On Sunday 10 July 2016 at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam, three athletes in the men's 5000m final finished with exactly the same time of 13:40:85 (a fourth arrived only a hundredth of a second later!).

What is the record for the greatest number of athletes finishing with the same time?

I would like to limit the reply to international running events where the athletes start at the same time (i.e. not considering heats of athletes for the same event).

5000m final Amsterdam 2016

  • 1
    I don't have a proper answer for this, but some thoughts: (1) There's a limit to the number of starters in a race held on the track, so as a practical thing there will never be more than ~25 athletes on the track (a crowded 10,000m) and more often only ~15 (a 1500m or 5000m final). (2) There is almost certainly a technical limit to the timing equipment recording simultaneous finishers, although it is probably high enough that it's unlikely to be reached in a typical race. – pjmorse Jul 18 '16 at 14:18
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    (3) Finally, the shorter the race, the more likely it is that athletes will finish close together, simply because there are fewer strategies and variables to separate athletes, so a dead heat of 9 100m sprinters is more likely than 9 1500m runners spread wide across the finish line. (This makes your example all the more remarkable!) – pjmorse Jul 18 '16 at 14:20
  • 3
    Related: The three athletes in your example are placed because even though times are reported to 0.01 second, they can be recorded to 0.001 second - so they are rounded in the results. Those three athletes all finished between 13:40.845 to 13:40.854 seconds. – pjmorse Jul 18 '16 at 14:22
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    Do you mean the same finish time and being the first in the race or just the same finish time? – fedorqui Mar 9 '18 at 13:08
  • When I ask I was thinking about the being the first, but in the question is not detailed, I will update the question – Ale Mar 10 '18 at 9:15

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