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Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres

Athletics at the 1964 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

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Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue(s): National Stadium, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Date Started: October 18, 1964
Date Finished: October 20, 1964

Gold: GBR Ann Packer
Silver: FRA Maryvonne Dupureur
Bronze: NZL Marise Chamberlain

Summary

In 1963 North Korean Dan Shin-Geum had become the first woman to run under two minutes, posting 1:59.1 at the Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO) in Djakarta, Indonesia. These were quite controversial international games, which were organized by Indonesian President Sukarno who proposed the GANEFO in early 1963 to promote the development of sports in new emerging nations so as to cement friendly relations among them. The problem was that China, DPR Korea (North), and North Vietnam were present, none of which were recognized by several of the IFs organizing sports at GANEFO, notably the IAAF (track & field athletics) and FINA (swimming). Indonesian athletes also competed, quite naturally, since they hosted the Games. In response the IOC banned the athletes from Indonesia and DPR Korea who had competed at GANEFO from participating at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (China and North Vietnam could not compete at Tokyo as they did not have recognized NOCs.) Indonesia and DPR Korea responded by demanding that their athletes be reinstated or their entire teams would boycott the Tokyo Olympics. The athletes were not reinstated, and the two nations did not compete at Tokyo, which kept out Dan Shin-Geum.

Without Dan the race was wide open. Dixie Willis (AUS) had won the 1962 Commonwealth Games and was the world record holder with 2:01.2 (Dan's marks were not recognized by the IAAF), but she did not compete because of an injury. France's Maryvonne Dupureur had the fastest time in round one and the semis, with an Olympic record of 2:04.1 in her semi-final. She led the final from the start, and had a five-metre lead at the top of the homestretch. But she was then run down by Britain's Ann Packer, who had placed second in the 400 metres, and had superior speed. Packer pulled away to win fairly easily in a world record 2:01.1. Packer almost did not compete. She had been so upset by her 400 silver medal that she wanted to withdraw and go shopping, but her fiancé, British 400 metre runner Robbie Brightwell, convinced her to compete.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Ann Packer 22 Great Britain GBR Gold WR
2 Maryvonne Dupureur 27 France FRA Silver
3 Marise Chamberlain 28 New Zealand NZL Bronze
4 Zsuzsa Szabó 24 Hungary HUN
5 Antje Gleichfeld 26 Germany GER
6 Laine Erik 22 Soviet Union URS
7 Gerda Kraan 31 Netherlands NED
8 Anne Smith 23 Great Britain GBR
5 h1 r2/3 Vera Mukhanova 27 Soviet Union URS
5 h2 r2/3 Anita Wörner 22 Germany GER
6 h1 r2/3 Jannie van Eyck-Vos 28 Netherlands NED
6 h2 r2/3 Zoya Skobtsova 30 Soviet Union URS
7 h1 r2/3 Mary Hodson 17 Great Britain GBR
7 h2 r2/3 Gizela Farkaš 21 Yugoslavia YUG
8 h1 r2/3 Olga Kazi 23 Hungary HUN
8 h2 r2/3 Maeve Kyle 36 Ireland IRL
6 h1 r1/3 Waltraud Kaufmann 22 Germany GER
6 h2 r1/3 Sandy Knott 27 United States USA
7 h1 r1/3 Jette Andersen 19 Denmark DEN
7 h2 r1/3 Ramazangiin Aldaa-nysh 18 Mongolia MGL
7 h3 r1/3 Masako Kisaki 20 Japan JPN
8 h1 r1/3 Abby Hoffman 17 Canada CAN
8 h3 r1/3 Han Myeong-Hui 18 South Korea KOR