Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Women's 800 metres

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Women's 800 metres
at the Games of the XX Olympiad
Venue Olympic Stadium, Munich, West Germany
Date 31 August 1972 & 3 September 1972
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s) Hildegard Falck  West Germany
2nd, silver medalist(s) Nijolė Sabaitė  Soviet Union
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Gunhild Hoffmeister  East Germany
← 1968
1976 →

These are the official results of the Women's 800 metres event at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, the competition was held on 31 of August and 3 of September.[1] The favorite coming into the Olympics was West German champion and world record holder Hildegard Falck; in the 1971 West German Championships she became the first woman to officially better two minutes. She was the pre Olympic favorite to win the gold on home soil, the rest of the field was wide open to claim the other podium spots.[1]

In the final, like the men's race, the favorite was the slowest starter, though Falck quickly moved into sixth place. By the end of the first lap the field was tightly packed, Ileana Silai, Vera Nikolić and Svetla Zlateva and three abreast for the lead at 58.31. At 500 metres, Falck decided to move and slightly accelerated away from Nijolė Sabaitė and Gunhild Hoffmeister but found herself blocked behind the wall, the wall began to break up during the final turn, Silai the first to start fading allowing Falck some running room, coming off the turn she accelerated into the lead. Pulling away from the field Falck relaxed to cruise across the finish line. Sabaitė made a late run at her from a huge deficit, as she came into view, Falck had to accelerate a little to hold her off for a narrow win. Hoffmeister followed Sabaitė in passing the pack for bronze, but was too far behind to be competitive for higher medals.

While the 2 minute barrier had been broken barely a year before this race, five women finished under 2 minutes here, with the remainder of the field bunched within .17 of a second of 2 minutes. While the world record was 1:58.5 (hand timed at the time), this electronically timed 1:58.55 was intrinsically faster, but that conversion was not included in record keeping. Zlateva would improve the world record the following year.

Heats[edit]

The top three runners in each heat (blue) and the next fastest (pink), advanced to the semifinal round.

Heat one[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time
1 Hildegard Falck  West Germany 6 2:01.52
2 Madeline Manning  United States 7 2:02.63
3 Cheryl Peasley  Australia 8 2:03.11
4 Mary Tracey-Purcell  Ireland 3 2:04.18
5 Martine Duvivier  France 2 2:04.87
6 Donata Govoni  Italy 1 2:05.24
7 Elisabeth Neuenschwander  Switzerland 4 2:06.89
- Arda Kalpakian  Lebanon 5 DNS

Heat two[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time Notes
1 Svetla Zlateva  Bulgaria 7 1:58.93 OR
2 Vera Nikolić  Yugoslavia 6 1:59.62
3 Sylvia Schenk  West Germany 1 2:02.22
4 Elżbieta Skowrońska  Poland 2 2:03.26
5 Jenny Orr  Australia 8 2:04.46
6 Cheryl Toussaint  United States 4 2:08.90
7 Claire Walsh  Ireland 3 2:08.98
8 Heather Gooding  Barbados 5 2:19.69

Heat three[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time
1 Nijolė Sabaitė  Soviet Union 4 2:01.50
2 Abby Hoffman  Canada 5 2:01.57
3 Maria Sykora  Austria 7 2:01.82
4 Gisela Ellenberger  West Germany 1 2:01.92
5 Maritta Politz  East Germany 3 2:02.40
6 Margaret Coomber  Great Britain 2 2:02.99
7 Emesia Chizunga  Malawi 6 2:19.22
- Malak El-Nasser  Syria 8 DNF

Heat four[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time
1 Ileana Silai  Romania 5 2:01.42
2 Annelise Damm Olesen  Denmark 3 2:01.77
3 Magdolna Kulcsár  Hungary 4 2:02.35
4 Patricia Cropper  Great Britain 8 2:03.55
5 Vasilena Amzina  Bulgaria 2 2:05.92
6 Marleen Verheuen  Belgium 7 2:09.13
7 Raissa Ruus  Soviet Union 1 2:11.18
8 Lee Chiu-hsia  Republic of China 6 2:11.81

Heat five[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time
1 Nina Morhunova  Soviet Union 6 2:02.64
2 Gunhild Hoffmeister  East Germany 7 2:03.15
3 Rosemary Stirling  Great Britain 1 2:03.64
4 Sue Haden  New Zealand 4 2:04.86
5 Chereno Maiyo  Kenya 5 2:04.86
6 Wendy Koenig  United States 3 2:08.71
7 Malika Hadky  Morocco 2 2:12.46

Semifinals[edit]

Top four in each heat advanced to the final round.

Heat one[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time
1 Nijolė Sabaitė  Soviet Union 3 2:00.90
2 Gunhild Hoffmeister  East Germany 7 2:01.21
3 Abby Hoffman  Canada 4 2:01.37
4 Vera Nikolić  Yugoslavia 1 2:01.49
5 Sylvia Schenk  West Germany 2 2:01.50
6 Annelisa Damm Olesen  Denmark 5 2:04.19
7 Cheryl Peasley  Australia 8 2:04.56
- Magdolna Kulcsár  Hungary 6 DNS

Heat two[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time
1 Hildegard Falck  West Germany 5 2:01.41
2 Svetla Zlateva  Bulgaria 3 2:01.66
3 Ileana Silai  Romania 8 2:01.85
4 Rosemary Stirling  Great Britain 6 2:02.36
5 Madeline Manning  United States 2 2:02.39
6 Maria Sykora  Austria 4 2:02.44
7 Gisela Ellenberger  West Germany 7 2:02.97
8 Nina Morhunova  Soviet Union 1 2:04.93

Final[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Lane Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Hildegard Falck  West Germany 1 1:58.55 OR
2nd, silver medalist(s) Nijolė Sabaitė  Soviet Union 5 1:58.65
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Gunhild Hoffmeister  East Germany 6 1:59.16
4 Svetla Zlateva  Bulgaria 2 1:59.72
5 Vera Nikolić  Yugoslavia 8 1:59.98
6 Ileana Silai  Romania 3 2:00.04
7 Rosemary Stirling  Great Britain 4 2:00.15
8 Abby Hoffman  Canada 7 2:00.17

Key: OR = Olympic record; DNS = did not start; DNF = did not finish

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Athletics at the 1972 Munich Summer Games: Women's 800 metres". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 

External links[edit]