800 metres final in Daegu 2011.
|World||David Rudisha 1:40.91 (2012)|
|Olympic||David Rudisha 1:40.91 (2012)|
|World||Jarmila Kratochvílová 1:53.28 (1983)|
|Olympic||Nadezhda Olizarenko 1:53.43 (1980)|
The 800 metres, or 800-meter run, is a common track running event. It is the shortest common middle-distance track event. The 800 metres is run over two laps of the track (400 metre track) and has been an Olympic event since the first games in 1896. During indoor track season the event is usually run on a 200 metre track, therefore requiring four laps.
The event was derived from the imperial measurement of a half a mile, a traditional English racing distance. Imperial racing distances were common in the United States. American high schools (in the name of the NFHS) were the last to convert to metric distances in 1980, following the NCAA's conversion in 1976. Countries associated to the English system converted to metric distances after the 1966 Commonwealth Games. 800 m is 4.67 m less than half a mile.
The event combines aerobic endurance with anaerobic conditioning and sprint speed. Both the aerobic and anaerobic systems are being taxed to a high extent, thus the 800 metre athlete is required to combine training between both systems.
Runners in this event are often fast enough to compete in the 4 × 400 metres relay but only Alberto Juantorena and Jarmila Kratochvílová have won major international titles at 400 m and 800 m. Competing successfully at 800 m and 1500 metres is more common.
The 800 m event is also known for its tactical racing techniques. Because the 800 m event is the shortest event that has all the runners converge on lane one, positioning on the cut-in is critical to the outcome of the race. It is commonly believed that getting the first or second position early in the race is advantageous as these positions are not usually caught up in the pack. Olympic champions Dave Wottle, Yuriy Borzakovskiy and others have defied that logic by running a more evenly paced race, lagging behind the pack and kicking past the slowing early leaders. Often the winner of 800 m races at high levels are not determined by the strongest runner but instead by the athlete with the best positioning near the end of the race. This can lead to the most exciting aspect of the 800 m which is its high probability of an upset.
All-time top ten fastest
As of June 2014
|1||1:40.91||David Rudisha||Kenya||9 August 2012||London|||
|2||1:41.11||Wilson Kipketer||Denmark||24 August 1997||Cologne|
|3||1:41.73||Sebastian Coe||United Kingdom||10 June 1981||Florence|
|Nijel Amos||Botswana||9 August 2012||London|||
|5||1:41.77||Joaquim Cruz||Brazil||26 August 1984||Cologne|
|6||1:42.23||Abubaker Kaki Khamis||Sudan||4 June 2010||Oslo|||
|7||1:42.28||Sammy Koskei||Kenya||26 August 1984||Cologne|
|8||1:42.34||Wilfred Bungei||Kenya||8 September 2002||Rieti|
|9||1:42.37||Mohammed Aman||Ethiopia||6 September 2013||Brussels|||
|10||1:42.47||Yuriy Borzakovskiy||Russia||24 August 2001||Brussels|
As of June 2014.
|1||1:53.28||Jarmila Kratochvílová||Czechoslovakia||26 July 1983||Munich|
|2||1:53.43||Nadezhda Olizarenko||Soviet Union||27 July 1980||Moscow|
|3||1:54.01||Pamela Jelimo||Kenya||29 August 2008||Zürich|
|4||1:54.44||Ana Fidelia Quirot||Cuba||9 September 1989||Barcelona|
|5||1:54.81||Olga Mineyeva||Soviet Union||27 July 1980||Moscow|
|6||1:54.94||Tatyana Kazankina||Soviet Union||26 July 1976||Montreal|
|7||1:55.05||Doina Melinte||Romania||1 August 1982||Bucharest|
|8||1:55.19||Maria de Lurdes Mutola||Mozambique||17 August 1994||Zürich|
|Jolanda Čeplak||Slovenia||20 July 2002||Heusden-Zolder|
|10||1:55.26||Sigrun Wodars||East Germany||31 August 1987||Rome|
World Championships medalists
- "800 Metres Results". IAAF. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- "800 Metres Results". www.diamondleague-oslo.com. 2010-06-04. Archived from the original on 7 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- "800m Result" (PDF). Samsung Diamond League. Omega Timing. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.