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Athletics at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's 800 metres

Athletics at the 1980 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Grand Arena, Central Lenin Stadium Area, Moskva
Date Started: July 24, 1980
Date Finished: July 26, 1980

Gold: GBR Steve Ovett
Silver: GBR Seb Coe
Bronze: URS Nikolay Kirov


The Americans boycotted Moskva and took over 60 nations with them but the British athletes defied their government's wishes and competed at the 1980 Olympics. This allowed the two best 800 metre runners in the world to compete – [Steve Ovett] and [Sebastian Coe]. They had raced at the distance only once before, at the 1978 European Championships, with Ovett winning silver and Coe bronze, both beaten by the GDR's Olaf Beyer. The only top runner missing in Moskva was American Don Paige, who would have challenged in both the 800 and 1,500. Coe was the world record holder, having recorded 1:42.4 in Oslo at the 1979 Bislett Games. He had also broken the 1,500 and mile world record in 1979, but in 1980, Ovett bettered both those marks prior to the Olympics. Coe was a slight favorite with Ovett considered better over the longer distance. The pace was very slow in the final, led by Brazil's [Agberto Guimarães] on the first lap. Soviet [Nikolay Kirov] then took the lead thru 600 metres when Ovett moved up on the final curve. He had the lead at the start of the stretch, with Coe far back and unable to make up enough ground, although he closed quickly to get the silver medal.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Steve Ovett 24 Great Britain GBR Gold
2 Seb Coe 23 Great Britain GBR Silver
3 Nikolay Kirov 22 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Agberto Guimarães 22 Brazil BRA
5 Andreas Busse 21 East Germany GDR
6 Detlef Wagenknecht 21 East Germany GDR
7 José Marajo 25 France FRA
8 Dave Warren 24 Great Britain GBR
3 h3 r2/3 Binko Kolev 21 Bulgaria BUL
4 h1 r2/3 Owen Hamilton 21 Jamaica JAM
4 h2 r2/3 Olaf Beyer 22 East Germany GDR
4 h3 r2/3 William Wuycke 22 Venezuela VEN
5 h1 r2/3 Milovan Savić 27 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h2 r2/3 Antonio Páez 23 Spain ESP
5 h3 r2/3 Anatoliy Reshetniak 25 Soviet Union URS
6 h1 r2/3 Roger Milhau 25 France FRA
6 h2 r2/3 Carlo Grippo 25 Italy ITA
6 h3 r2/3 Philippe Dupont 22 France FRA
7 h1 r2/3 Colomán Trabado 22 Spain ESP
7 h2 r2/3 András Paróczai 24 Hungary HUN
7 h3 r2/3 Musa Luliga 25 Tanzania TAN
8 h1 r2/3 Mehdi Aidet 26 Algeria ALG
8 h2 r2/3 Sri Ram Singh 30 India IND
8 h3 r2/3 Derradji Harek 20 Algeria ALG
4 h5 r1/3 Salem El-Margini Libya LBA
4 h6 r1/3 Nigusse Bekele 20 Ethiopia ETH
5 h1 r1/3 Abebe Zerihun 25 Ethiopia ETH
5 h4 r1/3 Archfell Musango 21 Zambia ZAM
5 h5 r1/3 Atre Bezabeh 26 Ethiopia ETH
5 h6 r1/3 Sekou Camara Guinea GUI
6 h1 r1/3 Langa Mudongo 25 Botswana BOT
6 h2 r1/3 Jón Diðriksson 25 Iceland ISL
6 h3 r1/3 Tisbite Rakotoarisoa 28 Madagascar MAD
6 h4 r1/3 Mohamed Makhlouf 22 Syria SYR
6 h5 r1/3 Adam Assimi Benin BEN
6 h6 r1/3 Vongdeuane Phongsavanh 23 Laos LAO
7 h1 r1/3 Kenneth Hlasa 25 Lesotho LES
7 h2 r1/3 George Branche 27 Sierra Leone SLE
7 h3 r1/3 Khaled Hussain 21 Kuwait KUW
7 h4 r1/3 Jimmy Massallay 27 Sierra Leone SLE
7 h6 r1/3 Sahr Kendor 17 Sierra Leone SLE