Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 10, 1896
Date Finished: April 10, 1896
Format: Final only.
|Silver:|| James B. Connolly
The world's top high jumper in 1896 was Mike Sweeney, who held the world record, but he turned professional in early 1896 and was not eligible. Five jumpers started. There were no Greeks, the only event in track & field in which the home team did not have a starter.
The high jump was contested on 10 April. The opening height was 1.50 metres, and all jumpers were required to jump at each height. The bar was initially raised 5 centimetres at a time; this interval was changed to 2.5 centimetres after 1.60 metres was negotiated. Fritz Hofmann (GER) was the first to be eliminated, as he cleared 1.55 but failed at 1.60. Sweden's Henrik Sjöberg cleared 1.60 but went out at 1.625 and finished 4th, leaving the three Americans, Ellery Clark, James B. Connolly, and Bob Garrett.
Clark was the class of the field, and won the title easily. Garrett and Connolly tied for second, both clearing 1.65 metres. Clark cleared 1.675, 1.70, 1.75, and then had the bar raised to 1.81 metres, which he negotiated on the first try.