Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 6, 1896
Date Finished: April 9, 1896
America's Charles Kilpatrick was the world record holder and easily the top ½-mile runner in the world, but he did not make the trip to Athens. This left the favorite's role to Australia's [Edwin "Teddy" Flack], an accountant who was living and training in London in 1896.
The heats of the 800 metres were held on 6 April. Flack won heat one over Hungary's [Nándor Dáni], with [Fritz Traun] (GER) third, and Britain's [George Marshall] finishing fourth and last. In heat two, [Albin Lermusiaux] (FRA) won narrowly over three Hellenes, led by [Dimitrios Golemis], and [Georges de la Nézière] of France.
The 800 metre finals were held three days later on 9 April. Lermusiaux chose not to start, presumably saving himself for the marathon which was to start the next day. Thus, only three runners contested the final – Flack, Dáni, and Golemis. Flack won by 10 metres in 2:11.0, easing up, with Dáni second, and Golemis over 100 metres behind Flack.
|1 h1 r1/2||Albin Lermusiaux||21||France||FRA|
|3 h1 r1/2||Fritz Traun||20||Germany||GER|
|3 h2 r1/2||Georges de la Nézière||17||France||FRA|
|4 h1 r1/2||George Marshall||Great Britain||GBR|
|AC h2 r1/2||Dimitri Tombrof||18||Greece||GRE|
|AC h2 r1/2||Angelos Fetsis||Greece||GRE|