Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics – Women's 800 metres
|Women's 800 metres
at the Games of the XVIII Olympiad
Maryvonne Dupureur, Ann Packer and Marise Chamberlain on the podium
|Competitors||24 from 16 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 women's 800 metres was the longest of the four women's track races in the Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics program in Tokyo. It was held on 18 October, 19 October, and 20 October 1964. 24 athletes from 16 nations entered, with 1 not starting the first round. The first round was held on 18 October, the semifinals on 19 October, and the final on 20 October.
The 1964 race was run with the contemporary break after a single turn, a style that changed and was reverted over the next decade and a half.
The top five runners in each of the 3 heats advanced, as well as the next fastest runner from across the heats.
First round, heat 1
All three of the eventual medallists were in the first heat.
|2||Marise Chamberlain||New Zealand||2:06.8|
|4||Vera Mukhanova||Soviet Union||2:08.8|
|5||Ann Packer||Great Britain||2:12.6|
|6||Waltraud Kaufmann||United Team of Germany||2:14.6|
First round, heat 2
|1||Mary Hodson||Great Britain||2:08.5|
|2||Nita Worner||United Team of Germany||2:08.6|
|3||Zoya Skobtsova||Soviet Union||2:08.6|
|6||Sandra Knott||United States||2:12.2|
|—||Dixie Willis||Australia||Did not start|
First round, heat 3
|1||Anne Smith||Great Britain||2:08.0|
|2||Antje Gleichfeld||United Team of Germany||2:08.2|
|3||Laine Erik||Soviet Union||2:08.3|
|5||Jannie van Eyck-Vos||Netherlands||2:09.1|
|8||Han Myung Hee||South Korea||2:22.7|
The top four runners in each semifinal advanced to the final.
|1||Maryvonne Dupureur||France||2:04.1 OR|
|2||Antje Gleichfeld||United Team of Germany||2:04.6|
|3||Laine Erik||Soviet Union||2:04.7|
|4||Anne Smith||Great Britain||2:04.8|
|5||Vera Mukhanova||Soviet Union||2:04.8|
|6||Jannie van Eyck-Vos||Netherlands||2:05.7|
|7||Mary Hodson||Great Britain||2:07.1|
|1||Marise Chamberlain||New Zealand||2:04.6|
|3||Ann Packer||Great Britain||2:06.0|
|5||Nita Worner||United Team of Germany||2:07.1|
|6||Zoya Skobtsova||Soviet Union||2:07.4|
After winning a silver medal in the 400 metres Ann Packer had no plans to run in the 800 metres and had a shopping trip planned until her fiancé, Robbie Brightwell finished fourth in the 400 metres. Disappointed for him, she turned to the 800 metres, an event which she had only raced in five times before.
Packer, who had placed fifth in her first round heat and third in her semifinal started the final as the slowest of the eight contestants.
After the break in the final Zsuzsa Szabó took the lead with Maryvonne Dupureur and Antje Gleichfeld in close order behind her. Coming off the second turn Dupureur took the lead. At the bell she accelerated further. Packer was sixth at 400 metres, tagging along at the back of the pack behind Dupureur. Along the backstretch, Dupureur opened a gap which she extended through the final turn, five girls hit the 600 mark virtually shoulder to shoulder, with Packer a step behind the wall. Laine Erik was the outside of the wall but had more speed through the turn, the only one in the field looking to have enough speed to try to make progress on the now five mere lead of Dupureur.
Suddenly halfway through the final turn, Packer launched into a sprint, running around the other competitors. She took the lead in the final straight her sprinting speed went past Dupureur in a completely different gear to take the gold medal in world record time. The first five runners all beat the old Olympic record time (set by Dupureur in the semifinals).
|1||Ann Packer||Great Britain||2:01.1 WR|
|3||Marise Chamberlain||New Zealand||2:02.8|
|5||Antje Gleichfeld||United Team of Germany||2:03.9|
|6||Laine Erik||Soviet Union||2:05.1|
|8||Anne Smith||Great Britain||2:05.8|
- Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games: Women's 800 metres. sports-reference.com
- Ann Packer. The Times