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Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon

The men's marathon at the 2004 Summer Olympics took place on August 29 in the streets of Athens, Greece. These streets were recently painted for the event, which provided an excellent road surface for the athletes. Drawing upon the ancient origins of the race, the marathon began in Marathon, Greece, and eventually ended at Panathinaiko Stadium, the venue previously used for the 1896 Athens Olympics.[1]

Men's marathon
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueMarathon to Athens, Greece
Dates29 August
Competitors102 from 59 nations
Winning time2:10:55
1st, gold medalist(s) Stefano Baldini  Italy
2nd, silver medalist(s) Mebrahtom Keflezighi  United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Vanderlei de Lima  Brazil
← 2000
2008 →

The 26.2 miles (42.2 km) journey began in Marathon. The top contenders all found themselves in a large leading group that held a modest pace through the half marathon. A few tried to surge ahead but the most successful was Vanderlei De Lima's attack at 20k. Past 25k, Stefano Baldini raised the tempo taking seven others with him. Finally, the chase group had been whittled down to three: Stefano Baldini, Paul Tergat, and Mebrahtom Keflezighi. After 35k was passed, Tergat (the world record holder) cracked, leaving two runners to chase behind. Baldini then closed the gap to De Lima after the latter was attacked while dropping Keflezighi. Baldini moved into the lead and took it home for the gold medal in 2:10:55.[2] Keflezighi caught the fading De Lima as well to take the silver in 2:11:29. Finishing at 2:12:11, De Lima was able to hold off Jon Brown, beating him by 15 seconds for the bronze.[3]

As with the previous Games, the marathon also marked the end of the 2004 Summer Olympics and the medal ceremony took place during the closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.



The event was marked by an incident in which Cornelius Horan, a drunk, Irish protester, grappled Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil while de Lima was leading the event with around 7 kilometers remaining. Greek spectator Polyvios Kossivas helped Vanderlei free from Horan's grasp and back into his running. De Lima lost about 15 to 20 seconds of time because of the interruption, and finished third in the event with a time of 2:12:11, winning the bronze medal. De Lima received the rarely awarded Pierre de Coubertin Medal for sportsmanship in addition to his bronze. Despite the fact that the incident had seriously hindered his chances of winning the gold or silver medal, he did not complain and graciously acknowledged the crowd's cheers in the home straight. The protester had a sign on his back that read "The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfilment of Prophecy Says The Bible. The Second Coming is Near."[4]

The phrase "Grand Prix Priest" refers to Horan's previous protest, in which he ran onto the track at the Silverstone Circuit during the 2003 British Grand Prix, intentionally running directly into the path of oncoming cars.


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record   Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:04:55 Berlin, Germany 28 September 2003
Olympic record   Carlos Lopes (POR) 2:09:21 Los Angeles, United States 12 August 1984

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's marathon, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 2:15:00 or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 2:18:00 or faster could be entered.


All times are Greece Standard Time (UTC+2)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 29 August 2004 18:00 Final


Rank[5] Name Nationality Result Notes
  Stefano Baldini   Italy 2:10:55
  Mebrahtom Keflezighi   United States 2:11:29 SB
  Vanderlei de Lima   Brazil 2:12:11
4 Jon Brown   Great Britain 2:12:26 SB
5 Shigeru Aburaya   Japan 2:13:11
6 Toshinari Suwa   Japan 2:13:24
7 Erick Wainaina   Kenya 2:13:30
8 Alberto Chaíça   Portugal 2:14:17
9 Alberico di Cecco   Italy 2:14:34
10 Paul Tergat   Kenya 2:14:45
11 Jaouad Gharib   Morocco 2:15:12
12 Alan Culpepper   United States 2:15:26
13 Leonid Shvetsov   Russia 2:15:28
14 Lee Bong-ju   South Korea 2:15:33
15 Ambesse Tolosa   Ethiopia 2:15:39
16 Gert Thys   South Africa 2:16:08
17 Ji Young-joon   South Korea 2:16:14
18 Antoni Peña   Spain 2:16:38
19 Grigoriy Andreyev   Russia 2:16:55
20 Haile Satayin   Israel 2:17:25
21 Jonathan Wyatt   New Zealand 2:17:45
22 Janne Holmen   Finland 2:17:50
23 Dan Robinson   Great Britain 2:17:53
24 Nikolaos Polias   Greece 2:17:56
25 Ndabili Bashingili   Botswana 2:18:09
26 Pavel Loskutov   Estonia 2:18:09
27 José Rios   Spain 2:18:40
28 Lee Troop   Australia 2:18:46
29 Michael Buchleitner   Austria 2:19:19
30 Anuradha Cooray   Sri Lanka 2:19:24
31 Li Zhuhong   China 2:19:26
32 Joachim Nshimirimana   Burundi 2:19:31
33 Dale Warrender   New Zealand 2:19:42
34 Waldemar Glinka   Poland 2:19:43
35 Jong Myong-chol   North Korea 2:19:47
36 El-Hassan Lahssini   France 2:19:50
37 Michał Bartoszak   Poland 2:20:20
38 Ahmed Jumaa Jaber   Qatar 2:20:27
39 Ali Mabrouk El Zaidi   Libya 2:20:31
40 Samson Ramadhani   Tanzania 2:20:38
41 Lee Myong-seung   South Korea 2:21:01
42 Tomoaki Kunichika   Japan 2:21:13
43 José Alirio Carrasco   Colombia 2:21:14
44 Ernest Ndjissipou   Central African Republic 2:21:23
45 Nicholas Harrison   Australia 2:21:42
46 Tereje Wodajo   Ethiopia 2:21:53
47 Aguelmis Rojas   Cuba 2:21:59
48 Abel Chimukoko   Zimbabwe 2:22:09
49 Saïd Belhout   Algeria 2:22:32
50 Matthew O'Dowd   Great Britain 2:22:37
51 Juan Carlos Cardona   Colombia 2:22:49
52 Daniele Caimmi   Italy 2:23:07
53 João N'Tyamba   Angola 2:23:26
54 Roman Kejžar   Slovenia 2:23:34
55 Procopio Franco   Mexico 2:23:34
56 Wu Wen-chien   Chinese Taipei 2:23:54
57 Antoni Bernado   Andorra 2:23:55
58 Julio Rey   Spain 2:24:54
59 Asaf Bimro   Israel 2:25:20
60 Sisay Bezabeh   Australia 2:25:26
61 Silvio Guerra   Ecuador 2:25:29
62 Mathias Ntawulikura   Rwanda 2:26:05
63 Róbert Štefko   Czech Republic 2:27:12
64 José Amado García   Guatemala 2:27:13
65 Dan Browne   United States 2:27:17
66 Han Gang   China 2:27:31
67 Eduardo Buenavista   Philippines 2:28:18
68 Driss El Himer   France 2:29:07
69 Andrés Espinosa   Mexico 2:29:43
70 Mpesela Ntlot Soeu   Lesotho 2:30:19
71 Franklin Tenorio   Ecuador 2:31:12
72 José Ernani Palalia   Mexico 2:31:41
73 Dmitriy Burmakin   Russia 2:31:51
74 Mindaugas Pukštas   Lithuania 2:33:02
75 Bat-Ochiryn Ser-Od   Mongolia 2:33:24
76 Zhu Ronghua   China 2:34:02
77 Alfredo Arevalo   Guatemala 2:34:02
78 António Zeferino   Cape Verde 2:36:22
79 Valery Pisarev   Kyrgyzstan 2:40:10
80 Zepherinus Joseph   Saint Lucia 2:44:19
81 Marcel Matanin   Slovakia 2:50:26
Hendrick Ramaala   South Africa DNF
Zebedayo Bayo   Tanzania DNF
Hailu Negussie   Ethiopia DNF
Viktor Röthlin   Switzerland DNF
Al Mustafa Riyadh   Bahrain DNF
Rômulo Wagner   Brazil DNF
Ian Syster   South Africa DNF
Zsolt Bácskai   Hungary DNF
Azat Rakipov   Belarus DNF
Dmytro Baranovskyy   Ukraine DNF
Rachid Ghanmouni   Morocco DNF
Rachid Ziar   Algeria DNF
Mustapha Bennacer   Algeria DNF
André Luiz Ramos   Brazil DNF
Luis Fonseca   Venezuela DNF
Khalid El-Boumlili   Morocco DNF
John Nada Saya   Tanzania DNF
Gil da Cruz Trindade   East Timor DNF
Jussi Utriainen   Finland DNF
Jean-Paul Gahimbaré   Burundi DNF
Luc Krotwaar   Netherlands DNS


  1. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's Marathon Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  2. ^ Clarey, Christopher (29 August 2004). "Summer 2004 Games: Marathon, A Spectator Disrupts The Marathon With a Shove". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  3. ^ Patrick, Dick (30 August 2004). "Italy's Baldini wins men's marathon". USA Today. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Protester ruins marathon". BBC Sport. 29 August 2004. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athens Summer Games: Men's Marathon". Retrieved 29 May 2017.

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