Josia Thugwane (born 15 April 1971) is a South African athlete, best known for winning the gold medal in the marathon race at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Thugwane, who is of Ndebele heritage, is the first black athlete to earn an Olympic gold for South Africa.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
A gold medal is a medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture.
The 1996 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, commonly known as Atlanta 1996, and also referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games, were an international multi-sport event that was held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. These Games, which were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, marked the century of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens—the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games. They were also the first since 1924 to be held in a different year from a Winter Olympics, under a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years.
Born in Bethal, Thugwane ran his first marathon in 1991, but his breakthrough to the international athletics scene came in 1995, when he won the Honolulu Marathon.
Bethal is a farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The farms in the region produce maize, sunflower seeds, sorghum, rye and potatoes. The town lies 155 km east of Johannesburg.
The Honolulu Marathon is a major 26.2-mile (42.2 km) marathon in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is one of the world's largest marathons, taking place annually on the second Sunday in December. The marathon is popular for its exotic location in Hawaii, and is also popular among first-time marathoners, many of whom are visitors from Japan.
Just five months before the Games commenced, Thugwane was carjacked and shot; the bullet grazed his chin, leaving an inch-long scar, and he injured his back as a result of jumping from his moving car. The coalmine that employed him paid for his medical care and rehabilitation.
At Atlanta, in the 1996 Olympic marathon, a large leading pack stayed in contact with each other for most of the race, until at the 35 km mark when Thugwane initiated a break away and he along with Lee Bong-Ju from South Korea and Erick Wainaina from Kenya. They stayed together until entering the stadium, when Thugwane got a slight lead. Thugwane finished 3 seconds ahead of Lee for the closest Olympic marathon finish ever.
South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.
Erick Wainaina is a Kenyan marathon runner, who won an Olympic bronze medal in 1996 and a silver medal in 2000. He finished seventh in the 2004 Summer Olympics marathon in Athens, making him one of the few athletes in Olympic history to finish in the top 10 at three separate marathons.
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 52.2 million people, Kenya is the 27th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and a critical inland port at Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.
Thugwane had a very successful year in 1997 by winning the Fukuoka Marathon, but then his career went down. He failed to finish in three successive marathons, and finished only twentieth in the 2000 Sydney Olympic marathon despite top ten finishes in the New York Marathon and London Marathon that year. In 2002 he won the Nagano Olympic Memorial Marathon in Japan.
The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship, held in Fukuoka, Japan, is an IAAF Gold Label international men's marathon race established in 1947. It is usually held on the first Sunday in December.
The 2000 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad and commonly known as Sydney 2000 or the Millennium Olympic Games/Games of the New Millennium, were an international multi-sport event which was held between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was the second time that the Summer Olympics were held in Australia, and also the Southern Hemisphere, the first being in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1956.
The London Marathon is a long-distance running event held in London, United Kingdom, part of the World Marathon Majors. The event was first run on 29 March 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since. Since 2010, the race has been sponsored by Virgin Money.
|1995||Honolulu Marathon||Honolulu, Hawaii||1st||Marathon||2:16:08|
|1996||Olympic Games||Atlanta, United States||1st||Marathon||2:12:36|
|1997||Fukuoka Marathon||Fukuoka, Japan||1st||Marathon||2:07:28|
|2000||Olympic Games||Sydney, Australia||20th||Marathon||2:16:59|
|2001||World Championships||Edmonton, Canada||—||Marathon||DNF|
|2002||Nagano Marathon||Nagano, Japan||1st||Marathon||2:13:23|
|2003||World Championships||Paris, France||—||Marathon||DNF|
The 1960 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was held from August 25 to September 11, 1960, in Rome, Italy. The city of Rome had previously been awarded the administration of the 1908 Summer Olympics, but following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906, Rome had no choice but to decline and pass the honour to London.
At the 1904 Summer Olympics, twenty-five athletics events were contested. A total of 74 medals were awarded.
Kenenisa Bekele is an Ethiopian long-distance runner and the current world record and Olympic record holder in both the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter events. He won the gold medal in both the 5,000 m and 10,000 m events at the 2008 Summer Olympics. At the 2004 Olympics he won the gold medal in the 10,000 m and the silver medal in the 5000 m. He is married to actress Danawit Gebregziabher and he has one younger brother, Tariku Bekele, who is also an accomplished world-class distance runner.
The Comrades Marathon is an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon race. The direction of the race alternates each year between the "up" run (87 km) starting from Durban and the "down" run starting from Pietermaritzburg.
Paul Kibii Tergat is a Kenyan former professional long distance runner. He became the first Kenyan to set the world record in the marathon from 2003 to 2007, with a time of 2:04:55, and is regarded as one of the most accomplished long-distance runners of all time. Runnerworld called him the "Most comprehensive runner of all time".
John Joseph "Johnny" Hayes was an American athlete, a member of the Irish American Athletic Club, and winner of the marathon race at the 1908 Summer Olympics. Hayes' Olympic victory contributed to the early growth of long-distance running and marathoning in the United States. He was also the first man to win a marathon at the now official standard distance of 26 miles 385 yards when Olympic officials lengthened the distance to put the finish line in front of the Royal Box.
Hwang Young-cho is a former South Korean athlete, winner of the marathon race at the 1992 Summer Olympics and 1994 Asian Games.
Gelindo Bordin is an Italian former athlete, winner of the marathon race at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He is the only male to win both the Boston Marathon and an Olympic gold medal in the marathon.
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima is a former long-distance runner who specialised in marathons. He received international renown after a spectator, a former Irish priest Cornelius "Neil" Horan, attacked him at the 2004 Summer Olympics marathon while he was leading the race at 35 km. Following the incident he fell back from first to third place, winning the bronze medal. He was later awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship for that race. Neil Horan, the priest who attacked de Lima, was defrocked by the Catholic Church the following year in January 2005.
Fatuma Roba is an Ethiopian long distance runner, best known for being the first African woman to win a gold medal in the women's Olympic marathon race at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics and for winning three successive Boston Marathons.
Malawi sent a delegation to compete at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States from 19 July to 4 August 1996. This was the African nation's fifth appearance at a Summer Olympic Games. The Malawian delegation consisted of two competitors in the sport of athletics; Henry Moyo failed to advance past the first round heats of the 5,000 meters, and John Mwathiwa finished 65th in the marathon.
Lidia Slăvuțeanu-Șimon is a Romanian long-distance runner. She competed in the Olympic marathon five times (1996–2012), winning a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics. She is also a former marathon world champion.
Lisa Frances Ondieki is an Australian former long-distance runner. In the marathon, she won the 1988 Olympic silver medal and two Commonwealth Games gold medals. Other marathon victories included the 1988 Osaka International Ladies Marathon and the 1992 New York City Marathon. She also won the Great North Run Half Marathon three times. Her best time for the marathon of 2:23:51, set in 1988, made her the fourth-fastest female marathon runner in history at the time.
Eliud Kipchoge is a Kenyan long-distance runner who competes in the marathon and formerly 5000 metres race. He won the Olympic marathon in 2016 and is the current marathon world record holder with a time of 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds. Kipchoge's world record run at the 2018 Berlin Marathon broke the previous record by 1 minute, 18 seconds, the greatest improvement since 1967.
Hailu Mekonnen is an Ethiopian runner, who specializes in the 5000 metres and cross-country running.
Meselech Melkamu is an Ethiopian long-distance runner. She defeated Meseret Defar to win the 5000 metres gold medal at the 2008 African Athletics Championships, but she is better known for her 29:53.80 run over 10,000 metres in 2009, which until August 2016 ranked her second on the all-time list behind world record holder Wang Junxia. She is one of seven woman in history to break the 30-minute barrier and one of four Ethiopians to accomplish the feat.
The Men's Marathon at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia was held on Sunday August 4, 1996. The race started at 07.05h local time to avoid excessively hot and humid conditions. A total number of 111 athletes completed the race, with an injured and limping Abdel Baser Wasiqi from Afghanistan finishing in last position in 4'24:17.
Rolando Patricio Vera Rodas is a retired long-distance runner from Ecuador, who represented his native country at three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1988. He reached the top ten of the 10,000 metres at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics. He enjoyed much championship success at the regional level: he was a two-time South American Champion on the track and won gold medals at the South American Games and Bolivarian Games, as well as reaching the podium at the Ibero-American Championships and the 1987 Pan American Games.
Siraj Amda Gena, also known as Giday Amha and Siraj Amda Bene, is an Ethiopian long distance runner who specialises in the marathon. He won his first race in 2010, beating all-comers at the Rome City Marathon to set a personal best of 2:08:39.
Marcel Eric Hug is a Paralympian athlete from Switzerland competing in category T54 wheelchair racing events. Hug, nicknamed 'The Silver Bullet', has competed in four Summer Paralympic Games for Switzerland, winning two bronze medals in his first Games in Athens in 2004. In 2010 he set four world records in four days, and at the 2011 World Championships he won a gold in the 10,000 metres and four silver medals, losing the gold in three events to long term rival David Weir. This rivalry continued into the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where Hug won two silvers, in the 800m and the marathon. In the 2013 World Championships Hug dominated the field, winning five golds and a silver. During the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, Hug was one of the most consistent competitors in the T54 class, winning two golds, in the 800 m and marathon, and two silvers medals, in the 1500m and 500m.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded on 17 July 1912 as the International Amateur Athletic Federation by representatives from 17 national athletics federations at the organization's first congress in Stockholm, Sweden. Since October 1993, it has been headquartered in Monaco.
The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.