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| Event type

800 metres, Men

Date24 – 26 July 1980
StatusOlympic
LocationBolshaya arena, Tsentralny stadion imeni V.I. Lenina, Moskva
Participants41 from 28 countries
Olympic Record 1:43.50 WR / Alberto Juantorena CUB / 25 July 1976

The Americans boycotted Moskva and took over 60 nations with them but the British athletes defied their government’s wishes and competed at the 1980 Olympics. This allowed the two best 800 metre runners in the world to compete – Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. They had raced at the distance only once before, at the 1978 European Championships, with Ovett winning silver and Coe bronze, both beaten by the GDR’s Olaf Beyer. The only top runner missing in Moskva was American Don Paige, who would have challenged in both the 800 and 1,500. Coe was the world record holder, having recorded 1:42.4 in Oslo at the 1979 Bislett Games. He had also broken the 1,500 and mile world record in 1979, but in 1980, Ovett bettered both those marks prior to the Olympics. Coe was a slight favorite with Ovett considered better over the longer distance. The pace was very slow in the final, led by Brazil’s Agberto Guimarães on the first lap. Soviet Nikolay Kirov then took the lead thru 600 metres when Ovett moved up on the final curve. He had the lead at the start of the stretch, with Coe far back and unable to make up enough ground, although he closed quickly to get the silver medal.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1SFFinal
1279Steve OvettGBR1:49.4 (1 h1)1:46.6 (1 h1)1:45.4 (1)Gold
2254Seb CoeGBR1:48.5 (1 h4)1:46.7 (1 h3)1:45.9 (2)Silver
3707Nikolay KirovURS1:47.5 (2 h2)1:46.6 (1 h2)1:46.0 (3)Bronze
478Agberto GuimarãesBRA1:48.2 (3 h3)1:46.9 (3 h1)1:46.2 (4)
5296Andreas BusseGDR1:47.4 (1 h3)1:46.9 (2 h1)1:46.9 (5)
6341Detlef WagenknechtGDR1:47.5 (1 h2)1:46.7 (2 h3)1:47.0 (6)
7243José MarajoFRA1:49.6 (1 h6)1:47.3 (3 h2)1:47.3 (7)
8289Dave WarrenGBR1:49.9 (2 h6)1:47.2 (2 h2)1:49.3 (8)
3 h3 r2/390Binko KolevBUL1:48.7 (3 h4)1:47.3 (3 h3)
4 h1 r2/3446Owen HamiltonJAM1:49.3 (3 h5)1:47.6 (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/3294Olaf BeyerGDR1:48.9 (1 h5)1:47.6 (4 h2)
4 h3 r2/3750William WuyckeVEN1:48.5 (4 h3)1:47.4 (4 h3)
5 h1 r2/3763Milovan SavićYUG1:49.2 (2 h5)1:47.6 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3158Antonio PáezESP1:49.5 (2 h1)1:47.8 (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/3729Anatoliy ReshetniakURS1:47.9 (2 h3)1:48.2 (5 h3)
6 h1 r2/3244Roger MilhauFRA1:48.5 (2 h4)1:48.1 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3428Carlo GrippoITA1:48.9 (4 h4)1:48.7 (6 h2)
6 h3 r2/3233Philippe DupontFRA1:49.6 (3 h1)1:49.7 (6 h3)
7 h1 r2/3165Colomán TrabadoESP1:47.9 (4 h2)1:48.1 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3383András ParóczaiHUN1:47.5 (3 h2)1:48.8 (7 h2)
7 h3 r2/3644Musa LuligaTAN1:49.6 (5 h2)1:51.5 (7 h3)
8 h1 r2/32Mehdi AidetALG1:50.4 (3 h6)1:48.2 (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/3401Sri Ram SinghIND1:49.8 (4 h1)1:49.0 (8 h2)
8 h3 r2/36Derradji HarekALG1:49.9 (5 h3)1:51.9 (8 h3)
4 h5 r1/3471Salem El-MarginiLBA1:50.0 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3169Nigusse BekeleETH1:51.1 (4 h6)
5 h1 r1/3192Abebe ZerihunETH1:50.3 (5 h1)
5 h4 r1/3774Archfell MusangoZAM1:51.6 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/3171Atre BezabehETH1:52.7 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/3352Sekou CamaraGUI1:58.9 (5 h6)
6 h1 r1/371Langa MudongoBOT1:52.5 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3416Jón DiðrikssonISL1:51.1 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3485Tisbite RakotoarisoaMAD1:50.5 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3638Mohamed MakhloufSYR1:52.3 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/357Adam AssimiBEN1:59.9 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/3466Vongdeuane PhongsavanhLAO2:05.5 (6 h6)
7 h1 r1/3476Kenneth HlasaLES1:56.1 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/3593George BrancheSLE1:54.6 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/3461Khaled HussainKUW1:54.6 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/3598Jimmy MassallaySLE2:04.4 (7 h4)
7 h6 r1/3597Sahr KendorSLE2:06.5 (7 h6)

Round One (24 July 1980 — 19:25)

Top three in each heat and next six fastest advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
13Steve OvettGBR1:49.41:49.39Q
26Antonio PáezESP1:49.51:49.50Q
35Philippe DupontFRA1:49.61:49.53Q
42Sri Ram SinghIND1:49.81:49.72q
54Abebe ZerihunETH1:50.3
67Langa MudongoBOT1:52.5
71Kenneth HlasaLES1:56.1

Splits

400 m56.6Steve Ovett

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
12Detlef WagenknechtGDR1:47.51:47.43Q
23Nikolay KirovURS1:47.51:47.47Q
37András ParóczaiHUN1:47.51:47.50Q
44Colomán TrabadoESP1:47.91:47.87q
55Musa LuligaTAN1:49.6q
66Jón DiðrikssonISL1:51.1
71George BrancheSLE1:54.6

Splits

400 m54.5Jón Diðriksson

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
13Andreas BusseGDR1:47.41:47.34Q
27Anatoliy ReshetniakURS1:47.91:47.91Q
32Agberto GuimarãesBRA1:48.21:48.14Q
45William WuyckeVEN1:48.51:48.42q
51Derradji HarekALG1:49.9q
66Tisbite RakotoarisoaMAD1:50.5
74Khaled HussainKUW1:54.6

Splits

400 m53.7Andreas Busse

Heat Four

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
14Seb CoeGBR1:48.51:48.44Q
27Roger MilhauFRA1:48.51:48.46Q
31Binko KolevBUL1:48.71:48.65Q
46Carlo GrippoITA1:48.91:48.87q
53Archfell MusangoZAM1:51.6
65Mohamed MakhloufSYR1:52.3
72Jimmy MassallaySLE2:04.4

Splits

400 m54.5Mohamed Makhlouf

Heat Five

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
11Olaf BeyerGDR1:48.91:48.88Q
24Milovan SavićYUG1:49.21:49.17Q
35Owen HamiltonJAM1:49.31:49.27Q
42Salem El-MarginiLBA1:50.0
56Atre BezabehETH1:52.7
63Adam AssimiBEN1:59.9

Heat Six

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
13José MarajoFRA1:49.6Q
27Dave WarrenGBR1:49.9Q
34Mehdi AidetALG1:50.4Q
41Nigusse BekeleETH1:51.1
56Sekou CamaraGUI1:58.9
65Vongdeuane PhongsavanhLAO2:05.5
72Sahr KendorSLE2:06.5

Splits

400 m56.3Dave Warren

Semi-Finals (25 July 1980 — 18:15)

Top two in each heat and next two fastest advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
14Steve OvettGBR1:46.61:46.55Q
21Andreas BusseGDR1:46.91:46.86Q
33Agberto GuimarãesBRA1:46.91:46.86q
42Owen HamiltonJAM1:47.61:47.56
58Milovan SavićYUG1:47.61:47.57
67Roger MilhauFRA1:48.11:48.05
76Colomán TrabadoESP1:48.11:48.08
85Mehdi AidetALG1:48.21:48.11

Splits

400 m52.4Andreas Busse

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1707Nikolay KirovURS1:46.61:46.53Q
2289Dave WarrenGBR1:47.21:47.12Q
3243José MarajoFRA1:47.31:47.22q
4294Olaf BeyerGDR1:47.61:47.56
5158Antonio PáezESP1:47.81:47.75
6428Carlo GrippoITA1:48.71:48.68
7383András ParóczaiHUN1:48.81:48.73
8401Sri Ram SinghIND1:49.01:48.92

Splits

400 m53.7Dave Warren

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
17Seb CoeGBR1:46.71:46.61Q
23Detlef WagenknechtGDR1:46.71:46.68Q
31Binko KolevBUL1:47.31:47.27
45William WuyckeVEN1:47.41:47.38
54Anatoliy ReshetniakURS1:48.21:48.12
62Philippe DupontFRA1:49.71:49.67
76Musa LuligaTAN1:51.51:51.42
88Derradji HarekALG1:51.91:51.81

Splits

400 m52.4Detlef Wagenknecht

Final (26 July 1980 — 19:25)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
12Steve OvettGBR1:45.41:45.40
28Seb CoeGBR1:45.91:45.85
31Nikolay KirovURS1:46.01:45.94
43Agberto GuimarãesBRA1:46.21:46.20
57Andreas BusseGDR1:46.91:46.81
64Detlef WagenknechtGDR1:47.01:46.91
76José MarajoFRA1:47.31:47.26
85Dave WarrenGBR1:49.31:49.25

Splits

400 m54.3Agberto Guimarães