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Athletics at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: Beijing, China
Date Started: August 15, 2008
Date Finished: August 23, 2008
Events: 47

Participants: 2,056 (1,082 men and 974 women) from 200 countries
Youngest Participant: UZB Anastasiya Svechnikova (15 years, 334 days)
Oldest Participant: ISR Haile Satayin (53 years, 136 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): JAM Usain Bolt (3 medals)
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (23 medals)

Overview

As always at the Olympics, the track & field athletics competition was featured during the second week of the competition. It got off with a bang. On the second day of athletics, Usain Bolt (JAM) won the men’s 100 metres in a shocking world record of 9.69, despite showboating over the last 20 metres of the race, his victory assured. Bolt was the star in the National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, winning the 100, 200, and helping Jamaica to the 4x100 relay victory, all in world record times. The other stars on the track were Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele who defended his 10K gold medal and doubled in the 5 and 10K; and his countrywoman, Tirunesh Dibaba, who also doubled in the distaff 5/10K. The field events featured one world record, set in the women’s pole vault by Yelena Isinbayeva, her 12th consecutive world mark in the event. A leading story of the competition was the remarkable performances of the Jamaican sprinters. On the female side they swept the medals in the 100 metres, won gold and bronze in the 200, and a silver medal in the 400. The United States, usually the dominant nation in track & field, had a disappointing Olympics. They led the medal tables with seven gold and 23 medals, but on the men’s side won only four gold medals. Several of their favorites were upset, and in the field events, save for the shot put, only one American man made the finals, and they won no medals. One new event was added to the program for women, the steeplechase.

Medalists

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's 100 metres JAM Usain Bolt TTO Richard Thompson USA Walter Dix
Men's 200 metres JAM Usain Bolt USA Shawn Crawford USA Walter Dix
Men's 400 metres USA LaShawn Merritt USA Jeremy Wariner USA David Neville
Men's 800 metres KEN Wilfred Bungei SUD Ismail Ahmed Ismail KEN Alfred Kirwa Yego
Men's 1,500 metres KEN Asbel Kiprop NZL Nick Willis FRA Mehdi Baala
Men's 5,000 metres ETH Kenenisa Bekele KEN Eliud Kipchoge KEN Edwin Soi
Men's 10,000 metres ETH Kenenisa Bekele ETH Sileshi Sihine KEN Micah Kogo
Men's Marathon KEN Sammy Wanjiru MAR Jaouad Gharib ETH Tsegaye Kebede
Men's 110 metres Hurdles CUB Dayron Robles USA David Payne USA David Oliver
Men's 400 metres Hurdles USA Angelo Taylor USA Kerron Clement USA Bershawn Jackson
Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase KEN Brimin Kipruto FRA Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad KEN Richard Mateelong
Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay JAM Jamaica TTO Trinidad and Tobago JPN Japan
Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay USA United States BAH Bahamas RUS Russia
Men's 20 kilometres Walk RUS Valeriy Borchin ECU Jefferson Pérez AUS Jared Tallent
Men's 50 kilometres Walk ITA Alex Schwazer AUS Jared Tallent RUS Denis Nizhegorodov
Men's High Jump RUS Andrey Silnov GBR Germaine Mason RUS Yaroslav Rybakov
Men's Pole Vault AUS Steve Hooker RUS Yevgeniy Lukyanenko UKR Denys Yurchenko
Men's Long Jump PAN Irving Saladino RSA Godfrey Khotso Mokoena CUB Ibrahim Camejo
Men's Triple Jump POR Nelson Évora GBR Phillips Idowu BAH Leevan Sands
Men's Shot Put POL Tomasz Majewski USA Christian Cantwell BLR Andrey Mikhnevich
Men's Discus Throw EST Gerd Kanter POL Piotr Małachowski LTU Virgilijus Alekna
Men's Hammer Throw SLO Primož Kozmus BLR Vadim Devyatovsky BLR Ivan Tikhon
Men's Javelin Throw NOR Andreas Thorkildsen LAT Ainārs Kovals FIN Tero Pitkämäki
Men's Decathlon USA Bryan Clay BLR Andrey Kravchenko CUB Leonel Suárez
Women's 100 metres JAM Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce JAM Sherone Simpson
JAM Kerron Stewart
Women's 200 metres JAM Veronica Campbell-Brown USA Allyson Felix JAM Kerron Stewart
Women's 400 metres GBR Christine Ohuruogu JAM Shericka Williams USA Sanya Richards-Ross
Women's 800 metres KEN Pamela Jelimo KEN Janeth Jepkosgei MAR Hasna Benhassi
Women's 1,500 metres KEN Nancy Langat UKR Iryna Lishchynska UKR Nataliya Tobias
Women's 5,000 metres ETH Tirunesh Dibaba TUR Elvan Abeylegesse ETH Meseret Defar
Women's 10,000 metres ETH Tirunesh Dibaba TUR Elvan Abeylegesse USA Shalane Flanagan
Women's Marathon ROU Constantina Diţă-Tomescu KEN Catherine Ndereba CHN Zhou Chunxiu
Women's 100 metres Hurdles USA Dawn Harper AUS Sally McLellan-Pearson CAN Priscilla Lopes-Schliep
Women's 400 metres Hurdles JAM Melaine Walker USA Sheena Johnson-Tosta GBR Tasha Danvers
Women's 3,000 metres Steeplechase RUS Gulnara Samitova-Galkina KEN Eunice Jepkorir RUS Yekaterina Volkova
Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay RUS Russia BEL Belgium NGR Nigeria
Women's 4 × 400 metres Relay USA United States RUS Russia JAM Jamaica
Women's 20 kilometres Walk RUS Olga Kaniskina NOR Kjersti Tysse-Plätzer ITA Elisa Rigaudo
Women's High Jump BEL Tia Hellebaut CRO Blanka Vlašić RUS Anna Chicherova
Women's Pole Vault RUS Yelena Isinbayeva USA Jenn Stuczynski-Suhr RUS Svetlana Feofanova
Women's Long Jump BRA Maurren Maggi RUS Tatyana Lebedeva NGR Blessing Okagbare
Women's Triple Jump CMR Françoise Mbango RUS Tatyana Lebedeva GRE Pigi Devetzi
Women's Shot Put NZL Valerie Adams-Vili BLR Nataliya Khoronenko-Mikhnevich BLR Nadezhda Ostapchuk
Women's Discus Throw USA Stephanie Brown-Trafton CUB Yarelis Barrios UKR Olena Antonova
Women's Hammer Throw BLR Oksana Menkova CUB Yipsi Moreno CHN Zhang Wenxiu
Women's Javelin Throw CZE Barbora Špotáková RUS Mariya Abakumova GER Christina Obergföll
Women's Heptathlon UKR Nataliya Dobrynska USA Hyleas Fountain RUS Tatyana Chernova