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Athletics at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's Marathon

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Centennial Olympic Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: August 4, 1996
Date Finished: August 4, 1996
Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.

Gold: RSA Josia Thugwane
Silver: KOR Lee Bong-Ju
Bronze: KEN Eric Wainaina

Summary

The 1996 Olympic Games were assigned to Atlanta, Georgia, in the Southern United States, and the biggest concern for the marathon was the stifling summer heat and humidity of the American South. Though the European press did not realize it, the two weeks of the Atlanta Olympics were about as cool as that region of the nation ever gets in late July and August. To avoid the heat, the race started at 7:05 AM, but by the time the race ended, the temperature had risen to almost 80° F. (26° C.), with humidity approaching 80%. The Olympic course was designed to basically follow the outline of the course used for the annual Atlanta Marathon, but changed slightly to allow for a start and finish in the Olympic Stadium on the out-and-back course.

There was again no dominant male marathoner entering the 1996 Olympics and the race was considered wide-open. The concern over the heat, and the lack of any favorites, led the pack to run almost together for the bulk of the race and resulted in the closest finish of any Olympic marathon. The three medalists finished within eight seconds of one another, and contested the final outcome on the Olympic track. The race was won by the unheralded Josia Thugwane of South Africa, who held off Korea's Lee Bong-Ju, who finished second, only three seconds back, and Kenya's Erick Wainaina, who won the bronze medal. Thugwane was an experienced marathoner, as the Atlanta race was the 19th of his career. He had won several races in South Africa, but his only marathon victory outside his native country had come in Honolulu in December 1995. He would later win at Fukuoka in 1997. In his native country, because of his new-found riches, he was a marked man. He had been robbed and shot at only a few months before his Olympic victory, and was required to live under bodyguard protection for him and his family.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Josia Thugwane 25 South Africa RSA Gold 2-12:36
2 Lee Bong-Ju 27 South Korea KOR Silver 2-12:39
3 Eric Wainaina 22 Kenya KEN Bronze 2-12:44
4 Martín Fiz 33 Spain ESP 2-13:20
5 Richard Nerurkar 32 Great Britain GBR 2-13:39
6 Germán Silva 28 Mexico MEX 2-14:29
7 Steve Moneghetti 33 Australia AUS 2-14:35
8 Benjamín Paredes 34 Mexico MEX 2-14:55
9 Danilo Goffi 23 Italy ITA 2-15:08
10 Luiz dos Santos 32 Brazil BRA 2-15:55
11 Carlos Grisales 29 Colombia COL 2-15:56
12 Kim I-Yong 22 South Korea KOR 2-16:17
13 Tendai Chimusasa 25 Zimbabwe ZIM 2-16:31
14 António Pinto 30 Portugal POR 2-16:41
15 Dionicio Cerón 30 Mexico MEX 2-16:48
16 Willy Kalombo 28 Congo (Kinshasa) COD 2-17:01
17 Leszek Bebło 30 Poland POL 2-17:04
18 Alberto Juzdado 29 Spain ESP 2-17:24
19 Hiromi Taniguchi 36 Japan JPN 2-17:26
20 Salvatore Bettiol 34 Italy ITA 2-17:27
21 Peter Fonseca 29 Canada CAN 2-17:28
22 Rolando Vera 31 Ecuador ECU 2-17:40
23 Rod de Highden 27 Australia AUS 2-17:42
24 José Luis Molina 31 Costa Rica CRC 2-17:49
25 Domingos Castro 32 Portugal POR 2-18:03
26 Tahar Mansouri 31 Tunisia TUN 2-18:06
27 Lawrence Peu 30 South Africa RSA 2-18:09
28 Keith Brantly 34 United States USA 2-18:17
29 Thabisio Ralekhetla 36 Lesotho LES 2-18:26
30 Khristo Stefanov 25 Bulgaria BUL 2-18:29
31 Bob Kempainen 30 United States USA 2-18:38
32 Harri Hänninen 32 Finland FIN 2-18:41
33 Gert Thys 24 South Africa RSA 2-18:55
34 Sean Quilty 30 Australia AUS 2-19:35
35 Carey Nelson 33 Canada CAN 2-19:39
36 Spyros Andriopoulos 33 Greece GRE 2-19:41
37 Oleg Strizhakov 33 Russia RUS 2-19:51
38 Kim Jung-Won 23 North Korea PRK 2-19:54
39 Bruce Deacon 29 Canada CAN 2-19:56
40 Kim Jong-Su 26 North Korea PRK 2-20:19
41 Mark Coogan 30 United States USA 2-20:27
42 Ahmed Salah 39 Djibouti DJI 2-20:33
43 Pyotro Sarafyniuk 29 Ukraine UKR 2-20:37
44 Abdel Kader El-Mouaziz 27 Morocco MAR 2-20:39
45 Bert van Vlaanderen 31 Netherlands NED 2-20:48
46 Manuel Matias 34 Portugal POR 2-20:58
47 Vanderlei de Lima 26 Brazil BRA 2-21:01
48 Konrad Dobler 39 Germany GER 2-21:12
49 Borislav Dević 33 Serbia and Montenegro SCG 2-21:22
50 Davide Milesi 31 Italy ITA 2-21:45
51 Aleksandrs Prokopčuks 29 Latvia LAT 2-21:50
52 Lameck Aguta 24 Kenya KEN 2-22:04
53 Diego García 34 Spain ESP 2-22:11
54 Masaki Oya 30 Japan JPN 2-22:13
55 Peter Whitehead 31 Great Britain GBR 2-22:37
56 Ezequiel Bitok 30 Kenya KEN 2-23:03
57 Hsu Gi-Sheng 32 Chinese Taipei TPE 2-23:04
58 Pavel Loskutov 26 Estonia EST 2-23:14
59 Rubén Maza 29 Venezuela VEN 2-23:24
60 Steve Brace 35 Great Britain GBR 2-23:28
61 Grzegorz Gajdus 29 Poland POL 2-23:41
62 Isaac Simelane 28 Swaziland SWZ 2-23:43
63 Nazirdin Alikbekov 30 Kyrgyzstan KGZ 2-23:59
64 Anders Szalkai 26 Sweden SWE 2-24:27
65 John Mwathiwa 29 Malawi MAW 2-24:45
66 Leonid Shvetsov 27 Russia RUS 2-24:49
67 Eddy Hellebuyck 35 Belgium BEL 2-25:04
68 Ahmed Adam Salah 30 Sudan SUD 2-25:12
69 Ikaji Salum 29 Tanzania TAN 2-25:29
70 Pavelas Fedorenka 31 Lithuania LTU 2-25:41
71 Miguel Mallqui 24 Peru PER 2-25:56
72 Ethel Hudson 26 Indonesia INA 2-26:02
73 Diamantino dos Santos 35 Brazil BRA 2-26:53
74 Tika Bogati 33 Nepal NEP 2-27:04
75 Ronnie Holassie 24 Trinidad and Tobago TTO 2-27:20
76 Joseph Tjitunga 24 Namibia NAM 2-27:52
77 Valeriu Vlas 24 Moldova MDA 2-28:36
78 Daniel Sibandze 32 Swaziland SWZ 2-28:49
79 Waldemar Cotelo 32 Uruguay URU 2-28:50
80 Petko Stefanov 24 Bulgaria BUL 2-29:06
81 Abebe Mekonnen 32 Ethiopia ETH 2-29:45
82 Luis Martínez 29 Guatemala GUA 2-29:55
83 Sean Wade 30 New Zealand NZL 2-30:35
84 Abderrahim Ben Redouane 30 Morocco MAR 2-30:49
85 Abdou Manzo Niger NIG 2-30:57
86 Marcelo Barrientos 26 Chile CHI 2-31:05
87 Toni Bernadó 29 Andorra AND 2-31:28
88 Adel Adili 21 Libya LBA 2-32:12
89 Carlos Tarazona 29 Venezuela VEN 2-32:35
90 Tharcisse Gashaka 33 Burundi BDI 2-32:55
91 Policarpio Calizaya 33 Bolivia BOL 2-33:08
92 Simon Qamunga 28 Tanzania TAN 2-33:11
93 Kenjiro Jitsui 27 Japan JPN 2-33:27
94 António Carlos Piña 30 Cape Verde CPV 2-34:13
95 Pamenos Ballantyne 22 Saint Vincent VIN 2-34:16
96 Kaleka Mutoke 30 Congo (Kinshasa) COD 2-34:40
97 Ernest Ndissipou 23 Central African Republic CAF 2-35:55
98 Ali Ettounsi 30 Morocco MAR 2-36:01
99 William Aguirre 33 Nicaragua NCA 2-37:02
100 Roy Vence 30 Philippines PHI 2-37:10
101 Mohamed Al-Saadi 28 Yemen YEM 2-40:41
102 Julio Hernández 38 Colombia COL 2-41:56
103 Ajay Chuttoo 30 Mauritius MRI 2-42:07
104 Nils Antonio 33 Jamaica JAM 2-44:10
105 To Rithya 28 Cambodia CAM 2-47:01
106 Maximo Oliveras 34 Puerto Rico PUR 2-47:15
107 Islam Ðugum 36 Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH 2-47:38
108 Marlon Williams 39 United States Virgin Islands ISV 2-48:26
109 Eugène Muslar 37 Belize BIZ 2-51:41
110 Abdi Isak 30 Somalia SOM 2-59:55
111 Abdul Baser Wasiqi 21 Afghanistan AFG 4-24:17
AC Belayneh Dinsamo 30 Ethiopia ETH DNF
AC Stephan Freigang 28 Germany GER DNF
AC Patrick Ishyaka 23 Rwanda RWA DNF
AC Benjamin Keleketu 31 Botswana BOT DNF
AC Kim Wan-Gi 28 South Korea KOR DNF
AC Česlovas Kundrotas 35 Lithuania LTU DNF
AC Omar Moussa 35 Djibouti DJI DNF
AC Victor Razafindrakoto 24 Madagascar MAD DNF
AC Antonio Silio 30 Argentina ARG DNF
AC Julius Sumaye 31 Tanzania TAN DNF
AC Tumo Turbo 26 Ethiopia ETH DNF
AC Risto Ulmala 33 Finland FIN DNF
AC Dainius Virbickas 24 Lithuania LTU DNF