 1997. In his native country, because of his new-found riches, he was a marked man. He had been robbed and shot at only a few months before his Olympic victory, and was required to live under bodyguard protection for him and his family.

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
12122Josia ThugwaneRSA2-12:36Gold
21832Lee Bong-JuKOR2-12:39Silver
31819Eric WainainaKEN2-12:44Bronze
41344Martín FizESP2-13:20
51500Richard NerurkarGBR2-13:39
61938Germán SilvaMEX2-14:29
71055Steve MoneghettiAUS2-14:35
81932Benjamín ParedesMEX2-14:55
91709Danilo GoffiITA2-15:08
101162Luiz dos SantosBRA2-15:55
111249Carlos GrisalesCOL2-15:56
121831Kim I-YongKOR2-16:17
132451Tendai ChimusasaZIM2-16:31
142076António PintoPOR2-16:41
151929Dionicio CerónMEX2-16:48
162446Willy KalomboCOD2-17:01
172044Leszek BebłoPOL2-17:04
181353Alberto JuzdadoESP2-17:24
191772Hiromi TaniguchiJPN2-17:26
201695Salvatore BettiolITA2-17:27
211199Peter FonsecaCAN2-17:28
221327Rolando VeraECU2-17:40
231042Rod de HighdenAUS2-17:42
241261José Luis MolinaCRC2-17:49
252063Domingos CastroPOR2-18:03
262295Tahar MansouriTUN2-18:06
272481Lawrence PeuRSA2-18:09
282333Keith BrantlyUSA2-18:17
291886Thabisio RalekhetlaLES2-18:26
301183Khristo StefanovBUL2-18:29
312371Bob KempainenUSA2-18:38
321408Harri HänninenFIN2-18:41
332123Gert ThysRSA2-18:55
341058Sean QuiltyAUS2-19:35
351206Carey NelsonCAN2-19:39
361599Spyros AndriopoulosGRE2-19:41
372167Oleg StrizhakovRUS2-19:51
382083Kim Jung-WonPRK2-19:54
391196Bruce DeaconCAN2-19:56
402082Kim Jong-SuPRK2-20:19
412343Mark CooganUSA2-20:27
421320Ahmed SalahDJI2-20:33
432318Pyotro SarafyniukUKR2-20:37
441905Abdel Kader El-MouazizMAR2-20:39
451976Bert van VlaanderenNED2-20:48
462074Manuel MatiasPOR2-20:58
471151Vanderlei de LimaBRA2-21:01
481541Konrad DoblerGER2-21:12
492440Borislav DevićSCG2-21:22
501714Davide MilesiITA2-21:45
511866Aleksandrs ProkopčuksLAT2-21:50
521787Lameck AgutaKEN2-22:04
531346Diego GarcíaESP2-22:11
541769Masaki OyaJPN2-22:13
551515Peter WhiteheadGBR2-22:37
561789Ezequiel BitokKEN2-23:03
572284Hsu Gi-ShengTPE2-23:04
581380Pavel LoskutovEST2-23:14
592421Rubén MazaVEN2-23:24
601470Steve BraceGBR2-23:28
612046Grzegorz GajdusPOL2-23:41
622264Isaac SimelaneSWZ2-23:43
631821Nazirdin AlikbekovKGZ2-23:59
642259Anders SzalkaiSWE2-24:27
652474John MwathiwaMAW2-24:45
662161Leonid ShvetsovRUS2-24:49
671107Eddy HellebuyckBEL2-25:04
682484Ahmed Adam SalahSUD2-25:12
692267Ikaji SalumTAN2-25:29
701889Pavelas FedorenkaLTU2-25:41
712031Miguel MallquiPER2-25:56
721660Ethel HudsonINA2-26:02
731161Diamantino dos SantosBRA2-26:53
741978Tika BogatiNEP2-27:04
752291Ronnie HolassieTTO2-27:20
761963Joseph TjitungaNAM2-27:52
771922Valeriu VlasMDA2-28:36
782263Daniel SibandzeSWZ2-28:49
792325Waldemar CoteloURU2-28:50
801184Petko StefanovBUL2-29:06
811392Abebe MekonnenETH2-29:45
821623Luis MartínezGUA2-29:55
832024Sean WadeNZL2-30:35
841899Abderrahim Ben RedouaneMAR2-30:49
852000Abdou ManzoNIG2-30:57
861220Marcelo BarrientosCHI2-31:05
871013Toni BernadóAND2-31:28
881870Adel AdiliLBA2-32:12
892424Carlos TarazonaVEN2-32:35
901099Tharcisse GashakaBDI2-32:55
911138Policarpio CalizayaBOL2-33:08
922266Simon QamungaTAN2-33:11
931760Kenjiro JitsuiJPN2-33:27
941260António Carlos PiñaCPV2-34:13
952426Pamenos BallantyneVIN2-34:16
962447Kaleka MutokeCOD2-34:40
973120Ernest NdissipouCAF2-35:55
981906Ali EttounsiMAR2-36:01
991964William AguirreNCA2-37:02
1002035Roy VencePHI2-37:10
1012437Mohamed Al-SaadiYEM2-40:41
1021250Julio HernándezCOL2-41:56
1031945Ajay ChuttooMRI2-42:07
1041733Nils AntonioJAM2-44:10
1051191To RithyaCAM2-47:01
1062086Máximo OliverasPUR2-47:15
1071121Islam ÐugumBIH2-47:38
1081691Marlon WilliamsISV2-48:26
1091123Eugène MuslarBIZ2-51:41
1102210Abdi IsakSOM2-59:55
1111002Abdul Baser WasiqiAFG4-24:17
AC1396Tumo TurboETHDNF
AC2171Patrick IshyakaRWADNF
AC1390Belayneh DinsamoETHDNF
AC1024Antonio SilioARGDNF
AC1898Victor RazafindrakotoMADDNF
AC1893Česlovas KundrotasLTUDNF
AC1545Stephan FreigangGERDNF
AC2268Julius SumayeTANDNF
AC1142Benjamin KeleketuBOTDNF
AC1895Dainius VirbickasLTUDNF
AC1410Risto UlmalaFINDNF
AC1319Omar MoussaDJIDNF
AC1830Kim Wan-GiKORDNF