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Encyclopedia > Steve Ovett
Medal record
Men's Athletics
Olympic Games
Gold 1980 Moscow 800 m
Bronze 1980 Moscow 1500 m
European Championships
Gold 1978 Prague 1500 m
Silver 1974 Rome 800 m
Silver 1978 Prague 800 m
Commonwealth Games
Competitor for England
Gold 1986 Edinburgh 5000 m

Stephen Michael James ("Steve") Ovett OBE (born October 9, 1955), is a former middle distance runner from England. He was gold medalist in the 800 m at the 1980 Olympic Games, and set world records for 1500 m and 1 mile. To this day, he holds the UK record for 2 miles, which he set in 1978. Athletics has been contested at every Summer Olympics since the birth of the modern Olympic movement at the 1896 Summer Olympics. ... The five Olympic rings were designed in 1913, adopted in 1914 and debuted at the Games at Antwerp, 1920. ... Badge, released in the USSR The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, were held in Moscow in the Soviet Union. ... Athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics was represented by 38 events. ... Badge, released in the USSR The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, were held in Moscow in the Soviet Union. ... Athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics was represented by 38 events. ... The 12th European Championships in Athletics were held in Prague, a city in Czechoslovakia. ... The 11th European Championships in Athletics were in held in Rome, the capital of Italy in 1974. ... The 12th European Championships in Athletics were held in Prague, a city in Czechoslovakia. ... The 1986 Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... A popular running distance also known as a 5 km, colloquially five-K. This distance is typical for all types of running races; from cross-country, to the road, to the track. ... is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... Middle distance track events are track races longer than sprints up to (and arguably including) 5000 meters. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... ‹ The template below (Unit of length) is being considered for deletion. ... Badge, released in the USSR The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, were held in Moscow in the Soviet Union. ... “Miles” redirects here. ... // 1 All UK national records and bests Categories: | | ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ...

Contents

Career

Born in Brighton and educated at Varndean Grammar School, Steve Ovett was an outstandingly talented teenage athlete. His first major title came in 1973 when he won the European junior 800 m, followed the next year in Rome with a silver in the senior event. He won AAA titles in the 800 m from 1974 to 1976, in the 1500 m in 1979 and in the mile in 1980. Brighton is located on the south coast of England, and together with its immediate neighbour Hove forms the city of Brighton and Hove. ... Varndean School [1] is a secondary school founded in 1884 and located in Brighton, England. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... “Miles” redirects here. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ...


Ovett gained some Olympic experience in 1976 when he ran in the final of the 800 m and was placed fifth, behind winner Alberto Juantorena of Cuba. He failed to reach the 1500 m after being obstructed in the semi-final. The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad, were held in 1976 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... Alberto Juantorena Danger (born December 3, 1950) is a former Cuban track athlete. ...


He jumped into the world spotlight in 1977 when, at the inaugural IAAF World Cup in Athletics, he unleashed an astonishing kick with 200m to go, leaving Olympic 1500 metre champion John Walker, and the rest of the field for dead. He won gold ahead of his good friend, West German Thomas Wessinghage. As Ovett raced away from the field, Ron Pickering, commenting for the race on BBC Television, said "and there's one man's blazing speed, that has torn this field asunder". The IAAF World Cup is an international athletics competition. ... John George Walker (born January 12, 1952 in Papakura) is a former middle distance runner from New Zealand. ... Thomas Wessinghage (born February 22, 1952 in Hagen) was a German middle- and long-distance runner who won the 1982 European Championships final over 5000 metres beating the British world-record holder David Moorcroft. ...


The British public by now showed a keen interest in Ovett, and it was at the European Championships in 1978, that he raced against Sebastian Coe for the first time in their senior careers, beginning a rivalry that would come to dominate sports headlines in the UK and all over the world. He led Coe in the 800 m and appeared to be on his way to gold, before being surprisingly caught by the East German Olaf Beyer. His time of 1:44:09 turned out to be his fastest ever 800 m run. Coe finished 3rd. Ovett recovered to win the gold medal in the 1500 m, in which Coe didn't participate. The 12th European Championships in Athletics were held in Prague, a city in Czechoslovakia. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, KBE (born 29 September 1956 in Chiswick, London) is an English athlete and Conservative Party politician. ... Olaf Beyer (born August 4, 1957 in Grimma) was an East German 800 metres runner who won the gold medal at the 1978 European Championships in Prague. ...


The 1978 season for Ovett was notable for the superb times recorded at disparate distances. He ran an 800m in 1:44.09 ( world record at the time was Alberto Juantorena's 1:43.44 ) and set a 2-mile world's best with a 8:13.51 clocking, (an event the IAAF no longer recognized for record purposes), handing Track & Field News Athlete of the Year Henry Rono one of his few losses in his remarkable record breaking season. It's been speculated that if he'd spent that season preparing specifically & repeatedly attempting to run fast times in pacemaker led Grand Prix races, he was capable of breaking the 1000m, 1500m, 1 mile & 2000m world records that year based on his 800m & 2 mile times. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics (known in the US as track and field). It was founded in 1912 at its first Congress in Stockholm, Sweden by representatives from 17 national athletics federations as the International Amateur Athletics Federation. ... Track & Field News, the magazine, was founded in 1948 by brothers Bert Nelson & Cordner Nelson. ... Henry Rono (born February 12, 1952) is a Kenyan athlete, considered a seminal figure of Kenyan distance running. ...


Ovett arrived at the Moscow Olympics as most people's favourite to take the 1500 m title. Earlier that month, he had established a new mile world record of 3:48.8 and two weeks later equalled Sebastian Coe's world record of 3:32.1 in the 1500 m. He had been unbeaten over the 1500 m and mile for three years. The Moscow Olympics marked only the second time that Ovett and Coe had met each other in international competition (the first being the 800m in the 1978 European Championships) and there was huge media speculation over which would emerge as the greater. Badge, released in the USSR The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, were held in Moscow in the Soviet Union. ... A world record is the best performance in a certain discipline, usually a sports event. ... Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, KBE (born 29 September 1956 in Chiswick, London) is an English athlete and Conservative Party politician. ...


Ovett's participation in the 800 m would serve as a test for the 1500 m. In the 800 m final, Ovett was only in sixth place at the halfway mark, but pushed his way through the crowd to second place. Seventy metres from the finish, he shot into the lead and held off Coe to win by three metres. In the 1500 m, contested six days later, it was Coe who came from behind to win, while Ovett had to settle for third place.


During the Moscow games, the British press zoned in on a signal Ovett had made to a TV camera in Moscow after his 800 m win. It later transpired that the signal represented the letters ILY and were intended for his girlfriend, Rachel Waller (whom he later married). This later led to a rift between Ovett and his parents, in particular his mother, who had remained a key figure in his career and had carefully managed the media's requests for his time (Ovett was still living at home).


Though in 1980 Ovett had tied Coe's 1500 m world record of 3:32.1, new timing rules would come into effect in 1981 which would recognize records over 400 m to the hundredth of a second. This would have the effect of giving Coe sole possession of the record, as Coe ran 3:32.03 to Ovett's 3:32.09. However, Ovett avoiding this unusual removal of a record via rule change by setting a new record later in 1980 of 3:31.36.


During 1981, both Ovett and Coe were at their absolute peak. They never met in a race, but exchanged world records in the mile three times during a 10-day period.


Ovett's 1982 season was wrecked by injury when out training on the streets of Brighton in late 1981, he ran into some railings and badly twisted his knee. He had recovered by the Spring of 1982, but further injuries hampered his progress.


He returned to action in 1983 although once again his season had been hampered by injuries, which resulted his not being selected for the 800 m at the World Championships in Helsinki. He was selected for the 1500 m, but ran a poor tactical race in the final and finished 4th, behind winner Steve Cram. He was yet to reach his peak for 1983, which followed with a 1500m world record of 3:30.77 in Rieti. A few days later, he finished a close 2nd to Steve Cram in an epic mile race in Crystal Palace. The inaugural World Championships in Athletics were run under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations and were held at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland between August 7 and August 14. ... Steve Cram MBE (born October 14, 1960) was a British athlete who vied with fellow British athletes Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett during their domination of middle distance running in the 1980s. ... The National Sports Centre The National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace in south London is a large sports centre and athletics track. ...


In 1984, after a successful season of winter training in Australia, Ovett's progress was slightly hampered by minor injuries and bronchitis. He attempted to defend his 800 m title in the 1984 Olympic Games but after arriving in Los Angeles he began to suffer from respiratory problems. He was unlucky to be drawn against eventual winner Joaquim Cruz in each of his two heats and also the semi-final, in which he only narrowly qualified for the final, lunging for the finish in 4th place and appearing to collapse over the line. He had run 1:44:81, his second fastest time at the distance. He recovered in time to make final, but was clearly below his best and finished eighth, after which he collapsed and spent two nights in a hospital. Against the advice of his friends and doctors, he returned to compete in the 1500 m. Running in fourth place at the beginning of the last lap of the final, Ovett dropped out. He later collapsed with chest pains and was taken away on a stretcher. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi (medium-size airways) in the lungs. ... Music sample: Olympic Fanfare and Theme ( file info) — composed by John Williams for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles Problems listening to the file? See media help. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... Joaquim Carvalho Cruz (born March 12, 1963) is a former Brazilian athlete, winner of the 800 m at the 1984 Summer Olympics. ...


His career then wound down although in August 1986 he won the 5000 m in the Commonwealth Games at Edinburgh. However the following month in the European Championships, he failed to finish in the hot conditions, allowing Jack Buckner (GB) whom Ovett had beaten in Edinburgh to win the gold. He then failed to make the 1988 Olympic team and retired in 1991, a year after Sebastian Coe. He has been a Track & Field television commentator for the CBC since 1992. He now lives in Australia. Current flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation Locations of the games, and participating countries Commonwealth Games Federation seal, adopted in 2001 The Commonwealth Games is a multinational, multi-sport event. ... For other uses, see Edinburgh (disambiguation). ... Born in 1961, Jack Buckner was one of the many British athletes of the mid 1980s who dominated track and field. ... you are such a dumb noob and the red sox rule Size = 200 | Optional caption = | Host city = Seoul, South Korea | Nations participating = 159 | Athletes participating = 8,465 (6,279 men, 2,186 women) | Events = 263 in 27 sports | Opening ceremony = September 17, 1988 | Closing ceremony = October 2, 1988 | Officially opened... Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, KBE (born 29 September 1956 in Chiswick, London) is an English athlete and Conservative Party politician. ... Athletics, also known as track and field or track and field athletics, is a collection of sport events. ... The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a Canadian crown corporation, is the country’s national public radio and television broadcaster. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ...


His times, though still impressive by today's standards, are arguably not indicative of his true talent as he preferred winning races to chasing after world records (though on occasion he did do the latter). He was often content to wait on the shoulder of the leader until either the last 100 or 200 metres at which point he would usually sprint past for victory. Nevertheless, the times he recorded over a wide range of distances was quite impressive, showing great versatility. They ranged from 47.5 and 1:44.09 in the 400/800 meters to 13:20.06 for 5000 meters on the track, while on the roads he ran 22:24 for 8k (Oxford, 1986), 28:16 for 10K (London, 1983), and 1:05 for the half marathon (Dartford, 1977).


Trivia

As a youngster, Steve showed great promise as a footballer, but gave it up for athletics because he didn't want to do a sport where he would have to rely on teammates. Look up Football in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Steve's brother, Nicholas Ovett, represented Great Britain at luge in the Winter Olympics of 1988 and 1992. Icon of Luge at the 2006 Winter Olympics A luge is small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine and feet-first. ... The 1988 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XV Olympic Winter Games, were celebrated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and opened by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé. The Olympics were highly successful financially as they brought in million-dollar profits. ... The 1992 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVI Olympic Winter Games, were celebrated in 1992 in Albertville, France. ...


Personal bests

Distance Mark Date
400 m 47.5 1974
800 m 1:44.09 1978
1000 m 2:16.0 1979
1500 m 3:30.77 1983
Mile 3:48.40 1980
2000 m 4:57.71 1982
3000 m 7:41.3 1977
2 Miles 8:13.51 1978
5000 m 13:20.06 1986
Post-war British Olympic champions in men's athletics
1956: Chris Brasher (3000 m steeplechase) | 1960: Don Thompson (50 km walk) | 1964: Ken Matthews (20 km walk) | 1964: Lynn Davies (long jump) | 1968: David Hemery (400 m hurdles) | 1980: Allan Wells (100 m) | 1980: Steve Ovett (800 m) | 1980 & 1984: Sebastian Coe (1500 m) | 1980 & 1984: Daley Thompson (decathlon) | 1992: Linford Christie (100 m) | 2000: Jonathan Edwards (triple jump) | 2004: Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish & Mark Lewis-Francis (4 x 100 m relay)
Records
Preceded by
Flag of the United Kingdom Sebastian Coe
Men's Mile World Record Holder
July 1, 1980August 19, 1981
Succeeded by
Flag of the United Kingdom Sebastian Coe
Preceded by
Flag of the United Kingdom Sebastian Coe
Men's Mile World Record Holder
August 26, 1981August 28, 1981
Succeeded by
Flag of the United Kingdom Sebastian Coe
Awards
Preceded by
Flag of the United Kingdom Virginia Wade
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
1978
Succeeded by
Flag of the United Kingdom Sebastian Coe

Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips, BSc (Exon), MBE (born 15 May 1981) is the second child and only daughter of Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips. ...

References

Butcher, Pat (2005). The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe - The Record Breaking Rivalry. Phoenix Press. 0753819007. 


  Results from FactBites:
 
Steve Ovett (964 words)
Steve Ovett was an outstandingly talented teenage athlete.
Steve's experience served him well as he battled his way round, never far from the front.
In 1989 Steve was ranked 44th in the World over 1500m with 3min 37.40sec his final season in major athletics.
Steve Ovett - Sporting Speakers - Sport Speakers - Kruger Cowne (465 words)
Steven Ovett OBE, Olympic Gold medalist over 800m, is one of the greatest British athletes ever, heralding from the golden era of British athletics.
The Brighton born, Ovett gained some Olympic experience in 1976 when he ran in the final of the 800 m and placed fifth.
Running in third place at the beginning of the last lap of the final; Ovett collapsed with chest pains and was taken away on a stretcher.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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