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| Event type

800 metres, Men

Date23 – 25 July 1976
StatusOlympic
LocationStade olympique, Parc olympique, Montréal, Québec
Participants42 from 31 countries

The best 800 metre runner in 1976 was Kenya’s Mike Boit, bronze medalist from 1972. But the African boycott prevented him from competing, and deprived track fans of what would have been a great battle between him and Cuba’s Alberto Juantorena. The other top 800 runner since 1972 was Rick Wohlhuter (USA) who had set two world records over 880 yards. Belgium’s Ivo Van Damme trailed only Wohlhuter on the 1976 year list prior to Montréal. The final included the three favorites and also the 1974 European Champion, Yugoslavia’s Luciano Sušanj. Sri Ram Singh (IND) set the pace in the final, going thru halfway in 50.85. Juantorena took the lead on the backstretch, with Wohlhuter on his shoulder. But Juantorena could not be had, his strength pulling him to a world record 1:43.50. Wohlhuter faded slightly in the stretch and was passed by Van Damme for the silver medal. After the Olympics Boit raced all the finalists in Europe, except Juantorena, and lost only one race. In December 1976 the track world was saddened to hear of the death of Ivo Van Damme in a car accident. In August 1977, Alberto Juantorena bettered his own world record with 1:43.4 in Sofia, Bulgaria. For the only time in Olympic history the 800 was run with a 2-turn stagger, so the athletes did not compete against each other closely until they had run 300 metres, making for some very dull races.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1SFFinal
1217Alberto JuantorenaCUB1:47.15 (1 h4)1:45.88 (1 h1)1:43.50 (1)GoldWR
2103Ivo Van DammeBEL1:47.80 (1 h6)1:46.00 (2 h1)1:43.86 (2)Silver
3970Rick WohlhuterUSA1:45.71 (1 h1)1:46.72 (1 h2)1:44.12 (3)Bronze
4450Willi WülbeckFRG1:48.47 (1 h5)1:47.18 (4 h2)1:45.26 (4)
5375Steve OvettGBR1:48.27 (1 h3)1:46.14 (3 h1)1:45.44 (5)
6983Luciano SušanjYUG1:47.82 (2 h6)1:47.03 (3 h2)1:45.75 (6)
7512Sri Ram SinghIND1:45.86 (2 h1)1:46.42 (4 h1)1:45.77 (7)
8553Carlo GrippoITA1:47.21 (2 h4)1:46.95 (2 h2)1:48.39 (8)
5 h1 r2/3954James RobinsonUSA1:47.56 (2 h2)1:46.43 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3572Seymour NewmanJAM1:48.46 (2 h3)1:47.22 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3709Marian GęsickiPOL1:46.36 (4 h1)1:47.06 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3209Leandro CivilCUB1:45.88 (3 h1)1:47.31 (6 h2)
7 h1 r2/3448Thomas WessinghageFRG1:46.56 (5 h1)1:48.18 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3872Viktor AnokhinURS1:46.81 (6 h1)1:47.71 (7 h2)
8 h2 r2/3357Frank ClementGBR1:47.51 (1 h2)1:48.28 (8 h2)
AC h1 r2/3851Horace TuittTTO1:48.48 (2 h5)– (AC h1)
3 h2 r1/3694John WalkerNZL1:47.63 (3 h2)
3 h3 r1/3446Paul-Heinz WellmannFRG1:48.47 (3 h3)
3 h4 r1/3508János ZemenHUN1:47.40 (3 h4)
3 h5 r1/3897Vladimir PonomaryovURS1:48.59 (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/3922Mark EnyeartUSA1:47.96 (3 h6)
4 h2 r1/3240Andrés BallbéESP1:48.38 (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/3830Jozef PlachýTCH1:48.63 (4 h3)
4 h4 r1/3981Milovan SavićYUG1:47.73 (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/3824Åke SvensonSWE1:48.86 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3801Rolf GysinSUI1:48.69 (4 h6)
5 h2 r1/3749Fernando MamedePOR1:49.58 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3631Günther HaslerLIE1:48.83 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/3766Jorge OrtizPUR1:51.38 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/3328José MarajoFRA1:49.60 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/3519Niall O'ShaughnessyIRL1:49.29 (5 h6)
6 h2 r1/3239Francisco SolísDOM1:55.56 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3487Evert HovingNED1:48.99 (6 h3)
6 h5 r1/380Orlando GreeneBAR1:51.43 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/3222Luis MedinaCUB1:50.15 (6 h6)
7 h1 r1/3699Muhammad YounisPAK1:48.50 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/3483Wilnor JosephHAI2:15.26 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/3986Roy BottseSUR1:49.85 (7 h3)
7 h5 r1/337Attiya Al-QahtaniKSA1:57.67 (7 h5)
7 h6 r1/3332Marcel PhilippeFRA1:50.81 (7 h6)
8 h3 r1/3651Erasmo GómezNCA1:57.97 (8 h3)
AC h4 r1/3339Roqui SanchezFRA– (AC h4)
DNS296Markku TaskinenFIN– (DNS h4)

Round One (23 July 1976 — 15:00)

Top two in each heat and next four fastest advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1970Rick WohlhuterUSA1:45.71Q
2512Sri Ram SinghIND1:45.86Q
3209Leandro CivilCUB1:45.88q
4709Marian GęsickiPOL1:46.36q
5448Thomas WessinghageFRG1:46.56q
6872Viktor AnokhinURS1:46.81q
7699Muhammad YounisPAK1:48.50

Splits

400 m51.36

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1357Frank ClementGBR1:47.51Q
2954James RobinsonUSA1:47.56Q
3694John WalkerNZL1:47.63
4240Andrés BallbéESP1:48.38
5749Fernando MamedePOR1:49.58
6239Francisco SolísDOM1:55.56
7483Wilnor JosephHAI2:15.26

Splits

400 m53.21

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1375Steve OvettGBR1:48.27Q
2572Seymour NewmanJAM1:48.46Q
3446Paul-Heinz WellmannFRG1:48.47
4830Jozef PlachýTCH1:48.63
5631Günther HaslerLIE1:48.83
6487Evert HovingNED1:48.99
7986Roy BottseSUR1:49.85
8651Erasmo GómezNCA1:57.97

Splits

400 m53.76

Heat Four

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1217Alberto JuantorenaCUB1:47.15Q
2553Carlo GrippoITA1:47.21Q
3508János ZemenHUN1:47.40
4981Milovan SavićYUG1:47.73
5766Jorge OrtizPUR1:51.38
AC339Roqui SanchezFRADQ
DNS296Markku TaskinenFIN

Splits

400 m52.83

Heat Five

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1450Willi WülbeckFRG1:48.47Q
2851Horace TuittTTO1:48.48Q
3897Vladimir PonomaryovURS1:48.59
4824Åke SvensonSWE1:48.86
5328José MarajoFRA1:49.60
680Orlando GreeneBAR1:51.43
737Attiya Al-QahtaniKSA1:57.67

Splits

400 m53.07

Heat Six

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1103Ivo Van DammeBEL1:47.80Q
2983Luciano SušanjYUG1:47.82Q
3922Mark EnyeartUSA1:47.96
4801Rolf GysinSUI1:48.69
5519Niall O'ShaughnessyIRL1:49.29
6222Luis MedinaCUB1:50.15
7332Marcel PhilippeFRA1:50.81

Splits

400 m51.91

Semi-Finals (24 July 1976 — 16:35)

Top four in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1217Alberto JuantorenaCUB1:45.88Q
2103Ivo Van DammeBEL1:46.00Q
3375Steve OvettGBR1:46.14Q
4512Sri Ram SinghIND1:46.42Q
5954James RobinsonUSA1:46.43
6709Marian GęsickiPOL1:47.06
7448Thomas WessinghageFRG1:48.18
AC851Horace TuittTTODNF

Splits

400 m51.18

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1970Rick WohlhuterUSA1:46.72Q1
2553Carlo GrippoITA1:46.95Q
3983Luciano SušanjYUG1:47.03Q
4450Willi WülbeckFRG1:47.18Q
5572Seymour NewmanJAM1:47.22
6209Leandro CivilCUB1:47.31
7872Viktor AnokhinURS1:47.71
8357Frank ClementGBR1:48.28

Splits

400 m52.38

Final (25 July 1976 — 17:15)

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (A)
1217Alberto JuantorenaCUB1:43.50WR
2103Ivo Van DammeBEL1:43.86
3970Rick WohlhuterUSA1:44.12
4450Willi WülbeckFRG1:45.26
5375Steve OvettGBR1:45.44
6983Luciano SušanjYUG1:45.75
7512Sri Ram SinghIND1:45.77
8553Carlo GrippoITA1:48.39

Splits

200 m25.7Alberto Juantorena
400 m50.85Alberto Juantorena
600 m1:17.0Alberto Juantorena