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
1st, gold medalist(s) Ann Packer  Great Britain
2nd, silver medalist(s) Maryvonne Dupureur  France
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Marise Chamberlain  New Zealand
← 1960
1968 →

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.[1]

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 Anita Wörner  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 Sandy 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 Masako Kisaki  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 Anita Wörner  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 second 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 metre 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 taking her past Dupureur in a completely different gear to take the gold medal in world record time.[2] The first five runners beat the 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


  1. ^ a b c "Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games: Women's 800 metres". Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  2. ^ Ann Packer. The Times