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Athletics at the 1896 Athina Summer Games:

Men's Discus Throw

Athletics at the 1896 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 6, 1896
Date Finished: April 6, 1896
Format: Final only.

Gold: USA Bob Garrett
Silver: GRE Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos
Bronze: GRE Sotirios Versis

Summary

The discus throw was held on the first day of athletics competition, 6 April 1896. It was the first time the discus was ever contested at a major athletics meeting. There were nine competitors who took three throws from a 2.50 metres square, with the top three receiving an additional two efforts. The Greeks felt that they had an unbeatable thrower in Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos, but he was beaten by Bob Garrett (USA) on Garrett's fifth, and last, attempt of 29.15 metres. Part of Paraskevopoulos' problem was that he attempted to strike poses reminiscent of the ancient Greek statues of "diskoboloi". Paraskevopoulos threw 28.955 metres while Greece's Sotirios Versis finished third with 28.78 metres.

Garrett was a [Princeton] student who initially was not going to compete in the discus throw. He had heard of the event from his history professor at Princeton, [William Sloane], the first IOC Member in the United States. Sloane had a discus made for Garrett and it weighed about 10 kilograms. Garrett's efforts reflected the enormous weight of the implement and which greatly discouraged him. Upon arriving in Athens, he saw that the real discus weighed only two kilograms, so he changed his mind and elected to compete.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal D
1 Bob Garrett 20 United States USA Gold 29.150 WR
2 Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos Greece GRE Silver 28.955 WR
3 Sotirios Versis Greece GRE Bronze 27.780
4 George Stuart Robertson 23 Great Britain GBR 25.200
AC Henrik Sjöberg 21 Sweden SWE
AC Georgios Papasideris Greece GRE
AC Holger Nielsen 29 Denmark DEN
AC Viggo Jensen 21 Denmark DEN
AC Alphonse Grisel France FRA