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Athletics at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): University Olympic Stadium, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 17, 1968
Date Finished: October 19, 1968

Gold: USA Madeline Manning-Jackson
Silver: ROU Ileana Silai
Bronze: NED Mia Gommers

Summary

The favorite in 1968 was Vera Nikolić of Yugoslavia, who was the world record holder (2:00.5) and had won the 1966 European Championship. She won the first heat in round one. In the semi-final, she led for 300 metres and then oddly stepped off the track, walking back to the start line where she sat down and took off her shoes. There were many explanations given, but the actual reasons are not known. Some said she was overcome by psychological pressure, driven too hard by her coach, while others said the rarified air of México had her struggling for oxygen. But with Nikolić out, the way was open for America's Madeline Manning, who had won the 1967 AAU in 2:03.6. But the favorite's in the final probably fell to Dutchwoman Mia Gommers. In the final Manning went to the lead at the bell and nobody could pass her, as she won by almost 15 metres in an Olympic record 2:00.9. Romania's Ileana Silai edged Gommers for the silver.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Madeline Manning-Jackson 20 United States USA Gold OR
2 Ileana Silai 26 Romania ROU Silver
3 Mia Gommers 29 Netherlands NED Bronze
4 Sheila Taylor-Carey 22 Great Britain GBR
5 Doris Brown 26 United States USA
6 Pat Lowe-Cropper 25 Great Britain GBR
7 Abby Hoffman 21 Canada CAN
8 Maryvonne Dupureur 31 France FRA
5 h1 r2/3 Karin Burneleit 25 East Germany GDR
5 h2 r2/3 Laine Erik 26 Soviet Union URS
6 h1 r2/3 Anna Zimina 29 Soviet Union URS
6 h2 r2/3 Sylvia Potts 25 New Zealand NZL
7 h1 r2/3 Ilja Keizer-Laman 24 Netherlands NED
7 h2 r2/3 Paola Pigni 22 Italy ITA
8 h2 r2/3 Jaroslava Jehličková 26 Czechoslovakia TCH
AC h1 r2/3 Vera Nikolić 20 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h1 r1/3 Francie Kraker 21 United States USA
5 h2 r1/3 Barbara Wieck 17 East Germany GDR
5 h3 r1/3 Eeva Haimi 22 Finland FIN
5 h4 r1/3 Annelise Damm Olesen 26 Denmark DEN
6 h1 r1/3 Elizabeth Chesire 18 Kenya KEN
6 h2 r1/3 Channa Shezifi 24 Israel ISR
6 h3 r1/3 Tilly van der Made-van der Zwaard 30 Netherlands NED
6 h4 r1/3 Joan Page-Allison 21 Great Britain GBR