Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres
|Men's 800 metres|
at the Games of the XVIII Olympiad
|Competitors||47 from 32 nations|
|Athletics at the|
1964 Summer Olympics
|80 m hurdles||women|
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men|
|4×100 m relay||men||women|
|4×400 m relay||men|
|20 km walk||men|
|50 km walk||men|
The men's 800 metres was the middle of the seven men's track races in the Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics program in Tokyo. It was held on 14 October, 15 October, and 16 October 1964. 47 athletes from 32 nations entered, with 1 not starting the first round. The first round was held on 14 October, with the semifinals on 15 October and the final on 16 October.
The runners used a crouch start without blocks and a single turn stagger start (breaking after the first turn). Returning to the final from four years earlier were defending champion Peter Snell and bronze medalist George Kerr. While Snell started strongly, he found himself in third place at the break, led by aggressive front-running by Wilson Kiprugut. As others moved forward, Snell found himself boxed along the rail, so as the runners came onto the home stretch he had to slow to come out the back of the box, then as the bell approached, he glided along the outside to catch up to Kiprugut and Kerr in the lead. With free running room, Snell kept going, taking the lead on the penultimate turn. After establishing a three-metre lead, he held his position, even extending it a little to take the repeat gold. Down the backstretch, Bill Crothers made his way around Kiprugut while Kerr was trying to chase down Snell. Crothers came off the final turn with more speed, passing Kerr on the home stretch. Kerr began to struggle. Snell was too far ahead for Crothers to catch, but Kiprugut closed down on Kerr, passing him and sealing the bronze medal with a dip at the finish.
Snell became the third to defend his 800-metre title after Douglas Lowe and Mal Whitfield. The feat would not be accomplished again for 52 years until David Rudisha repeated in 2016. Kiprugut won Kenya's first ever Olympic medal, unleashing a floodgate of national dominance in distance running events, particularly the 3000 meters steeplechase in subsequent Olympics.
The top four runners in each of the 6 heats advanced.
First round, heat 1
|2||Tom Farrell||United States||1:48.6|
|3||Valery Bulyshev||Soviet Union||1:48.6|
|6||Ibrahim Yazdan Panah||Iran||1:54.7|
First round, heat 2
|1||Dieter Bogatzki||United Team of Germany||1:50.3|
|3||Chris Carter||Great Britain||1:51.0|
First round, heat 3
|1||Manfred Kinder||United Team of Germany||1:49.5|
|4||Rein Tölp||Soviet Union||1:50.0|
|6||Morgan Groth||United States||1:51.4|
First round, heat 4
|1||Peter Snell||New Zealand||1:49.0|
|2||Jerome Francis Siebert||United States||1:49.2|
|4||Abram Krivosheev||Soviet Union||1:49.5|
|5||Alan Dean||Great Britain||1:49.6|
|6||Jeong Gyo-mo||South Korea||1:51.8|
First round, heat 5
|1||John Boulter||Great Britain||1:48.9|
|2||George E. Kerr||Jamaica||1:48.9|
|4||Manfred Matuschewski||United Team of Germany||1:50.0|
|—||Amos Gilad||Israel||Did not finish|
First round, heat 6
|7||Patrick Field||Hong Kong||1:54.0|
The top two runners in each of the three semifinals qualified for the final, as did the two runners with the fastest times from among the 3rd-8th spots across all of the semifinals.
|1||Peter Snell||New Zealand||1:46.9|
|2||Jerome Francis Siebert||United States||1:47.0|
|4||Manfred Matuschewski||United Team of Germany||1:47.3|
|5||Valery Bulyshev||Soviet Union||1:47.5|
Kerr and Kiprugut both crossed the finish line in 1:46.1, breaking the old Olympic record of 1:46.3.
|1||George E. Kerr||Jamaica||1:46.1 OR|
|2||Wilson Kiprugut||Kenya||1:46.1 OR|
|3||Dieter Bogatzki||United Team of Germany||1:46.9|
|4||John Peter Boulter||Great Britain||1:47.1|
|6||Abram Krivosheev||Soviet Union||1:47.5|
|7||Derek George McCleane||Ireland||1:48.4|
|2||Tom Farrell||United States||1:47.8|
|3||Manfred Kinder||United Team of Germany||1:47.9|
|4||Chris Carter||Great Britain||1:49.1|
|5||Rein Tölp||Soviet Union||1:49.1|
No fewer than four runners broke the Olympic record that had been set in the semifinals, including the two runners that had set it. Despite the record performances by the other three runners, defending Olympic champion and world record holder Peter Snell still won by half a second to take the gold medal and set the new Olympic record at 1:45.1.
|1||Peter Snell||New Zealand||1:45.1 OR|
|4||George E. Kerr||Jamaica||1:45.9|
|5||Tom Farrell||United States||1:46.6|
|6||Jerome Francis Siebert||United States||1:47.0|
|7||Dieter Bogatzki||United Team of Germany||1:47.2|
- "Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games: Men's 800 metres". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 17 October 2017.