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  • The men's 100 metres was of one of 23 track events of the athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics, in Athens. It was contested at the Athens Olympic Stadium, from 21 August to 22 August, by a total of 84 sprinters from 63 nations. In the first round, the first three runners from each of the ten heats, together with the ten next fastest runners from all heats, automatically qualified for the second round. In the second round, these forty runners competed in five heats, with the first three from each heat and the single next fastest runner qualifying for the semifinals. In the semifinals, only the first four runners from each of the two heats advanced to the final. The final was the fastest and most disputed in Olympic history, with six runners covering the distance in 10.00 seconds or less, and the gold and bronze medalist athletes separated by 0.02 seconds. In the final, the slowest to react was Justin Gatlin, still with the most powerful first steps, Gatlin led from the gun, with Kim Collins, the next slowest to react, also getting a typically fast start. A step behind, back from injuries, defending champion Maurice Greene, was fastest to react but running sideways in quicksand.