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OLYMPIC 100 METRES

INTRODUCTION

The 100 metre sprint is the most famous track and field event. It is the ultimate test of speed. The Olympic games is most prestigious event for track and field events including the 100 metre sprint. 

Charts

1. Olympic 100m Gold Medal Times By Olympics

2. Medalists in 100 Metres at Olympics by Race/Ethnicity

3. Medalists in 100 Metres at Olympics by World Region

Data Table

4. Finishing Time, Country and Racial Group of 100 Metre Olympic Medallists 

Jim Hines became first to run the Olympic 100m under 10 seconds in 1968 in Mexico City. 

As is expected, the finishing times for 100 metres in Olympics have become shorter over history, reflecting greater participation and improved training techniques as well as the motivation to break previously held records.

 

After the dramatic drop from the first to second Olympics, the improvement has been more gradual. In the 1930s, black American sprinters like Jesse Owens, Eddie Tolan and Ralph Metcalfe took sprinting to a new level. The 1948 Olympics seen strong sprinting times as well. The 1950s showed a decline in sprinting which was reversed from the 1960s onwards.

 

The first gold medalist to run under 10 seconds was Jim Hines in 1968 during that record breaking Olympics in Mexico City. There was a notable slowing down in 1980 due in part to the boycott of the Moscow Olympics by American athletes. From 1988 to the most recent Olympics in 2016, all gold medalists ran under 10 seconds and all medalists from 2004 to 2016 had final times under 10 seconds. The last 3 gold medals have been won by the Jamaican Usain Bolt whose times in 2008 and 2012 were particularly notable.

Jesse Owens famously won 4 gold medals, including in the 100m, at the 1936 Olympic games in Nazi Germany.

In the early part of Olympic history, prior to the 1930s, the 100 metre sprint was dominated by white sprinters. The first non-white person to win a medal was Harry Edwards, of mixed race (half German & half Guyanese), who won a bronze medal in 1920. Things changed quite dramatically in the 1930s when black American sprinters burst onto the scene. In the first Olympics after the war, in 1948, all medalists were black, something which would soon become the norm. The 1956 and 1960 Olympics stand out because all medalists were white for the first time since 1924. After this, the only time most medalists would be white would be in 1980 Moscow games. This is largely due to the boycott of the Olympic games by the United States. From 1984 until 2016, all medalists have been black. In 2021, the gold medallist was half black and half Italian while the other 2 medallists were black. Other major ethno-racial groupings such as East Asians, Arabs, Indians and mixed race Latin Americans have been absent from medals. 

DATA TABLE
4. Finishing Time, Country and Racial Group of 100 Metre Olympic Medallists 
Year
Name of Gold Medallist
Country
Racial/Ethnic Group
Gold Medal Time (Seconds)
Name of Silver Medallist
Country
Racial/Ethnic Group
Silver Medal Time (Seconds)
Name of Bronze Medallist
Country
Racial/Ethnic Group
Bronze Medal Time (Seconds)
2021
Marcel Jacobs
Italy
Mixed
9.8
Fred Kerley
United States
Black/African
9.84
Andre De Grasse
Canada
9.89
1896
Thomas Burke
United States
White/European
12
Fritz Hoffman
Germany
White/European
12.2
Frances Lane
United States
White/European
12.6
1900
Frank Jarvis
United States
White/European
11
Walter Tewksbury
United States
White/European
11.1
Stan Rowley
Australia
White/European
11.2
1904
Archie Hahn
United States
White/European
11
Nathaniel Cartmell
United States
White/European
11.2
William Hogenson
United States
White/European
11.2
1908
Reggie Walker
South Africa
White/European
10.8
James Rector
United States
White/European
10.9
Robert Kerr
Canada
White/European
11
1912
Ralph Craig
United States
White/European
10.8
Alvah Mayer
United States
White/European
10.9
Donald Lippincott
United States
White/European
10.9
1920
Charlie Paddock
United States
White/European
10.6
Morris Kirksey
United States
White/European
10.8
Harry Edward
Great Britain
Mixed
11
1924
Harold Abrahams
Great Britain
White/European
10.6
Jackson Scholz
United States
White/European
10.7
Arthur Porritt
New Zealand
White/European
10.8
1928
Percy Williams
Canada
White/European
10.8
Jack London
Great Britain
Black/African
10.9
Georg Lammers
Germany
White/European
10.9
1932
Eddie Tolan
United States
Black/African
10.3
Ralph Metcalfe
United States
Black/African
10.3
Arthur Jonath
Germany
White/European
10.5
1936
Jesse Owens
United States
Black/African
10.3
Ralph Metcalfe
United States
Black/African
10.4
Tinus Osendarp
Netherlands
White/European
10.5
1948
Harrison Dillard
United States
Black/African
10.3
Barney Ewell
United States
Black/African
10.4
Lloyd La Beach
Panama
Black/African
10.6
1952
Lindy Remigino
United States
White/European
10.79
Herb McKenley
Jamaica
Black/African
10.8
McDonald Bailey
Great Britain
Black/African
10.83
1956
Bobby Morrow
United States
White/European
10.62
Thane Baker
United States
White/European
10.77
Hec Hogan
Australia
White/European
10.77
1960
Armin Hary
Germany
White/European
10.2
Dave Sime
United States
White/European
10.2
Peter Radford
Great Britain
White/European
10.3
1964
Bob Hayes
United States
Black/African
10
Enrique Figuerola
Cuba
Black/African
10.2
Harry Jerome
Canada
Black/African
10.2
1968
Jim Hines
United States
Black/African
9.9
Lennox Miller
Jamaica
Black/African
10
Charlie Greene
United States
Black/African
10.07
1972
Valeriy Borzov
Soviet Union
White/European
10.14
Robert Taylor
United States
Black/African
10.24
Lennox Miller
Jamaica
Black/African
10.33
1976
Hasely Crawford
Trinidad and Tobago
Black/African
10.06
Don Quarrie
Jamaica
Black/African
10.08
Valeriy Borzov
Soviet Union
White/European
10.14
1980
Alan Wells
Great Britain
White/European
10.25
Silvio Leonard
Cuba
Black/African
10.25
Petar Petrov
Bulgaria
White/European
10.39
1984
Carl Lewis
United States
Black/African
9.99
Sam Graddy
United States
Black/African
10.19
Ben Johnson
Canada
Black/African
10.22
1988
Carl Lewis
United States
Black/African
9.92
Linford Christie
Great Britain
Black/African
9.97
Calvin Smith
United States
Black/African
9.99
1992
Linford Christie
Great Britain
Black/African
9.96
Frankie Fredericks
Namibia
Black/African
10.02
Dennis Mitchell
United States
Black/African
10.04
1996
Donovan Bailey
Canada
Black/African
9.84
Frankie Fredericks
Namibia
Black/African
9.89
Ato Boldon
Trinidad and Tobago
Black/African
9.9
2000
Maurice Greene
United States
Black/African
9.87
Ato Boldon
Trinidad and Tobago
Black/African
9.99
Odabele Johnson
Barbados
Black/African
10.04
2004
Justin Gatlin
United States
Black/African
9.85
Francis Obikwelu
Portugal
Black/African
9.86
Maurice Greene
United States
Black/African
9.87
2008
Usain Bolt
Jamaica
Black/African
9.69
Richard Thompson
Trinidad and Tobago
Black/African
9.89
Walter Dix
United States
Black/African
9.91
2012
Usain Bolt
Jamaica
Black/African
9.63
Yohan Blake
Jamaica
Black/African
9.75
Justin Gatlin
United States
Black/African
9.79
2016
Usain Bolt
Jamaica
Black/African
9.81
Justin Gatlin
United States
Black/African
9.89
Andre De Grasse
Canada
Black/African
9.91

Source:

https://www.wikipedia.org/

https://www.olympic.org/athletics/100m-men

Charts created by OpenOffice Calc.

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