Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon

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Men's marathon
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
Venue Marathon to Athens, Greece
Dates August 29
Competitors 101 from 59 nations
Gold medal    Italy
Silver medal    United States
Bronze medal    Brazil
«2000 2008»
Athletics at the
2004 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men women
5000 m men women
10,000 m men women
100 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men women
3000 m
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men women
Road events
Marathon men women
20 km walk men women
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men women
High jump men women
Pole vault men women
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men women
Combined events
Heptathlon women
Decathlon men
Wheelchair races

The Men's Marathon event at the 2004 Summer Olympics took place on August 29, 2004 in the streets of Athens, Greece. The 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. It ended at Panathinaiko Stadium, the stadium used for the 1896 Athens Olympics.

As with previous Olympics, the marathon 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, an 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 was awarded 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 didn't 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." He later apologized for possibly costing de Lima the gold.

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

The Race[edit]

The 26.2 mile journey began in Marathon. The big 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 7 others with him. Finally, the chase group was whittled down to three: Stefano Baldini, Paul Tergat, and Mebrahtom Keflezighi. After 35k was passed, Paul Tergat (the world record holder) cracked, leaving 2 to chase behind. Stefano 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. Keflezighi caught the fading De Lima as well, taking 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.


  • All times shown are in hours:minutes:seconds
DNS did not start
NM no mark
OR olympic record
WR world record
AR area record
NR national record
PB personal best
SB season best


Standing records prior to the 2004 Summer Olympics
World Record  Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:04:55 September 28, 2003 Germany Berlin, Germany
Olympic Record  Carlos Lopes (POR) 2:09:21 August 12, 1984 United States Los Angeles, United States
Season Best  Evans Rutto (KEN) 2:06:18 April 18, 2004 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom

Final ranking[edit]

Place Athlete Time Notes
1  Stefano Baldini (ITA) 2:10:55  
2  Mebrahtom Keflezighi (USA) 2:11:29 SB
3  Vanderlei de Lima (BRA) 2:12:11  
4  Jon Brown (GBR) 2:12:26 SB
5  Shigeru Aburaya (JPN) 2:13:11  
6  Toshinari Suwa (JPN) 2:13:24  
7  Erick Wainaina (KEN) 2:13:30  
8  Alberto Chaíça (POR) 2:14:17  
9  Alberico di Cecco (ITA) 2:14:34  
10  Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:14:45  
11  Jaouad Gharib (MAR) 2:15:12  
12  Alan Culpepper (USA) 2:15:26  
13  Leonid Shvetsov (RUS) 2:15:28  
14  Lee Bong-Ju (KOR) 2:15:33  
15  Ambesse Tolosa (ETH) 2:15:39  
16  Gert Thys (RSA) 2:16:08  
17  Ji Young-Joon (KOR) 2:16:14  
18  Antoni Pena (ESP) 2:16:38  
19  Grigoriy Andreyev (RUS) 2:16:55  
20  Haile Satayin (ISR) 2:17:25  
21  Jonathan Wyatt (NZL) 2:17:45  
22  Janne Holmen (FIN) 2:17:50  
23  Dan Robinson (GBR) 2:17:53  
24  Nikolaos Polias (GRE) 2:17:56  
25  Ndabili Bashingili (BOT) 2:18:09  
26  Pavel Loskutov (EST) 2:18:09  
27  Jose Rios (ESP) 2:18:40  
28  Lee Troop (AUS) 2:18:46  
29  Michael Buchleitner (AUT) 2:19:19  
30  Anuradha Cooray (SRI) 2:19:24  
31  Li Zhu-hong (CHN) 2:19:26  
32  Joachim Nshimirimana (BDI) 2:19:31  
33  Dale Warrender (NZL) 2:19:42  
34  Waldemar Glinka (POL) 2:19:43  
35  Jong Myong-Chol (PRK) 2:19:47  
36  El Hassan Lahssini (FRA) 2:19:50  
37  Michal Bartoszak (POL) 2:20:20  
38  Ahmed Jumaa Jaber (QAT) 2:20:27  
39  Ali Mabrouk El Zaidi (LBA) 2:20:31  
40  Samson Ramadhani (TAN) 2:20:38  
41  Lee Myong-Seung (KOR) 2:21:01  
42  Tomoaki Kunichika (JPN) 2:21:13  
43  Jose Alirio Carrasco (COL) 2:21:14  
44  Ernest Ndjissipou (CAF) 2:21:23  
45  Nicholas Harrison (AUS) 2:21:42  
46  Tereje Wodajo (ETH) 2:21:53  
47  Aguelmis Rojas (CUB) 2:21:59  
48  Abel Chimukoko (ZIM) 2:22:09  
49  Saïd Belhout (ALG) 2:22:32  
50  Matthew O'Dowd (GBR) 2:22:37  
51  Juan Carlos Cardona (COL) 2:22:49  
52  Daniele Caimmi (ITA) 2:23:07  
53  João N'Tyamba (ANG) 2:23:26  
54  Roman Kejžar (SLO) 2:23:34  
55  Procopio Franco (MEX) 2:23:34  
56  Wu Wen-Chien (TPE) 2:23:54  
57  Antoni Bernado (AND) 2:23:55  
58  Julio Rey (ESP) 2:24:54  
59  Asaf Bimro (ISR) 2:25:20  
60  Sisay Bezabeh (AUS) 2:25:26  
61  Silvio Guerra (ECU) 2:25:29  
62  Mathias Ntawulikura (RWA) 2:26:05  
63  Robert Stefko (CZE) 2:27:12  
64  Jose Amado Garcia (GUA) 2:27:13  
65  Daniel Browne (USA) 2:27:17  
66  Han Gang (CHN) 2:27:31  
67  Eduardo Buenavista (PHI) 2:28:18  
68  Driss El Himer (FRA) 2:29:07  
69  Andrés Espinosa (MEX) 2:29:43  
70  Mpesela Ntlot Soeu (LES) 2:30:19  
71  Franklin Tenorio (ECU) 2:31:12  
72  Jose Ernani Palalia (MEX) 2:31:41  
73  Dmitriy Burmakin (RUS) 2:31:51  
74  Mindaugas Pukštas (LTU) 2:33:02  
75  Bat-Ochiryn Ser-Od (MGL) 2:33:24  
76  Zhu Ronghua (CHN) 2:34:02  
77  Alfredo Arevalo (GUA) 2:34:02  
78  António Zeferino (CPV) 2:36:22  
79  Valery Pisarev (KGZ) 2:40:10  
80  Zepherinus Joseph (LCA) 2:44:19  
81  Marcel Matanin (SVK) 2:50:26  
 Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) DNF  
 Zebedayo Bayo (TAN) DNF  
 Hailu Negussie (ETH) DNF  
 Viktor Röthlin (SUI) DNF  
 Al Mustafa Riyadh (BRN) DNF  
 Romulo Silva (BRA) DNF  
 Ian Syster (RSA) DNF  
 Zsolt Bacskai (HUN) DNF  
 Azat Rakipov (BLR) DNF  
 Dmytro Baranovskyy (UKR) DNF  
 Rachid Ghanmouni (MAR) DNF  
 Rachid Ziar (ALG) DNF  
 Mustapha Bennacer (ALG) DNF  
 Andre Luiz Ramos (BRA) DNF  
 Luis Fonseca (VEN) DNF  
 Khalid El Boumlili (MAR) DNF  
 John Nada Saya (TAN) DNF  
 Gil da Cruz Trindade (TLS) DNF  
 Jussi Utriainen (FIN) DNF  
 Jean-Paul Gahimbaré (BDI) DNF  
 Luc Krotwaar (NED) DNS  

See also[edit]