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Athletics at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Women's 1,500 metres

Athletics at the 1988 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Seoul Sports Complex, Seoul
Date Started: September 29, 1988
Date Finished: October 1, 1988

Gold: ROU Paula Ivan
Silver: URS Laimutė Baikauskaitė
Bronze: URS Tetiana Samolenko-Dorovskykh


The favorites were Soviet [Tatyana Samolenko], 1987 World Champion and America's [Mary Decker-Slaney], 1983 World Champion. They qualified easily for the final, as did Romania's [Paula Ivan]. In the final, Ivan took the lead at the gun, and was never headed. She had an 8-metre lead at 800, dropping Decker-Slaney on the second lap, and she continued to increase her lead, winning by over 40 metres. Her time 3:53.96 was the second fastest ever run, but her winning margin of over six seconds has not been surpassed in any Olympic track race for women.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Paula Ivan 25 Romania ROU Gold OR
2 Laimutė Baikauskaitė 32 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Tetiana Samolenko-Dorovskykh 27 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Christina Boxer-Cahill 31 Great Britain GBR
5 Lynn Williams 28 Canada CAN
6 Andrea Hahmann 22 East Germany GDR
7 Shireen Bailey 28 Great Britain GBR
8 Mary Decker-Slaney 30 United States USA
9 Doina Beşliu-Melinte 31 Romania ROU
10 Fatima Aouam 28 Morocco MAR
11 Kim Gallagher 24 United States USA
12 Debbie Scott-Bowker 29 Canada CAN
5 h1 r1/2 Elly van Hulst 29 Netherlands NED
6 h1 r1/2 Kirsty Wade 26 Great Britain GBR
7 h1 r1/2 Lyubov Gurina 31 Soviet Union URS
8 h1 r1/2 Angela Chalmers 25 Canada CAN
9 h1 r1/2 Vera Michallek 29 West Germany FRG
9 h2 r1/2 Hassiba Boulmerka 20 Algeria ALG
10 h1 r1/2 Cornelia Bürki 34 Switzerland SUI
10 h2 r1/2 Susan Sirma 22 Kenya KEN
11 h1 r1/2 Khin Khin Htwe 25 Myanmar MYA
11 h2 r1/2 Regina Jacobs 25 United States USA
12 h1 r1/2 No Hye-Sun 19 South Korea KOR
12 h2 r1/2 Letitia Vriesde 23 Suriname SUR
13 h1 r1/2 Daphrose Nyiramutuzo 16 Rwanda RWA
13 h2 r1/2 Laverne Bryan 23 Antigua and Barbuda ANT
14 h1 r1/2 Poloni Avek 22 Papua New Guinea PNG
14 h2 r1/2 Rachel Thompson 24 Sierra Leone SLE