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1996 Olympic Games Atlanta - Men's Marathon



Host City: Atlanta, United States Format: 42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back
Date Started: August 4, 1996  
Date Finished: August 4, 1996  
(Competitors: 119; Countries: 76)  
    Venue(s): Centennial Olympic Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Overview by IAAF   1996_olympic_stadium.jpg 
Held in the early morning, the heat was not excessive (23°C), but the humidity was oppressive at 92%. No great surprise that the leading 20 of the biggest Olympic field ever were together at 30Km. Of these, Vanderlei de Lima (BRA) fared worst, tailing off to 47th in the last 12Km. The first half had taken 1:07:36, with the fastest 5Km section (the second) a slow 15:35. At 31Km Thugwane attacked, leaving all except Lee 50m behind, with Wainaina chasing and catching them after 2Km. The 30-35Km section was the fastest of the race (15:11), and the three stayed together for the next 5Km (15:33), a mainly uphill section towards the centre of Atlanta. Fiz, the race favourite and World Champion, had closed to within 70m of the leaders at 38Km, but the three leaders got away on the downhill section to the stadium. Thugwane finally escaped from Lee and Wainaina with 1000m to go, and Lee passed the Kenyan at the entrance to the stadium. The winning margin of three seconds was the slimmest in Olympic history.
Summary by      
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.


Standing records prior to the 1996 Summer Olympics
World Record  Belayneh Densamo (ETH) 2:06:50 April 17, 1988 Netherlands Rotterdam, Netherlands
Olympic Record  Carlos Lopes (POR) 2:09:21 August 12, 1984 United States Los Angeles, United States
Season Best  Martín Fiz (ESP) 2:08:25 March 24, 1996 South Korea Kyong-Ju, South Korea

The Men's Marathon at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia was held on Sunday August 4, 1996. The race started at 07.05h local time to avoid excessively hot and humid conditions.[1] A total number of 111 athletes completed the race, with an injured and limping Abdel Baser Wasiqi from Afghanistan finishing in last position in 4'24:17.[2]

There were a total of 124 competitors from 79 countries. Thirteen competitors did not finish. The medal ceremony took place during the Closing Ceremony which they did again in Athens eight years later.

The Race

There weren't a lot of favorites in the event. The race started at an Olympic stadium and after 3 1/2 laps of the track they started on the out and back course through Atlanta. There was a large group of about 60 in front. It wasn't until mile 15 that things started to get stirred up. The South Africans made a wall at the front and proceeded to increase the pace. They were joined by Lee Bong- Ju. The race continued as such until mile 17. Josia Thugwane made a move and was joined by Lee Bong-Ju. Meanwhile, Erick Wainaina joined the two in front. The three switched leads several times until Thugwane made a move outside Olympic stadium. He took through the tunnel while Lee Bong-Ju passed the Kenyan. It was the closest finish in olympic history but Thugwane maintained his lead in the last mile to take the gold medallion in 2:12:36. Lee Bong-Ju took silver and Wainaina bronze.

Marathon Men     Final 4 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 2.12.36     Josiah Thugwane South Africa RSA 15 Apr 71  
2 2.12.39     Lee Bong-Ju South Korea KOR 11 Oct 70  
3 2.12.44     Erick Wainaina Kenya KEN 19 Dec 73  
4 2.13.20     Martín Fiz Spain ESP 3 Mar 63  
5 2.13.39     Richard Nerurkar Great Britain GBR 6 Jan 64  
6 2.14.29     Germán Silva Mexico MEX 9 Jan 68  
7 2.14.35     Steve Moneghetti Australia AUS 26 Sep 62  
8 2.14.55     Benjamin Paredes Mexico MEX 7 Aug 61  
9 2.15.08     Danilo Goffi Italy ITA 3 Dec 72  
10 2.15.55     Luíz Antônio dos Santos Brazil BRA 6 Sep 64  
11 2.15.56     Carlos Mario Grisales Colombia COL 24 Aug 66  
12 2.16.17     Kim Jae-Ryong South Korea KOR 25 Apr 66  
13 2.16.31     Tendai Chimusasa Zimbabwe ZIM 28 Jan 71  
14 2.16.41     António Pinto Portugal POR 22 Mar 66  
15 2.16.48     Dionicio Cerón Mexico MEX 9 Oct 65  
16 2.17.01     Mwenze Kalombo DR Congo COD 7 Jun 70  
17 2.17.04     Leszek Bebło Poland POL 8 Jul 66  
18 2.17.24     Alberto Juzdado Spain ESP 20 Aug 66  
19 2.17.26     Hiromi Taniguchi Japan JPN 5 Apr 60  
20 2.17.27     Salvatore Bettiol Italy ITA 28 Nov 61  
21 2.17.28     Peter Fonseca Canada CAN 5 Oct 66  
22 2.17.40     Rolando Vera Ecuador ECU 27 Apr 65  
23 2.17.42     Rod De Highden Australia AUS 15 Jan 69  
24 2.17.49     José Luis Molina Costa Rica CRC 8 Mar 65  
25 2.18.03     Domingos Castro Portugal POR 22 Nov 63  
26 2.18.06     Tahar Mansouri Tunisia TUN 1 Sep 65  
27 2.18.09     Lawrence Peu South Africa RSA 13 Feb 66  
28 2.18.17     Keith Brantly United States USA 23 May 62  
29 2.18.26     Thabiso Ralekhetla Lesotho LES 3 Mar 60  
30 2.18.29     Hristo Stefanov Bulgaria BUL 21 Dec 70  
31 2.18.38     Bob Kempainen United States USA 18 Jun 66  
32 2.18.41     Harri Hänninen Finland FIN 18 Oct 63  
33 2.18.55     Gert Thys South Africa RSA 12 Nov 71  
34 2.19.35     Sean Quilty Australia AUS 16 May 66  
35 2.19.39     Carey Nelson Canada CAN 4 Jun 63  
36 2.19.41     Spirídon Andriópoulos Greece GRE 1 Aug 62  
37 2.19.51     Oleg Strizhakov Russia RUS 18 Jul 63  
38 2.19.54     Kim Jung Won North Korea PRK 20 Sep 73  
39 2.19.56     Bruce Deacon Canada CAN 5 Dec 66  
40 2.20.19     Kim Jong Su North Korea PRK 9 Apr 70  
41 2.20.27     Mark Coogan United States USA 1 May 66  
42 2.20.33     Ahmed Salah Djibouti DJI 31 Dec 56  
43 2.20.37     Pyotr Sarafinyuk Ukraine UKR 28 Sep 65  
44 2.20.39     Abdelkader El Mouaziz Morocco MAR 1 Jan 69  
45 2.20.48     Bert van Vlaanderen Netherlands NED 25 Nov 64  
46 2.20.58     Manuel Matias Portugal POR 30 Mar 62  
47 2.21.01     Vanderlei de Lima Brazil BRA 11 Aug 69  
48 2.21.12     Konrad Dobler Germany GER 27 Apr 57  
49 2.21.22     Borislav Devic Croatia CRO 9 Jan 63  
50 2.21.45     Davide Milesi Italy ITA 27 Dec 64  
51 2.21.50     Aleksandr Prokopchuk Latvia LAT 2 May 67  
52 2.22.04     Lameck Aguta Kenya KEN 10 Oct 71  
53 2.22.11     Diego García Spain ESP 12 Oct 61  
54 2.22.13     Masaki Oya Japan JPN 11 Jul 66  
55 2.22.37     Peter Whitehead Great Britain GBR 3 Dec 64  
56 2.23.03     Ezekiel Bitok Kenya KEN 15 Feb 66  
57 2.23.04     Hsu Gi-Sheng Chinese Taipei TPE 2 Jan 64  
58 2.23.14     Pavel Loskutov Estonia EST 2 Dec 69  
59 2.23.24     Ruben Maza Venezuela VEN 9 Jun 67  
60 2.23.28     Steve Brace Great Britain GBR 7 Jul 61  
61 2.23.41     Grzegorz Gajdus Poland POL 16 Jan 67  
62 2.23.43     Isaac Simelane Swaziland SWZ 8 Nov 67  
63 2.23.59     Nazerdin Akylbekov Kyrgyzstan KGZ 14 Jul 66  
64 2.24.27     Anders Szalkai Sweden SWE 17 Apr 70  
65 2.24.45     John Mwathiwa Malawi MAW 1 Mar 67  
66 2.24.49     Leonid Shvetsov Russia RUS 28 Mar 69  
67 2.25.04     Eddy Hellebuyck Belgium BEL 22 Jan 61  
68 2.25.12     Ahmed Adam Salah Sudan SUD 10 Jan 66  
69 2.25.29     Ikaji Salum Tanzania TAN 15 Feb 67  
70 2.25.41     Pavelas Fedorenko Lithuania LTU 5 Oct 64  
71 2.25.56     Miguel Mallqui Peru PER 10 Dec 71  
72 2.26.02     Ethel Hudson Indonesia INA 2 Feb 70  
73 2.26.53     Diamantino dos Santos Brazil BRA 3 Feb 61  
74 2.27.04     Tika Bogate Nepal NEP 26 Sep 62  
75 2.27.20     Ronnie Holassie Trinidad and Tobago TTO 29 Jul 71  
76 2.27.52     Joseph Tjitunga Namibia NAM    
77 2.28.36     Valeriu Vlas Moldova MDA 6 Aug 71  
78 2.28.49     Daniel Sibandze Swaziland SWZ 28 Jan 64  
79 2.28.50     Waldemar Cotelo Uruguay URU 12 Mar 64  
80 2.29.06     Petko Stefanov Bulgaria BUL 28 Jan 72  
81 2.29.45     Abebe Mekonnen Ethiopia ETH 9 Jan 64  
82 2.29.55     Luis Martinez Guatemala GUA 19 Nov 66  
83 2.30.35     Sean Wade New Zealand NZL 3 Feb 66  
84 2.30.49     Abderrahim Benradouane Morocco MAR 2 Mar 66  
85 2.30.57     Abdou Monzo Niger NIG 59  
86 2.31.05     Marcelo Barrientos Chile CHI 9 May 70  
87 2.31.28     Toni Bernadó Andorra AND 9 Dec 66  
88 2.32.12     Adel Adili Libya LBA 6 Sep 74  
89 2.32.35     Carlos Tarazona Venezuela VEN 14 Aug 65  
90 2.32.55     Tharcisse Gashaka Burundi BDI 18 Dec 62  
91 2.33.08     Policarpio Calizaya Bolivia BOL 10 Sep 62  
92 2.33.11     Simon Qamunga Tanzania TAN 20 Nov 67  
93 2.33.27     Kenjiro Jitsui Japan JPN 16 Dec 68  
94 2.34.13     Antonio Zeferino Cape Verde CPV 17 Jan 66  
95 2.34.16     Pamenos Ballantyne Saint Vincent and the Grenadines VIN 9 Dec 73  
96 2.34.40     Kaleka Mutoke DR Congo COD 7 Jul 65  
97 2.35.55     Ernest Ndjissipou Central African Republic CAF 4 Nov 74  
98 2.36.01     Ali Ettounsi Morocco MAR 66  
99 2.37.02     William Aguirre Nicaragua NCA 27 Dec 62  
100 2.37.10     Roy Vence Philippines PHI 22 Feb 66  
101 2.40.41     Mohamed Al-Saadi Yemen YEM 68 NR
102 2.41.56     Julio Hernandez Colombia COL 20 Aug 57  
103 2.42.07     Ajay Chuttoo Mauritius MRI 13 Nov 65  
104 2.44.10     Nils Antonio Jamaica JAM 31 Mar 63  
105 2.47.10     Rithya To Cambodia CAM 10 Oct 67  
106 2.47.15     Maximo Oliveras Mexico MEX    
107 2.47.38     Islam Dugum Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH 1 Jun 60  
108 2.48.26     Marlon Williams United States Virgin Islands ISV 9 Sep 56  
109 2.51.41     Eugene Muslar Belize BIZ 28 Mar 59  
110 2.59.55     Abdi Isak Somalia SOM 66  
111 4.24.17     Baser Wasiqi Afghanistan AFG 12 Jul 75  
  DNF     Benjamin Keleketu Botswana BOT 6 Feb 65  
  DNF     Omar Moussa Bouh Djibouti DJI 8 Feb 61  
  DNF     Belayneh Dinsamo Ethiopia ETH 28 Jun 65  
  DNF     Tumo Turbo Ethiopia ETH 23 Feb 70  
  DNF     Victor Razafindrakoto Madagascar MAD 28 Feb 72  
  DNF     Patrick Ishyaka Rwanda RWA 28 Jul 72  
  DNF     Julius Sumawe Tanzania TAN 12 Sep 65  
  DNF     Kim Wan-Ki South Korea KOR 8 Jul 68  
  DNF     Risto Ulmala Finland FIN 7 May 63  
  DNF     Stephan Freigang Germany GER 27 Sep 67  
  DNF     Ceslovas Kundrotas Lithuania LTU 3 Jan 61  
  DNF     Dainius Virbickas Lithuania LTU 12 Nov 71  
  DNF     Antonio Silio Argentina ARG 9 May 66  
More Details by Marathoninfo
Sunday, August 4 at 7:05 Josiah Thugwane (South Africa) 25 years 124 from 79 countries 13 (10.48%)

The race to men when it was much harder to settle than women in mid-career is the Ethiopian Belayneh Dinsamo who took the lead in 1:07:36, who won three months earlier in Rotterdam, where he became the fastest marathoner in the world in 1988, never had the opportunity to shine in the Olympic games. The 25th km they are still in head 25 divided into two groups of 13 and 12 separated by a few seconds. It was then qu'entrèrent in the South African track, we'll talk later, but for them to represent their country was something much more symbolic than others, which may explain their fabulous team spirit. The three South Africans Josiah Thugwane, Gert Thys and Lawrence Few take the reins of the race to dig a hole of about fifteen meters. Only the Korean Lee Bong-Ju, Asian champion that year, accompanied them. But nothing had been played since the 30th km, 19 riders gather in the lead !! The small test of South African strength however served to Thugwane launch ramp, a down Peachtree, forced the pace to go along the Kenyan Eric Wainaina and passente together at 35th km in 1:50: 35.
They were ahead to the moment Korean Lee three seconds, the Spanish Martín Fiz and the Mexican German Silva 4 seconds. In the 5km ensuing Thugwane, Wainaina and Lee wore in turn attacks to make a difference at the foot of the skyscrapers of downtown. Approaching the stage, Lee tried a decisive acceleration which wanted. She let the two marble Africans. Sprinting to the entrance of the tunnel leading to the track, it was quite the contrary Thugwane that his eyes hidden behind glasses indecipherable triathlete, murdered in the dark hopes Korean. He came with 20 meters ahead and preserved loot three seconds at the finish, ending Wainaina to 8 seconds. Never ending an Olympic marathon had been so tight !!

Born April 15, 1971 in Bethal, 200km east of Johannesburg, Thugwane returned from a distance: the bottom of the Koornfontein coal mine, which he had not escaped very young. This is a guy who drives it to participate in a running race in 1988, despite having won R50 at this first experience, the equivalent of a small fortune of $ 11, it was wise not to burn the steps involved in too many trials Souvant those 10 to 80km held on weekends between minors. His debut marathon were difficult, he was unprepared for the modern competition, but in 1995 he finally obtained a first victory in Honolulu in 2:16:08 with a temperature of 28 degrees and a humidity of 90% . The manager of the mine immediately saw the benefits he could gain international success already Thugwane of South Africa Champion in 1993 and in 1996 (2:11:46), so he offered him a job more restful the cafeteria.

In 1996, a second event almost cost him dearly, returning home in his Toyota, he had stopped to take hitchhiked a vague knowledge, when three men rushed inside his vehicle, he followed a scuffle at the heart of which a shot was fired: result, the bullet nicked his chin, who jumped out of the moving car, injuring the back. He spent ten days in hospital and was assigned to a position of oversight sedentary facing monitors.

The third miracle if we could say was the end of apartheid, the South African athletes made ​​their way back to Barcelona precipitated games, but they were not so prépararés and marathon runners are not distinguished in this opportunity. Shortly afterwards, on 28 September 1992 David Tsebe was required in Berlin in 2:08:07, best world performance of the year, and it was then Willie Mtolo right thing in New York in 2: 9:09, then follow good results such as Lawrence Shortly second in 2:10:29 in Fukuoka. This abundance of good results was prolonged by the victories of Thugwane and Colleen Reuck in Honolulu in 1995. As we can see, the end of apartheid released black and white athletes are proving to the whole world. Of apartheid, it happened in rare mixed marathons organized to try to break the international sports boycott, blacks were forced to start well after the whites, because their skin gave them an edge protecting better sun ... the last word will be that of Nelson Mandela to return Thugwane the country, welcomed as a true hero: "It has strengthened our pride and confidence in the south African nation Josiah Thugwane will now be the. example for young people who wish to turn reach the top. "





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