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Athletics at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's 5,000 metres

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Centennial Olympic Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 31, 1996
Date Finished: August 3, 1996

Gold: BDI Vénuste Niyongabo
Silver: KEN Paul Bitok
Bronze: MAR Khalid Boulami

Summary

Vénuste Niyongabo of Burundi was the first great runner from that nation. He was considered a medal favorite in the 1,500 but withdrew from that event to allow his countryman, Dieudonné Kwizéra to run in that event. Niyongabo had only twice before competed at 5K but he had the best speed in the event. The last two World Championships had been won by Kenya’s Ismael Kirui but he did not compete in Atlanta. In August 1995, Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie had shattered the world record by 11 seconds, running 12:44.39, but he chose to run only 10K in Atlanta. The defending gold and silver medalists, Dieter Baumann (FRG) and Paul Bitok (KEN), were back and qualified for the final. The final was started at a slow pace, playing into Niyangabo’s speed. America’s Bob Kennedy, a strong runner with no kick, moved to the front after 4,000 metres, trying to hold on for a medal but the attempt was futile. The final lap came down to Niyongabo, Bitok, Baumann, and Morocco’s Khalid Boulami. None of them could match Niyongabo’s speed as he won the gold medal, with Bitok finishing second as he had in 1992.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Vénuste Niyongabo 22 Burundi BDI Gold
2 Paul Bitok 26 Kenya KEN Silver
3 Khalid Boulami 26 Morocco MAR Bronze
4 Dieter Baumann 31 Germany GER
5 Tom Nyariki 24 Kenya KEN
6 Bob Kennedy 25 United States USA
7 Enrique Molina 28 Spain ESP
8 Brahim Lahlafi 28 Morocco MAR
9 Shem Kororia 23 Kenya KEN
10 Fita Bayissa 23 Ethiopia ETH
11 Smail Sghyr 24 Morocco MAR
12 Gennaro Di Napoli 28 Italy ITA
13 Réda Benzine 25 Algeria ALG
14 Stéphane Franke 32 Germany GER
15 Aïssa Bel Aout 27 Algeria ALG
7 h2 r2/3 Assefa Mezgebu 18 Ethiopia ETH
8 h2 r2/3 Stefano Baldini 25 Italy ITA
9 h2 r2/3 John Nuttall 29 Great Britain GBR
10 h1 r2/3 Jonathan Wyatt 23 New Zealand NZL
10 h2 r2/3 Cormac Finnerty 26 Ireland IRL
11 h1 r2/3 Anacleto Jiménez 29 Spain ESP
11 h2 r2/3 Shadrack Hoff 23 South Africa RSA
12 h1 r2/3 Miroslav Vanko 23 Slovakia SVK
12 h2 r2/3 Julian Paynter 26 Australia AUS
13 h1 r2/3 John Morapedi 19 South Africa RSA
13 h2 r2/3 Jim Spivey 36 United States USA
14 h1 r2/3 Shaun Creighton 29 Australia AUS
14 h2 r2/3 Manuel Pancorbo 30 Spain ESP
15 h1 r2/3 José Ramos 27 Portugal POR
9 h1 r1/3 Matt Giusto 29 United States USA
10 h1 r1/3 William Roldán 23 Colombia COL
11 h1 r1/3 Sid'Ahmed Ould Mohamedou 30 Mauritania MTN
11 h3 r1/3 Luís Jesus 27 Portugal POR
12 h2 r1/3 Adalberto Garcia 28 Brazil BRA
12 h3 r1/3 Khamis Abdullah Seifeddine 19 Sudan SUD
13 h2 r1/3 Henry Moyo 24 Malawi MAW
13 h3 r1/3 Aboukar Hassan Adani 28 Somalia SOM