Definitions

800_metres

800 metres

800 m is a common track running event. It is the shortest common middle distance track event. The 800 meters is run over two laps of the track (400 meter track) and has always been an Olympic event. During indoor track season the event is usually run on a 200 meter track, therefore requiring four laps. It was included in the first women's track programme in 1928, but suspended until 1960 because of shock at the exhaustion it caused the competitors. By contrast, without today's training regimes, male competitors of the day were expected to run themselves to exhaustion in competition.

The event requires both sprinting speed and physical endurance to last two laps, therefore combining challenging aspects of both sprinting and middle distance into a single race.

Tactics

In modern 800 m races, runners start from staggered positions on the track and must remain in their respective lanes until the end of the first curve (about 115m). After the first curve, competitors may break for the inside, as long as they do not deliberately obstruct or push another competitor. Running at full speed for the entire distance is impossible, and tactics are a factor in reaching the finish line first. Running in the lead is often considered a disadvantage, as trailing runners can choose when to accelerate past the leader, and wind resistance has a greater effect on those in the front of the pack. Runners in lane one but not leading the race must also be careful to avoid becoming boxed in by other runners, as this eliminates the crucial ability to completely control one's own pace. Running in last place is also not recommended, as there may be too much ground to make up when the final sprint for the finish starts.

However, it can be sensible for an athlete to remain at the back of the field if the pace at the front is far too fast, provided that the athlete in question does not leave too much ground to make up. This was illustrated by Kelly Holmes at the 2004 Summer Olympics, where Holmes stayed at the rear of the field until the last 300 m before making a decisive move. A more unorthodox tactical move came from John Woodruff who, in the 1936 Summer Olympics, was boxed in by runners early in the race. He slowed almost to a complete stop, let the runners pass, and then took the third lane to come from behind and take the victory.

In top class races, the lane start usually ensures a brisk pace for the first 200 m. Occasionally, no one will be happy to lead, and the field will bunch for the remainder of the first lap. This will lead to a slow first 400 m, leaving the runners extra energy for a hard sprint on the second lap, favouring the sprint type 800m runner. Alternatively, one runner will ensure a fast first lap and the winner will be the athlete who slows least on the second lap. This tactic favours the endurance or distance type 800m runner. Some 800m runners are able to run world-class times with even laps, or even negative splits (which means the second lap is quicker than the first).

Records

800 m runners are often fast enough to run in the 4x400 m relay but only Alberto Juantorena and Jarmila Kratochvilova have won major international titles at 400 m and 800 m. Competing successfully at 800 m and 1500 m is more common.

World Record for men:

* Wilson Kipketer 1:41.11 Cologne 24 August 1997

World Record for women:

* Jarmila Kratochvílová 1:53.28 Munich 26 July 1983

World Junior Record (19 and under) for men:

* Abubaker Kaki Khamis 1:42.69 Oslo 6 June 2008

World Junior Record (19 and under) for women:

* Pamela Jelimo 1:54.01 Zürich 29 August 2008

  • Athletes from 10 different countries have won the men's 800 m title.

Top ten all-time athletes on the men's 800 m

Updated October 3, 2008

Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Location
1 1:41.11 Wilson Kipketer 24 August 1997 Cologne
2 1:41.73 Sebastian Coe 10 June 1981 Florence
3 1:41.77 Joaquim Cruz 26 August 1984 Cologne
4 1:42.28 Sammy Koskei 26 August 1984 Cologne
5 1:42.34 Wilfred Bungei 8 September 2002 Rieti
6 1:42.47 Yuriy Borzakovskiy 24 August 2001 Brussels
7 1:42.55 André Bucher 17 August 2001 Zürich
8 1:42.58 Vebjørn Rodal 31 July 1996 Atlanta
9 1:42.60 Johnny Gray 28 August 1985 Koblenz
10 1:42.62 Patrick Ndururi 13 August 1997 Zürich

Top ten all-time athletes on the women's 800 m

Updated by October 3, 2008

Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Location
1 1:53.28 Jarmila Kratochvílová 26 July 1983 Munich
2 1:53.43 Nadezhda Olizarenko 27 July 1980 Moscow
3 1:54.01 Pamela Jelimo 29 August 2008 Zürich
4 1:54.44 Ana Fidelia Quirot 9 September 1989 Barcelona
5 1:54.81 Olga Mineyeva 27 July 1980 Moscow
6 1:54.85 Yelena Soboleva 18 July 2008 Kazan
7 1:54.94 Tatyana Kazankina 26 July 1976 Montreal
8 1:55.05 Doina Melinte 1 August 1982 Bucharest
9 1:55.19 Maria de Lurdes Mutola 17 August 1994 Zürich
10 1:55.19 Jolanda Ceplak 20 July 2002 Heusden-Zolder

Best Year Performance

Men's Seasons Best (Outdoor)

Year Time Athlete Location
1970 1:44.80 Stuttgart
1971 1:44.7 Stellenbosch
1972 1:44.3 Eugene
1973 1:43.7 Milan
1974 1:43.5 Eugene
1975 1:43.79 Zürich
1976 1:43.50 Montreal
1977 1:43.44 Sofia
1978 1:43.84 Prague
1979 1:42.33 Oslo
1980 1:44.53 Eugene
1981 1:41.73 Firenze
1982 1:44.45 London
1983 1:43.61 Oslo
1984 1:41.77 Cologne
1985 1:42.49 Koblenz
1986 1:43.19 Rieti
1987 1:43.06 Rome
1988 1:42.65 Zürich
1989 1:43.16 Zürich
1990 1:42.97 Seville
1991 1:43.08 Rieti
1992 1:42.80 New Orleans
1993 1:43.54 Rieti
1994 1:43.17 Rieti
1995 1:42.87 Monaco
1996 1:41.83 Rieti
1997 1:41.11 Cologne
1998 1:42.75 Stuttgart
1999 1:42.27 Brussels
2000 1:43.12 Lausanne
2001 1:42.47 Brussels
2002 1:42.32 Rieti
2003 1:42.52 Brussels
2004 1:43.08 Zürich
2005 1:43.70 Rieti
2006 1:43.09 Rieti
2007 1:43.74 Monaco
2008 1:42.69 Oslo

Women's Seasons Best (Outdoor)

Year Time Athlete Location
1976 1:54.94 Montreal
1977 1:57.39 Bucharest
1978 1:55.80 Prague
1979 1:56.2 Paris
1980 1:53.43 Moscow
1981 1:56.98 Leningrad
1982 1:55.05 Bucharest
1983 1:53.28 Munich
1984 1:55.69 Kiev
1985 1:55.68 Bucharest
1986 1:56.2 Bucharest
1987 1:55.26 Rome
1988 1:56.00
Kiev
Kharkov
1989 1:54.44 Barcelona
1990 1:55.87 Split
1991 1:57.23 Kiev
1992 1:55.54 Barcelona
1993 1:55.43 Stuttgart
1994 1:55.19 Zürich
1995 1:55.72 Monaco
1996 1:56.04 Monaco
1997 1:54.82 Cologne
1998 1:56.11 Zürich
1999 1:55.87 Moscow
2000 1:56.15 Sydney
2001 1:56.85 Zürich
2002 1:55.19 Heusden-Zolder
2003 1:55.55 Madrid
2004 1:56.23 Tula
2005 1:56.07 Tula
2006 1:56.66 Lausanne
2007 1:56.04 Osaka
2008 1:54.01 Zurich

See also

References

External links

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