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1976 Olympic Games Montreal - Men's 800 m

 

 

Host City: Montréal, Canada Format: Top four in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: July 23, 1976 Format: Top two in each heat and next four fastest advanced to the semi-finals.
Date Finished: July 25, 1976  
(Competitors: 42; Countries: 31; Finalists: 8)  
    Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Montréal, Québec
Overview by IAAF   1976_olympic_stadium.jpg 
The boycott by Black African nations of the Olympics, because of a New Zealand rugby tour of South Africa, denied many athletes the opportunity of striving for gold, not least Mike Boit, who ran the second fastest time of all-time (1:43.57) three weeks after the Games. Juantorena had run 1:44.9 in the run-up to the Games in his sixth race at 800m. World 880y record holder Wohlhuter was the fastest in the heats with 1:45.71, while Juantorena was the quickest in the semis, running 1:45.88 ahead of Van Damme’s 1:46.00. Wohlhuter took the other race in 1:46.72 after an untidy over-physical race. Singh, who had set an Asian record of 1:45.86 in the heats, led at halfway in the final in 50.85 after Wohlhuter went through 200m in 25.5 ahead of Juantorena (25.7). Singh faded as Juantorena led Wohlhuter past 600m in 1:17.0, and easily held off the American in the last 100m, exhibiting a strength previously unseen in the event. Van Damme overtook Wohlhuter with 25m to go. It was the first 800m world record in the Olympics since the Games were last held in North America – 1932 in Los Angeles.
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
The best 800 metre runner in 1976 was Kenya’s Mike Boit, bronze medalist from 1972. But the African boycott prevented him from competing, and deprived track fans of what would have been a great battle between him and Cuba’s Alberto Juantorena. The other top 800 runner since 1972 was Rick Wohlhuter (USA) who had set two world records over 880 yards. Belgium’s Ivo Van Damme trailed only Wohlhuter on the 1976 year list prior to Montréal. The final included the three favorites and also the 1974 European Champion, Yugoslavia’s Luciano Sušanj. Sri Ram Singh (IND) set the pace in the final, going thru halfway in 50.85. Juantorena took the lead on the backstretch, with Wohlhuter on his shoulder. But Juantorena could not be had, his strength pulling him to a world record 1:43.50. Wohlhuter faded slightly in the stretch and was passed by Van Damme for the silver medal. After the Olympics Boit raced all the finalists in Europe, except Juantorena, and lost only one race. In December 1976 the track world was saddened to hear of the death of Ivo Van Damme in a car accident. In August 1977, Alberto Juantorena bettered his own world record with 1:43.4 in Sofia, Bulgaria. For the only time in Olympic history the 800 was run with a 3-turn stagger, so the athletes did not compete against each other closely until they had run 500 metres, making for some very dull races.
 

Records

These are the standing world and Olympic records (in seconds) prior to the 1976 Summer Olympics.

World Record 1:43.7 Italy Marcello Fiasconaro Milan (ITA) June 27, 1973
Olympic Record 1:44.40 Australia Ralph Doubell Mexico City (MEX) October 15, 1968
 
        Results        

These are the official results of the Men's 800 metres event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. The competition was held on July 23, 1976, July 24, 1976, and on July 25, 1976.

From the gun Alberto Juantorena took an apparent lead against the field through the staggered start. Passing the break at 300 metres, the long striding Cuban was a couple of steps ahead of the noticeably smaller American Rick Wohlhuter. Sriram Singh came from more than 10 metres back at the break to sprint past Juantorena and the rest of the field, to take the lead just after the bell. Singh's lead was short lived as the field bunched then started to make their way around him. Wohlhuter stuck less than a mere step behind Juantorena all the way through the final turn as Ivo van Damme, Willi Wülbeck and future champion Steve Ovett jockeyed for position. Coming off the turn, Juantorena found more speed to pull away from Wohlhuter. As he struggled down the home stretch, Wohlhuter was passed by van Damme 20 metres before the finish.

Juantorena's 1:43.5 clearly broke Marcello Fiasconaro's hand timed world record of 1:43.7. When automatic times became a requirement the following year, the time time 1:43.50, accurate to the hundredth, became the world record. Despite the erratic pace, Singh's time in 7th place stood as the Asian record until it was broken by Lee Jin-il in 1994.

800 m Men     Final 25 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.43.50     Alberto Juantorena Cuba CUB 21 Nov 50 WR
2 1.43.86     Ivo Van Damme Belgium BEL 21 Feb 54 NR NUR
3 1.44.12     Rick Wohlhuter United States USA 23 Dec 48  
4 1.45.26     Willi Wülbeck West Germany FRG 18 Dec 54  
5 1.45.44     Steve Ovett Great Britain GBR 9 Oct 55  
6 1.45.75     Luciano Susanj Yugoslavia YUG 10 Nov 48  
7 1.45.77     Sri Ram Singh India IND 21 Jun 50 NR
8 1.48.39     Carlo Grippo Italy ITA 8 Jan 55  
800 m Men     Semifinal 1 24 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.45.88     Alberto Juantorena Cuba CUB 21 Nov 50  
2 1.46.00     Ivo Van Damme Belgium BEL 21 Feb 54  
3 1.46.14     Steve Ovett Great Britain GBR 9 Oct 55  
4 1.46.42     Sri Ram Singh India IND 21 Jun 50  
5 1.46.43     James Robinson United States USA 27 Aug 54  
6 1.47.06     Marian Gesicki Poland POL 19 May 53  
7 1.48.18     Thomas Wessinghage West Germany FRG 22 Feb 52  
  DNF     Horace Tuitt Trinidad and Tobago TTO 6 Jan 55  
800 m Men     Semifinal 2 24 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.46.72     Rick Wohlhuter United States USA 23 Dec 48  
2 1.46.95     Carlo Grippo Italy ITA 8 Jan 55  
3 1.47.03     Luciano Susanj Yugoslavia YUG 10 Nov 48  
4 1.47.18     Willi Wülbeck West Germany FRG 18 Dec 54  
5 1.47.22     Seymour Newman Jamaica JAM 17 May 53  
6 1.47.31     Leandro Civil Cuba CUB 31 Mar 48  
7 1.47.71     Viktor Anokhin Soviet Union URS 18 Jul 51  
8 1.48.28     Frank Clement Great Britain GBR 26 Apr 52  
800 m Men     Heat 1 23 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.45.71     Rick Wohlhuter United States USA 23 Dec 48  
2 1.45.86     Sri Ram Singh India IND 21 Jun 50  
3 1.45.88     Leandro Civil Cuba CUB 31 Mar 48  
4 1.46.36     Marian Gesicki Poland POL 19 May 53  
5 1.46.56     Thomas Wessinghage West Germany FRG 22 Feb 52  
6 1.46.81     Viktor Anokhin Soviet Union URS 18 Jul 51  
7 1.48.50     Mohamed Younis Pakistan PAK 4 Nov 48  
800 m Men     Heat 2 23 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.47.51     Frank Clement Great Britain GBR 26 Apr 52  
2 1.47.56     James Robinson United States USA 27 Aug 54  
3 1.47.63     John Walker New Zealand NZL 12 Jan 52  
4 1.48.38     Andreu Ballbe Spain ESP 31 Oct 52  
5 1.49.58     Fernando Mamede Portugal POR 1 Nov 51  
6 1.55.56     Francisco Solis Dominican Republic DOM 10 Sep 57  
7 2.15.26     Wilnor Joseph Haiti HAI 15 Dec 52  
800 m Men     Heat 3 23 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.48.27     Steve Ovett Great Britain GBR 9 Oct 55  
2 1.48.46     Seymour Newman Jamaica JAM 17 May 53  
3 1.48.47     Paul-Heinz Wellmann West Germany FRG 31 Mar 52  
4 1.48.63     Jozef Plachý Czechoslovakia TCH 28 Feb 49  
5 1.48.83     Günther Hasler Liechtenstein LIE 2 Feb 51  
6 1.48.99     Evert Hoving Netherlands NED 14 Jan 53  
7 1.49.85     Roy Botse Suriname SUR 14 Jan 51  
8 1.57.97     Erasmo Gómez Nicaragua NCA 25 Nov 50  
800 m Men     Heat 4 23 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.47.15     Alberto Juantorena Cuba CUB 21 Nov 50  
2 1.47.21     Carlo Grippo Italy ITA 8 Jan 55  
3 1.47.40     János Zemen Hungary HUN 29 Aug 50  
4 1.47.73     Milovan Savic Yugoslavia YUG 16 Jun 53  
5 1.51.38     Jorge Ortiz Puerto Rico PUR 7 Nov 53  
  DQ     Roqui Sanchez France FRA 17 Oct 52  
800 m Men     Heat 5 23 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.48.47     Willi Wülbeck West Germany FRG 18 Dec 54  
2 1.48.48     Horace Tuitt Trinidad and Tobago TTO 6 Jan 55  
3 1.48.59     Vladimir Ponomaryev Soviet Union URS 10 Aug 52  
4 1.48.86     Åke Svenson Sweden SWE 29 Mar 53  
5 1.49.60     José Marajo France FRA 10 Aug 54  
6 1.51.43     Orlando Greene Barbados BAR 7 Jul 53  
7 1.57.67     Ateyah Al-Shumrani Saudi Arabia KSA 6 Mar 53  
800 m Men     Heat 6 23 July      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.47.80     Ivo Van Damme Belgium BEL 21 Feb 54  
2 1.47.82     Luciano Susanj Yugoslavia YUG 10 Nov 48  
3 1.47.96     Mark Enyeart United States USA 9 Oct 53  
4 1.48.69     Rolf Gysin Switzerland SUI 29 Jan 52  
5 1.49.29     Niall O'Shaughnessy Ireland IRL 23 Nov 55  
6 1.50.15     Luis Medina Cuba CUB 21 Jun 52  
7 1.50.81     Marcel Philippe France FRA 16 Sep 51  
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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