Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres

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Men's 100 metres
at the Games of the I Olympiad
100m sprint 1896 Olympics.jpg
100 metres, heat 2
Venue Panathenaic Stadium
Dates6 April (first round)
10 April (final)
Competitors15 from 8 nations
Winning time12.0
Medalists
Gold medal icon.svg Thomas Burke
US flag 44 stars.svg  United States
Silver medal icon.svg Fritz Hofmann
Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany
Bronze medal icon.svg Alajos Szokolyi
Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary
Bronze medal icon.svg Francis Lane
US flag 44 stars.svg  United States
1900  

The men's 100 metres race was the first event run at the modern Olympics, on 6 April 1896. It was the shortest race on the Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. 15 athletes from 8 nations competed. The event was won by Thomas Burke of the United States.

Contents

Background

Fritz Hofmann was probably the most prominent sprinter to enter the event; he had won the 1893 Championship of the Continent. Thomas Burke was the American champion in the 400 metres but had not distinguished himself yet in the 100 metres. Absent were top sprinters American Bernie Wefers and Englishman Charles Bradley. [1]

Competition format

21 athletes were entered in the first round, divided into three heats of seven runners, but six of them later withdrew. The top two athletes in each heat advanced to the final, which took place on 10 April.

Records

This was the standing world record (in seconds) prior to the 1896 Summer Olympics.

World Record10.8 [lower-alpha 1] Flag of the United States.svg Luther Cary Paris (FRA)July 4, 1891
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Cecil Lee Brussels (BEL)September 25, 1892
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Étienne De Re Brussels (BEL)August 4, 1893
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg L. Atcherley Frankfurt/Main (GER)April 13, 1895
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Harry Beaton Rotterdam (NED)August 28, 1895
  1. unofficial

In the first heat, Francis Lane set the inaugural Olympic Record of 12.2 seconds, tied in Heat 2 by Thomas Curtis. Thomas Burke then ran 11.8 seconds, which stood as the Olympic Record until the 1900 Olympics.

Schedule

The precise times of the events are not recorded. For the first round, the heats began shortly after the arrival of King George I of Greece at 3 p.m. and the brief opening ceremony. [2] The final was the first competition of the afternoon session on Friday. [3]

DateRound
GregorianJulian
Monday, 6 April 1896Monday, 25 March 1896Round 1
Friday, 10 April 1896Friday, 29 March 1896Final

Results

Heats

The first round of heats took place on 6 April. The first heat of the 100 metres was the first competition held in the Games. Francis Lane won the first heat, thus becoming the first winner of a modern Olympic race. All heats were won by athletes from the United States.

Heat 1

The Official Report states that there were a total of 21 competitors, divided into three groups; there should therefore have been 7 athletes in each heat. The Official Report names only the top two runners, Lane and Szokolyi. [4] Butler writes that the first heat had "two Hungarians, a Chilian, a Frenchman, a German, an Englishman and an American." [5] Mallon & Widlund list Lane, Szokolyi, Gmelin, Grisel, and Doerry. Megede places André Tournois as the French competitor, rather than Grisel (who Megede does not list at all), omits Doerry (who Megede puts in heat 2), and includes Leonidasz Manno and Luis Subercaseaux. [6] Olympedia follows Mallon & Widlund, also including Manno, Tournois, and Subercaseaux in a list of non-starters not attached to particular heats (this list includes 12 athletes, bringing Olympedia's total entrants to 27 rather than 21). [1]

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Francis Lane US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 12.2 Q
2 Alajos Szokolyi Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary 12.8 Q
3 Charles Gmelin Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 12.9
4 Adolphe Grisel Flag of France.svg  France Unknown
5 Kurt Doerry Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany Unknown
Leonidasz MannoFlag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary DNS
Luis Subercaseaux Flag of Chile.svg  Chile DNS

Heat 2

The Official Report states that there were a total of 21 competitors, divided into three groups; there should therefore have been 7 athletes in each heat. The Official Report names only the top two runners, Curtis and Chalkokondylis. [4] Butler writes of the second heat that Curtis beat "a Greek, an Englishman, two Frenchmen, a Dane, and a Hungarian." [5] Mallon & Widlund list Curtis, Chalkokondylis, Elliot, Schmidt, and Marshall. Megede places Alexandre Tuffère as the French competitor, including him at 3rd place above Elliott; Megede also has Kurt Doerry in this heat instead of the first one (indicating he started but did not finish the heat) and omits Marshall entirely. [6] Olympedia follows Mallon & Widlund, also including Tuffère in a list of non-starters not attached to particular heats. Other non-starters listed by Olympedia that could be a second Frenchman or a Hungarian to match Butler's list are André Tournois, Louis Adler, István Zachar, and Nándor Dáni. [1]

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Thomas Curtis US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 12.2 Q
2 Alexandros Chalkokondylis Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece 12.8 Q
3 Launceston Elliot Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 12.9
4 Eugen Schmidt Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Unknown
5 George Marshall Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown
Alexandre Tuffère Flag of France.svg  France DNS
UnknownUnknown (France or Hungary)DNS

Heat 3

Both Burke and Hofmann were more well known for middle-distance events rather than sprinting. Burke's time of 11.8s became the standing Olympic record. It is not clear which athlete received which place between the fourth and fifth finishers.

The Official Report states that there were a total of 21 competitors, divided into three groups; there should therefore have been 7 athletes in each heat. The Official Report names only the top two runners, "an American (Burke)" and Hofmann. [4] Butler writes of the final heat that Burke beat "a Swede, two Greeks, and three Germans." [5] Mallon & Widlund list Burke, Hofmann, Traun, Gennimatas, and Sjöberg. Megede omits Traun, places Sjöberg 3rd and Gennimatas 5th, and includes Nándor Dáni at 4th. [6] Olympedia follows Mallon & Widlund; non-starters (not attached to particular heats in Olympedia) include Flatow and Mouratis. [1]

RankAthleteNationTimeNotes
1 Thomas Burke US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 11.8 Q
2 Fritz Hofmann Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 12.6 Q
3 Friedrich Traun Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 13.5
4–5 Georgios Gennimatas Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece Unknown
Henrik Sjöberg Swedish civil ensign (1844-1905).svg  Sweden Unknown
Alfred Flatow Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany DNS
Konstantinos MouratisFlag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece DNS

Final

The final of the 100 metre race, run on 10 April, involved the six runners who had finished in the top two of their preliminary heats. Thomas Curtis withdrew to save himself for the 110 metre hurdles, which was the next race on the program and which he won. Burke beat his companion from the third heat, Hofmann, by two meters. Lane and Szokolyi dead-heated for third place, with Chalkokondylis six inches behind them. Lane and Szokolyi are both considered to be bronze medallists by the International Olympic Committee.

RankAthleteNationTime
Gold medal icon.svg Thomas Burke US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 12.0
Silver medal icon.svg Fritz Hofmann Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 12.2
Bronze medal icon.svg Francis Lane US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 12.6
Bronze medal icon.svg Alajos Szokolyi Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary 12.6
5 Alexandros Chalkokondylis Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece 12.6
Thomas Curtis US flag 44 stars.svg  United States DNS

Results summary

RankAthleteNationSemifinalsFinalNotes
Gold medal icon.svg Thomas Burke US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 11.812.0 OR
Silver medal icon.svg Fritz Hofmann Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 12.612.2
Bronze medal icon.svg Francis Lane US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 12.212.6
Bronze medal icon.svg Alajos Szokolyi Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary 12.812.6
5 Alexandros Chalkokondylis Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece 12.812.6
6 Thomas Curtis US flag 44 stars.svg  United States 12.2DNS
7 Launceston Elliot Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 12.9Did not advance
Charles Gmelin Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 12.9
9 Friedrich Traun Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 13.5
10 Eugen Schmidt Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Unknown4th in semifinal
Adolphe Grisel Flag of France.svg  France Unknown4th in semifinal
12 Georgios Gennimatas Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece Unknown4th–5th in semifinal
Henrik Sjöberg Swedish civil ensign (1844-1905).svg  Sweden Unknown4th–5th in semifinal
14 George Marshall Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Unknown5th in semifinal
Kurt Doerry Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany Unknown5th in semifinal
Alfred Flatow Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany DNS
Leonidasz MannoFlag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary DNS
Konstantinos MouratisFlag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece DNS
Luis Subercaseaux Flag of Chile.svg  Chile DNS
Alexandre Tuffère Flag of France.svg  France DNS
UnknownUnknown (France or Hungary)DNS

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "100 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  2. Official Report, p. 57.
  3. Official Report, p. 84.
  4. 1 2 3 Official Report, pp. 61–62.
  5. 1 2 3 Butler, Maynard. The Olympic Games. In Mallon & Widlund, pp. 37–41.
  6. 1 2 3 Ekkehard zur Megede : The history of Olympic athletics. Volume 1: 1896-1936. Verlag Bartels & Wernitz KG, Berlin, 2nd edition 1970.