800 metres

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800 metres
800 m final Daegu 2011.jpg
800 metres final in Daegu 2011.
Men's records
World Kenya David Rudisha 1:40.91 (2012)
Olympic Kenya David Rudisha 1:40.91 (2012)
Women's records
World Czechoslovakia Jarmila Kratochvílová 1:53.28 (1983)
Olympic Soviet Union 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.

Race tactics[edit]

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[edit]


As of June 2014

Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Location Ref
1 1:40.91 David Rudisha  Kenya 9 August 2012 London [1]
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 [1]
5 1:41.77 Joaquim Cruz  Brazil 26 August 1984 Cologne
6 1:42.23 Abubaker Kaki Khamis  Sudan 4 June 2010 Oslo [2]
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 [3]
10 1:42.47 Yuriy Borzakovskiy  Russia 24 August 2001 Brussels


As of June 2014.

Rank Time Athlete Country Date Location Ref
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 junior records (19 and under) are held by Nijel Amos (1:41.73, London, 9 August 2012) and Pamela Jelimo (1:54.01, Zürich, 29 August 2008).

Olympic medalists[edit]


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
 Edwin Flack (AUS)  Nándor Dáni (HUN)  Dimitrios Golemis (GRE)
1900 Paris
 Alfred Tysoe (GBR)  John Cregan (USA)  David Hall (USA)
1904 St. Louis
 James Lightbody (USA)  Howard Valentine (USA)  Emil Breitkreutz (USA)
1908 London
 Mel Sheppard (USA)  Emilio Lunghi (ITA)  Hanns Braun (GER)
1912 Stockholm
 Ted Meredith (USA)  Mel Sheppard (USA)  Ira Davenport (USA)
1920 Antwerp
 Albert Hill (GBR)  Earl Eby (USA)  Bevil Rudd (RSA)
1924 Paris
 Douglas Lowe (GBR)  Paul Martin (SUI)  Schuyler Enck (USA)
1928 Amsterdam
 Douglas Lowe (GBR)  Erik Byléhn (SWE)  Hermann Engelhard (GER)
1932 Los Angeles
 Tommy Hampson (GBR)  Alex Wilson (CAN)  Phil Edwards (CAN)
1936 Berlin
 John Woodruff (USA)  Mario Lanzi (ITA)  Phil Edwards (CAN)
1948 London
 Mal Whitfield (USA)  Arthur Wint (JAM)  Marcel Hansenne (FRA)
1952 Helsinki
 Mal Whitfield (USA)  Arthur Wint (JAM)  Heinz Ulzheimer (GER)
1956 Melbourne
 Tom Courtney (USA)  Derek Johnson (GBR)  Audun Boysen (NOR)
1960 Rome
 Peter Snell (NZL)  Roger Moens (BEL)  George Kerr (BWI)
1964 Tokyo
 Peter Snell (NZL)  Bill Crothers (CAN)  Wilson Kiprugut (KEN)
1968 Mexico City
 Ralph Doubell (AUS)  Wilson Kiprugut (KEN)  Tom Farrell (USA)
1972 Munich
 Dave Wottle (USA)  Yevgeniy Arzhanov (URS)  Mike Boit (KEN)
1976 Montreal
 Alberto Juantorena (CUB)  Ivo Van Damme (BEL)  Rick Wohlhuter (USA)
1980 Moscow
 Steve Ovett (GBR)  Sebastian Coe (GBR)  Nikolay Kirov (URS)
1984 Los Angeles
 Joaquim Cruz (BRA)  Sebastian Coe (GBR)  Earl Jones (USA)
1988 Seoul
 Paul Ereng (KEN)  Joaquim Cruz (BRA)  Saïd Aouita (MAR)
1992 Barcelona
 William Tanui (KEN)  Nixon Kiprotich (KEN)  Johnny Gray (USA)
1996 Atlanta
 Vebjørn Rodal (NOR)  Hezekiél Sepeng (RSA)  Fred Onyancha (KEN)
2000 Sydney
 Nils Schumann (GER)  Wilson Kipketer (DEN)  Djabir Saïd-Guerni (ALG)
2004 Athens
 Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS)  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA)  Wilson Kipketer (DEN)
2008 Beijing
 Wilfred Bungei (KEN)  Ismail Ahmed Ismail (SUD)  Alfred Kirwa Yego (KEN)
2012 London
 David Rudisha (KEN)  Nigel Amos (BOT)  Timothy Kitum (KEN)


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1928 Amsterdam
 Lina Radke (GER)  Kinuye Hitomi (JPN)  Inga Gentzel (SWE)
1932–1956 not included in the Olympic program
1960 Rome
 Lyudmila Shevtsova (URS)  Brenda Jones (AUS)  Ursula Donath (EUA)
1964 Tokyo
 Ann Packer (GBR)  Maryvonne Dupureur (FRA)  Marise Chamberlain (NZL)
1968 Mexico City
 Madeline Manning (USA)  Ilona Silai (ROU)  Mia Gommers (NED)
1972 Munich
 Hildegard Falck (FRG)  Nijolė Sabaitė (URS)  Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR)
1976 Montreal
 Tatyana Kazankina (URS)  Nikolina Shtereva (BUL)  Elfi Zinn (GDR)
1980 Moscow
 Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS)  Olga Mineyeva (URS)  Tatyana Providokhina (URS)
1984 Los Angeles
 Doina Melinte (ROU)  Kim Gallagher (USA)  Fiţa Lovin (ROU)
1988 Seoul
 Sigrun Wodars (GDR)  Christine Wachtel (GDR)  Kim Gallagher (USA)
1992 Barcelona
 Ellen van Langen (NED)  Liliya Nurutdinova (EUN)  Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB)
1996 Atlanta
 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)  Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB)  Maria Mutola (MOZ)
2000 Sydney
 Maria Mutola (MOZ)  Stephanie Graf (AUT)  Kelly Holmes (GBR)
2004 Athens
 Kelly Holmes (GBR)  Hasna Benhassi (MAR)  Jolanda Čeplak (SLO)
2008 Beijing
 Pamela Jelimo (KEN)  Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN)  Hasna Benhassi (MAR)
2012 London
 Mariya Savinova (RUS)  Caster Semenya (RSA)  Ekaterina Poistogova (RUS)

World Championships medalists[edit]


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1983 Helsinki  Willi Wülbeck (FRG)  Rob Druppers (NED)  Joaquim Cruz (BRA)
1987 Rome  Billy Konchellah (KEN)  Peter Elliott (GBR)  José Luiz Barbosa (BRA)
1991 Tokyo  Billy Konchellah (KEN)  José Luiz Barbosa (BRA)  Mark Everett (USA)
1993 Stuttgart  Paul Ruto (KEN)  Giuseppe D'Urso (ITA)  Billy Konchellah (KEN)
1995 Gothenburg  Wilson Kipketer (DEN)  Arthémon Hatungimana (BDI)  Vebjørn Rodal (NOR)
1997 Athens  Wilson Kipketer (DEN)  Norberto Téllez (CUB)  Rich Kenah (USA)
1999 Seville  Wilson Kipketer (DEN)  Hezekiél Sepeng (RSA)  Djabir Saïd-Guerni (ALG)
2001 Edmonton  André Bucher (SUI)  Wilfred Bungei (KEN)  Paweł Czapiewski (POL)
2003 Saint-Denis  Djabir Saïd-Guerni (ALG)  Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS)  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA)
2005 Helsinki  Rashid Ramzi (BHR)  Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS)  William Yiampoy (KEN)
2007 Osaka  Alfred Kirwa Yego (KEN)  Gary Reed (CAN)  Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS)
2009 Berlin  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA)  Alfred Kirwa Yego (KEN)  Yusuf Saad Kamel (BHR)
2011 Daegu  David Rudisha (KEN)  Abubaker Kaki (SUD)  Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS)
2013 Moscow  Mohammed Aman (ETH)  Nick Symmonds (USA)  Ayanleh Souleiman (DJI)


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1983 Helsinki  Jarmila Kratochvílová (TCH)  Lyubov Gurina (URS)  Yekaterina Podkopayeva (URS)
1987 Rome  Sigrun Wodars (GDR)  Christine Wachtel (GDR)  Lyubov Gurina (URS)
1991 Tokyo  Lilia Nurutdinova (URS)  Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB)  Ella Kovacs (ROU)
1993 Stuttgart  Maria Mutola (MOZ)  Lyubov Gurina (RUS)  Ella Kovacs (ROU)
1995 Gothenburg  Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB)  Letitia Vriesde (SUR)  Kelly Holmes (GBR)
1997 Athens  Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB)  Yelena Afanasyeva (RUS)  Maria Mutola (MOZ)
1999 Seville  Ludmila Formanová (CZE)  Maria Mutola (MOZ)  Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)
2001 Edmonton  Maria Mutola (MOZ)  Stephanie Graf (AUT)  Letitia Vriesde (SUR)
2003 Saint-Denis  Maria Mutola (MOZ)  Kelly Holmes (GBR)  Natalya Khrushchelyova (RUS)
2005 Helsinki  Zulia Calatayud (CUB)  Hasna Benhassi (MAR)  Tatyana Andrianova (RUS)
2007 Osaka  Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN)  Hasna Benhassi (MAR)  Mayte Martínez (ESP)
2009 Berlin  Caster Semenya (RSA)  Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN)  Jennifer Meadows (GBR)
2011 Daegu  Mariya Savinova (RUS)  Caster Semenya (RSA)  Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN)
2013 Moscow  Eunice Jepkoech Sum (KEN)  Mariya Savinova (RUS)  Brenda Martinez (USA)

Season's bests[edit]

Men (outdoor)[edit]

Year Time Athlete Location
1970 1:44.8  Ken Swenson (USA) Stuttgart
1971 1:44.7  Dicky Broberg (RSA) Stellenbosch
1972 1:44.3  Dave Wottle (USA) Eugene
1973 1:43.7  Marcello Fiasconaro (ITA) Milan
1974 1:43.5  Rick Wohlhuter (USA) Eugene
1975 1:43.79  Mike Boit (KEN) Zürich
1976 1:43.50  Alberto Juantorena (CUB) Montreal
1977 1:43.44  Alberto Juantorena (CUB) Sofia
1978 1:43.84  Olaf Beyer (GDR) Prague
1979 1:42.33  Sebastian Coe (GBR) Oslo
1980 1:44.53  Donald Paige (USA) Eugene
1981 1:41.73  Sebastian Coe (GBR) Florence
1982 1:44.45  Steve Cram (GBR) London
1983 1:43.61  Steve Cram (GBR) Oslo
1984 1:41.77  Joaquim Carvalho Cruz (BRA) Cologne
1985 1:42.49  Joaquim Carvalho Cruz (BRA) Koblenz
1986 1:43.19  Steve Cram (GBR) Rieti
1987 1:43.06  Billy Konchellah (KEN) Rome
1988 1:42.65  Johnny Gray (USA) Zürich
1989 1:43.16  Paul Ereng (KEN) Zürich
1990 1:42.97  Peter Elliott (GBR) Seville
1991 1:43.08  José Luiz Barbosa (BRA) Rieti
1992 1:42.80  Johnny Gray (USA) New Orleans
1993 1:43.54  Nixon Kiprotich (KEN) Rieti
1994 1:43.17  Benson Koech (KEN) Rieti
1995 1:42.87  Wilson Kipketer (DEN) Monaco
1996 1:41.83  Wilson Kipketer (DEN) Rieti
1997 1:41.11  Wilson Kipketer (DEN) Cologne
1998 1:42.75  Japheth Kimutai (KEN) Stuttgart
1999 1:42.27  Wilson Kipketer (DEN) Brussels
2000 1:43.12  André Bucher (SUI) Lausanne
2001 1:42.47  Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS) Brussels
2002 1:42.32  Wilson Kipketer (DEN) Rieti
2003 1:42.52  Wilfred Bungei (KEN) Brussels
2004 1:43.08  Wilfred Bungei (KEN) Zürich
2005 1:43.70  Wilfred Bungei (KEN) Rieti
2006 1:43.09  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA) Rieti
2007 1:43.74  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA) Monaco
2008 1:42.69  Abubaker Kaki (SUD) Oslo
2009 1:42.01  David Rudisha (KEN) Rieti
2010 1:41.01  David Rudisha (KEN) Rieti
2011 1:41.33  David Rudisha (KEN) Rieti
2012 1:40.91  David Rudisha (KEN) London
2013 1:42.37  Mohamed Aman (ETH) Brussels
2014 1:42.45  Nijel Amos (BOT) Monaco


Year Time Athlete Location
1976 1:54.94  Tatyana Kazankina (URS) Montreal
1977 1:57.39  Ileana Silai (ROU) Bucharest
1978 1:55.80  Tatyana Providokhina (URS) Prague
1979 1:56.2  Totka Petrova (BUL) Paris
1980 1:53.43  Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS) Moscow
1981 1:56.98  Lyudmila Veselkova (URS) Leningrad
1982 1:55.05  Doina Melinte (ROU) Bucharest
1983 1:53.28  Jarmila Kratochvílová (TCH) Munich
1984 1:55.69  Irina Podyalovskaya (URS) Kiev
1985 1:55.68  Ella Kovacs (ROU) Bucharest
1986 1:56.2  Doina Melinte (ROU) Bucharest
1987 1:55.26  Sigrun Wodars (GDR) Rome
1988 1:56.00  Inna Yevseyeva (URS)
 Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS)
1989 1:54.44  Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB) Barcelona
1990 1:55.87  Sigrun Wodars (GDR) Split
1991 1:57.23  Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) Kiev
1992 1:55.54  Ellen van Langen (NED) Barcelona
1993 1:55.43  Maria de Lurdes Mutola (MOZ) Stuttgart
1994 1:55.19  Maria de Lurdes Mutola (MOZ) Zürich
1995 1:55.72  Maria de Lurdes Mutola (MOZ) Monaco
1996 1:56.04  Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) Monaco
1997 1:54.82  Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB) Cologne
1998 1:56.11  Maria de Lurdes Mutola (MOZ) Zürich
1999 1:55.87  Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) Moscow
2000 1:56.15  Maria de Lurdes Mutola (MOZ) Sydney
2001 1:56.85  Maria de Lurdes Mutola (MOZ) Zürich
2002 1:55.19  Jolanda Čeplak (SLO) Heusden-Zolder
2003 1:55.55  Maria de Lurdes Mutola (MOZ) Madrid
2004 1:56.23  Tatyana Andrianova (RUS) Tula
2005 1:56.07  Tatyana Andrianova (RUS) Tula
2006 1:56.66  Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN) Lausanne
2007 1:56.04  Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN) Osaka
2008 1:54.01  Pamela Jelimo (KEN) Zurich
2009 1:55.45  Caster Semenya (RSA) Berlin
2010 1:57.34  Alysia Johnson (USA) Monaco
2011 1:55.87  Mariya Savinova (RUS) Daegu
2012 1:56.19  Mariya Savinova (RUS) London[4]
2013 1:56.72  Francine Niyonsaba (BDI) Eugene
2014 1:57.67  Ajee Wilson (USA) Monaco


  1. ^ a b "800 Metres Results". IAAF. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "800 Metres Results". www.diamondleague-oslo.com. 2010-06-04. Archived from the original on 7 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  3. ^ "800m Result" (PDF). Samsung Diamond League. Omega Timing. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.iaaf.org/records/toplists/middlelong/800-metres/outdoor/women/senior/2012