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Athletics at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 31, 1972
Date Finished: September 3, 1972

Gold: FRG Hildegard Falck
Silver: URS Nijolė Sabaitė
Bronze: GDR Gunhild Hoffmeister

Summary

In 1971 at the West German Championships, Hildegard Falck ran 1:58.5 to break the world record and become the first woman to officially better two minutes. (North Korea’s Dan Shin-Geum had run under two minutes twice in 1963-64, but since North Korea was not a member of the IAAF, the records were never ratified.) The 1971 European Champion had been Vera Nikolić, who had inexplicably stepped off the track in her 1968 Olympic semi-final. In round one, Bulgaria’s Svetla Zlateva ran 1:58.93 to break the Olympic record. In the final, Zlateva led for the first 600 metres, when Falck saw a small opening and went thru as the runners entered the turn. She moved into third place and overtook Zlateva and Nikolić on the curve. But Falck barely hung on, as Soviet Lithuanian Nijolė Sabaitė had the fastest finish and was less a metre down at the line.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Hildegard Falck 23 West Germany FRG Gold OR
2 Nijolė Sabaitė 22 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Gunhild Hoffmeister 28 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Svetla Zlateva 20 Bulgaria BUL
5 Vera Nikolić 23 Yugoslavia YUG
6 Ileana Silai 30 Romania ROU
7 Rosemary Stirling 24 Great Britain GBR
8 Abby Hoffman 25 Canada CAN
5 h1 r2/3 Sylvia Schenk 20 West Germany FRG
5 h2 r2/3 Madeline Manning-Jackson 24 United States USA
6 h1 r2/3 Annelise Damm Olesen 30 Denmark DEN
6 h2 r2/3 Maria Sykora 25 Austria AUT
7 h1 r2/3 Cheryl Peasley 21 Australia AUS
7 h2 r2/3 Gisela Ellenberger 22 West Germany FRG
8 h2 r2/3 Nina Morhunova 21 Soviet Union URS
3 h4 r1/3 Magdolna Kulcsár 24 Hungary HUN
4 h1 r1/3 Mary Tracey-Purcell 23 Ireland IRL
4 h2 r1/3 Elżbieta Skowrońska-Katolik 22 Poland POL
4 h4 r1/3 Pat Lowe-Cropper 28 Great Britain GBR
4 h5 r1/3 Sue Haden 26 New Zealand NZL
5 h1 r1/3 Martine Duvivier 19 France FRA
5 h2 r1/3 Jenny Orr 19 Australia AUS
5 h3 r1/3 Maritta Politz 22 East Germany GDR
5 h4 r1/3 Vasilena Amzina 30 Bulgaria BUL
5 h5 r1/3 Chereno Maiyo 18 Kenya KEN
6 h1 r1/3 Donata Govoni 28 Italy ITA
6 h2 r1/3 Cheryl Toussaint 19 United States USA
6 h3 r1/3 Margaret Coomber 22 Great Britain GBR
6 h4 r1/3 Marleen Verheuen 17 Belgium BEL
6 h5 r1/3 Wendy Koenig-Knudson 17 United States USA
7 h1 r1/3 Elisabeth Neuenschwander 26 Switzerland SUI
7 h2 r1/3 Claire Walsh 30 Ireland IRL
7 h3 r1/3 Emesia Chizunga 18 Malawi MAW
7 h4 r1/3 Raissa Ruus 29 Soviet Union URS
7 h5 r1/3 Malika Hadky Morocco MAR
8 h2 r1/3 Heather Gooding 14 Barbados BAR
8 h4 r1/3 Lee Chiu-Hsia 21 Chinese Taipei TPE
AC h3 r1/3 Malak El-Nasser 18 Syria SYR