Athletics at the 1960 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres

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Men's 800 metres
at the Games of the XVII Olympiad
Venue Olympic Stadium
Dates August 31 (heats and quarterfinals)
September 2 (semifinals and final)
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s) Peter Snell
 New Zealand
2nd, silver medalist(s) Roger Moens
 Belgium
3rd, bronze medalist(s) George Kerr
 British West Indies
← 1956
1964 →
Athletics at the
1960 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men
800 m men women
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
steeplechase
men
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
20 km walk men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Decathlon men

The men's 800 metres middle distance event at the 1960 Olympic Games took place between August 31 and September 2.

Only six men were seeded into the final. From the gun Christian Wägli led the pack of five runners off the turn, with only Manfred Matuschewski already beaten. Falling in the back of the pack was Peter Snell from lane 6, the far outside. Wägli held the lead down the final backstretch and through the final turn, with Roger Moens moving in behind him ready to pounce out of a still tight pack. Snell was still at the back, boxed in with George Kerr to his outside. Coming off the turn, Moens pounced, passing Wägli in lane 2 with clear sailing to victory. But Moens' move broke up the pack, it was a free for all sprint to the finish. With Wägli struggling on the rail, Snell had a path down lane 1. On the outside Kerr passed Paul Schmidt and was sprinting in lane 3. A surprised Moens looked to his inside so see who the competitor was who was passing him. It was Snell with more power. Moens tried to accelerate again but Snell's strength was too much. Looking at Snell again he leaned for the line but too little too late to catch Snell.

Results[edit]

Heats[edit]

The fastest three runners in each of the nine heats advanced to the quarterfinal round.

Heat one

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Donal Smith  New Zealand 1:51.86
2 Valery Bulyshev  Soviet Union 1:51.83
3 Zbigniew Makomaski  Poland 1:52.70
4 Brian Hewson  Great Britain 1:54.73
5 Yair Pantilat  Israel 1:54.86
6 George Johnson  Liberia 1:56.04

Heat two

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Tom Farrell  Great Britain 1:49.05
2 Jerry Siebert  United States 1:49.08
3 Jos Lambrechts  Belgium 1:49.24
4 Pierre-Yvon Lenoir  France 1:49.41
5 Jaromír Šlégr  Czechoslovakia 1:50.23
6 Moussa Said  Ethiopia 1:50.49

Heat three

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Peter Snell  New Zealand 1:48.22
2 Christian Wägli  Switzerland 1:48.88
3 Ernie Cunliffe  United States 1:48.95
4 István Rózsavölgyi  Hungary 1:49.51

Heat four

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Tony Blue  Australia 1:50.82
2 Ergas Leps  Canada 1:50.93
3 Manfred Matuschewski  United Team of Germany 1:51.17
4 Vasily Savinkov  Soviet Union 1:51.49
5 Konstantinos Moragiemos  Greece 1:54.60
6 Ahmed Lazreg  Morocco 1:55.91

Heat five

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Abram Krivosheyev  Soviet Union 1:53.49
2 Jörg Balke  United Team of Germany 1:53.72
3 John Wenk  Great Britain 1:54.27
4 Norbert Haupert  Luxembourg 1:54.83
5 Frederick Owusu  Ghana 1:55.41
6 Egon Oehri  Liechtenstein 2:00.49

Heat six

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Roger Moens  Belgium 1:50.73
2 Per Knuts  Sweden 1:51.36
3 Lajos Kovács  Hungary 1:51.45
4 Stefan Lewandowski  Poland 1:51.75
5 Svavar Markússon  Iceland 1:52.88
6 Abdeslem Dargouth  Tunisia 1:54.87

Heat seven

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 George Kerr  British West Indies 1:51.11
2 Terry Sullivan  Rhodesia 1:51.26
3 Péter Parsch  Hungary 1:51.34
4 Borut Ingolič  Yugoslavia 1:51.51
5 Pertti Ålander  Finland 1:52.20
6 Zbigniew Orywał  Poland 1:55.89

Heat eight

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Paul Schmidt  United Team of Germany 1:50.97
2 Rudolf Klaban  Austria 1:50.96
3 Ronnie Delany  Ireland 1:51.19
4 Joe Mullins  Canada 1:51.46
5 Gianfranco Baraldi  Italy 1:52.15
6 Julio Gómez  Spain 1:53.90
7 Somsakdi Tongaram  Thailand 1:57.24

Heat nine

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Tom Murphy  United States 1:52.30
2 Ralph Gomes  Guyana 1:53.06
3 Ekrem Koçak  Turkey 1:59.12
4 Sig Ohlemann  Canada 2:07.40

Quarterfinals[edit]

The fastest three runners in each of the four heats advanced to the semifinal round.

Heat one

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Tom Murphy  United States 1:48.12
2 Christian Wägli  Switzerland 1:48.15
3 Manfred Matuschewski  United Team of Germany 1:48.24
4 Donal Smith  New Zealand 1:48.52
5 Terry Sullivan  Rhodesia 1:50.01

Heat two

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Paul Schmidt  United Team of Germany 1:51.38
2 Abram Krivosheyev  Soviet Union 1:51.40
3 Jerry Siebert  United States 1:51.53
4 Zbigniew Makomaski  Poland 1:51.72
5 Ralph Gomes  Guyana 1:52.47
6 Lajos Kovács  Hungary 1:52.55
7 Per Knuts  Sweden 1:52.91

Heat three

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 George Kerr  British West Indies 1:49.58
2 Ernie Cunliffe  United States 1:49.83
3 Tony Blue  Australia 1:50.05
4 John Wenk  Great Britain 1:50.13
5 Valery Bulyshev  Soviet Union 1:50.74
6 Ronnie Delany  Ireland 151.42

Heat four

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Roger Moens  Belgium 1:48.69
2 Peter Snell  New Zealand 1:48.84
3 Jörg Balke  United Team of Germany 1:48.98
4 Rudolf Klaban  Austria 1:50.32
5 Tom Farrell  Great Britain 1:50.84
6 Ergas Leps  Canada 1:52.13
7 Ekrem Koçak  Turkey 1:52.66

Semifinals[edit]

The fastest three runners in each of the two heats advanced to the final round.

Heat one

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 George Kerr  British West Indies 1:47.26 OR
2 Christian Wägli  Switzerland 1:47.40
3 Manfred Matuschewski  United Team of Germany 1:47.54
4 Jörg Balke  United Team of Germany 1:47.63
5 Tony Blue  Australia 1:47.97
6 Tom Murphy  United States 1:48.29

Heat two

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Peter Snell  New Zealand 1:47.34
2 Roger Moens  Belgium 1:47.49
3 Paul Schmidt  United Team of Germany 1:47.95
4 Jerry Siebert  United States 1:48.20
5 Abram Krivosheyev  Soviet Union 1:48.25
6 Ernie Cunliffe  United States 1:50.92

Final[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Peter Snell  New Zealand 1:46.48 OR
2nd, silver medalist(s) Roger Moens  Belgium 1:46.55
3rd, bronze medalist(s) George Kerr  British West Indies 1:47.25
4 Paul Schmidt  United Team of Germany 1:47.82
5 Christian Wägli  Switzerland 1:48.19
6 Manfred Matuschewski  United Team of Germany 1:52.21

Key: OR = Olympic record

References[edit]