1500 metres at the Olympics

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1500 metres
at the Olympic Games
Women's 1500 m heats London 2012.jpg
The 2012 Olympic women's 1500 m heats
Overview
Sport Athletics
Gender Men and women
Years held Men: 18962012
Women: 19722012
Olympic record
Men 3:32.07 Noah Ngeny (2000)
Women 3:53.96 Paula Ivan (1988)
Reigning champion
Men  Taoufik Makhloufi (ALG)
Women  Aslı Çakır Alptekin (TUR)

The 1500 metres at the Summer Olympics has been contested since the first edition of the multi-sport event. The men's 1500 m has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1896. The women's event was not introduced until over seventy years later, but it has been a permanent fixture since it was first held in 1972. It is the most prestigious 1500 m race at elite level. The competition format comprises three rounds: a heats stage, semi-finals, then a final typically between twelve athletes.

The Olympic records for the event are 3:32.07 minutes for men, set by Noah Ngeny in 2000, and 3:53.96 minutes for women, set by Paula Ivan in 1988. The 1500 metres world record has been broken several times at the Olympics: the men's record was beaten in 1900, 1936, and 1960, while the women's record was improved in 1972 (three times) and in 1980.[1]

Only two athletes have defended the Olympic 1500 m title: Tatyana Kazankina became the first person to win two gold medals in the event in 1980 (repeating her 1976 win) and, soon after, Sebastian Coe became the first man to do so in 1984. No athlete of either sex has won more than two medals. Historically, athletes in this event have also had success in the 800 metres at the Olympics. Kelly Holmes was the last athlete to win both events at the same Olympics in 2004, but no male athlete has reached both middle-distance podiums since Sebastian Coe in 1984.

Great Britain is the most successful nation in the event, having won six gold medals and a total of fourteen. Kenya has the next highest number of gold medals, with five, while the United States has the next highest medal total with thirteen. The United States is the only nation to have swept the medals in the event, having done so in St. Louis in 1904, albeit in a final between seven Americans and two foreigners.

Medal summary[edit]

Men[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
details
 Edwin Flack (AUS)  Arthur Blake (USA)  Albin Lermusiaux (FRA)
1900 Paris
details
 Charles Bennett (GBR)  Henri Deloge (FRA)  John Bray (USA)
1904 St. Louis
details
 James Lightbody (USA)  Frank Verner (USA)  Lacey Hearn (USA)
1908 London
details
 Mel Sheppard (USA)  Harold Wilson (GBR)  Norman Hallows (GBR)
1912 Stockholm
details
 Arnold Jackson (GBR)  Abel Kiviat (USA)  Norman Taber (USA)
1920 Antwerp
details
 Albert Hill (GBR)  Philip Baker (GBR)  Lawrence Shields (USA)
1924 Paris
details
 Paavo Nurmi (FIN)  Willy Schärer (SUI)  Henry Stallard (GBR)
1928 Amsterdam
details
 Harri Larva (FIN)  Jules Ladoumègue (FRA)  Eino Purje (FIN)
1932 Los Angeles
details
 Luigi Beccali (ITA)  Jerry Cornes (GBR)  Phil Edwards (CAN)
1936 Berlin
details
 Jack Lovelock (NZL)  Glenn Cunningham (USA)  Luigi Beccali (ITA)
1948 London
details
 Henry Eriksson (SWE)  Lennart Strand (SWE)  Wim Slijkhuis (NED)
1952 Helsinki
details
 Josy Barthel (LUX)  Bob McMillen (USA)  Werner Lueg (GER)
1956 Melbourne
details
 Ron Delany (IRL)  Klaus Richtzenhain (EUA)  John Landy (AUS)
1960 Rome
details
 Herb Elliott (AUS)  Michel Jazy (FRA)  István Rózsavölgyi (HUN)
1964 Tokyo
details
 Peter Snell (NZL)  Josef Odložil (TCH)  John Davies (NZL)
1968 Mexico City
details
 Kipchoge Keino (KEN)  Jim Ryun (USA)  Bodo Tümmler (FRG)
1972 Munich
details
 Pekka Vasala (FIN)  Kipchoge Keino (KEN)  Rod Dixon (NZL)
1976 Montreal
details
 John Walker (NZL)  Ivo van Damme (BEL)  Paul-Heinz Wellmann (FRG)
1980 Moscow
details
 Sebastian Coe (GBR)  Jürgen Straub (GDR)  Steve Ovett (GBR)
1984 Los Angeles
details
 Sebastian Coe (GBR)  Steve Cram (GBR)  José Manuel Abascal (ESP)
1988 Seoul
details
 Peter Rono (KEN)  Peter Elliott (GBR)  Jens-Peter Herold (GDR)
1992 Barcelona
details
 Fermín Cacho (ESP)  Rachid El Basir (MAR)  Mohammed Suleiman (QAT)
1996 Atlanta
details
 Noureddine Morceli (ALG)  Fermín Cacho (ESP)  Stephen Kipkorir (KEN)
2000 Sydney
details
 Noah Ngeny (KEN)  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Bernard Lagat (KEN)
2004 Athens
details
 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Bernard Lagat (KEN)  Rui Silva (POR)
2008 Beijing
details
 Asbel Kiprop (KEN)  Nick Willis (NZL)  Mehdi Baala (FRA)
2012 London
details
 Taoufik Makhloufi (ALG)  Leonel Manzano (USA)  Abdalaati Iguider (MAR)

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Coe, SebastianSebastian Coe  Great Britain (GBR) 1980–1984 2 0 0 2
2 Keino, KipchogeKipchoge Keino  Kenya (KEN) 1968–1972 1 1 0 2
2 Cacho, FerminFermin Cacho  Spain (ESP) 1992–1996 1 1 0 2
2 El Guerrouj, HichamHicham El Guerrouj  Morocco (MAR) 2000–2004 1 1 0 2
4 Beccali, LuigiLuigi Beccali  Italy (ITA) 1932–1936 1 0 1 2

Medals by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Great Britain (GBR) 5 5 3 13
2  Kenya (KEN) 4 2 2 8
3  New Zealand (NZL) 3 1 2 6
4  Finland (FIN) 3 0 1 4
5  United States (USA) 2 7 4 13
6  Australia (AUS) 2 0 1 3
7  Algeria (ALG) 2 0 0 2
8  Morocco (MAR) 1 2 1 4
9  Spain (ESP) 1 1 1 3
10  Sweden (SWE) 1 1 0 2
11  Italy (ITA) 1 0 1 2
12=  Ireland (IRL) 1 0 0 1
12=  Luxembourg (LUX) 1 0 0 1
14  France (FRA) 0 3 2 5
15=  East Germany (GDR) 0 1 1 2
15=  Germany (GER)[nb] 0 1 1 2
17=  Belgium (BEL) 0 1 0 1
17=  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 0 1 0 1
17=  Switzerland (SUI) 0 1 0 1
20  West Germany (FRG) 0 0 2 2
21=  Canada (CAN) 0 0 1 1
21=  Hungary (HUN) 0 0 1 1
21=  Netherlands (NED) 0 0 1 1
21=  Portugal (POR) 0 0 1 1
21=  Qatar (QAT) 0 0 1 1

Women[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1972 Munich
details
 Lyudmila Bragina (URS)  Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR)  Paola Pigni (ITA)
1976 Montreal
details
 Tatyana Kazankina (URS)  Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR)  Ulrike Klapezynski (GDR)
1980 Moscow
details
 Tatyana Kazankina (URS)  Christiane Wartenberg (GDR)  Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS)
1984 Los Angeles
details
 Gabriella Dorio (ITA)  Doina Melinte (ROU)  Maricica Puică (ROU)
1988 Seoul
details
 Paula Ivan (ROU)  Laimutė Baikauskaitė (URS)  Tetyana Samolenko (URS)
1992 Barcelona
details
 Hassiba Boulmerka (ALG)  Lyudmila Rogachova (EUN)  Qu Yunxia (CHN)
1996 Atlanta
details
 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)  Gabriela Szabo (ROU)  Theresia Kiesl (AUT)
2000 Sydney
details
 Nouria Mérah-Benida (ALG)  Violeta Szekely (ROU)  Gabriela Szabo (ROU)
2004 Athens
details
 Kelly Holmes (GBR)  Tatyana Tomashova (RUS)  Maria Cioncan (ROU)
2008 Beijing
details
 Nancy Langat (KEN)  Iryna Lishchynska (UKR)  Nataliya Tobias (UKR)
2012 London
details
 Aslı Çakır Alptekin (TUR)  Gamze Bulut (TUR)  Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BRN)

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Kazankina, TatyanaTatyana Kazankina  Soviet Union (URS) 1976–1980 2 0 0 2
2 Hoffmeister, GunhildGunhild Hoffmeister  East Germany (GDR) 1972–1976 0 2 0 2
3 Szabo, GabrielaGabriela Szabo  Romania (ROU) 1996–2000 0 1 1 2

Medalists by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Soviet Union (URS) 3 1 2 6
2  Algeria (ALG) 2 0 0 2
3  Romania (ROU) 1 3 3 7
4  Russia (RUS) 1 1 0 2
5  Turkey (TUR) 1 1 0 2
6  Italy (ITA) 1 0 1 2
7=  Great Britain (GBR) 1 0 0 1
7=  Kenya (KEN) 1 0 0 1
9  East Germany (GDR) 0 3 1 4
10  Ukraine (UKR) 0 1 1 2
11  Unified Team (EUN) 0 1 0 1
12=  Austria (AUT) 0 0 1 1
12=  Bahrain (BRN) 0 0 1 1
12=  China (CHN) 0 0 1 1

Intercalated Games[edit]

The 1906 Intercalated Games were held in Athens and at the time were officially recognised as part of the Olympic Games series, with the intention being to hold a games in Greece in two-year intervals between the internationally held Olympics. However, this plan never came to fruition and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided not to recognise these games as part of the official Olympic series. Some sports historians continue to treat the results of these games as part of the Olympic canon.[2]

At this event a men's 1500 m was held and the reigning 800 metres and 1500 m champion from the 1904 Olympics, James Lightbody, was the winner. Two 1908 Olympic participants, Britain's John McGough and Sweden's Kristian Hellström were the minor medalists.[3]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1906 Athens
details
 James Lightbody (USA)  John McGough (GBR)  Kristian Hellström (SWE)

References[edit]

Participation and athlete data
Olympic record progressions
Specific
  1. ^ "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009." (pdf). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. pp. Pages 546, 549. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ 1906 Athina Summer Games. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
  3. ^ Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games: Men's 1500 metres. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.

External links[edit]