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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.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

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 Beșliu-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