Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Women's 800 metres
|Women's 800 metres
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
|Venue||Athens Olympic Stadium|
|Competitors||43 from 36 nations|
|Athletics at the
2004 Summer Olympics
|100 m hurdles||women|
|110 m hurdles||men|
|400 m hurdles||men||women|
|4×100 m relay||men||women|
|4×400 m relay||men||women|
|20 km walk||men||women|
|50 km walk||men|
The first round had split a full roster of runners into six heats with the first three gaining a direct qualification and then the next six fastest across all heats advancing to the semifinals. The top two runners in each of the three semifinal heats moved on directly to the final, and they were immediately joined by the next two fastest from any of the semifinals.
The final started with a fast first 200 metres, but Kelly Holmes and Maria de Lurdes Mutola were last at this stage. As the pace slowed, Mutola and Holmes moved forward through the field. The time at 400 metres was 56.37 seconds, with American Jearl Miles Clark leading. They entered the finishing straight with Mutola taking the lead, before Holmes took the lead and held off Mutola to take gold. Hasna Benhassi and Jolanda Čeplak finished strongly, both with a time of 1:56.43s, Benhassi winning silver in a photo finish. Mutola was forced into fourth place. Holmes' face lit up as she crossed the line, but then, unsure of the result, she anxiously waited for the times to come up.
Holmes had only decided to enter the 800 metres at the last moment, and went on to also win gold in her preferred event, the 1500 m. This feat made her one of the UK's most successful ever athletes ; the Olympic 800–1500 metres double was never accomplished by any of their great 1980s middle distance trio, Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett or Steve Cram.
Prior to the competition[update], the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Jarmila Kratochvílová (TCH)||1:53.28||Munich, West Germany||26 July 1983|
|Olympic record||Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS)||1:53.43||Moscow, Soviet Union||27 July 1980|
No new records were set during the competition.
The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the women's 800 metres, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 2:00.00 or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 2:01.30 or faster could be entered.
|Friday, 20 August 2004||22:00||Round 1|
|Saturday, 21 August 2004||20:40||Semifinals|
|Monday, 23 August 2004||20:55||Final|
Qualification rule: The first three finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next six fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the semifinals.
|2||7||Maria de Lurdes Mutola||Mozambique||2:01.50||Q|
|1||8||Maria Cioncan||Romania||1:59.64||Q, PB|
|7||4||Adama Njie||The Gambia||2:10.02|
|1||3||Kelly Holmes||Great Britain||2:00.81||Q|
|2||1||Jearl Miles Clark||United States||2:01.33||Q|
|2||2||Amina Aït Hammou||Morocco||2:03.70||Q|
|3||7||Joanne Fenn||Great Britain||2:03.72||Q|
|7||5||Emilia Mikue Ondo||Equatorial Guinea||2:22.88|
|3||6||Nicole Teter||United States||2:01.16||Q|
|4||4||Luciana de Paula Mendes||Brazil||2:01.36||q|
|2||6||Seltana Aït Hammou||Morocco||2:03.95||Q|
|5||2||Hazel Clark||United States||2:05.67|
|6||4||Noelly Mankatu Bibiche||DR Congo||2:06.23|
Qualification rule: The top two finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next two fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the final.
|1||4||Kelly Holmes||Great Britain||1:57.98||Q, SB|
|3||5||Jearl Miles Clark||United States||1:58.71||q|
|4||3||Zulia Calatayud||Cuba||1:59.21||q, SB|
|7||1||Amina Aït Hammou||Morocco||2:00.66|
|1||6||Hasna Benhassi||Morocco||1:58.59||Q, SB|
|4||3||Nicole Teter||United States||1:59.50|
|1||5||Maria de Lurdes Mutola||Mozambique||1:59.30||Q|
|2||7||Maria Cioncan||Romania||1:59.44||Q, PB|
|5||8||Joanne Fenn||Great Britain||2:00.60|
|6||2||Seltana Aït Hammou||Morocco||2:00.64|
|7||1||Luciana de Paula Mendes||Brazil||2:02.00|
|3||Kelly Holmes||Great Britain||1:56.38||SB|
|4||5||Maria de Lurdes Mutola||Mozambique||1:56.51||SB|
|6||2||Jearl Miles Clark||United States||1:57.27||SB|
- "Holmes clinches brilliant gold". BBC Sport. 23 August 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Holmes takes gold in 800m". Theguardian.com. 23 August 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 800m Heats". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 800m Semifinals". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 800m Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.