100 metres at the Olympics

Last updated

100 metres
at the Olympic Games
Usain Bolt winning-cropped.jpg
The 2008 Olympic men's 100 m final
Overview
Sport Athletics
GenderMen and women
Years heldMen: 18962020
Women: 19282020
Reigning champion
MenFlag of Italy.svg  Marcell Jacobs  (ITA)
WomenFlag of Jamaica.svg  Elaine Thompson-Herah  (JAM)

The 100 metres at the Summer Olympics has been contested since the first edition of the multi-sport event. The men's 100 m has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1896. The 100 metres is considered one of the blue ribbon events of the Olympics and is among the highest profile competitions at the games. It is the most prestigious 100 m race at elite level and is the shortest sprinting competition at the Olympics – a position it has held at every edition except for a brief period between 1900 and 1904, when a men's 60 metres was contested. [1]

Contents

The first Olympic champions were both Americans: Thomas Burke in the men's category and, 32 years later, Betty Robinson in the women's category. The Olympic records for the event are 9.63 seconds, set by Usain Bolt in 2012, and 10.60 seconds, set by Elaine Thompson-Herah in 2021. [2] [3] [4] The world records for the event have been equalled or broken during the Olympics on seven occasions in the men's category and on twelve occasions in the women's.

Among the competing nations, the United States has had the most success in this event, having won sixteen golds in the men's race and nine in the women's race. Usain Bolt of Jamaica has won three consecutive titles (2008–16). Five other athletes have won back-to-back titles: Wyomia Tyus (1964–68), Carl Lewis (1984–88), Gail Devers (1992–96), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (2008–12), and Elaine Thompson-Herah (2016-2020). Merlene Ottey is the only athlete to win three medals without winning gold, with one silver and two bronze medals. [5] [6]

Many athletes that compete in this event also compete individually in the Olympic 200 metres and with their national teams in the Olympic 4×100 metres relay. Nine men have achieved the 100 metres and 200 metres 'Double' at the same Olympic Games - Archie Hahn (1904), Ralph Craig (1912), Percy Williams (1928), Eddie Tolan (1932), Jesse Owens (1936), Bobby Morrow (1956), Valeriy Borzov (1972), Carl Lewis (1984), and Usain Bolt (2008, 2012, 2016). Four of these men were also members of the winning team in the 4x100 meters relay at the same games - Jesse Owens (1936), Bobby Morrow (1956), Carl Lewis (1984), and Usain Bolt (2012, 2016). Two of these men have won a fourth gold medal at the same games - Archie Hahn in the now defunct 60 metres, and both Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis in the long jump.

Seven women have achieved the 100 metres and 200 metres 'Double' at the same Olympic Games - Fanny Blankers-Koen (1948), Marjorie Jackson (1952), Betty Cuthbert (1956), Wilma Rudolph (1960), Renate Stecher (1972), Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988), and Elaine Thompson-Herah (2016). Four of these women were also members of the winning team in the 4x100 meters relay at the same games - Fanny Blankers-Koen (1948), Betty Cuthbert (1956), Wilma Rudolph (1960), and Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988). Fanny Blankers-Koen is the only one of these women to win four gold medals at the same games by winning the 80 metres hurdles in 1948.

Two high profile doping scandals have involved the Olympic 100 m competition: Ben Johnson won the 1988 Olympic 100 m title in a world record time of 9.79 seconds but was later stripped of the titles after failing a drug test. Marion Jones was the 2000 women's Olympic 100 m gold medallist but had her results annulled after admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs during her Olympic victory.


Competition format

Women competing in the first round of the Olympic 100 m in 2012 Women's 100 metres heat.jpg
Women competing in the first round of the Olympic 100 m in 2012

The Olympic 100 metres competitions are carried out under standard international rules, as set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The races are segregated by gender, with one for men and one for women. [7] The 100 m is usually held at the beginning of the Olympic athletics programme as this allows athletes to compete in other events held later at the games – many 100 m athletes also compete in the 200 metres and the 4×100 metres relay events. [8]

Traditionally there are four rounds of competition: heats, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals. Prior to 1964, finals featured six athletes. [9] For all Olympic competitions from 1964 onwards—allowing for a sufficient number of athletes being present—each race features eight runners. [10] Athletes are seeded by past performance to ensure an even balance of quality across the heats and allow the best runners to progress to the later stages. Usually in the first two rounds the top three runners progress to the next stage. A small number of other athletes also progress as the fastest non-qualifiers (or "fastest losers") through a repechage system. Prior to 2012, the semi-finals stage comprised two races of eight athletes and the top four finishers in each race (regardless of time) were entered into the final. [11]

The 2012 women's Olympic 100 m medallists Womens 100 m medal ceremony - 2012 Olympics.jpg
The 2012 women's Olympic 100 m medallists

Several amendments were made to the competition format in 2012. Any participant not in possession of an Olympic qualifying standard time is entered into the preliminary round. Qualifiers in this round progress to the first round proper. The semi-finals stage is divided into three races: the top two progress to the final by right and the two fastest non-qualifiers complete the eight finalists. Changes to the international false start rules were also introduced – any validly recorded reaction time to the starter's pistol of below 0.1 seconds will result in instant disqualification. [11] At the 2004 and 2008 Olympics one false start was allowed per race, with any subsequent false start resulting in disqualification for the offending athletes. At Olympics prior to 2004 each athlete was allowed one false start, with a second false start leading to removal from the field. [12] [13]

The top three finishers in the final are awarded a gold, silver and bronze medal, respectively. If runners cannot be separated by their time (recorded to one hundredth of a second) further analysis is used to distinguish their times to the thousandth of a second. In the 2008 Women's 100 m final the minor medallists Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart could not be separated by this method and were both awarded the silver medal. [14] Medal positions in a 100 m race have only been shared on one other occasion in Olympic history: Alajos Szokolyi and Francis Lane were joint third at the 1896 men's final. [15] If it is subsequently found that an athlete broke the competition rules then the IOC may strip athletes of their Olympic medals. This has occurred twice in the 100 m: Ben Johnson was awarded gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but was soon disqualified after his post-race drug test was positive for banned substances. [16] The 2000 women's Olympic champion Marion Jones held her medal for a longer period, and was only disqualified seven years later after admitting to doping during that period. [17]

Participation

Starting with 15 men from eight nations at the inaugural 1896 Olympic 100 m, participation in the event reached its peak at the 2000 Sydney Games, where 179 male and female athletes from 100 nations were present. The number of competitors and nations in the event has seen an increasing historical trend. This increase has been mostly linear, though participation dropped slightly in the 1904 and 1932 Olympics hosted in the United States (reflecting greater travel costs) and was also affected by the Olympic boycotts of 1976, 1980 and 1984. The linear trend stopped after the 2000 peak and has steadily decreased in subsequent Summer Olympics. [5] [6]

Qualifying standards
YearMen "A"Men "B"Women "A"Women "B"
200010.2710.4011.4011.60
200410.2110.2811.3011.40
200810.2110.2811.3211.42
201210.1810.2411.2911.38
201610.16N/A11.32N/A
2020/202110.05N/A11.12N/A

Men's participation reached its highest at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which featured 104 men from 75 nations. Women's participation began in 1928, with 31 women from 13 nations competing, and reached an all-time high at the 2008 Beijing Games, which had 85 women representing 69 nations. The 2008 and 2012 editions reversed the historical gender bias towards male participation, as women outnumbered men at the Olympic 100 m for the first time. [5] [6]

As the governing body for the sport of athletics, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) applies qualifying standards to the competition. This aims to encourage high level performances at the Olympic Games and contain the number of potential entries (the IAAF aims to cap Olympic participation in athletics events at 2000 athletes). There are two types of qualifying standard: the "A" standard and the "B" standard. Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) may enter up to three athletes who have obtained the "A" standard, or one athlete with the "B" standard. If a NOC has no qualifying athletes in any Olympic athletic event, it may enter one non-qualified athlete – the 100 m is a frequent choice for this type of entry given the brevity of the event. Athletes must achieve the qualifying time without wind-assistance at an officially authorised event within a certain time period, which typically begins from the year prior to the Olympics and extends up to three weeks before the games. The IAAF prohibits entrants who do not reach the age of sixteen in that Olympic year, but there is no upper age limit. The IAAF qualifying standards for the 100 m have become progressively more stringent since 2000. [18] [19] [20] [21]

On top of IAAF standards, national governing bodies may apply their own participation restrictions. These principally come in four forms: stricter national qualifying times, reduced time periods for qualifying performances, [22] performances in the event at a national Olympic trials, and decisions of national selection committees. Smaller nations do not typically apply these additional criteria due to the smaller numbers of sprinters eligible to compete. Larger nations, and nations with strong traditions in sprinting, often have long-running histories of Olympic 100 m trials (such as at the United States Olympic Trials). Participation for a country also demands that the athlete hold respective citizenship and is not subject to a competitive ban through anti-doping rules. [23]

World Athletics in 2019 announced that, following the inauguration of their World Rankings platform, that in addition to those who achieved the Olympic standard, placing in the top 32 of the rankings will serve as a qualification method for athletes. (For example, if someone comes 3rd in the 100m finals of their national championships in 10.14, if he is 22nd in the World Rankings, he has qualified for the games).

YearNo. of
men
Nations
(men)
No. of
women
Nations
(women)
Total
athletes
Total
nations
Men's championWomen's champion
1896 [15] 158N/AN/A158Flag of the United States.svg  Thomas Burke  (USA)N/A
1900 [24] 209N/AN/A209Flag of the United States.svg  Frank Jarvis  (USA)N/A
1904 [25] 113N/AN/A113Flag of the United States.svg  Archie Hahn  (USA)N/A
1908 [26] 6016N/AN/A6016Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Reggie Walker  (RSA)N/A
1912 [27] 7022N/AN/A7022Flag of the United States.svg  Ralph Craig  (USA)N/A
1920 [28] 6123N/AN/A6123Flag of the United States.svg  Charlie Paddock  (USA)N/A
1924 [29] 8634N/AN/A8634Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Harold Abrahams  (GBR)N/A
1928 [30] [31] 8133311310735Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Percy Williams  (CAN)Flag of the United States.svg  Betty Robinson  (USA)
1932 [32] [33] 331720105119Flag of the United States.svg  Eddie Tolan  (USA)Flag of Poland.svg  Stanisława Walasiewicz  (POL)
1936 [34] [35] 613030159133Flag of the United States.svg  Jesse Owens  (USA)Flag of the United States.svg  Helen Stephens  (USA)
1948 [36] [37] 613338219939Flag of the United States.svg  Harrison Dillard  (USA)Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Fanny Blankers-Koen  (NED)
1952 [38] [39] 7033562712641Flag of the United States.svg  Lindy Remigino  (USA)Flag of Australia.svg  Marjorie Jackson  (AUS)
1956 [40] [41] 633134169734Flag of the United States.svg  Bobby Morrow  (USA)Flag of Australia.svg  Betty Cuthbert  (AUS)
1960 [9] [42] 594531189050Flag of the German Olympic Team (1960-1968).svg  Armin Hary  (EUA)Flag of the United States.svg  Wilma Rudolph  (USA)
1964 [10] [43] 7149442711556Flag of the United States.svg  Bob Hayes  (USA)Flag of the United States.svg  Wyomia Tyus  (USA)
1968 [44] [45] 6342422210548Flag of the United States.svg  Jim Hines  (USA)Flag of the United States.svg  Wyomia Tyus  (USA)
1972 [46] [47] 8355473313068Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Valeriy Borzov  (URS)Flag of East Germany.svg  Renate Stecher  (GDR)
1976 [48] [49] 6140392210045Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Hasely Crawford  (TRI)Flag of Germany.svg  Annegret Richter  (FRG)
1980 [50] [51] 6341402510346Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Allan Wells  (GBR)Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Lyudmila Kondratyeva  (URS)
1984 [52] [53] 8059463312668Flag of the United States.svg  Carl Lewis  (USA)Flag of the United States.svg  Evelyn Ashford  (USA)
1988 [54] [55] 10069644216485Flag of the United States.svg  Carl Lewis  (USA)Flag of the United States.svg  Florence Griffith-Joyner  (USA)
1992 [56] [57] 7966544113386Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Linford Christie  (GBR)Flag of the United States.svg  Gail Devers  (USA)
1996 [58] [59] 10475563816089Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Donovan Bailey  (CAN)Flag of the United States.svg  Gail Devers  (USA)
2000 [60] [61] 95718463179100Flag of the United States.svg  Maurice Greene  (USA)Vacated [62]
2004 [63] [64] 8062635114389Flag of the United States.svg  Justin Gatlin  (USA)Flag of Belarus.svg  Yulia Nestsiarenka  (BLR)
2008 [65] [66] 7864856916396Flag of Jamaica.svg  Usain Bolt  (JAM)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Shelly-Ann Fraser  (JAM)
2012 [67] [68] 7261796515192Flag of Jamaica.svg  Usain Bolt  (JAM)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce  (JAM)
2016 8457805616482Flag of Jamaica.svg  Usain Bolt  (JAM)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Elaine Thompson  (JAM)
2020 Flag of Italy.svg  Marcell Jacobs  (ITA)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Elaine Thompson-Herah  (JAM)
Data notes

Biological factors

Age

The 100 m requires a high level of athleticism and as a result most of the participants in the Olympics are aged between 18 and 35 – which is roughly contiguous with the period of peak physical fitness in humans. [70] Consequently, the vast majority of participants in the Olympic 100 m fall within this age range. [67] [68] As of 2020, the qualification rules prohibit athletes younger than 16 at the end of the year of the Games. [71]

The record for the youngest athlete to participate in the Olympic 100 m is held by Katura Marae, who was 14 when she represented Vanuatu at the 2004 Athens Olympics. [72] Merlene Ottey holds the records for both the oldest participant and the oldest medallist, having won bronze at age 40 in 2000 and reached the Olympic semi-finals four years later. (Ottey is also the most frequent participant having competed in the Olympic 100 m an unrivalled six times from 1984 to 2004). [73] The first women's champion, Betty Robinson in 1928, remains the youngest gold medallist for the event at 16 years old, [74] while a 32-year-old Linford Christie became the oldest 100 m Olympic champion in 1992. [75]

DistinctionMale athleteAgeFemale athleteAge
Youngest champion Reggie Walker 19 years, 4 months, 6 days [76] Betty Robinson 16 years, 11 months, 8 days [74]
Youngest medallist Donald Lippincott 18 years, 7 months, 21 days [77] Betty Robinson 16 years, 11 months, 8 days [74]
Youngest participant Alphonse Yanghat 15 years, 3 months, 27 days [78] Katura Marae 14 years, 8 months, 17 days [72]
Oldest champion Linford Christie 32 years, 3 months, 30 days [75] Fanny Blankers-Koen 30 years, 3 months, 7 days [79]
Oldest medallist Linford Christie 32 years, 3 months, 30 days [75] Merlene Ottey 40 years, 4 months, 14 days [73]
Oldest participant Stefan Burkart 38 years, 10 months, 14 days [80] Merlene Ottey 44 years, 4 months, 11 days [73]

Gender

Since introduction of testing by the IAAF in the early-20th century, female sprinters may be subject to gender verification. This rule was first formally applied to the 100 m at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. [81] No 100 m sprinter has been publicly barred at an Olympic competition. However, there have been historic cases involving two women's medallists: 1932 champion Stanisława Walasiewicz and 1964 bronze medallist Ewa Kłobukowska, both of Poland. Walasiewicz endured accusations during her career due to her appearance, but was never subject to a test. [82] An autopsy following her death in a shooting revealed ambiguous genitalia. [83] Walasiewicz accused Helen Stephens (who beat her in the 1936 final) of being male and, despite there being no relevant rules on the matter, officials performed a physical examination of Stephens' external genitalia and concluded that she was female. Kłobukowska was not tested at the Olympics, thus did not lose her Olympic medals, but was subsequently disqualified at the 1967 European Cup on the basis of having a chromosomal mosaic. [82] [84] Intersex athletes are restricted from competition in the 100 m without having undergone surgery and hormonal therapy, as a result of the 2003 Stockholm consensus ruling by the IOC. [85]

Race

All the runners in the 2012 Olympic men's 100 m final were either African-American or Afro-Caribbean London 2012 Olympic 100m final start.jpg
All the runners in the 2012 Olympic men's 100 m final were either African-American or Afro-Caribbean

Olympic 100 m medallists in the early editions of the Modern Olympic Games were principally white, Western sprinters of European descent, largely reflecting the make up of the nations that took part. As the Olympic competition began to attract wider international participation, athletes with African heritage began to reach the 100 m Olympic podium, particularly African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans. [86]

Eddie Tolan became the first non-white winner of the event in 1932 and this signified the start of a prolonged period of success by black male sprinters; since 1932 only five men's Olympic champions in the event have not had significant African heritage. The women's event was dominated by runners of European descent until Wilma Rudolph won the title in 1960. Soviet and German women returned to the podium in the period from 1972 to 1980, but since then African-American and Jamaican women have won the great majority of 100 m medals. [86] Dominance in the men's event has been particularly pronounced from 1984 to 2016, during which time all the men's Olympic 100 m finalists have been of African heritage. [87] In the 2020 games, Su Bingtian became the first athlete without African heritage to reach the final since 1984.

Most commentators attribute this statistical discrepancy to genetic rather than to cultural factors. [88] [89] [90]

Doping

All athletes who participate in the Olympic 100 m competition are subject to the World Anti-Doping Code –the IAAF and International Olympic Committee (IOC) are both signatories. Mandatory in-competition drug testing was introduced at the 1968 Summer Olympics. [16]

One of the most prominent cases of doping at the Olympics, and in sport as a whole, occurred during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Ben Johnson entered the race as the reigning 100 metres world record holder and won the Olympic final, raising his arm in victory, in a new world record of 9.79 seconds to much fanfare. Soon after being awarded the gold medal the results of his post-race drug test revealed his urine contained traces of stanozolol (a banned steroid). [91] Johnson later admitted to doping, but he and his coach Charlie Francis still claimed he had his drink spiked at the Olympics, as Johnson was taking a different type of steroid at the time. [92] The positive test had long-lasting effects on public perception of the sport and advanced the case for more stringent drug testing. The Canadian government launched an investigation into drugs in sport, known as the Dubin Inquiry, the following year. [93] The 1988 Olympic men's 100 metres final has been referred to as "the dirtiest race in history", as only two of the eight finalists remained free of doping issues during their careers. [94]

Ekaterini Thanou, the 2000 women's silver medallist, was barred from the 2004 Athens Olympics after failing to attend a pre-competition drugs test (her third consecutive missed test). The Greek sprinter and her teammate Kostas Kenteris were convicted of staging a motorcycle crash to avoid the test, but this was overturned on appeal. Her doping ban remained as they admitted to having missed the tests. [95] Tameka Williams was banned from competing in the 100 m at the 2012 Olympics when, at the Olympic village, she admitted to the Saint Kitts and Nevis management team that she had been ingesting a banned substance. [96] Bulgaria's Tezdzhan Naimova had her 2008 Olympic performance annulled and received a two-year ban after it was proved that she had tampered with her drug test a month prior to the competition. [97]

Another high-profile doping case involved the 2000 Olympic women's 100 m champion Marion Jones, though no doping infractions occurred during the Olympics. Having been one of the stars of the games—she won three gold and two bronze medals in track and field events—Jones was later implicated in doping through the BALCO scandal. She lied to federal agents and a grand jury during questioning around the scandal, but later admitted in 2007 to using Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) during the period of her Olympic success. [17] The IOC annulled all her Olympic results, including her 100 m title. Given that the 2000 women's runner-up Ekaterini Thanou had herself been banned for drug usage, the IOC chose not to upgrade her to the gold medal position, but rather leave the position vacant. [98] Working around the dilemma, the IOC decided to raise bronze medallist Tayna Lawrence to joint silver and fourth-placed Merlene Ottey to the bronze medal position. [99]

In spite of the relatively few occasions in which 100 m sprinters have failed doping tests at the Olympics, numerous Olympic sprinters have been banned outside the competition or implicated otherwise, including many medallists. Two-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis had a positive drug test for stimulants at the US Olympic trials. The United States Olympic Committee accepted his claim of inadvertent use, since a dietary supplement he ingested was found to contain "Ma huang", the Chinese name for Ephedra (ephedrine is known to help weight loss). [100] The 1992 Olympic champion Linford Christie was banned for nandrolone later in his career. [101] Angel Guillermo Heredia accused the 2000 Olympic champion Maurice Greene of doping; Greene denied this but admitted to paying for "stuff" for his training mates. [102] Justin Gatlin, the men's gold medallist in 2004, served a doping suspension both before and after his Olympic win, and returned to the podium at the 2012 Olympics. [103] The men's runner-up in 2012, Yohan Blake, was banned for consuming a stimulant in 2009. [104]

On the women's side, the Olympic 100 m was affected by state-sponsored doping in East Germany. Stasi documents released after the fall of the Berlin Wall revealed extensive drug usage by Olympic sprinters, including the 1976 and 1980 silver medallists Renate Stecher and Marlies Göhr, as well as the 1988 bronze medallist Heike Drechsler. [105] [106] Shelly-Ann Fraser, twice Olympic champion, received a six-month ban in 2010 for taking a prohibited narcotic for pain relief. [107] A similar system was in place in the Soviet Union with major revelations concerning the Soviet state-sponsored doping program in preparation for the 1984 Olympics coming to light in 2016. [108] The 2008 runner-up Sherone Simpson was banned in 2013 after a positive test for a stimulant and two-time bronze medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown failed a test for a diuretic that same year. [109] A fourth Jamaican medallist, Merlene Ottey, received a ban for the steroid nandrolone in 1999 but this was rescinded on appeal due to laboratory errors. [110] [111]

Medal summary

Men

GamesGoldSilverBronze
1896 Athens
details
US flag 44 stars.svg  Thomas Burke  (USA)Flag of the German Empire.svg  Fritz Hofmann  (GER)US flag 44 stars.svg  Francis Lane  (USA)
Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Alajos Szokolyi  (HUN)
1900 Paris
details
US flag 45 stars.svg  Frank Jarvis  (USA)US flag 45 stars.svg  Walter Tewksbury  (USA)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Stan Rowley  (AUS)
1904 St. Louis
details
US flag 45 stars.svg  Archie Hahn  (USA)US flag 45 stars.svg  Nathaniel Cartmell  (USA)US flag 45 stars.svg  William Hogenson  (USA)
1908 London
details
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Reggie Walker  (RSA)US flag 45 stars.svg  James Rector  (USA)Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Robert Kerr  (CAN)
1912 Stockholm
details
US flag 48 stars.svg  Ralph Craig  (USA)US flag 48 stars.svg  Alvah Meyer  (USA)US flag 48 stars.svg  Donald Lippincott  (USA)
1920 Antwerp
details
US flag 48 stars.svg  Charley Paddock  (USA)US flag 48 stars.svg  Morris Kirksey  (USA)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Harry Edward  (GBR)
1924 Paris
details
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Harold Abrahams  (GBR)US flag 48 stars.svg  Jackson Scholz  (USA)Flag of New Zealand.svg  Arthur Porritt, Baron Porritt  (NZL)
1928 Amsterdam
details
Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Percy Williams  (CAN)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Jack London  (GBR)Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg  Georg Lammers  (GER)
1932 Los Angeles
details
US flag 48 stars.svg  Eddie Tolan  (USA)US flag 48 stars.svg  Ralph Metcalfe  (USA)Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg  Arthur Jonath  (GER)
1936 Berlin
details
US flag 48 stars.svg  Jesse Owens  (USA)US flag 48 stars.svg  Ralph Metcalfe  (USA)Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Tinus Osendarp  (NED)
1948 London
details
US flag 48 stars.svg  Harrison Dillard  (USA)US flag 48 stars.svg  Barney Ewell  (USA)Flag of Panama.svg  Lloyd La Beach  (PAN)
1952 Helsinki
details
US flag 48 stars.svg  Lindy Remigino  (USA)Flag of Jamaica (1906-1957).svg  Herb McKenley  (JAM)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  McDonald Bailey  (GBR)
1956 Melbourne
details
US flag 48 stars.svg  Bobby Morrow  (USA)US flag 48 stars.svg  Thane Baker  (USA)Flag of Australia.svg  Hector Hogan  (AUS)
1960 Rome
details
Flag of the German Olympic Team (1960-1968).svg  Armin Hary  (EUA)Flag of the United States.svg  Dave Sime  (USA)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Peter Radford  (GBR)
1964 Tokyo
details
Flag of the United States.svg  Bob Hayes  (USA)Flag of Cuba.svg  Enrique Figuerola  (CUB)Canadian Red Ensign (1957-1965).svg  Harry Jerome  (CAN)
1968 Mexico City
details
Flag of the United States.svg  Jim Hines  (USA)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Lennox Miller  (JAM)Flag of the United States.svg  Charles Greene  (USA)
1972 Munich
details
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Valeriy Borzov  (URS)Flag of the United States.svg  Robert Taylor  (USA)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Lennox Miller  (JAM)
1976 Montreal
details
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Hasely Crawford  (TRI)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Don Quarrie  (JAM)Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Valeriy Borzov  (URS)
1980 Moscow
details
Olympic flag.svg  Allan Wells  (GBR)Flag of Cuba.svg  Silvio Leonard  (CUB)Flag of Bulgaria (1971-1990).svg  Petar Petrov  (BUL)
1984 Los Angeles
details
Flag of the United States.svg  Carl Lewis  (USA)Flag of the United States.svg  Sam Graddy  (USA)Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Ben Johnson  (CAN)
1988 Seoul [112] [113]
details
Flag of the United States.svg  Carl Lewis  (USA)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Linford Christie  (GBR)Flag of the United States.svg  Calvin Smith  (USA)
1992 Barcelona
details
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Linford Christie  (GBR)Flag of Namibia.svg  Frankie Fredericks  (NAM)Flag of the United States.svg  Dennis Mitchell  (USA)
1996 Atlanta
details
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Donovan Bailey  (CAN)Flag of Namibia.svg  Frankie Fredericks  (NAM)Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Ato Boldon  (TRI)
2000 Sydney
details
Flag of the United States.svg  Maurice Greene  (USA)Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Ato Boldon  (TRI)Flag of Barbados.svg  Obadele Thompson  (BAR)
2004 Athens
details
Flag of the United States.svg  Justin Gatlin  (USA)Flag of Portugal.svg  Francis Obikwelu  (POR)Flag of the United States.svg  Maurice Greene  (USA)
2008 Beijing
details
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Usain Bolt  (JAM)Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Richard Thompson  (TRI)Flag of the United States.svg  Walter Dix  (USA)
2012 London
details
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Usain Bolt  (JAM)Flag of Jamaica.svg  Yohan Blake  (JAM)Flag of the United States.svg  Justin Gatlin  (USA)
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Usain Bolt  (JAM)Flag of the United States.svg  Justin Gatlin  (USA)Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Andre De Grasse  (CAN)
2020 Tokyo
details
Flag of Italy.svg  Marcell Jacobs  (ITA)Flag of the United States.svg  Fred Kerley  (USA)Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Andre De Grasse  (CAN)

Multiple medallists

RankAthleteNationOlympicsGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Usain Bolt Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)2008–20163003
2 Carl Lewis Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)1984–19882002
3 Justin Gatlin Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)2004–20161113
4 Linford Christie Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR)1988–19921102
5 Valeriy Borzov Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union  (URS)1972–19761012
Maurice Greene Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)2000–20041012
7 Ralph Metcalfe Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)1932–19360202
Frankie Fredericks Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia  (NAM)1992–19960202
9 Lennox Miller Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)1968–19720112
Ato Boldon Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago  (TRI)1996–20000112
11 Andre De Grasse Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN)2016–20200022

Medals by country

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)1614939
2Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)3418
3Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR)3238
4Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN)2046
5Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago  (TRI)1214
6Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union  (URS)1012
7Flag of Italy.svg  Italy  (ITA)1001
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa  (RSA)1001
Flag of the German Olympic Team (1960-1968).svg  United Team of Germany  (EUA)1001
10Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba  (CUB)0202
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia  (NAM)0202
12Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER)0123
13Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal  (POR)0101
14Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)0022
15Flag of Barbados.svg  Barbados  (BAR)0011
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria  (BUL)0011
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary  (HUN)0011
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands  (NED)0011
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand  (NZL)0011
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama  (PAN)0011
20Totals29282986

Women

GamesGoldSilverBronze
1928 Amsterdam
details
Betty Robinson
US flag 48 stars.svg  United States
Fanny Rosenfeld
Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada
Ethel Smith
Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada
1932 Los Angeles
details
Stanisława Walasiewicz
Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg  Poland
Hilda Strike
Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada
Wilhelmina von Bremen
US flag 48 stars.svg  United States
1936 Berlin
details
Helen Stephens
US flag 48 stars.svg  United States
Stanisława Walasiewicz
Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg  Poland
Käthe Krauß
Flag of the German Reich (1935-1945).svg  Germany
1948 London
details
Fanny Blankers-Koen
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Dorothy Manley
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain
Shirley Strickland
Flag of Australia.svg  Australia
1952 Helsinki
details
Marjorie Jackson
Flag of Australia.svg  Australia
Daphne Hasenjager
Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg  South Africa
Shirley Strickland de la Hunty
Flag of Australia.svg  Australia
1956 Melbourne
details
Betty Cuthbert
Flag of Australia.svg  Australia
Christa Stubnick
Flag of Germany.svg  United Team of Germany
Marlene Matthews
Flag of Australia.svg  Australia
1960 Rome
details
Wilma Rudolph
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Dorothy Hyman
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain
Giuseppina Leone
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
1964 Tokyo
details
Wyomia Tyus
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Edith McGuire
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Ewa Kłobukowska
Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg  Poland
1968 Mexico City
details
Wyomia Tyus
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Barbara Ferrell
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Irena Szewińska
Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg  Poland
1972 Munich
details
Renate Stecher
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
Raelene Boyle
Flag of Australia.svg  Australia
Silvia Chivás
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
1976 Montreal
details
Annegret Richter
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany
Renate Stecher
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
Inge Helten
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany
1980 Moscow
details
Lyudmila Kondratyeva
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Marlies Göhr
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
Ingrid Auerswald
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
1984 Los Angeles
details
Evelyn Ashford
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Alice Brown
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Merlene Ottey
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
1988 Seoul
details
Florence Griffith-Joyner
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Evelyn Ashford
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Heike Drechsler
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
1992 Barcelona
details
Gail Devers
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Juliet Cuthbert
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Irina Privalova
Olympic flag.svg  Unified Team
1996 Atlanta
details
Gail Devers
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Merlene Ottey
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Gwen Torrence
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
2000 Sydney
details
Vacant [114] Ekaterini Thanou
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece
Merlene Ottey
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Tayna Lawrence
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
2004 Athens
details
Yulia Nestsiarenka
Flag of Belarus (1995-2012).svg  Belarus
Lauryn Williams
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Veronica Campbell
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
2008 Beijing
details
Shelly-Ann Fraser
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Sherone Simpson
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
none awarded
Kerron Stewart
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
2012 London
details
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Carmelita Jeter
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Veronica Campbell-Brown
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Elaine Thompson
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Tori Bowie
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
2020 Tokyo
details
Elaine Thompson-Herah
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Shericka Jackson
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica

Multiple medallists

RankAthleteNationOlympicsGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)2008–20202114
2 Wyomia Tyus Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)1964–19682002
Gail Devers Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)1992–19962002
Elaine Thompson-Herah Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)2016–20202002
4 Stanisława Walasiewicz Flag of Poland.svg  Poland  (POL)1932–19361102
Renate Stecher Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany  (GDR)1972–19761102
Evelyn Ashford Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)1984–19881102
7 Merlene Ottey Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)1984–20000123
8 Shirley Strickland Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)1948–19520022
Veronica Campbell-Brown Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)2004–20120022

Medals by country

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)97218
2Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)46616
3Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)2136
4Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany  (GDR)1225
5Flag of Poland.svg  Poland  (POL)1124
6Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany  (FRG)1012
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy  (ITA)1012
7Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus  (BLR)1001
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands  (NED)1001
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union  (URS)1001
10Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN)0213
11Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR)0202
12Flag of Greece.svg  Greece  (GRE)0101
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa  (RSA)0101
Flag of the German Olympic Team (1960-1968).svg  United Team of Germany  (EUA)0101
15Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba  (CUB)0011
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER)0011
Olympic flag.svg  Unified Team  (EUN)0011
18Totals21232064

Overall

Medals by country

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA)25211157
2Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)79620
3Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR)34310
4Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN)2259
5Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)2158
6Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union  (URS)2013
7Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany  (GDR)1225
8Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago  (TRI)1214
9Flag of Poland.svg  Poland  (POL)1124
10Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa  (RSA)1102
Flag of the German Olympic Team (1960-1968).svg  United Team of Germany  (EUA)1102
12Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands  (NED)1012
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany  (FRG)1012
14Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus  (BLR)1001
15Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba  (CUB)0213
16Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia  (NAM)0202
17Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER)0134
18Flag of Greece.svg  Greece  (GRE)0101
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal  (POR)0101
20Flag of Barbados.svg  Barbados  (BAR)0011
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria  (BUL)0011
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary  (HUN)0011
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy  (ITA)0011
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand  (NZL)0011
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama  (PAN)0011
Olympic flag.svg  Unified Team  (EUN)0011
26Totals485149148

Olympic record progression

The best time for the 100 m set during Olympic competition is known as the Olympic record. To count as an official record, the race and the equipment used must adhere to IAAF international rules. Hand-timed results were the standard until 1975, when fully automatic timing (FAT) became the preferred method for officially measuring athletes' times. Further to this wind conditions must be measured and any time achieved with a wind speed of over 2.0 metres per second in a direction behind the athlete is treated as wind-assisted and cannot be taken for an Olympic record mark. [115]

Since the first men's Olympic record of 12.2 seconds by Frank Lane in 1896, the record has been broken 13 times and matched 24 times. Twenty-eight men have been holder (or co-holder) of the record. Usain Bolt is the current record holder with 9.63, set in 2012. Further to this standing men's world record for the 100 m has been equalled five times in Olympic competition and improved twice (by Carl Lewis in 1988 with 9.92 and by Bolt in 2008 with 9.69). Ben Johnson's time of 9.79 was annulled before it was ratified as either an Olympic or world record. [115]

Since the initial women's Olympic record of 13.0 seconds was set by Anni Holdmann in 1928, it has been broken 18 times and equalled 17 further times. The standing women's 100 m world record has been improved five times during Olympic competition and equalled seven times. [115]

The tables below refer to hand-timing for races held prior to the 1972 Summer Olympics and to fully automatic times after that point, when they became the standard for the Olympics. [115] Hand-timed results that matched the Olympic record are treated as equalling the mark, with the exception of any athletes that matched that time but finished behind another athlete in their race.

Men

Thomas Curtis shared in the first Olympic record mark of 12.2 seconds. Thomas Curtis.jpg
Thomas Curtis shared in the first Olympic record mark of 12.2 seconds.
After Ben Johnson's disqualification, Carl Lewis's time of 9.92 was established as the Olympic and world record time. HeadshotCarl.jpg
After Ben Johnson's disqualification, Carl Lewis's time of 9.92 was established as the Olympic and world record time.
TimeAthleteNationGamesRoundDate
12.2 Francis Lane Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1896 Heat 11896-04-06
12.2 Thomas Curtis Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1896 Heat 21896-04-06
11.8 Tom Burke Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1896 Heat 31896-04-06
11.4 Arthur Duffey Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1900 Heat 11900-06-14
11.4 Walter Tewksbury Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1900 Heat 21900-06-14
10.8 =WR Frank Jarvis Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1900 Heat 31900-06-14
10.8 =WR Walter Tewksbury Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1900 Semi-final 21900-06-14
10.8 James Rector Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1908 Heat 151908-07-20
10.8 Reggie Walker Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa  (RSA) 1908 Semi-final 11908-07-20
10.8 James Rector Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1908 Semi-final 31908-07-20
10.8 Reggie Walker Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  South Africa  (RSA) 1908 Final1908-07-20
10.8 David Jacobs Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR) 1912 Heat 101912-07-06
10.6 Donald Lippincott Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1912 Heat 161912-07-06
10.6 Harold Abrahams Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR) 1924 Quarter-final 41924-07-06
10.6 Harold Abrahams Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR) 1924 Semi-final 21924-07-07
10.6 Harold Abrahams Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR) 1924 Final1924-07-07
10.6 Percy Williams Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN) 1928 Quarter-final 41928-07-29
10.6 Robert McAllister Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1928 Semi-final 11928-07-30
10.6Jack LondonFlag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1928 Semi-final 21928-07-30
10.6 Arthur Jonath Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER) 1932 Heat 31932-07-31
10.4 Eddie Tolan Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1932 Quarter-final 11932-07-31
10.3 =WR Eddie Tolan Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1932 Final1932-08-01
10.3 Jesse Owens Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1936 Heat 11936-08-02
10.3 Harrison Dillard Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1948 Final1948-07-31
10.3 Bobby Joe Morrow Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1956 Quarter-final 11956-11-23
10.3 Ira Murchison Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1956 Quarter-final 21956-11-23
10.3 Bobby Joe Morrow Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1956 Semi-final 21956-11-24
10.2 Armin Hary Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany  (FRG) 1960 Quarter-final 21960-08-31
10.2 Armin Hary Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany  (FRG) 1960 Final1960-08-31
10.0 =WR Bob Hayes Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1964 Final1964-10-15
10.0 A Hermes Ramírez Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba  (CUB) 1968 Quarter-final 21968-10-13
10.0 A Charlie Greene Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Quarter-final 41968-10-13
10.0 A Jim Hines Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Semi-final 11968-10-14
9.9 A =WR Jim Hines Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Final1968-10-14
9.92 WR [nb3] Carl Lewis Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1988 Final1988-09-24
9.84 WR Donovan Bailey Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN) 1996 Final1996-07-27
9.69 WR Usain Bolt Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM) 2008 Final2008-08-16
9.63 Usain Bolt Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM) 2012 Final2012-08-05

Women

Wilma Rudolph's time of 11.3 in 1960 was an Olympic and world record time. Wilma Rudolph 1960.jpg
Wilma Rudolph's time of 11.3 in 1960 was an Olympic and world record time.
Irena Szewinska's time of 11.1 seconds stood as the Olympic record for one day. Irena Szewinska 2007 AB.jpg
Irena Szewińska's time of 11.1 seconds stood as the Olympic record for one day.
No woman had ran faster than Florence Griffith Joyner's Olympic record of 10.62 set in 1988 until it was broken by Elaine Thompson-Herah in 2021. Florence Griffith Joyner2.jpg
No woman had ran faster than Florence Griffith Joyner's Olympic record of 10.62 set in 1988 until it was broken by Elaine Thompson-Herah in 2021.
TimeAthleteNationGamesRoundDate
13.0 Anni Holdmann Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER) 1928 Heat 11928-07-30
12.8 Erna Steinberg Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER) 1928 Heat 21928-07-30
12.8 Kinue Hitomi Flag of Japan.svg  Japan  (JPN) 1928 Heat 31928-07-30
12.8 Leni Junker Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER) 1928 Heat 41928-07-30
12.8 Leni Schmidt Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER) 1928 Heat 61928-07-30
12.6 Fanny Rosenfeld Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN) 1928 Heat 71928-07-30
12.6 Ethel Smith Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN) 1928 Heat 91928-07-30
12.4 Fanny Rosenfeld Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN) 1928 Semi-final 11928-07-30
12.4 Betty Robinson Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1928 Semi-final 21928-07-30
12.2 WR Betty Robinson Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1928 Final1928-07-31
12.2 Marie Dollinger Flag of Germany.svg  Germany  (GER) 1932 Heat 11932-08-01
11.9 WR Stanisława Walasiewicz Flag of Poland.svg  Poland  (POL) 1932 Heat 21932-08-01
11.9 =WR Stanisława Walasiewicz Flag of Poland.svg  Poland  (POL) 1932 Semi-final 21932-08-01
11.9 =WR Stanisława Walasiewicz Flag of Poland.svg  Poland  (POL) 1932 Final1932-08-02
11.9 Fanny Blankers-Koen Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands  (NED) 1948 Final1948-08-02
11.9 Catherine Hardy Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1952 Heat 71952-07-21
11.6 Marjorie Jackson Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS) 1952 Heat 81952-07-21
11.6 Marjorie Jackson Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS) 1952 Quarter-final 11952-07-21
11.5 =WR Marjorie Jackson Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS) 1952 Semi-final 11952-07-22
11.5 =WR Marjorie Jackson Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS) 1952 Final1952-07-22
11.5 Marlene Mathews Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS) 1956 Heat 21956-11-24
11.4 Betty Cuthbert Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS) 1956 Heat 31956-11-24
11.3 =WR Wilma Rudolph Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1960 Semi-final 11960-09-02
11.2 =WR Wyomia Tyus Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1964 Quarter-final 11964-10-15
11.2 A Wyomia Tyus Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Heat 11968-10-14
11.2 A Margaret Bailes Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Heat 21968-10-14
11.2 A Barbara Ferrell Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Heat 61968-10-14
11.1 A =WR Barbara Ferrell Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Quarter-final 11968-10-14
11.1 A =WR Irena Szewińska-Kirszenstein Flag of Poland.svg  Poland  (POL) 1968 Quarter-final 41968-10-14
11.0 A WR Wyomia Tyus Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1968 Final1968-10-15
11.07 WR Renate Stecher Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany  (GDR) 1972 Quarter-final 11972-09-01
11.05 Annegret Richter Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany  (FRG) 1976 Quarter-final 11976-07-24
11.01 WR Annegret Richter Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany  (FRG) 1976 Semi-final 11976-07-25
10.97 Evelyn Ashford Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1984 Final1984-08-05
10.88 Florence Griffith Joyner Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1988 Heat 71988-09-24
10.88 Evelyn Ashford Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1988 Quarter-final 21988-09-24
10.62 Florence Griffith Joyner Flag of the United States.svg  United States  (USA) 1988 Quarter-final 31988-09-24
10.61 Elaine Thompson-Herah Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM) 2021 Final2021-07-31

Finishing times

The Olympic 100 m is the most prestigious competition for the distance and it attracts elite level, international competitors. The winner of the race is occasionally referred to as "the world's fastest" man or woman, reflecting the high level of the competition and the quality of performances. [116] [117] As of February 2014, the current Olympic records of 9.63 for men and 10.62 seconds for women rank as the second and third fastest times in history, for men and women respectively. [118] [119] The standard of performances at the Olympics has progressed in line with the discipline as a whole and the times in the final often rank highly in the end-of-season lists. [120] [121] [122] National records and personal bests are frequently improved at the event by sprinters from large and small nations alike, as most elite athletes aim to reach peak race fitness for the Olympics. [123] [124]

The 2012 men's final was the fastest 100 m race in history, collectively: the top five men ran under 9.90 seconds for the first time ever and seven of the eight finalists ran under 10 seconds (the last runner suffered an injury). [125] [126] Tyson Gay became the fastest non-medallist in history at that race with his time of 9.80 seconds. [118] Similarly, the 2012 women's final was, collectively, the fastest women's 100 m race ever: seven of the eight finalists ran 11 seconds or faster for the first time, with Veronica Campbell-Brown becoming the fastest ever bronze medallist with her time of 10.81 seconds and Tianna Madison becoming the fastest non-medallist with her time of 10.85 seconds. [119]

Top ten fastest Olympic times

Note: Florence Griffith-Joyner ran 10.54 (+3.0) and 10.70 (+2.6) in the finals and semifinals of the 100m at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, however, both were over the legal wind speed limit of +2.0m/s.

Best time for place

Intercalated Games

The 1906 Intercalated Games were held in Athens and at the time were officially recognised as part of the Olympic Games series, with the intention being to hold a games in Greece in two-year intervals between the internationally held Olympics. However, this plan never came to fruition and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided not to recognise these games as part of the official Olympic series. Some sports historians continue to treat the results of these games as part of the Olympic canon. [129]

At this event a men's 100 m was held and 1904 Olympic champion Archie Hahn of the United States won the race. Another American, Fay Moulton, was the runner-up and Australian Nigel Barker was the bronze medallist. [130]

GamesGoldSilverBronze
1906 Athens
details
US flag 45 stars.svg  Archie Hahn  (USA)US flag 45 stars.svg  Fay Moulton  (USA)Flag of Australia (1903-1908).svg  Nigel Barker  (AUS)

Non-canonical Olympic events

In addition to the main 1900 Olympic men's 100 metres, two further 100 m events were held that year. A handicap race attracted 32 athletes from 10 countries and was won by Edmund Minahan, an American semi-finalist in the main 100 m competition, which had taken place five days earlier. [131] A 100 m event for professionals only was held several weeks later. Four entrants are known and the winner was Edgar Bredin, a British former world record holder. [132] [133]

A 100 m professionals handicap race is also believed to have been held in 1900. In 1904 a 100-yard dash handicap race was contested and an American, C. Hastedt, was the victor. [134]

These events are no longer considered part of the official Olympic history of the 100 m or the athletics programme in general. Consequently, medals from these races have not been assigned to nations on the all-time medal tables. [134]

Cultural impact

Usain Bolt's 2008 Olympic victory received global media coverage Boltbeijing.jpg
Usain Bolt's 2008 Olympic victory received global media coverage

The 100 metres is typically considered one of the blue ribbon Olympic track and field events, and of the Olympic Games as a whole. [135] The Olympic 100 m finals, particularly the men's, are among the most popular events from any sport at the Olympics – the 2012 Olympic men's 100 metres final was the most watched event at the London Games by British audiences (with 20 million television viewers) [136] while in the United States that event was the third-most viewed Olympic clip. [137]

The high-profile nature of 100 m Olympic finals in some countries has served to encourage participation in sport among the wider public, particularly in short sprinting. Successive generations of athletes cite previous 100 m Olympic champions as the reason for their entering the sport. [138] The history of the event has had particular impact for African-American athletes: Jesse Owens' Olympic 100 m gold was an early example of a black American achieving success on an international stage while Wilma Rudolph's 1960 win inspired many black American women. [139] [140] Owens' 100 m victory at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (one of four gold medals he won at the games) helped challenge notions of white supremacy that were popular during that era. [141]

1996 Olympic 100 metre champion Donovan Bailey from Canada had his billing as "World's Fastest Man" questioned by the American media, who instead promoted 1996 Olympic 200 metre and 400 metre champion Michael Johnson from the United States. After much sparring between the two athletes and media of their respective countries, an unsanctioned 150-metre race was held at the SkyDome in Toronto to settle the matter, with Bailey winning while Johnson pulled up injured, and they earned $1.5 million and $500,000, respectively.

The Olympic 100 metres has been covered by several film documentaries. Chariots of Fire , a 1981 historical drama focusing on Harold Abrahams' victory at the 1924 Paris Olympics, is among the most prominent. The film won four Academy Awards, [142] is often listed among polls for the best sports and Olympics films., [143] [144] and was ranked 19th in the British Film Institute's 100 Best British Films [145] Wilma Rudolph was a central figure in The Grand Olympics (Italian : La grande olimpiade), an Academy-Award nominated documentary about the 1960 Rome Olympics, where Rudolph's 100 m feats earned her the nickname La Gazzella Negra (The Black Gazelle). [146] [147] The 1988 Olympic final, featuring Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis has been the topic of documentaries, including ESPN's "9.79*" from the 30 for 30 series, [148] as well as non-fiction books, such as Richard Moore's The Dirtiest Race in History. [100]

Across the sport of track and field, Olympic 100 m champions have often featured on Athlete of the Year lists. Carl Lewis (1984), Evelyn Ashford (1984), Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988) and Usain Bolt (2008) were chosen as Track & Field News Athlete of the Year in the year of their Olympic victories. [149] Lewis, Griffith-Joyner, and Bolt were also awarded the title of IAAF World Athlete of the Year for their Olympic feats. [150]

See also

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Kim Collins is a former track and field sprinter from Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 2003, he became the World Champion in the 100 metres. He represented his country at the Summer Olympics on five occasions, from 1996 to 2016, and was the country's first athlete to reach an Olympic final. He competed at ten editions of the World Championships in Athletics, from 1995 to 2015, winning five medals. He was a twice runner-up in the 60 metres at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. At regional level, he was a gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games and a silver medallist at the Pan American Games. Till date he is the only Individual World Championships Gold medallist from Saint Kitts and Nevis

Merlene Ottey Jamaican-born Slovenian track athlete

Merlene Joyce Ottey OJ, CD is a Jamaican-Slovenian former track and field sprinter. She began her career representing Jamaica in 1978, and continued to do so for 24 years, before representing Slovenia from 2002 to 2012. She is ranked fourth on the all-time list over 60 metres (indoor), eighth on the all-time list over 100 metres and fifth on the all-time list over 200 metres. She is the current world indoor record holder for 200 metres with 21.87 seconds, set in 1993. She was named Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year 13 times between 1979 and 1995.

Veronica Campbell Brown Jamaican sprinter

Veronica Campbell Brown, CD is a retired Jamaican track and field sprinter, who specializes in the 100 and 200 meters. An eight-time Olympic medalist, she is the second woman in history to win two consecutive Olympic 200 m events, after Bärbel Wöckel of Germany at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. Campbell Brown is one of only nine athletes to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event.

60 metres

60 metres, or 60-meter dash, is a sprint event in track and field. It is a championship event for indoor championships, normally dominated by the best outdoor 100 metres runners. At outdoor venues it is a rare distance, at least for senior athletes. The format of the event is similar to other sprint distances. The sprinters follow three initial instructions: 'ready', instructing them to take up position in the starting blocks; 'set', instructing them to adopt a more efficient starting posture, which also isometrically preloads their muscles. This will enable them to start faster. The final instruction is the firing of the starter's pistol. Upon hearing this the sprinters stride forwards from the blocks.

1500 metres Middle distance running event, "the metric mile"

The 1500 metres or 1,500-metre run is the foremost middle distance track event in athletics. The distance has been contested at the Summer Olympics since 1896 and the World Championships in Athletics since 1983. It is equivalent to 1.5 kilometers or approximately 1516 miles.

Daniel Bailey

Daniel Everton Bailey is a male sprinter from Antigua and Barbuda who specialises in the 100 metres. He carried the flag for his native country at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics, 2012 Summer Olympics, and the 2016 Summer Olympics and was a 100 m semi-finalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Oludamola Osayomi Nigerian sprinter

Oludamola Bolanle ("Damola") Osayomi is a Nigerian sprinter who specializes in the 100 metres and 200 metres. She is a four-time gold medallist at the African Championships in Athletics and won an Olympic silver medal with Nigeria in the 4×100 metres relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She also won the 100 and 200 m sprints at the 2007 All-Africa Games.

Aleksandra Fedoriva Russian sprinter

Aleksandra Andreyevna Fedoriva is a Russian track and field athlete who competes mainly in sprinting events.

2010 in the sport of athletics

In 2010 there was no obvious, primary athletics championship, as neither the Summer Olympics nor the World Championships in Athletics occurred in the year. The foremost championships to be held in 2010 included: the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, 2010 European Athletics Championships, 2010 African Championships in Athletics, and Athletics at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Natasha Laren Mayers is a professional track and field sprinter who competes internationally for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She is the national record holder over 60 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres. She represented her country at the Summer Olympic Games in 2000 and 2004, and had the honour of national flag bearer at the latter edition. She has also appeared at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2001 and 2003, as well as having taken part at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. Coached by Mahasse Cornileus

Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics Athletics events at the Olympics

The athletics competitions at the 2012 Olympic Games in London were held during the last 10 days of the Games, on 3–12 August. Track and field events took place at the Olympic Stadium in east London. The road events, however, started and finished on The Mall in central London.

Yousef Masrahi Saudi Arabian sprinter

Yousef Ahmed Masrahi is a Saudi Arabian track and field athlete, who specialises in the 400 metres sprint. His personal best time for the event is 43.93 seconds, set in 2015, and is the Asian record.

In India, the sport of athletics was introduced during the period of the British Raj. The sport is governed at national level by the Athletics Federation of India, which was formed in 1946. Despite its large population, at the top level of the sport few Indian athletes have won a medal in a global or major championship. This began to change in the 21st century, when Indians started taking greater interest in athletics more generally and improved facilities for the sport began to be built at a local level. At a continental level, it has been among the more successful Asian nations, though some distance behind China and Japan.

Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics 2016 Summer Olympics Athletics

Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics were held during the last 10 days of the games, from 12 to 21 August 2016, at the Olympic Stadium. The sport of athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics was made into three distinct sets of events: track and field events, road running events, and racewalking events.

800 metres at the Olympics

The 800 metres at the Summer Olympics has been contested since the first edition of the multi-sport event. The men's 800 m has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1896. The women's event was first held in 1928, making it the first distance running event for women. However it was not held again until 1960, since when it has been a permanent fixture. It is the most prestigious 800 m race at elite level. The competition format typically has three rounds: a qualifying round, semi-final stage, and a final between eight runners.

1500 metres at the Olympics

The 1500 metres at the Summer Olympics has been contested since the first edition of the multi-sport event. The men's 1500 m has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1896. The women's event was not introduced until over seventy years later, but it has been a permanent fixture since it was first held in 1972. The Olympic final and the World Athletics Championship final are the most prestigious 1500 m races at an elite level. The competition format comprises three rounds: a heats stage, semi-finals, then a final typically between twelve athletes.

4 × 100 metres relay at the Olympics

The 4 × 100 metres relay at the Summer Olympics is the shortest track relay event held at the multi-sport event. The men's relay has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1912 and the women's event has been continuously held since the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. It is the most prestigious 4×100 m relay race at elite level.

4 × 400 metres relay at the Olympics

The 4×400 metres relay at the Summer Olympics is the longest track relay event held at the multi-sport event. The men's relay has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1912 and the women's event has been continuously held since the 1972 Olympics. It is the most prestigious 4×400 m relay race at elite level. At the 1908 Summer Olympics, a precursor to this event was held – the 1600 m medley relay. This event, with two legs of 200 m, one of 400 m, and a final leg of 800 m, was the first track relay in Olympic history.

Sprint hurdles at the Olympics

The sprint hurdles at the Summer Olympics have been contested over a variety of distances at the multi-sport event. The men's 110 metres hurdles has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since the first edition in 1896. A men's 200 metres hurdles was also briefly held, from 1900 to 1904. The first women's sprint hurdling event was added to the programme at the 1932 Olympics in the form of the 80 metres hurdles. At the 1972 Games the women's distance was extended to the 100 metres hurdles, which is the current international standard.

Steeplechase at the Olympics

The steeplechase at the Summer Olympics has been held over several distances and is the longest track event with obstacles held at the multi-sport event. The men's 3000 metres steeplechase has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1920. The women's event is the most recent addition to the programme, having been added at the 2008 Olympics. It is the most prestigious steeplechase track race at elite level.

References

Participation and athlete data
Olympic record progressions
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    3. Flag of Jamaica.svg Merlene Ottey 11.19
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