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Men's 100m at the Olympics

The 100m men's Olympic sprint has been on all Olympic Games programs since the first Olympics in 1896, and has provided many highlights. The 100m men's Olympic sprint champion is hailed the fastest man on earth, and the world stops to watch it. See more about Olympic Sprint events.

US athletes have won the Olympic 100m more times than any other country, 17 out of the 28 times that it has been run. In addition to Archie Hahn winning in 1906 for the second time, there has been only one other athlete who has backed up and won the event more than once, US sprinter Carl Lewis in 1984 and 1988.

Below is the timeline of the 100m winners, with some videos, images and stories that have made this event so interesting.

Year Winner Time (secs) Notes
1896 Tom Burke
12 The first-ever event of the Modern Olympic Games was the 1st heat of the 100m, held on 6 April 1896.
1900 Frank Jarvis
1904 Archie Hahn
1906 Archie Hahn
1908 Reggie Walker
10.8 Walker was 19 years, 128 days when he won, making him the youngest ever winner of the Olympic 100m.
1912 Ralph Craig
10.8 The winner Craig would not have won as under the current rules as he would have been disqualified for making several false starts to the race. Five of the 6 finalists were from the United States.
1920 Charles Paddock
10.8 The winner Charley Paddock died in a plane crash in 1943 while serving as a captain in the US Marines.
1924 Harold Abrahams
10.6 Harold Abrahams was famously depicted in the movie Chariots of Fire, and became the first European winner of the 100m. See video.100m 1924
100m 1928The finish of the 1928 100m sprint (from the official report of the 1928 Olympic Games)
1928 Percy Williams
1932 Eddie Tolan
10.38 American Eddie Tolan won in a world record equaling time of 10.38 seconds. Second placed Ralph Metcalfe also from the US was given the same time. See video.100m 1932
1936 Jesse Owens
10.3 100m sprint final at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games was won by American Jesse Owens. It was one of his 4 gold medals. See video.100m 1936 jesse Owens
1948 Harrison Dillard
10.3 See video.100m 1988
1952 Lindy Remigino
10.4 It was a very close finish, the time given was 10.4 for the first four finishers and 10.5 for the fifth and sixth runners. Electronic timing gave Remigino 10.79. See video.100m 1988
1956 Bobby Morrow
10.5 Morrow also won gold in the 200m and 4x100m. See video.100m 1988
1960 Armin Hary
10.2 See video.100m 1988
1964 Bob Hayes
10 Hayes won easily. After his Olympic career he went on to play professional football with the Dallas Cowboys. See video.100m 1988
1968 Jim Hines
9.95 Jim Hines won gold in 9.95 seconds, the first legal time under 10 seconds using automatic timing. There were many fast times aided by the high altitude in Mexico City. See video.100m 1988
1972 Valeriy Borzov
10.14 See video.100m 1988
1976 Hasely Crawford
10.06 Crawford beat Jamaican Don Quarrie by 1/100th of a second See video.100m 1988
1980 Allan Wells
10.25 Wells won in a photo finish. The American led boycott of these Games resulted in many of the World's top sprinters not competing. See video.100m 1988
1984 Carl Lewis
9.99 The win by Lewis was one of his four gold medals in 1984, replicating the achievement of Jesse Owens in 1936. See video.100m 1988
1988 Carl Lewis
9.92 Ben Johnson was the initial winner in 9.79 seconds. He was very quickly stripped of his win after testing positive to performance enhancing drugs. Second in the race (eventual gold medalist) was Carl Lewis, making him a two time winner. See video.100m 1988
1992 Linford Christie
9.96 See video. At 32 years old, Christie became the oldest 100 champion.Olympic Games 100m sprint
1996 Donovan Bailey
9.84 There were three false starts, two of them by defending champion Linford Christie, who was then disqualified. Bailey won in a world record. See video.Olympic Games 100m sprint
2000 Maurice Greene
9.87 See video.Olympic Games 100m sprint
2004 Justin Gatlin
9.85 Justin Gatlin won in a close finish. See video.Olympic Games 100m sprint
2008 Usain Bolt
9.69 Winner Usain Bolt broke the world record with a time 9.69 seconds. See video.100m Olympic final
2012 Usain Bolt
9.63 Winner Usain Bolt won again, in an Olympic record 9.63s. It was the second fastest time in history (behind his WR). Seven runners crossed the line in under 10 seconds. 100m Olympic final
2016 Usain Bolt
9.81 Bolt became the first man to win three consecutive 100-meter finals in the Olympics.
2021 Lamont Marcell Jacobs (Italy) 9.80 Jacobs was a surprise winner, powering to win in a European record.
jesse owens at the Olympics in 1936Jesse Owens 1936 (credit: public domain)

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