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Athletics at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 9, 1984
Date Finished: August 11, 1984

Gold: GBR Seb Coe
Silver: GBR Steve Cram
Bronze: ESP José Manuel Abascal

Summary

By 1984 the British pair of Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe had been joined by a third outstanding Briton, Steve Cram. Though he did not quite have the record times of that pair, he was quite good at winning major titles. In 1982 he was the Commonwealth and European Champion at 1,500 and in 1983, he won the inaugural World Championship in the 1,500 metres. The three British favorites were joined in Los Angeles by the top US miler since Jim Ryun, Steve Scott. Scott finished second to Cram at the World Athletics Championship, but led the 1983 world mile list with 3:49.21, set at the ISTAF Meet in Berlin on 17 August. The only significant miler who would not be in Los Angeles was South African Johan Fourie, third on the world-list for the year, but who could not compete because South Africa was still banned from international sports.

Though the Soviet Union led an Eastern European boycott of Los Angeles, in retribution for the 1980 American-led boycott, that hardly affected the 1,500 because the big British three and Scott were all available. All four made it thru the two rounds and presented for the final. Coe had earlier won the 800 metre gold medal, while Ovett was felt to be struggling with asthma problems. Scott and Cram qualified comfortably. After a first lap in 58.85, Scott moved to the front on the backstretch, trying to push the pace and take kick out of the Britons. He led thru 800 in 1:57.06, but then was passed by Spain's José Manuel Abascal, who led at the bell. Coe and Cram were on his shoulder. Coe took control on the backstretch and powered ahead to victory. He ran the last 200 in a stunning 26.1, holding off Cram (silver) and Abascal (bronze). His time of 3:32.53 finally bettered Kip Keino's Olympic record from 1968. Ovett could not finish the race because of his respiratory problems.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Seb Coe 27 Great Britain GBR Gold OR
2 Steve Cram 23 Great Britain GBR Silver
3 José Manuel Abascal 26 Spain ESP Bronze
4 Joseph Chesire 26 Kenya KEN
5 Jim Spivey 24 United States USA
6 Peter Wirz 24 Switzerland SUI
7 Andrés Vera 23 Spain ESP
8 Omer Khalifa 27 Sudan SUD
9 Tony Rogers 27 New Zealand NZL
10 Steve Scott 28 United States USA
11 Riccardo Materazzi 21 Italy ITA
AC Steve Ovett 28 Great Britain GBR
6 h2 r2/3 Uwe Becker 28 West Germany FRG
7 h2 r2/3 Stefano Mei 21 Italy ITA
8 h1 r2/3 Mike Hillardt 23 Australia AUS
8 h2 r2/3 Peter O'Donoghue 22 New Zealand NZL
9 h1 r2/3 Pascal Thiébaut 25 France FRA
9 h2 r2/3 Marcus O'Sullivan 22 Ireland IRL
10 h1 r2/3 James Igohe Tanzania TAN
10 h2 r2/3 Pat Scammell 23 Australia AUS
11 h2 r2/3 Tapfumaneyi Jonga 24 Zimbabwe ZIM
AC h1 r2/3 Agberto Guimarães 26 Brazil BRA
AC h1 r2/3 Abdi Bile 19 Somalia SOM
1 h4 r1/3 Joaquim Cruz 21 Brazil BRA
4 h2 r1/3 Paul Donovan 21 Ireland IRL
4 h3 r1/3 Josephat Muraya 26 Kenya KEN
4 h4 r1/3 Frank O'Mara 24 Ireland IRL
5 h1 r1/3 José Luis González 26 Spain ESP
5 h2 r1/3 Jama Mohamed Aden 21 Somalia SOM
5 h3 r1/3 Gawain Guy 22 Jamaica JAM
5 h4 r1/3 Alex Gonzalez 33 France FRA
5 h6 r1/3 Kipkoech Cheruiyot 19 Kenya KEN
6 h1 r1/3 Faouzi Lahbi 24 Morocco MAR
6 h2 r1/3 Mohamed Alouini 26 Tunisia TUN
6 h3 r1/3 Claudio Patrignani 25 Italy ITA
6 h4 r1/3 Mark Handelsman 23 Israel ISR
6 h6 r1/3 Zakaria Namonge Tanzania TAN
7 h1 r1/3 Paul Ceesay 25 Gambia GAM
7 h2 r1/3 Dale Jones 20 Antigua and Barbuda ANT
7 h3 r1/3 Mehdi Aidet 30 Algeria ALG
7 h4 r1/3 Abderrahmane Morceli 27 Algeria ALG
7 h6 r1/3 Batulamai Rajakumar 19 Malaysia MAS
8 h1 r1/3 Amor Masoud Al-Sharji 20 Oman OMA
8 h2 r1/3 Kgomotso Balotthanyi 28 Botswana BOT
8 h3 r1/3 Mouteb Al-Faouri 24 Jordan JOR
8 h4 r1/3 Archfell Musango 25 Zambia ZAM
8 h5 r1/3 Isaac Ganunga 24 Malawi MAW
8 h6 r1/3 Jean-Marie Rudasingwa Rwanda RWA
9 h4 r1/3 Adamou Allassane 23 Niger NIG
9 h5 r1/3 Hugo Allan García 21 Guatemala GUA
9 h6 r1/3 Philip Sinon 20 Seychelles SEY
10 h4 r1/3 Tito Rodrigues 18 Suriname SUR
10 h5 r1/3 Kim Bok-Joo 23 South Korea KOR
10 h6 r1/3 Diosdado Lozano 20 Equatorial Guinea GEQ
AC h1 r1/3 Antti Loikkanen 29 Finland FIN
AC h2 r1/3 Oslen Barr 23 Guyana GUY
AC h3 r1/3 Pierre Délèze 25 Switzerland SUI
AC h5 r1/3 Ibrahim Aziz United Arab Emirates UAE
AC h6 r1/3 Omar Ortega 23 Argentina ARG