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Athletics at the 1900 Summer Olympics

Athletics
at the Games of the II Olympiad
VenueCroix-Catelan Stadium
Dates14–22 July 1900
No. of events23 (23 men, 0 women)
Competitors117 from 16 nations
← 1896
1904 →

At the 1900 Summer Olympics, twenty-three athletics events were contested. Altogether, 117 athletes from 15 nations competed. A total of 68 medals (23 gold, 23 silver, 22 bronze) were awarded. In many countries, due in part to the conflation of the Olympic Games and the World's Fair in Paris, the media discussed only the athletics events under the "Olympic" name while ignoring the incredible variety of other sports featured at the time.[citation needed]

The 23 events listed are those currently considered to have been of Olympic stature by the International Olympic Committee and most Olympic historians. They exclude all events that used a handicap system, as well as all events which were open to professional athletes. The IOC has never decided which events were "Olympic" and which were not.[1]

Competitions were held on 14 July, 15 July, 16 July, 19 July, and 22 July. This included Bastille Day, which is a French holiday, and then Sunday, which many of the American athletes protested. Even with many Americans not competing in finals because of confusion caused by the organizers' decision to count scores achieved on Monday, 16 July for finals held on Sunday, 15 July and subsequent rescission of that decision, the United States won more than 4 times as many medals as any other nation, including 16 of the 23 gold medals.

The conditions of competition were also subpar compared even to those at the previous games in 1896. There was no track for the Paris Games, as a grass field dotted with trees and of unequal elevation was used. The course was 500 metres in length, an unusual distance for a track.

Medal summary

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 United States (USA)16131039
2 Great Britain (GBR)[2]3328
3 France (FRA)1427
4 Canada (CAN)1012
 Hungary (HUN)1012
6 Mixed team (ZZX)1001
7 India (IND)0202
8 Bohemia (BOH)0101
9 Australia (AUS)[2]0033
10 Denmark (DEN)0011
 Norway (NOR)0011
 Sweden (SWE)0011
Totals (12 entries)23232268
Event Gold Silver Bronze
60 metres
details
Alvin Kraenzlein
 United States
7.0 =OR Walter Tewksbury
 United States
7.1 Stan Rowley
 Australia
7.2
100 metres
details
Frank Jarvis
 United States
11.0 Walter Tewksbury
 United States
11.1 Stan Rowley
 Australia
11.2
200 metres
details
Walter Tewksbury
 United States
22.2 OR Norman Pritchard
 India
22.8 Stan Rowley
 Australia
22.9
400 metres
details
Maxie Long
 United States
49.4 OR William Holland
 United States
49.6 Ernst Schultz
 Denmark
51.5
800 metres
details
Alfred Tysoe
 Great Britain
2:01.2 John Cregan
 United States
2:03.0 David Hall
 United States
2:03.8
1500 metres
details
Charles Bennett
 Great Britain
4:06.2 WR Henri Deloge
 France
4:06.6 John Bray
 United States
4:07.2
Marathon
details
Michel Théato
 France [a]
2:59:45 Émile Champion
 France
3:04:17 Ernst Fast
 Sweden
3:37:14
110 metres hurdles
details
Alvin Kraenzlein
 United States
15.4 OR John McLean
 United States
15.5 Frederick Moloney
 United States
15.6
200 metres hurdles
details
Alvin Kraenzlein
 United States
25.4 Norman Pritchard
 India
26.0 Walter Tewksbury
 United States
26.1
400 metres hurdles
details
Walter Tewksbury
 United States
57.6 Henri Tauzin
 France
58.3 George Orton
 Canada
58.8
2500 m steeplechase
details
George Orton
 Canada
7:34.4 Sidney Robinson
 Great Britain
7:38.0 Jacques Chastanié
 France
7:52.4
4000 m steeplechase
details
John Rimmer
 Great Britain
12:58.4 Charles Bennett
 Great Britain
12:58.6 Sidney Robinson
 Great Britain
12:58.8
5000 m team race
details
 Mixed team (ZZX)
 Charles Bennett (GBR)
 John Rimmer (GBR)
 Sidney Robinson (GBR)
 Alfred Tysoe (GBR)
 Stan Rowley (AUS)
26 pts  France (FRA)
Henri Deloge
Jacques Chastanié
André Castanet
Michel Champoudry
Gaston Ragueneau
29 pts only two teams entered
High jump
details
Irving Baxter
 United States
1.90 m OR Patrick Leahy
 Great Britain
1.78 m Lajos Gönczy
 Hungary
1.75 m
Pole vault
details
Irving Baxter
 United States
3.30 m =OR Meredith Colket
 United States
3.25 m Carl Albert Andersen
 Norway
3.20 m
Long jump
details
Alvin Kraenzlein
 United States
7.185 m OR Myer Prinstein
 United States
7.175 m Patrick Leahy
 Great Britain
6.950 m
Triple jump
details
Myer Prinstein
 United States
14.47 m OR James Connolly
 United States
13.97 m Lewis Sheldon
 United States
13.64 m
Standing high jump
details
Ray Ewry
 United States
1.655 m Irving Baxter
 United States
1.525 m Lewis Sheldon
 United States
1.500 m
Standing long jump
details
Ray Ewry
 United States
3.30 m Irving Baxter
 United States
3.135 m Émile Torchebœuf
 France
3.03 m
Standing triple jump
details
Ray Ewry
 United States
10.58 m OR Irving Baxter
 United States
9.95 m Robert Garrett
 United States
9.50 m
Shot put
details
Richard Sheldon
 United States
14.10 m OR Josiah McCracken
 United States
12.85 m Robert Garrett
 United States
12.37 m
Discus throw
details
Rudolf Bauer
 Hungary
36.04 m OR František Janda-Suk
 Bohemia
35.14 m Richard Sheldon
 United States
34.60 m
Hammer throw
details
John Flanagan
 United States
51.01 m OR Truxtun Hare
 United States
46.26 m Josiah McCracken
 United States
43.58 m

These medals are retroactively assigned by the International Olympic Committee; at the time, winners were given silver medals.

Finish of the 800m

Daily summary

14 July

  • All rounds, including the finals, for the 100 metres and the 110 metre hurdles were held. The United States took 5 of the medals, missing only the bronze medal in the 100 metres won by Stan Rowley of Australia. Frank Jarvis won the 100 metres, with Alvin Kraenzlein taking the gold in the 110 metre hurdles.
  • In the 400 metre heats, the United States took 5 qualifying spots for the final while Denmark secured the last one. The 800 metres was more balanced, with 3 Americans and one athlete each from France, Great Britain, and Hungary.
  • The 400 metre hurdles semifinals eliminated only one athlete, with the other four advancing to the finals.
  • Defending discus and shot put champion Robert Garrett failed to make a mark in the qualification round of the discus throw, but did advance to the final in the shot put. Bohemia advanced a thrower in the discus, an event which saw 5 athletes from 5 different nations qualify.
  • Surprising few, Kraenzlein and Meyer Prinstein took the top two spots in the long jump qualification, moving to the final along with a third American, a Briton, and a Frenchman.

15 July

  • In a busy day for the athletics program, 10 finals were held along with the semifinals of the 60 metres (which was one of the events with a final that day). The United States took 7 of the championships, with Great Britain, Canada, and Hungary each picking up one.
  • Kraenzlein took the top spots in the 60 metres and the long jump, the latter victory allegedly earning him a punch in the face from Prinstein, who had not competed because the final was held on a Sunday. This brought Kraenzlein's total to 3 gold medals, better than any athlete had done four years earlier. Irving Baxter also took gold in two events, the high jump and the pole vault.
  • Denmark won its first athletics medal, with a bronze in the 400 metres. Charles Bennett's gold in the 1500 metres gave Britain its first gold in the sport. Canada's George Orton took two medals, a gold and a bronze, for the debut nation. Hungary won its first gold with the discus throw, adding a bronze in the high jump. Bohemia, another nation making its debut, took the silver medal in the discus.
  • The steeplechase made its Olympic debut, with the 2500 metre version won by Orton.

16 July

  • Eight more finals were held on Monday the 16th. Kraenzlein picked up a fourth victory with the 200 metre hurdles, winning both his semifinal and the final to set a long-lived Olympic record for athletic gold medals in individual events. Ray Ewry won all three of the standing jumps, each of which made its Olympic debut in 1900. Great Britain picked up another pair of gold medals with the 800 metres and the 4000 metre steeplechase. Prinstein got his long-awaited victory in the triple jump, while John Flanagan's hammer throw earned the United States its 6th championship of the day.
  • India's debut Games reached a high point with Norman Pritchard's silver medal in the 200 metre hurdles.

19 July

  • The marathon was the only event held on the 19th. Michel Théato, a Luxembourgish citizen under the French flag, won the gold medal. Sweden earned its first athletics medal with the bronze in the marathon.

22 July

  • The two remaining events were held on Sunday the 22nd. The semifinals of the 200 metres and the finals of that event and the 5000 metre team race were held.
  • Pritchard won his second silver medal in the 200 metres, while Rowley won his third bronze in the same event. The race was won by Walter Tewksbury, bringing his total for the Games to five medals, including two gold medals.
  • The 5000 metre team race was won by the British team, which included Stan Rowley of Australia. This makes Rowley the only athlete in Olympic history to win gold medals for multiple nations in the same Games; the establishment of National Olympic Committees ensures this accomplishment will remain unique. Also of note is that Rowley did not finish the race: it was far longer than the sprinter was accustomed to running, and after he had been injured and reduced to walking, he retired after everyone else had crossed the finish line to accept last place.

Participating nations

Notes

  1. ^ In 2021, the IOC online data and medal table for the 1900 Games were changed to reflect medalists' nationalities in this and eight other events, including for Michel Théato.[3] This led some to believe that Luxembourg had officially recovered this Olympic title. This change in the IOC online data was later reversed.[4]

References

  1. ^ Lennartz, Karl; Teutenberg, Walter (1995). Olympische Spiele 1900 in Paris. Kassel, Germany: Agon-Sportverlag. p. 147. ISBN 3-928562-20-7. In many works, it is read that the IOC later met to decide which events were Olympic and which were not. This is not correct and no decision has ever been made. No discussion of this item can be found in the account of any Session.
  2. ^ a b An additional gold medal was won by a mixed team composed of four athletes from Great Britain and one from Australia.
  3. ^ "Paris 1900 Medal Table". Olympics.com. International Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 16 June 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Michel Théato IOC webpage". Olympics.com. International Olympic Committee.

References

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Athletics at the 1900 Summer Olympics
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