Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon

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Men's marathon
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
Samuel Wanjiru at 2008 Summer Olympics.jpg
Samuel Wanjiru
DatesAugust 24
Competitors95 from 56 nations
Winning time2:06:32 OR
1st place, gold medalist(s) Samuel Wanjiru
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Jaouad Gharib
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Tsegay Kebede
← 2004
2012 →

The men's marathon at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 24 August at 7:30am in Beijing, ending in the Beijing National Stadium.[1] Ninety-five athletes from 56 nations competed.[2] The winner of the event was Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya, who set an Olympic record in the time of two hours, six minutes, and 32 seconds.[3] It was Kenya's first victory in the men's marathon. Morocco won its first medal in the event since 1960, with Jaouad Gharib's silver. Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia took bronze.


It began in the early morning instead of the traditional late at night start. Through 10k, a group of 8 was at front. They were all broken down to five at 20k. At the front was Eritrean Yonas Kifle, Ethiopian Deriba Merga, Kenya's Martin Lel and Sammy Wanjiru, and Moroccan Jaouad Gharib. over the next 10k Deriba Merga started to press the pace, dropping Lel and Kifle. Just after 30k, Sammy Wanjiru attacked Deriba Merga who would crack and fade out of the medals. Sammy Wanjiru continued to sustain his gap back to Gharib. Gharib slowly reeled the deficit back but Wanjiru won the gold medal in an Olympic record 2:06:32. Gharib got silver, and Tsegaye Kebede pulled himself into third to take the bronze.


This was the 26th appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. The defending champion, Stefano Baldini of Italy, was the only returning runner from the top ten finishers in the 2004 marathon. The reigning champion (from 2007) was Luke Kibet Bowen of Kenya; he had been injured during rioting in Kenya and had not yet regained top form, but did entered as an injury replacement. Jaouad Gharib of Morocco had won the 2003 and 2005 world championships; he competed in Beijing. The favorite would have been well-established 10,000 metres runner Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who had started competing in marathons in 2005 and broken the world record at the 2007 Berlin race; Gebrselassie did not run in Beijing due to air quality concerns. The race was thus "wide open."[2]

Eritrea, Kazakhstan, and Montenegro each made their first appearance in Olympic men's marathons. The United States made its 25th appearance, most of any nation, having missed only the boycotted 1980 Games.


Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) was able to enter up to three entrants providing they had met the A qualifying standard (2:15:00) in the qualifying period (1 January 2007 to 23 July 2008). NOCs were also permitted to enter one athlete providing he had met the B standard (2:18:00) in the same qualifying period.[4] The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress.

Competition format and course[edit]

As all Olympic marathons, the competition was a single race. The marathon distance of 26 miles, 385 yards was run over a point-to-point route.[2]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record  Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 2:04:26 Berlin, Germany 28 September 2007
Olympic record  Carlos Lopes (POR) 2:09:21 Los Angeles, United States 12 August 1984

Samuel Wanjiru set a new Olympic record at 2:06:32.


All times are China Standard Time (UTC+8)

Date Time Round
Sunday, 24 August 2008 7:30 Final


Seventy-six runners finished; 19 did not.[5]

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1st place, gold medalist(s) Samuel Wanjiru  Kenya 2:06:32 OR
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Jaouad Gharib  Morocco 2:07:16
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Tsegay Kebede  Ethiopia 2:10:00
4 Deriba Merga  Ethiopia 2:10:21
5 Martin Lel  Kenya 2:10:24
6 Viktor Röthlin  Switzerland 2:10:35
7 Gashaw Asfaw  Ethiopia 2:10:52
8 Yared Asmerom  Eritrea 2:11:11
9 Dathan Ritzenhein  United States 2:11:59
10 Ryan Hall  United States 2:12:33
11 Mike Fokoroni  Zimbabwe 2:13:17 PB
12 Stefano Baldini  Italy 2:13:25
13 Tsuyoshi Ogata  Japan 2:13:26 SB
14 Grigoriy Andreyev  Russia 2:13:33
15 Ruggero Pertile  Italy 2:13:39
16 José Manuel Martínez  Spain 2:14:00
17 Francis Kirwa  Finland 2:14:22
18 Lee Myong-Seung  South Korea 2:14:37
19 Janne Holmén  Finland 2:14:44
20 Abderrahim Goumri  Morocco 2:15:00
21 Aleksey Sokolov  Russia 2:15:57
22 Brian Sell  United States 2:16:07
23 Ottaviano Andriani  Italy 2:16:10
24 Dan Robinson  Great Britain 2:16:14
25 Deng Haiyang  China 2:16:17
26 Abderrahime Bouramdane  Morocco 2:17:42
27 Vasyl Matviychuk  Ukraine 2:17:50
28 Lee Bong-Ju  South Korea 2:17:56
29 Oleg Kulkov  Russia 2:18:11
30 Paulo Gomes  Portugal 2:18:15
31 Alex Malinga  Uganda 2:18:26
32 Carlos Cordero  Mexico 2:18:40
33 Ri Kum-Song  North Korea 2:19:08
34 Henryk Szost  Poland 2:19:43
35 José Amado García  Guatemala 2:20:15
36 Yonas Kifle  Eritrea 2:20:23
37 Nasar Sakar Saeed  Bahrain 2:20:24
38 José de Souza  Brazil 2:20:25
39 Kamiel Maase  Netherlands 2:20:30
40 Pak Song-Chol  North Korea 2:21:16
41 Iaroslav Musinschi  Moldova 2:21:18
42 Kim Il-Nam  North Korea 2:21:51
43 Juan Carlos Cardona  Colombia 2:21:57
44 Hendrick Ramaala  South Africa 2:22:43
45 Arjun Kumar Basnet  Nepal 2:23:09 PB
46 Hélder Ornelas  Portugal 2:23:20
47 Procopio Franco  Mexico 2:23:24
48 Nelson Cruz  Cape Verde 2:23:47
49 Roberto Echeverría  Chile 2:23:54
50 Kim Yi-Yong  South Korea 2:23:57
51 Li Zhuhong  China 2:24:08
52 Bat-Ochiryn Ser-Od  Mongolia 2:24:19
53 Norman Dlomo  South Africa 2:24:28
54 Arkadiusz Sowa  Poland 2:24:48
55 Samson Ramadhani  Tanzania 2:25:03
56 Ndabili Bashingili  Botswana 2:25:11
57 Simon Munyutu  France 2:25:50
58 Antoni Bernadó  Andorra 2:26:29
59 Wu Wen-Chien  Chinese Taipei 2:26:55
60 Lee Troop  Australia 2:27:17
61 Constantino León  Peru 2:28:04
62 Goran Stojiljković  Montenegro 2:28:14
63 Alfredo Arévalo  Guatemala 2:28:26
64 Yousf Othman Qader  Qatar 2:28:40
65 Franklin Tenorio  Ecuador 2:29:05
66 Francisco Bautista  Mexico 2:29:28
67 Roman Kejžar  Slovenia 2:29:37
68 Joachim Nshimirimana  Burundi 2:29:55
69 Seteng Ayele  Israel 2:30:07
70 Takhir Mamashayev  Kazakhstan 2:30:26
71 Abdil Ceylan  Turkey 2:31:43
72 José Ríos  Spain 2:32:35
73 Hem Bunting  Cambodia 2:33:32
74 Marcel Tschopp  Liechtenstein 2:35:06
75 Pavel Loskutov  Estonia 2:39:01
76 Atsushi Sato  Japan 2:41:08
Tesfayohannes Mesfen  Eritrea DNF After 35 km
Julio Rey  Spain DNF After 35 km
Martin Fagan  Ireland DNF After 30 km
Al Mustafa Riyadh  Bahrain DNF After 30 km
Ali Mabrouk El Zaidi  Libya DNF After 30 km
Marilson dos Santos  Brazil DNF After 30 km
Luke Kibet Bowen[a]  Kenya DNF After 25 km
Abdulhak Elgorche Zakaria  Bahrain DNF After 25 km
Luis Fonseca  Venezuela DNF After 25 km
Oleksandr Sitkovskyy  Ukraine DNF After half
Franck de Almeida  Brazil DNF After half
Andrei Gordeev  Belarus DNF After half
João N'Tyamba  Angola DNF After half
Moses Moeketsi Mosuhli  Lesotho DNF After 20 km
Getuli Bayo  Tanzania DNF After 20 km
Mubarak Hassan Shami  Qatar DNF After 15 km
Simon Tsotang Maine  Lesotho DNF After 10 km
Clement Mabothile Lebopo  Lesotho DNF After 5 km
Olexandr Kuzin  Ukraine DNF After 0 km
Mohamed Ikoki Msandeki  Tanzania DNS
Satoshi Osaki  Japan DNS
Augusto Soares  East Timor DNS


Distance Athlete Nation Time
10 km 1. José Manuel Martínez  Spain 29:25
2. Deriba Merga  Ethiopia s.t.
3. Martin Lel  Kenya s.t.
4. Yared Asmerom  Eritrea s.t.
5. Yonas Kifle  Eritrea +0:01
20 km 1. Deriba Merga  Ethiopia 59:10
2. Yonas Kifle  Eritrea s.t.
3. Martin Lel  Kenya s.t.
4. Jaouad Gharib  Morocco s.t.
5. Samuel Kamau Wanjiru  Kenya s.t.
30 km 1. Deriba Merga  Ethiopia 1:29:14
2. Samuel Kamau Wanjiru  Kenya s.t.
3. Jaouad Gharib  Morocco +0:04
4. Martin Lel  Kenya +0:09
5. Yonas Kifle  Eritrea +0:15
40 km 1. Samuel Kamau Wanjiru  Kenya 1:59:54
2. Jaouad Gharib  Morocco +0:18
3. Deriba Merga  Ethiopia +1:57
4. Tsegay Kebede  Ethiopia +2:43
5. Martin Lel  Kenya +3:04

s.t. - same time.


  1. ^ "Olympic Athletics Competition Schedule". IAAF. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  2. ^ a b c "Marathon, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Kenyan wins marathon gold". Associated Press via Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  4. ^ "Entry Standards - The XXIX Olympic Games - Beijing, China - 8/24 August 2008". IAAF. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Athletics at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games: Men's Marathon. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  7. ^ Luke Kibet. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  8. ^ Kenyan marathon star to replace injured Cheruiyot at Olympics. China Olympics (2008-08-17). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  9. ^ Olympics Day 16 Athletics. Zimbio. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  1. ^ Note that some sources, such as Sports Reference and the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, suggest that the Kenyan competitor Luke Kibet was Luke Kibet Chebii (born 1973) rather than Luke Kibet Bowen (born 1983).[6][7] This is incorrect, as it was the younger, reigning world champion who was called from the reserve pool to compete and was clearly visible at the race.[8][9]

External links[edit]