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Athletics Stats: Who are the Olympic medalists in the men’s 800 meters?

The shortest middle-distance running event that is regularly contested is 800 meters. This event occurs over two laps of a 400-meter outdoor track. Its origins can be traced back to the English racing history of a half-mile (880 yards), which resembles the 800-meter distance by 4.67 meters. The participants in the 800-meter race must be able to strategically combine sprinting speed, anaerobic conditioning, and aerobic endurance. As a result, an 800-meter athlete’s training routine frequently incorporates elements of both. The men’s 800m has been a part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Olympics, while the women’s 800m was included in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

In the history of the Olympic Games, only four athletes have achieved the feat of securing back-to-back victories in the men’s 800m event. These include Douglas Lowe (1924 and 1928), Mal Whitfield (1948 and 1952), Peter Snell (1960 and 1964), and David Rudisha (2012 and 2016). Among the women, only Caster Semenya has managed to earn the top spot twice, in 2012 and 2016. Notably, Sebastian Coe, who is currently serving as the President of World Athletics, has also left his mark on the track by securing two silver medals in the men’s 800 meters race.

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Who are the record-holders in the 800 meters race at the Olympics?

The Olympic milestones in the 800-meter event are held by David Rudisha in the men’s 800 meters and Nadiya Olizarenko in the women’s 800 meters. Rudisha established an all-time best of 1:40.91 minutes in 2012, whereas Olizarenko ran a then-world record time of 1:53.43 minutes in 1980. Olizarenko’s achievement is tied as the longest-standing women’s Olympic record. Olizarenko’s timing still holds its position as the second fastest in history for the women’s 800-meter event, only surpassed by Jarmila Kratochvílová’s world record of 1:53.28. 

Greatest 800 meters race of all time at the stage of the Olympics

The London Olympics 2012 saw the greatest race of all time in the history of the Olympics. Each of the athletes who competed in the men’s 800 meters final registered at least one record. The reigning world champion David Rudisha claimed the men’s 800 meters with a world record timing of 1:40.91, which still stands. Nijel Amos of Botswana who was the junior world champion then clocked a timing of 1:41.73 and achieved a new junior world record and Botswana National record. This was also Botswana’s first-ever Olympic medal. All the other athletes who competed set their personal bests except for Abubaker Kaki who recorded a season-best performance of 1:43.32. As a result, this race is known as one of the best races in the history of the games.

Who are the Olympic medalists in the men’s 800 meters?

We will now take a look at the Olympic medalists in the men’s 800 meters at the Summer Games.

GamesGoldSilverBronze
1896 AthensEdwin Flack (Australia)Nándor Dáni (Hungary)Dimitrios Golemis (Greece)
1900 ParisAlfred Tysoe (Great Britain)John Cregan (United States)David Hall (United States)
1904 St. LouisJim Lightbody (United States)Howard Valentine (United States)Emil Breitkreutz (United States)
1908 LondonMel Sheppard (United States)Emilio Lunghi (Italy)Hanns Braun (Germany)
1912 StockholmTed Meredith (United States)Mel Sheppard (United States)Ira Davenport (United States)
1920 AntwerpAlbert Hill (Great Britain)Earl Eby (United States)Bevil Rudd (South Africa)
1924 ParisDouglas Lowe (Great Britain)Paul Martin (Switzerland)Schuyler Enck (United States)
1928 AmsterdamDouglas Lowe (Great Britain)Erik Byléhn (Sweden)Hermann Engelhard (Germany)
1932 Los AngelesTommy Hampson (Great Britain)Alex Wilson (Canada)Phil Edwards (Canada)
1936 BerlinJohn Woodruff (United States)Mario Lanzi (Italy)Phil Edwards (Canada)
1948 LondonMal Whitfield (United States)Arthur Wint (Jamaica)Marcel Hansenne (France)
1952 HelsinkiMal Whitfield (United States)Arthur Wint (Jamaica)Heinz Ulzheimer (Germany)
1956 MelbourneTom Courtney (United States)Derek Johnson (Great Britain)Audun Boysen (Norway)
1960 RomePeter Snell (New Zealand)Roger Moens (Belgium)George Kerr (British West Indies)
1964 TokyoPeter Snell (New Zealand)Bill Crothers (Canada)Wilson Kiprugut (Kenya)
1968 Mexico CityRalph Doubell (Australia)Wilson Kiprugut (Kenya)Tom Farrell (United States)
1972 MunichDave Wottle (United States)Yevhen Arzhanov (Soviet Union)Mike Boit (Kenya)
1976 MontrealAlberto Juantorena (Cuba)Ivo Van Damme (Belgium)Rick Wohlhuter (United States)
1980 MoscowSteve Ovett (Great Britain)Sebastian Coe (Great Britain)Nikolay Kirov (Soviet Union)
1984 Los AngelesJoaquim Cruz (Brazil)Sebastian Coe (Great Britain)Earl Jones (United States)
1988 SeoulPaul Ereng (Kenya)Joaquim Cruz (Brazil)Saïd Aouita (Morocco)
1992 BarcelonaWilliam Tanui (Kenya)Nixon Kiprotich (Kenya)Johnny Gray (United States)
1996 AtlantaVebjørn Rodal (Norway)Hezekiél Sepeng (South Africa)Frederick Onyancha (Kenya)
2000 SydneyNils Schumann (Germany)Wilson Kipketer (Denmark)Djabir Saïd-Guerni (Algeria)
2004 AthensYuriy Borzakovskiy (Russia)Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (South Africa)Wilson Kipketer (Denmark)
2008 BeijingWilfred Bungei (Kenya)Ismail Ahmed Ismail (Sudan)Alfred Kirwa Yego (Kenya)
2012 LondonDavid Rudisha (Kenya)Nijel Amos (Botswana)Timothy Kitum (Kenya)
2016 Rio de JaneiroDavid Rudisha (Kenya)Taoufik Makhloufi (Algeria)Clayton Murphy (United States)
2020 TokyoEmmanuel Korir (Kenya)Ferguson Rotich (Kenya)Patryk Dobek (Poland)

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