Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres
|Men's 100 metres|
at the Games of the XIX Olympiad
|Venue||Estadio Olímpico Universitario|
Mexico City, Mexico
|Dates||October 13 (heats, quarterfinals)|
October 14, 1968 (semifinals, final)
|Competitors||65 from 42 nations|
|Winning time||9.95 seconds|
|Athletics at the|
1968 Summer Olympics
|80 m hurdles||women|
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men|
|4×100 m relay||men||women|
|4×400 m relay||men|
|20 km walk||men|
|50 km walk||men|
The men's 100 metres sprint event at the 1968 Olympic Games took place at Estadio Olímpico Universitario in Mexico City, Mexico, on October 13 and 14. Sixty-five athletes from 42 nations took part. Each nation was limited to 3 runners by rules in place since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The final was won by American Jim Hines, the second consecutive time the event was won by an American (and the nation's 12th title in the event overall). Jamaica won its first medal in the event since 1952. 
This was the sixteenth time the event was held, having appeared at every Olympics since the first in 1896. The gold medalist from 1964, American Bob Hayes, did not return (playing in the National Football League instead), but Tokyo silver medalist Cuban Enrique Figuerola and bronze medalist Canadian Harry Jerome did. The American team was led by Jim Hines and Charles Greene, two of the three men to establish the world record at 9.9 seconds during the Night of Speed; Mel Pender, a 1964 finalist, was the third member of the team. Jamaican Lennox Miller was the strongest challenger to the Americans.
El Salvador, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Suriname, and Tanzania were represented in the event for the first time. East and West Germany also competed separately for the first time. The United States was the only nation to have appeared at each of the first sixteen Olympic men's 100 metres events.
The event retained the same basic four round format from 1920–1964: heats, quarterfinals, semifinals, and a final. A significant change, however, was the introduction of the "fastest loser" system. Previously, advancement depended solely on the runners' place in their heat. The 1968 competition added advancement places to the fastest runners across the heats in the first round who did not advance based on place.
The first round consisted of nine heats, most with 7–8 athletes but the first having only 5. The top three runners in each heat advanced, along with the next five fastest runners overall. This made 32 quarterfinalists, who were divided into four heats of 8 runners. The top four runners in each quarterfinal advanced (with no "fastest loser" provision in rounds after the first). The 16 semifinalists competed in two heats of 8, with the top four in each semifinal advancing to the eight-man final.
Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||9.9||Jim Hines||Sacramento, United States||20 June 1968|
|9.9||Ronnie Ray Smith||Sacramento, United States||20 June 1968|
|9.9||Charles Greene||Sacramento, United States||20 June 1968|
|Olympic record||10.0||Bob Hayes||Tokyo, Japan||15 October 1964|
Jim Hines had a time of 9.9 seconds (hand-timed) or 9.95 seconds (auto-timed) in the final. This equalled the world record and set a new Olympic record, which were measured by hand-timing at that point. The 9.95 second time was recognized as the initial world record for electronic timed results when the IAAF changed its records rules in 1977.
The top three runners in each of the nine heats, and the next fastest five, advanced to the quarterfinal round.
The 2.8 m/s tailwind made this heat ineligible for records.
|1||Charles Greene||United States||10.09||Q|
|1||Jim Hines||United States||10.26||Q|
|3||Gaoussou Koné||Ivory Coast||10.37||Q|
|5||Porfirio Veras||Dominican Republic||10.51|
|7||Jorge Vizcarrondo||Puerto Rico||10.71|
|3||Barrie Kelly||Great Britain||10.55||Q|
|4||Yevgeny Sinyayev||Soviet Union||10.56|
|2||Mel Pender||United States||10.35||Q|
|3||Ron Jones||Great Britain||10.45||Q|
|4||Oleksiy Khlopotnov||Soviet Union||10.49|
|6||Chen Chuan-show||Republic of China||10.91|
|2||Heinz Erbstößer||East Germany||10.42||Q|
|7||Su Wen-ho||Republic of China||10.81|
The tailwind of 3.8 m/s made this heat ineligible for records.
|2||Hartmut Schelter||East Germany||10.34||Q|
|5||Ron Monsegue||Trinidad and Tobago||10.56|
|2||Karl-Peter Schmidtke||West Germany||10.38||Q|
|3||Harald Eggers||East Germany||10.38||Q|
|5||Miguel Angel González||Mexico||10.59|
|2||Gerhard Wucherer||West Germany||10.42||Q|
|4||Vladislav Sapeya||Soviet Union||10.46||q|
|8||Rafael Santos||El Salvador||11.22|
|4||Gert Metz||West Germany||10.55|
|7||José Luis Sánchez Paraíso||Spain||10.69|
The top four runners in each of the four heats advanced to the semifinal round.
|2||Jim Hines||United States||10.14||Q|
|6||Ron Jones||Great Britain||10.42|
|7||Karl-Peter Schmidtke||West Germany||10.48|
|8||Vladislav Sapeya||Soviet Union||10.51|
|2||Mel Pender||United States||10.16||Q|
|5||Heinz Erbstößer||East Germany||10.28|
|6||Gerhard Wucherer||West Germany||10.33|
The 4.2 m/s tailwind made this heat ineligible for records.
|2||Hartmut Schelter||East Germany||10.29||Q|
|1||Charlie Greene||United States||10.02||Q|
|2||Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa||Madagascar||10.18||Q, NR|
|3||Gaoussou Koné||Ivory Coast||10.22||Q|
|4||Harald Eggers||East Germany||10.25||Q|
|5||Barrie Kelly||Great Britain||10.35|
The top four runners in each of the two heats advanced to the final round.
|1||Jim Hines||United States||10.08||Q|
|4||Mel Pender||United States||10.21||Q|
|7||Harald Eggers||East Germany||10.29|
|1||Charlie Greene||United States||10.13||Q|
|5||Gaoussou Koné||Ivory Coast||10.27|
|8||Hartmut Schelter||East Germany||10.40|
Mel Pender and Charlie Greene were known for their fast starts. In the final, while Greene reacted to the gun noticeably slower, Pender did not disappoint, taking a quick lead. Greene, Lennox Miller and Jim Hines were the next chase group, the three outer lanes already left behind. The diminutive Pender's lead disappeared, the much larger Miller leading the group in passing by the halfway point. Hines was just getting into gear, exploding past Miller and putting a gap on the field to take the race by two metres. Miller leaned but he already had a metre on Green who was a metre ahead of Pablo Montes, Roger Bambuck and Pender to take the bronze.
|Rank||Lane||Athlete||Nation||Time (h)||Time (a)||Notes|
|3||Jim Hines||United States||9.9||9.95||=WR (h), WR (a)|
|1||Charlie Greene||United States||10.0||10.07|
|6||5||Mel Pender||United States||10.1||10.17|
|8||8||Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa||Madagascar||10.2||10.28||Photo-finish shows 10.275|
- Wind speed = +0.3 m/s (0.67 mph)
- "Athletics at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Games: Men's 100 metres". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- "100 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Official Report, vol. 3, p. 521.