Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon

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Men's marathon
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueMarathon to Athens, Greece
Dates29 August
Competitors102 from 59 nations
Winning time2:10:55
1st, gold medalist(s) Stefano Baldini  Italy
2nd, silver medalist(s) Mebrahtom Keflezighi  United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Vanderlei de Lima  Brazil
← 2000
2008 →

The men's marathon at the 2004 Summer Olympics took place on August 29 in the streets of Athens, Greece. These streets were recently painted for the event, which provided an excellent road surface for the athletes. Drawing upon the ancient origins of the race, the marathon began in Marathon, Greece, and eventually ended at Panathinaiko Stadium, the venue previously used for the 1896 Athens Olympics.[1]

The 26.2 miles (42.2 km) journey began in Marathon. The top contenders all found themselves in a large leading group that held a modest pace through the half marathon. A few tried to surge ahead but the most successful was Vanderlei De Lima's attack at 20k. Past 25k, Stefano Baldini raised the tempo taking seven others with him. Finally, the chase group had been whittled down to three: Stefano Baldini, Paul Tergat, and Mebrahtom Keflezighi. After 35k was passed, Tergat (the world record holder) cracked, leaving two runners to chase behind. Baldini then closed the gap to De Lima after the latter was attacked while dropping Keflezighi. Baldini moved into the lead and took it home for the gold medal in 2:10:55.[2] Keflezighi caught the fading De Lima as well to take the silver in 2:11:29. Finishing at 2:12:11, De Lima was able to hold off Jon Brown, beating him by 15 seconds for the bronze.[3]

As with the previous Games, the marathon also marked the end of the 2004 Summer Olympics and the medal ceremony took place during the closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.


The event was marked by an incident in which Cornelius Horan, a drunk, Irish protester, grappled Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil while de Lima was leading the event with around 7 kilometers remaining. Greek spectator Polyvios Kossivas helped Vanderlei free from Horan's grasp and back into his running. De Lima lost about 15 to 20 seconds of time because of the interruption, and finished third in the event with a time of 2:12:11, winning the bronze medal. De Lima received the rarely awarded Pierre de Coubertin Medal for sportsmanship in addition to his bronze. Despite the fact that the incident had seriously hindered his chances of winning the gold or silver medal, he did not complain and graciously acknowledged the crowd's cheers in the home straight. The protester had a sign on his back that read "The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfilment of Prophecy Says The Bible. The Second Coming is Near."[4]

The phrase "Grand Prix Priest" refers to Horan's previous protest, in which he ran onto the track at the Silverstone Circuit during the 2003 British Grand Prix, intentionally running directly into the path of oncoming cars.


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:04:55 Berlin, Germany 28 September 2003
Olympic record  Carlos Lopes (POR) 2:09:21 Los Angeles, United States 12 August 1984

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's marathon, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 2:15:00 or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 2:18:00 or faster could be entered.


All times are Greece Standard Time (UTC+2)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 29 August 2004 18:00 Final


Rank[5] Name Nationality Result Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Stefano Baldini  Italy 2:10:55
2nd, silver medalist(s) Mebrahtom Keflezighi  United States 2:11:29 SB
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Vanderlei de Lima  Brazil 2:12:11
4 Jon Brown  Great Britain 2:12:26 SB
5 Shigeru Aburaya  Japan 2:13:11
6 Toshinari Suwa  Japan 2:13:24
7 Erick Wainaina  Kenya 2:13:30
8 Alberto Chaíça  Portugal 2:14:17
9 Alberico di Cecco  Italy 2:14:34
10 Paul Tergat  Kenya 2:14:45
11 Jaouad Gharib  Morocco 2:15:12
12 Alan Culpepper  United States 2:15:26
13 Leonid Shvetsov  Russia 2:15:28
14 Lee Bong-ju  South Korea 2:15:33
15 Ambesse Tolosa  Ethiopia 2:15:39
16 Gert Thys  South Africa 2:16:08
17 Ji Young-joon  South Korea 2:16:14
18 Antoni Peña  Spain 2:16:38
19 Grigoriy Andreyev  Russia 2:16:55
20 Haile Satayin  Israel 2:17:25
21 Jonathan Wyatt  New Zealand 2:17:45
22 Janne Holmen  Finland 2:17:50
23 Dan Robinson  Great Britain 2:17:53
24 Nikolaos Polias  Greece 2:17:56
25 Ndabili Bashingili  Botswana 2:18:09
26 Pavel Loskutov  Estonia 2:18:09
27 José Rios  Spain 2:18:40
28 Lee Troop  Australia 2:18:46
29 Michael Buchleitner  Austria 2:19:19
30 Anuradha Cooray  Sri Lanka 2:19:24
31 Li Zhuhong  China 2:19:26
32 Joachim Nshimirimana  Burundi 2:19:31
33 Dale Warrender  New Zealand 2:19:42
34 Waldemar Glinka  Poland 2:19:43
35 Jong Myong-chol  North Korea 2:19:47
36 El-Hassan Lahssini  France 2:19:50
37 Michał Bartoszak  Poland 2:20:20
38 Ahmed Jumaa Jaber  Qatar 2:20:27
39 Ali Mabrouk El Zaidi  Libya 2:20:31
40 Samson Ramadhani  Tanzania 2:20:38
41 Lee Myong-seung  South Korea 2:21:01
42 Tomoaki Kunichika  Japan 2:21:13
43 José Alirio Carrasco  Colombia 2:21:14
44 Ernest Ndjissipou  Central African Republic 2:21:23
45 Nicholas Harrison  Australia 2:21:42
46 Tereje Wodajo  Ethiopia 2:21:53
47 Aguelmis Rojas  Cuba 2:21:59
48 Abel Chimukoko  Zimbabwe 2:22:09
49 Saïd Belhout  Algeria 2:22:32
50 Matthew O'Dowd  Great Britain 2:22:37
51 Juan Carlos Cardona  Colombia 2:22:49
52 Daniele Caimmi  Italy 2:23:07
53 João N'Tyamba  Angola 2:23:26
54 Roman Kejžar  Slovenia 2:23:34
55 Procopio Franco  Mexico 2:23:34
56 Wu Wen-chien  Chinese Taipei 2:23:54
57 Antoni Bernado  Andorra 2:23:55
58 Julio Rey  Spain 2:24:54
59 Asaf Bimro  Israel 2:25:20
60 Sisay Bezabeh  Australia 2:25:26
61 Silvio Guerra  Ecuador 2:25:29
62 Mathias Ntawulikura  Rwanda 2:26:05
63 Róbert Štefko  Czech Republic 2:27:12
64 José Amado García  Guatemala 2:27:13
65 Dan Browne  United States 2:27:17
66 Han Gang  China 2:27:31
67 Eduardo Buenavista  Philippines 2:28:18
68 Driss El Himer  France 2:29:07
69 Andrés Espinosa  Mexico 2:29:43
70 Mpesela Ntlot Soeu  Lesotho 2:30:19
71 Franklin Tenorio  Ecuador 2:31:12
72 José Ernani Palalia  Mexico 2:31:41
73 Dmitriy Burmakin  Russia 2:31:51
74 Mindaugas Pukštas  Lithuania 2:33:02
75 Bat-Ochiryn Ser-Od  Mongolia 2:33:24
76 Zhu Ronghua  China 2:34:02
77 Alfredo Arevalo  Guatemala 2:34:02
78 António Zeferino  Cape Verde 2:36:22
79 Valery Pisarev  Kyrgyzstan 2:40:10
80 Zepherinus Joseph  Saint Lucia 2:44:19
81 Marcel Matanin  Slovakia 2:50:26
Hendrick Ramaala  South Africa DNF
Zebedayo Bayo  Tanzania DNF
Hailu Negussie  Ethiopia DNF
Viktor Röthlin  Switzerland DNF
Al Mustafa Riyadh  Bahrain DNF
Rômulo Wagner  Brazil DNF
Ian Syster  South Africa DNF
Zsolt Bácskai  Hungary DNF
Azat Rakipov  Belarus DNF
Dmytro Baranovskyy  Ukraine DNF
Rachid Ghanmouni  Morocco DNF
Rachid Ziar  Algeria DNF
Mustapha Bennacer  Algeria DNF
André Luiz Ramos  Brazil DNF
Luis Fonseca  Venezuela DNF
Khalid El-Boumlili  Morocco DNF
John Nada Saya  Tanzania DNF
Gil da Cruz Trindade  East Timor DNF
Jussi Utriainen  Finland DNF
Jean-Paul Gahimbaré  Burundi DNF
Luc Krotwaar  Netherlands DNS


  1. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's Marathon Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  2. ^ Clarey, Christopher (29 August 2004). "Summer 2004 Games: Marathon, A Spectator Disrupts The Marathon With a Shove". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  3. ^ Patrick, Dick (30 August 2004). "Italy's Baldini wins men's marathon". USA Today. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Protester ruins marathon". BBC Sport. 29 August 2004. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athens Summer Games: Men's Marathon". Retrieved 29 May 2017.

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