Throughout Olympic history, there have been numerous photo finishes, and as technology has become more advanced, the winners of close races have been determined quicker and easier.
Let's take a look at 10 of the top photo finishes in Olympic history:
1. Women's 100m, Barcelona, 1992
The closest track and field race in Olympic history was virtually a photo finish between five runners. Gold-medal winner Gail Devers (10.82) and fifth-place runner Merelene Ottey (10.88) of Jamaica were separated by only six one-hundredths of a second.
2. Men's 400m, Rome, 1960
3. Men's 200m, Mexico City, 1968
John Carlos (USA) was leading the race with about 50 meters to go, but teammate Tommie Smith surged to the lead to win the gold with a new world record time of 19.83. The race for second was a photo finish between Peter Norman (AUS) and Carlos, with Norman winning by a mere four one-hundredths of a second.
4. Men's 100m, Berlin, 1948
The 1948 Olympics marked one of the first uses of photo equipment for determining winners. Harrison Dillard (10.3) of the United States beat out teammate Barney Ewell (10.4) for the gold.
5. Men's 110m Hurdles, Tokyo, 1964
Photo evidence overruled American Blaine Lindgren's victory and awarded the gold medal to teammate Hayes Jones, who ran a time of 13.67 to Lindgren's 13.74
6. Women's 800m, Sydney, 2000
Stephanie Graf of Austria took the silver medal by less than two-tenths of a second over Kelly Holmes of Great Britain. They ran 1:56.64 and 1:56.80, respectively.
7. Men's 10,000m, Sydney, 2000
Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia ran a season-best time of 27:18.20 to edge out Paul Tergat of Kenya by just nine one- hundredths of a second.
8. Men's 110m Hurdles, Beijing, 2008
While Dayron Robles of Cuba won the gold (12.93), David Payne's and David Oliver's battle for silver was a photo finish. Payne edged out Oliver by one one- hundredths of a second with a time of 13.17 to Oliver's 13.18. Neither qualified for this year's Olympics in London.
9. Women's 100m Dash, London, 2012
Carmelita Jeter had slight lead on Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, but Pryce was able to maintain her form and edge out Jeter for the victory. She won with a time of 10.75 to Jeter's 10.78. The finish for second was just as close, as Jeter edged out Veronica Campbell-Brown by only three one-hundredths of a second.
10. Men's 100m Dash, London 2012
Justin Gatlin (9.79) edged out Tyson Gay (9.8) by just one one-hundredth of second to capture the bronze medal.
Mike Vaccarelli is an avid fan of track and field and coaches high school track and field in Virginia.
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