Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's 800 metres

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Women's 800 metres
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
Mariya Savinova and Ekaterina Poistogova - Womens 800m - 2012 Olympics.jpg
Mariya Savinova and Ekaterina Poistogova celebrate after the race
Venue Olympic Stadium
Date 8–11 August
Competitors 45 from 35 nations
Winning time 1:56.19
Gold medal    Russia
Silver medal    South Africa
Bronze medal    Russia
«2008 2016»
Athletics at the
2012 Summer Olympics
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Track events
100 m   men   women
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400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men women
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3000 m
men women
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Marathon men women
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Combined events
Heptathlon women
Decathlon men

The Women's 800 metres competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium on 8–11 August.[1]

While heat 3 and heat 5 of the qualifying round allowed some athletes to run as slow as 2:07s or 2:08s and qualify, the semi finals were decidedly quicker. In heat 1, Pamela Jelimo and Ekaterina Poistogova managed to qualify virtually together in mid 1:59s, those were the slowest times. In heat two, 2009 World Champion Caster Semenya challenged the field, leading Elena Arzhakova, Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei and Alysia Johnson Montano into the finals. Halima Hachlaf ran 1:58.84 and didn't make the final. In the third heat reigning world champion Mariya Savinova led virtual newcomer Francine Niyonsaba into a 1:58.67 new national record for Burundi.

In the final Montano went to the front, with Jelimo and Jepkosgei Busienei on her shoulder, while Savinova and Semenya went to the back. The front running Montano hit the half way mark in 56.31. Those positions held through 500 metres, when Jelimo charged out to a big lead down the back stretch, Montano started to slow while Savinova started to move forward. At the 600 metre line, there was a confluence of runners moving forward meeting those moving backward. Savinova on the outside found herself in second place, though Jelimo had a 4 metre lead. Semenya was behind the wall of runners. In the next 100 metres, Savinova caught Jelimo, passing into the lead at the head of the straightaway and on to victory. Semenya was a full 10 metres back, but on the outside of traffic. In the last 100, Semenya ran past the rest of the field, taking second place, but was too far behind to have a chance to catch Savinova, Poistogova edged a dying Jelimo for the bronze medal.[2]

Competition format[edit]

The Women's 800m competition consisted of heats (Round 1), Semifinals and a Final.[3] Twenty-four athletes advanced from the heats to the Semifinal round. The top three competitors from each of the six heats qualified for the Semifinals along with the six fastest losers. A total of eight competitors qualified for the Final from the Semifinals. In the three Semifinal races, the first two from each Semifinal advanced to the final along with the two fastest losers.[3]


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Jarmila Kratochvílová (TCH) 1:53.28 Munich, West Germany 26 July 1983
Olympic record  Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS) 1:53.43 Moscow, Soviet Union 27 July 1980
2012 World leading  Pamela Jelimo (KEN) 1:56.76 Heusden-Zolder, Belgium 7 July 2012
Broken records during the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 World leading  Mariya Savinova (RUS) 1:56.19 London, United Kingdom 11 August 2012


All times are British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Date Time Round
Wednesday, 8 August 2012 11:35 Round 1
Thursday, 9 August 2012 19:30 Semifinals
Saturday, 11 August 2012 20:00 Finals


Round 1[edit]

Qual. rule: first 3 of each heat (Q) plus the 6 fastest times (q) qualified.

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Alysia Johnson Montano United States 2:00.47 Q
2 Caster Semenya South Africa 2:00.71 Q
3 Halima Hachlaf Morocco 2:00.99 Q
4 Rose Mary Almanza Cuba 2:01.19 q
5 Annabelle Lascar Mauritius 2:05.45 PB
6 Elena Popescu Moldova 2:06.94
N/A Noura Elsayed Egypt N/A DNS

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Mariya Savinova Russia 2:01.56 Q
2 Alice Schmidt United States 2:01.65 Q
3 Tintu Luka India 2:01.75 Q
4 Malika Akkaoui Morocco 2:01.78 q
5 Andrea Ferris Panama 2:05.59
6 Haley Nemra Marshall Islands 2:14.90 SB
7 Merve Aydın Turkey 3:24.35

Heat 3[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Francine Niyonsaba Burundi 2:07.57 Q
2 Jessica Smith Canada 2:07.75 Q
3 Genzeb Shumi Bahrain 2:07.77 Q
4 Amina Bakhit Sudan 2:09.78
5 Amy Atkinson Guam 2:18.53 NR
N/A Liliya Lobanova Ukraine N/A DNS
N/A Fantu Magiso Ethiopia N/A DNS
N/A Kenia Sinclair Jamaica N/A DNS

Heat 4[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Pamela Jelimo Kenya 2:00.54 Q
2 Lynsey Sharp Great Britain 2:01.41 Q
3 Eleni Filandra Greece 2:02.29 Q
4 Geena Gall United States 2:03.85 q
5 Cavela Felismina Angola 2:10.95 PB
6 Rabia Ashiq Pakistan 2:17.39
N/A Yuliya Krevsun Ukraine N/A DNF

Heat 5[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Nataliia Lupu Ukraine 2:08.35 Q
2 Elena Arzhakova Russia 2:08.39 Q
3 Cherono Koech Kenya 2:08.43 Q
4 Maryna Arzamasava Belarus 2:08.45
5 Lenka Masna Czech Republic 2:08.68
6 Melissa Bishop Canada 2:09.33
7 Aicha Fall Mauritania 2:27.97 NR
8 Woroud Sawalha Palestine 2:29.16 PB

Heat 6[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei Kenya 2:01.04 Q
2 Ekaterina Poistogova Russia 2:01.08 Q
3 Rosibel Garcia Colombia 2:01.30 Q
4 Elena Mirela Lavric Romania 2:01.65 q
5 Margarita Matsko Kazakhstan 2:02.12 q
6 Neisha Bernard-Thomas Grenada 2:03.23 q
7 Elisabeth Mandaba Central African Republic 2:12.56
8 Sarah Attar Saudi Arabia 2:44.95 NR


Qual. rule: first 2 of each heat (Q) plus the 2 fastest times (q) qualified.

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Pamela Jelimo Kenya 1:59.42 Q
2 Ekaterina Poistogova Russia 1:59.45 Q
3 Rosibel Garcia Colombia 2:00.16 SB
4 Alice Schmidt United States 2:01.63
5 Nataliia Lupu Ukraine 2:01.63
6 Rose Mary Almanza Cuba 2:01.70
7 Lynsey Sharp Great Britain 2:01.78
8 Eleni Filandra Greece 2:04.42

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Caster Semenya South Africa 1:57.67 Q
2 Elena Arzhakova Russia 1:58.13 Q
3 Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei Kenya 1:58.26 q
4 Alysia Johnson Montano United States 1:58.42 q
5 Halima Hachlaf Morocco 1:58.84 SB
6 Tintu Luka India 1:59.69 SB
7 Elena Mirela Lavric Romania 2:00.46
8 Neisha Bernard-Thomas Grenada 2:00.68 SB

Heat 3[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Mariya Savinova Russia 1:58.57 Q
2 Francine Niyonsaba Burundi 1:58.67 Q, NR
3 Margarita Matsko Kazakhstan 1:59.20 PB
4 Malika Akkaoui Morocco 2:00.32
5 Cherono Koech Kenya 2:00.53 SB
6 Genzeb Shumi Bahrain 2:01.76
7 Jessica Smith Canada 2:01.90
8 Geena Gall United States 2:05.76


Rank Lane Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1st 5 Mariya Savinova Russia 1:56.19 WL
2nd 7 Caster Semenya South Africa 1:57.23 SB
3rd 2 Ekaterina Poistogova Russia 1:57.53 PB
4 6 Pamela Jelimo Kenya 1:57.59
5 4 Alysia Johnson Montano United States 1:57.93
6 3 Francine Niyonsaba Burundi 1:59.63
7 8 Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei Kenya 2:00.19
- 9 Elena Arzhakova Russia 1:59.21 DSQ[4]