- 800 metres
800 m is a common
track runningevent. It is the shortest common middle distance track event. The 800 meters is run over two laps of the track (400 meter track) and has always been an Olympic event. During indoor track season the event is usually run on a 200 meter track, therefore requiring four laps. It was included in the first women's track programme in 1928, but suspended until 1960 because of shock at the exhaustion it caused the competitors. By contrast, without today's training regimes, male competitors of the day were expected to run themselves to exhaustion in competition.Fact|date=August 2008
The event requires both sprinting speed and physical endurance to last two laps, therefore combining challenging aspects of both sprinting and middle distance into a single race.
In modern 800 m races, runners start from staggered positions on the track and must remain in their respective lanes until the end of the first curve (about 115m). After the first curve, competitors may break for the inside, as long as they do not deliberately obstruct or push another competitor. Running at full speed for the entire distance is impossible, and tactics are a factor in reaching the finish line first. Running in the lead is often considered a disadvantage, as trailing runners can choose when to
acceleratepast the leader, and wind resistancehas a greater effect on those in the front of the pack. Runners in lane one but not leading the race must also be careful to avoid becoming boxed in by other runners, as this eliminates the crucial ability to completely control one's own pace. Running in last place is also not recommended, as there may be too much ground to make up when the final sprint for the finish starts.
However, it can be sensible for an athlete to remain at the back of the field if the pace at the front is far too fast, provided that the athlete in question does not leave too much ground to make up. This was illustrated by
Kelly Holmesat the 2004 Summer Olympics, where Holmes stayed at the rear of the field until the last 300 m before making a decisive move. A more unorthodox tactical move came from John Woodruffwho, in the 1936 Summer Olympics, was boxed in by runners early in the race. He slowed almost to a complete stop, let the runners pass, and then took the third lane to come from behind and take the victory.
In top class races, the lane start usually ensures a brisk pace for the first 200 m. Occasionally, no one will be happy to lead, and the field will bunch for the remainder of the first lap. This will lead to a slow first 400 m, leaving the runners extra energy for a hard sprint on the second lap, favouring the sprint type 800m runner. Alternatively, one runner will ensure a fast first lap and the winner will be the athlete who slows least on the second lap. This tactic favours the endurance or distance type 800m runner. Some 800m runners are able to run world-class times with even laps, or even negative splits (which means the second lap is quicker than the first).
800 m runners are often fast enough to run in the
4x400 m relaybut only Alberto Juantorenaand Jarmila Kratochvilovahave won major international titles at 400 m and 800 m. Competing successfully at 800 m and 1500 m is more common.
World Record for men:
Wilson Kipketer1:41.11 Cologne24 August 1997
World Record for women:
Jarmila Kratochvílová1:53.28 Munich26 July 1983
World Junior Record (19 and under) for men:
Abubaker Kaki Khamis1:42.69 Oslo 6 June 2008
World Junior Record (19 and under) for women:
Pamela Jelimo1:54.01 Zürich29 August 2008
*Athletes from 10 different countries have won the men's 800 m title.
Top ten all-time athletes on the men's 800 m
Updated October 3, 2008
Women's Seasons Best (Outdoor)
World record progression 800 metres
* [http://www.apulanta.fi/matti/yu/ Statistics]
* [http://www.iaaf.org/ International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)] – official site
* [http://www.athletix.org/statistics/stats.html World Record progression in athletics]
* [http://www.world-masters-athletics.org/ World Masters Athletics] - official site
* [http://www.mastersathletics.net Masters T&F World Rankings]
* [http://www.alltime-athletics.com Athletics all-time performances]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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