Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics – Women's 800 metres

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Women's 800 metres
at the Games of the XVIII Olympiad
Maryvonne Dupureur, Ann Packer, Marise Chamberlain 1964b.jpg
Maryvonne Dupureur, Ann Packer and Marise Chamberlain on the podium
Venue Olympic Stadium
Dates 18–10 October
Competitors 24 from 16 nations
Gold medal    Great Britain
Silver medal    France
Bronze medal    New Zealand
1960 1968
Athletics at the
1964 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
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
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
Pentathlon women
Decathlon 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.


First round[edit]

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[edit]

All three of the eventual medallists were in the first heat.

Place Athlete Nation Time
1 Maryvonne Dupureur France 2:04.5
2 Marise Chamberlain New Zealand 2:06.8
3 Zsuzsa Szabó Hungary 2:07.7
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
7 Jette Andersen Denmark 2:15.2
8 Abby Hoffman Canada 2:17.4

First round, heat 2[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
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
4 Gerda Kraan Netherlands 2:09.8
5 Maeve Kyle Ireland 2:11.3
6 Sandra Knott United States 2:12.2
7 Aldaanish Ramazan Mongolia 2:21.1
Dixie Willis Australia Did not start

First round, heat 3[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
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
4 Gizela Farkaš Yugoslavia 2:08.7
5 Jannie van Eyck-Vos Netherlands 2:09.1
6 Olga Kazi Hungary 2:12.1
7 Kisaki Masako Japan 2:18.6
8 Han Myung Hee South Korea 2:22.7


The top four runners in each semifinal advanced to the final.

Semifinal 1[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
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
8 Olga Kazi Hungary 2:10.2

Semifinal 2[edit]

Place Athlete Nation Time
1 Marise Chamberlain New Zealand 2:04.6
2 Zsuzsa Szabó Hungary 2:05.1
3 Ann Packer Great Britain 2:06.0
4 Gerda Kraan Netherlands 2:06.2
5 Nita Worner United Team of Germany 2:07.1
6 Zoya Skobtsova Soviet Union 2:07.4
7 Gizela Farkaš Yugoslavia 2:09.9
8 Maeve Kyle Ireland 2:12.9


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.[1]

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.

Final. Left-right: Anne Smith, Laine Erik, Marise Chamberlain, Ann Packer, Antje Gleichfeld, Gerda Kraan, Maryvonne Dupureur, Zsuzsa Szabó

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.[2] The first five runners all beat the old Olympic record time (set by Dupureur in the semifinals).[1]

Place Athlete Nation Time
1 Ann Packer Great Britain 2:01.1 WR
2 Maryvonne Dupureur France 2:01.9
3 Marise Chamberlain New Zealand 2:02.8
4 Zsuzsa Szabó Hungary 2:03.5
5 Antje Gleichfeld United Team of Germany 2:03.9
6 Laine Erik Soviet Union 2:05.1
7 Gerda Kraan Netherlands 2:05.8
8 Anne Smith Great Britain 2:05.8