Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres
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. 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.
|Men's 100 metres|
at the Games of the I Olympiad
100 metres, heat 2
|Dates||6 April (first round)|
10 April (final)
|Competitors||15 from 8 nations|
15 athletes from 8 nations competed.
This was the standing world record (in seconds) prior to the 1896 Summer Olympics.
|World Record||10.8[a]||Luther Cary||Paris (FRA)||July 4, 1891|
|Cecil Lee||Brussels (BEL)||September 25, 1892|
|Étienne De Re||Brussels (BEL)||August 4, 1893|
|L. Atcherley||Frankfurt/Main (GER)||April 13, 1895|
|Harry Beaton||Rotterdam (NED)||August 28, 1895|
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.
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.
|1||Francis Lane||United States||12.2||Q|
|3||Charles Gmelin||Great Britain||12.9|
|1||Thomas Curtis||United States||12.2||Q|
|3||Launceston Elliot||Great Britain||12.9|
|5||George Marshall||Great Britain||Unknown|
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.
|1||Thomas Burke||United States||11.8||Q|
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.
|Thomas Burke||United States||12.0|
|Francis Lane||United States||12.6|
|–||Thomas Curtis||United States||DNS|
- Lampros, S.P.; Polites, N.G.; De Coubertin, Pierre; Philemon, P.J. & Anninos, C. (1897). The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896. Athens: Charles Beck. (Digitally available at la84foundation.org)
- Mallon, Bill & Widlund, Ture (1998). The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9. (Excerpt available at la84foundation.org)
- Smith, Michael Llewellyn (2004). Olympics in Athens 1896. The Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X.
- Wallechinsky, David (1984). The Complete Book of the Olympics. Crawfordsville, Indiana: R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company. ISBN 0-14-006632-2.