1978 European Athletics Championships – Men's 800 metres
|Athletics at the|
2014 Asian Games
|100 m hurdles||women|
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men||women|
|3000 m steeplechase||men|
|4×100 m relay||men||women|
|4×400 m relay||men||women|
|20 km walk||men|
|50 km walk||men|
The two favourites for the race were Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe Ovett had won silver at 800 m at the previous European Championships in 1974 in Rome, and had won the 1500m, in spectacular fashion, at the IAAF World Cup the previous year (he was to remain unbeaten at that distance until the 1980 Olympics). Coe was the new British record holder at 800 m and the fastest man that year leading into the race at 800 m.
The race was billed in the press, the British press in particular, as a 'Coe versus Ovett' contest - a race that was the start of a rivalry that was to dominate not only British and European but World middle-distance running over the next few years. However, by concentrating on Coe and Ovett the press were ignoring the other talents in the race, including East Germany's Olaf Beyer.
In the race itself, Coe led from the front setting a blistering first lap pace, going through the bell in a suicidal 49.32 s. At 700 m, he was spent and Ovett kicked past him for home. However, the fast-finishing Beyer first caught Coe and then Ovett to strike gold, in doing so recording the fastest time that year.
|Olaf Beyer||East Germany||1:43.84||CR|
|Steve Ovett||United Kingdom||1:44.09|
|Sebastian Coe||United Kingdom||1:44.76|
|4||Anatoliy Reshetnyak||Soviet Union||1:45.79|
|5||Vladimir Podolyako||Soviet Union||1:46.24|
|6||Andreas Busse||East Germany||1:47.1|
|1||Sebastian Coe||United Kingdom||1:47.44||Q|
|2||Andreas Busse||East Germany||1:47.6||Q|
|4||Vladimir Podolyako||Soviet Union||1:47.8||Q|
|6||Uwe Becker||West Germany||1:48.2|
|7||Detlef Wagenknecht||East Germany||1:48.5|
|1||Steve Ovett||United Kingdom||1:46.51||Q|
|2||Olaf Beyer||East Germany||1:46.74||Q|
|4||Anatoliy Reshetnyak||Soviet Union||1:47.2||Q|
|5||Hans-Peter Ferner||West Germany||1:47.4|
|1||Steve Ovett||United Kingdom||1:47.80||Q|
|2||Hans-Peter Ferner||West Germany||1:48.1||Q|
|4||Detlef Wagenknecht||East Germany||1:48.4||q|
|5||Vladimir Malozemlin||Soviet Union||1:48.6|
|1||Olaf Beyer||East Germany||1:47.72||Q|
|5||Peter Hoffmann||United Kingdom||1:49.3|
|1||Andreas Busse||East Germany||1:49.08||Q|
|3||Anatoliy Reshetnyak||Soviet Union||1:49.5||Q|
|1||Sebastian Coe||United Kingdom||1:46.82||Q|
|3||Uwe Becker||West Germany||1:47.13||Q|
|5||Vladimir Podolyako||Soviet Union||1:47.19||q|
According to an unofficial count, 24 athletes from 15 countries participated in the event.
- 1974 Men's European Championships 800 metres (Rome)
- 1976 Men's Olympic 800 metres (Montreal)
- 1980 Men's Olympic 800 metres (Moscow)
- 1982 Men's European Championships 800 metres (Athens)
- 1983 Men's World Championships 800 metres (Helsinki)
- 1984 Men's Olympic 800 metres (Los Angeles)
- 1986 Men's European Championships 800 metres (Stuttgart)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjzR8AOvEzc 1978 European 800m - men, youtube.com. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- European Athletics Championships Zürich 2014 - STATISTICS HANDBOOK (PDF), European Athletics Association, pp. 427–435, retrieved 13 August 2014
- http://home.swipnet.se/athletics/resultat1978.htm European Championship 1978. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ov/steve-ovett-1.html Steve Ovett biography, Sports-Reference.co. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/co/sebastian-coe-1.html Sebastian Coe biography, Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU9Gqhoqno4 'ROMA 1974: 800 MASCHILI - LUCIANO SUSANJ', youtube.com.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W7GogWlv7Q 1977 World Cup 1500m - Steve Ovett, youtube.com.
- http://www.uka.org.uk/e-inspire/hall-of-fame-athletes/steve-ovett/ Steve Ovett, United Kingdom Athletics biography.
- http://www.uka.org.uk/e-inspire/hall-of-fame-athletes/sebastian-coe/ Sebastian Coe, United Kingdom Athletics biography.
- http://www.sportsjournalists.co.uk/sja-news/sja-1948-2008/we-will-never-see-their-like-again/ "We will never see their like again.", Randall Northam, 9 June 2008, Sports Journalists' Association. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- http://www.sportinglife.com/olympics/history/story_get.dor?STORY_NAME=others/00/07/05/OLYMPICS_Coe_and_Ovett.insdat "Olympic greats - Coe and Ovett", Richard Gibson, sportinglife.com. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/be/olaf-beyer-1.html Olaf Beyer biography, Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- http://digilander.libero.it/Mennea/Stagionali/WRL/1978/800.htm 1978 800m performances. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Results 1978 European Championship Results