1500 metres at the Olympics

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1500 metres
at the Olympic Games
Women's 1500 m heats London 2012.jpg
The 2012 Olympic women's 1500 m heats
Overview
SportAthletics
GenderMen and women
Years heldMen: 18962016
Women: 19722016
Olympic record
Men3:32.07 Hicham El Guerrouj (1998)
Women3:53.96 Paula Ivan (1988)
Reigning champion
Men Matthew Centrowitz (USA)
Women Faith Kipyegon (KEN)

The 1500 metres at the Summer Olympics has been contested since the first edition of the multi-sport event. The men's 1500 m has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1896. The women's event was not introduced until over seventy years later, but it has been a permanent fixture since it was first held in 1972. It is the most prestigious 1500 m race at elite level. The competition format comprises three rounds: a heats stage, semi-finals, then a final typically between twelve athletes.

The 1500 meters is one of four individual events documented exclusively by Olympic documentary filmmaker Bud Greenspan.[1]

The Olympic records for the event are 3:32.07 minutes for men, set by Noah Ngeny in 2000, and 3:53.96 minutes for women, set by Paula Ivan in 1988. The 1500 metres world record has been broken several times at the Olympics: the men's record was beaten in 1900, 1936, and 1960, while the women's record was improved in 1972 (three times) and in 1980.[2]

Only two athletes have defended the Olympic 1500 m title: Tatyana Kazankina became the first person to win two gold medals in the event in 1980 (repeating her 1976 win) and, soon after, Sebastian Coe became the first man to do so in 1984. No athlete of either sex has won more than two medals. Historically, athletes in this event have also had success in the 800 metres at the Olympics. Kelly Holmes was the last athlete to win both events at the same Olympics in 2004. 2012 1500m gold medalist Taoufik Makhloufi made both podiums without winning gold in 2016.

Great Britain is the most successful nation in the event, having won six gold medals and a total of fourteen. Kenya has the next highest number of gold medals, with five, while the United States has the next highest medal total with thirteen. The United States is the only nation to have swept the medals in the event, having done so in St. Louis in 1904, albeit in a final between seven Americans and two foreigners.

Medal summary[edit]

Men[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
details
Edwin Flack
 Australia
Arthur Blake
 United States
Albin Lermusiaux
 France
1900 Paris
details
Charles Bennett
 Great Britain
Henri Deloge
 France
John Bray
 United States
1904 St. Louis
details
Jim Lightbody
 United States
Frank Verner
 United States
Lacey Hearn
 United States
1908 London
details
Mel Sheppard
 United States
Harold Wilson
 Great Britain
Norman Hallows
 Great Britain
1912 Stockholm
details
Arnold Jackson
 Great Britain
Abel Kiviat
 United States
Norman Taber
 United States
1920 Antwerp
details
Albert Hill
 Great Britain
Philip Baker
 Great Britain
Lawrence Shields
 United States
1924 Paris
details
Paavo Nurmi
 Finland
Willy Schärer
 Switzerland
H. B. Stallard
 Great Britain
1928 Amsterdam
details
Harri Larva
 Finland
Jules Ladoumègue
 France
Eino Purje
 Finland
1932 Los Angeles
details
Luigi Beccali
 Italy
Jerry Cornes
 Great Britain
Phil Edwards
 Canada
1936 Berlin
details
Jack Lovelock
 New Zealand
Glenn Cunningham
 United States
Luigi Beccali
 Italy
1948 London
details
Henry Eriksson
 Sweden
Lennart Strand
 Sweden
Willem Slijkhuis
 Netherlands
1952 Helsinki
details
Josy Barthel
 Luxembourg
Bob McMillen
 United States
Werner Lueg
 Germany
1956 Melbourne
details
Ron Delany
 Ireland
Klaus Richtzenhain
 United Team of Germany
John Landy
 Australia
1960 Rome
details
Herb Elliott
 Australia
Michel Jazy
 France
István Rózsavölgyi
 Hungary
1964 Tokyo
details
Peter Snell
 New Zealand
Josef Odložil
 Czechoslovakia
John Davies
 New Zealand
1968 Mexico City
details
Kipchoge Keino
 Kenya
Jim Ryun
 United States
Bodo Tümmler
 West Germany
1972 Munich
details
Pekka Vasala
 Finland
Kipchoge Keino
 Kenya
Rod Dixon
 New Zealand
1976 Montreal
details
John Walker
 New Zealand
Ivo Van Damme
 Belgium
Paul-Heinz Wellmann
 West Germany
1980 Moscow
details
Sebastian Coe
 Great Britain
Jürgen Straub
 East Germany
Steve Ovett
 Great Britain
1984 Los Angeles
details
Sebastian Coe
 Great Britain
Steve Cram
 Great Britain
José Manuel Abascal
 Spain
1988 Seoul
details
Peter Rono
 Kenya
Peter Elliott
 Great Britain
Jens-Peter Herold
 East Germany
1992 Barcelona
details
Fermín Cacho
 Spain
Rachid El Basir
 Morocco
Mohamed Suleiman
 Qatar
1996 Atlanta
details
Noureddine Morceli
 Algeria
Fermín Cacho
 Spain
Stephen Kipkorir
 Kenya
2000 Sydney
details
Noah Ngeny
 Kenya
Hicham El Guerrouj
 Morocco
Bernard Lagat
 Kenya
2004 Athens
details
Hicham El Guerrouj
 Morocco
Bernard Lagat
 Kenya
Rui Silva
 Portugal
2008 Beijing
details
Asbel Kiprop
 Kenya
Nick Willis
 New Zealand
Mehdi Baala
 France
2012 London
details
Taoufik Makhloufi
 Algeria
Leonel Manzano
 United States
Abdalaati Iguider
 Morocco
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Matthew Centrowitz Jr.
 United States
Taoufik Makhloufi
 Algeria
Nick Willis
 New Zealand

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Sebastian Coe  Great Britain (GBR) 1980–1984 2 0 0 2
2 Kipchoge Keino  Kenya (KEN) 1968–1972 1 1 0 2
2 Fermin Cacho  Spain (ESP) 1992–1996 1 1 0 2
2 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco (MAR) 2000–2004 1 1 0 2
2 Taoufik Makhloufi  Algeria (ALG) 2012–2016 1 1 0 2
6 Luigi Beccali  Italy (ITA) 1932–1936 1 0 1 2
7 Nick Willis  New Zealand (NZL) 2008-2016 0 1 1 2

Medals by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Great Britain (GBR) 5 5 3 13
2  Kenya (KEN) 4 2 2 8
3  United States (USA) 3 7 4 14
4  New Zealand (NZL) 3 1 3 7
5  Finland (FIN) 3 0 1 4
6  Algeria (ALG) 2 1 0 3
7  Australia (AUS) 2 0 1 3
8  Morocco (MAR) 1 2 1 4
9  Spain (ESP) 1 1 1 3
10  Sweden (SWE) 1 1 0 2
11  Italy (ITA) 1 0 1 2
12=  Ireland (IRL) 1 0 0 1
12=  Luxembourg (LUX) 1 0 0 1
14  France (FRA) 0 3 2 5
15=  East Germany (GDR) 0 1 1 2
15=  Germany (GER)[nb] 0 1 1 2
17=  Belgium (BEL) 0 1 0 1
17=  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 0 1 0 1
17=  Switzerland (SUI) 0 1 0 1
20  West Germany (FRG) 0 0 2 2
21=  Canada (CAN) 0 0 1 1
21=  Hungary (HUN) 0 0 1 1
21=  Netherlands (NED) 0 0 1 1
21=  Portugal (POR) 0 0 1 1
21=  Qatar (QAT) 0 0 1 1

Women[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1972 Munich
details
Lyudmila Bragina
 Soviet Union
Gunhild Hoffmeister
 East Germany
Paola Pigni
 Italy
1976 Montreal
details
Tatyana Kazankina
 Soviet Union
Gunhild Hoffmeister
 East Germany
Ulrike Klapezynski
 East Germany
1980 Moscow
details
Tatyana Kazankina
 Soviet Union
Christiane Wartenberg
 East Germany
Nadezhda Olizarenko
 Soviet Union
1984 Los Angeles
details
Gabriella Dorio
 Italy
Doina Melinte
 Romania
Maricica Puică
 Romania
1988 Seoul
details
Paula Ivan
 Romania
Laimutė Baikauskaitė
 Soviet Union
Tetyana Samolenko
 Soviet Union
1992 Barcelona
details
Hassiba Boulmerka
 Algeria
Lyudmila Rogachova
 Unified Team
Qu Yunxia
 China
1996 Atlanta
details
Svetlana Masterkova
 Russia
Gabriela Szabo
 Romania
Theresia Kiesl
 Austria
2000 Sydney
details
Nouria Mérah-Benida
 Algeria
Violeta Szekely
 Romania
Gabriela Szabo
 Romania
2004 Athens
details
Kelly Holmes
 Great Britain
Tatyana Tomashova
 Russia
Maria Cioncan
 Romania
2008 Beijing
details
Nancy Langat
 Kenya
Iryna Lishchynska
 Ukraine
Nataliya Tobias
 Ukraine
2012 London
details
Vacant[3] Vacant[4] Maryam Yusuf Jamal
 Bahrain
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Faith Kipyegon
 Kenya
Genzebe Dibaba
 Ethiopia
Jennifer Simpson
 United States

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Tatyana Kazankina  Soviet Union (URS) 1976–1980 2 0 0 2
2 Gunhild Hoffmeister  East Germany (GDR) 1972–1976 0 2 0 2
3 Gabriela Szabo  Romania (ROU) 1996–2000 0 1 1 2

Medalists by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Soviet Union (URS) 3 1 2 6
2=  Algeria (ALG) 2 0 0 2
2=  Kenya (KEN) 2 0 0 2
4  Romania (ROU) 1 3 3 7
5  Russia (RUS) 1 1 0 2
6  Italy (ITA) 1 0 1 2
7  Great Britain (GBR) 1 0 0 1
8  East Germany (GDR) 0 3 1 4
9  Ukraine (UKR) 0 1 1 2
10=  Unified Team (EUN) 0 1 0 1
10=  Turkey (TUR) 0 1 0 1
10=  Ethiopia (ETH) 0 1 0 1
13=  Austria (AUT) 0 0 1 1
13=  Bahrain (BRN) 0 0 1 1
13=  China (CHN) 0 0 1 1
13=  United States (USA) 0 0 1 1

Intercalated Games[edit]

The 1906 Intercalated Games were held in Athens and at the time were officially recognised as part of the Olympic Games series, with the intention being to hold a games in Greece in two-year intervals between the internationally held Olympics. However, this plan never came to fruition and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided not to recognise these games as part of the official Olympic series. Some sports historians continue to treat the results of these games as part of the Olympic canon.[5]

At this event a men's 1500 m was held and the reigning 800 metres and 1500 m champion from the 1904 Olympics, James Lightbody, was the winner. Two 1908 Olympic participants, Britain's John McGough and Sweden's Kristian Hellström were the minor medalists.[6]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1906 Athens
details
 James Lightbody (USA)  John McGough (GBR)  Kristian Hellström (SWE)

References[edit]

Participation and athlete data
Olympic record progressions
Specific
  1. ^ http://personal.bgsu.edu/~jsquire/greenspan.html
  2. ^ "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009" (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. pp. Pages 546, 549. Archived from the original (pdf) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  3. ^ "Turkey's Asli Cakir Alptekin stripped of Olympic 1500m title for doping". The Guardian. 17 August 2015.
  4. ^ Gamze Bulet stripped of silver medal, banned for doping
  5. ^ 1906 Athina Summer Games. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
  6. ^ Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games: Men's 1500 metres. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.

External links[edit]