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|