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1896 Athens

1896 Olympic Games Athina, Greece - Men's Discus Throw



Host City: Athina, Greece Format: Final only.
Date Started: April 6, 1896  
Date Finished: April 6, 1896  
(Competitors: 9; Countries: 6)  
    Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Overview by IAAF    1896_olympic_stadium.jpg
Garrett had practised in the USA with an implement weighing some 20 pounds (9Kg), so the regulation 2kg discus seemed easy to throw in comparison. Nevertheless the American only won with his fifth throw, just edging out Paraskevopoulos, who had successively thrown 28.51, 28.88, and 28.955; all world bests with the 2kg event in its infancy. With the heritage of the event very much rooted in ancient Greece, this was a particularly difficult loss for the host country to accept.
Summary by      
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.




The men's discus throw was one of two throwing events on the Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. The discus throw was the fourth event held. It was contested on 6 April. 11 athletes competed, including one each from France, Sweden, the United States, Great Britain, and Germany as well as three Greeks and three Danes.

Many of the competitors had never thrown a discus before, as the event had never been held at an international competition. Robert Garrett of the United States was the last foreigner in the competition, and eventually defeated the famed Greek competitors to win the second modern Olympic gold medal.

Discus Throw Men     Final 6 April        
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 29.150     Bob Garrett United States USA 20 WR  
2 28.955     Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos Greece GRE   WR  
3 27.780     Sotirios Versis Greece GRE      
4 25.200     George Stuart Robertson Great Britain GBR 23    
AC       Henrik Sjöberg Sweden SWE 21    
AC       Georgios Papasideris Greece GRE      
AC       Holger Nielsen Denmark DEN 29    
AC       Viggo Jensen Denmark DEN 21    
AC       Alphonse Grisel France FRA      


Results by Wikipedia

1  Robert Garrett (USA) 29.15 m 27.53 X Unknown 28.72 29.15
2  Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos (GRE) 28.95 m 28.51 Unknown 28.88 28.95
3  Sotirios Versis (GRE) 27.78 m Unknown
4  George S. Robertson (GBR) 25.20 m Unknown Did not advance
5-11  Alphonse Grisel (FRA) Unknown Unknown
 Viggo Jensen (DEN) Unknown Unknown
 Holger Nielsen (DEN) Unknown Unknown
 Georgios Papasideris (GRE) Unknown Unknown
 Henrik Sjöberg (SWE) Unknown Unknown
 Unknown Competitor Name (DEN) Unknown Unknown
 Unknown Competitor Name (GER) Unknown Unknown
Robert Garrett
Garrett lancio disco 1896.jpg
Personal information
Born May 24, 1875
Baltimore County, Maryland
Died April 25, 1961 (aged 85)
Baltimore, Maryland
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 81 kg (179 lb; 12.8 st)
Country  United States
Sport Athletics
Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos
Panagiotis paraskevopoulos.jpg
Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos
Medal record

Men's athletics

Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos (Greek: Παναγιώτης Παρασκευόπουλος, 1875 –8 July 1956) was a Greek athlete. He competed at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens.

He was born in Gortynia and died in Corfu.

Paraskevopoulos competed in the discus throw, an event which the Greek public felt that a Greek athlete was sure to win. Indeed, when Paraskevopoulos threw the discus 28.95 metres, it seemed as if he had won the event. The only athlete left to throw was Robert Garrett of the United States, who had been unable to throw the discus any distance in his first two throws. Garrett's final attempt, however, was a good one and sailed to 29.15 metres, relegating Paraskevopoulos to second place.

He also participated at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris in the shot put event finishing 5th and in the discus throw event finishing 4th.

Competitor for  Greece
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1896 Athens Discus throw
Sotirios Versis
Sotiris Versis.JPG
Sotirios Versis, 1897.
Olympic medal record

Men's athletics

Sotirios Versis (Greek: Σωτήριος Βερσής, 1879 – 1918) was a Greek athlete and weightlifter. He competed at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens.

Versis competed in the discus throw. He placed third behind American Robert Garrett and fellow Greek Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos. Versis's best throw was 27.78 metres.

In weightlifting, Versis placed third in the two-handed clean and jerk event after raising 90.0 kilograms. He placed fourth in the one-handed snatch competition, lifting 40.0 kilograms.

Competitor for  Greece
Bronze medal – third place 1896 Athens Discus throw
Men's weightlifting
Bronze medal – third place 1896 Athens Two hand lift
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