| Event type

800 metres, Women

Date17 – 19 October 1968
LocationEstadio Olímpico Universitario, Ciudad de México
Participants24 from 16 countries

The favorite in 1968 was Vera Nikolić of Yugoslavia, who was the world record holder (2:00.5) and had won the 1966 European Championship. She won the first heat in round one. In the semi-final, she led for 300 metres and then oddly stepped off the track, walking back to the start line where she sat down and took off her shoes. There were many explanations given, but the actual reasons are not known. Some said she was overcome by psychological pressure, driven too hard by her coach, while others said the rarified air of México had her struggling for oxygen. But with Nikolić out, the way was open for America’s Madeline Manning, who had won the 1967 AAU in 2:03.6. But the favorite’s in the final probably fell to Dutchwoman Mia Gommers. In the final Manning went to the lead at the bell and nobody could pass her, as she won by almost 15 metres in an Olympic record 2:00.9. Romania’s Ileana Silai edged Gommers for the silver.

197Madeline ManningUSA2:08.7 (1 h4)2:05.8 (1 h1)2:00.9 (1)Gold
2215Ileana SilaiROU2:04.1 (2 h2)2:05.9 (2 h1)2:02.5 (2)Silver
3148Mia GommersNED2:04.0 (1 h2)2:05.1 (1 h2)2:02.6 (3)Bronze
4142Sheila TaylorGBR2:04.1 (3 h2)2:05.2 (3 h2)2:03.8 (4)
587Doris BrownUSA2:09.5 (2 h3)2:05.2 (2 h2)2:03.9 (5)
6131Pat LoweGBR2:09.5 (3 h3)2:06.6 (3 h1)2:04.2 (6)
758Abby HoffmanCAN2:08.9 (2 h4)2:07.0 (4 h1)2:06.8 (7)
8119Maryvonne DupureurFRA2:09.5 (1 h3)2:05.5 (4 h2)2:08.2 (8)
5 h1 r2/319Karin BurneleitGDR2:07.1 (4 h1)2:08.4 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3299Laine ErikURS2:06.5 (2 h1)2:06.0 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3251Anna ZiminaURS2:04.4 (4 h2)2:08.5 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3200Sylvia PottsNZL2:09.6 (4 h3)2:07.2 (6 h2)
7 h1 r2/3150Ilja Keizer-LamanNED2:08.9 (4 h4)2:14.8 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3174Paola PigniITA2:06.7 (3 h1)2:07.8 (7 h2)
8 h2 r2/375Jaroslava JehličkováTCH2:08.9 (3 h4)2:13.5 (8 h2)
AC h1 r2/3256Vera NikolićYUG2:05.7 (1 h1)– (AC h1)
5 h1 r1/396Francie KrakerUSA2:07.3 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/329Barbara WieckGDR2:08.5 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3112Eeva HaimiFIN2:09.6 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/381Annelise Damm OlesenDEN2:09.0 (5 h4)
6 h1 r1/3184Elizabeth ChesireKEN2:10.9 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3171Channa ShezifiISR2:09.2 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3155Tilly van der Made-van der ZwaardNED2:10.5 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3133Joan PageGBR2:10.2 (6 h4)
DNS69Aurelia PentónCUB– (DNS h1)

Round One (17 October 1968 — 11:00)

Top four in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
12Vera NikolićYUG2:05.72:05.78Q
26Laine ErikURS2:06.52:06.52Q
33Paola PigniITA2:06.72:06.72Q
41Karin BurneleitGDR2:07.12:07.13Q
55Francie KrakerUSA2:07.32:07.34
64Elizabeth ChesireKEN2:10.92:10.92
DNS7Aurelia PentónCUB


400 m1:02.9Vera Nikolić

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
16Mia GommersNED2:04.02:04.06Q
21Ileana SilaiROU2:04.12:04.11Q
34Sheila TaylorGBR2:04.12:04.17Q
43Anna ZiminaURS2:04.42:04.48Q
52Barbara WieckGDR2:08.52:08.18
65Channa ShezifiISR2:09.22:09.23


400 m1:00.9Mia Gommers

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
11Maryvonne DupureurFRA2:09.52:09.55Q1
25Doris BrownUSA2:09.52:09.54Q2
36Pat LoweGBR2:09.52:09.57Q
43Sylvia PottsNZL2:09.62:09.63Q
52Eeva HaimiFIN2:09.62:09.67
64Tilly van der Made-van der ZwaardNED2:10.52:10.59


400 m1:06.2Doris Brown

Heat Four

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
14Madeline ManningUSA2:08.72:08.74Q
25Abby HoffmanCAN2:08.92:08.94Q
31Jaroslava JehličkováTCH2:08.92:08.96Q
46Ilja Keizer-LamanNED2:08.92:08.96Q
52Annelise Damm OlesenDEN2:09.02:09.01
63Joan PageGBR2:10.22:10.21


400 m1:05.6Madeline Manning-Jackson

Semi-Finals (18 October 1968 — 16:40)

Top four in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
18Madeline ManningUSA2:05.82:05.82Q
24Ileana SilaiROU2:05.92:05.94Q
31Pat LoweGBR2:06.62:06.62Q
46Abby HoffmanCAN2:07.02:07.03Q
57Karin BurneleitGDR2:08.42:08.41
63Anna ZiminaURS2:08.52:08.54
72Ilja Keizer-LamanNED2:14.82:14.88
AC5Vera NikolićYUGDNF


400 m1:00.3Madeline Manning-Jackson

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
18Mia GommersNED2:05.12:05.13Q
27Doris BrownUSA2:05.22:05.23Q
31Sheila TaylorGBR2:05.22:05.29Q
43Maryvonne DupureurFRA2:05.52:05.58Q
52Laine ErikURS2:06.02:06.09
66Sylvia PottsNZL2:07.22:07.27
74Paola PigniITA2:07.82:07.82
85Jaroslava JehličkováTCH2:13.52:13.59


400 m1:02.2Mia Gommers

Final (19 October 1968 — 17:50)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
18Madeline ManningUSA2:00.92:00.92OR
23Ileana SilaiROU2:02.52:02.58
34Mia GommersNED2:02.62:02.63
42Sheila TaylorGBR2:03.82:03.81
51Doris BrownUSA2:03.92:03.98
67Pat LoweGBR2:04.22:04.25
76Abby HoffmanCAN2:06.82:06.99
85Maryvonne DupureurFRA2:08.22:08.28


400 m59.1Ileana Silai