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Athletics at the 1896 Athina Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres

Athletics at the 1896 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 6, 1896
Date Finished: April 10, 1896

Gold: USA Tom Burke
Silver: GER Fritz Hofmann
Bronze: HUN Alajos Szokoly
USA Frank Lane

Summary

The first event of the Modern Olympic Games was the first heat of the 100 metre dash, held on 6 April. Five runners toed the mark, with Frank Lane of the United States, and Princeton University, winning the first Modern Olympic "event". Lane was trailed by Hungary's Alajos Szokoly and Britain's Charles Gmelin. In heat two, Tom Curtis (USA) defeated Greece's Alexandros Khalkokondylis. Tom Burke of the United States won heat three quite easily, defeating Germany's Fritz Hofmann. Thus began the Modern Olympic Games.

The field for the 100 metres, however, was missing many top sprinters. The world's best in 1896 were Bernie Wefers of the United States and Charles Bradley of England. They had matched up in September 1895 at the [London Athletic Club] versus [New York Athletic Club] meet, with Wefers winning. Although Tom Burke was the U.S. champion at 400 metres, he had no real reputation in the short sprint. Conversely, the best Continental sprinter was probably Fritz Hofmann, who was present in Athens, and who in 1893 had scored a double victory (100 and 400 metres) at the "Championship of the Continent" in Berlin.

The finals of the 100 metres were held on 10 April, four days after the heats. Five runners came to the starting line: Tom Burke and Frank Lane of the United States, Fritz Hofmann (GER), Alajos Szokoly (HUN), and Greece's Alexandros Khalkokondylis. The start was even but Burke and Hofmann pulled away at 50 metres. Burke outran Hofmann over the last 50 metres, winning by about two metres in 12.0 seconds.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Tom Burke 21 United States USA Gold OR
2 Fritz Hofmann 24 Germany GER Silver
3T Alajos Szokoly 24 Hungary HUN Bronze
3T Frank Lane 21 United States USA Bronze
5 Alexandros Khalkokondylis Greece GRE
1 h2 r1/2 Tom Curtis 23 United States USA
3 h1 r1/2 Charles Gmelin 23 Great Britain GBR
3 h2 r1/2 Launceston Elliot 21 Great Britain GBR
3 h3 r1/2 Fritz Traun 20 Germany GER
4 h1 r1/2 Alphonse Grisel France FRA
4 h2 r1/2 Eugen Schmidt 34 Denmark DEN
5 h2 r1/2 George Marshall Great Britain GBR
AC h1 r1/2 Kurt Doerry 21 Germany GER
AC h3 r1/2 Georgios Gennimatas Greece GRE
AC h3 r1/2 Henrik Sjöberg 21 Sweden SWE