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1500 / 800 double


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  • 1500 / 800 double

    Who if anyone is likley to try the 800 / 1500 double, men or womens, in the 2004 Oly's?

    Second question is why is this such a rare double recently? It use to be fairly common among the top middle distance runners (i.e. Coe, Ovett).

  • #2
    Re: 1500 / 800 double

    <Second question is why is this such a rare double recently?>

    Too demanding a schedule, unless the races are widely spaced enough to get full recovery? Is there anyone around now (Mutola perhaps?), who can be considered in the top 10-15 in each event? In recent times, only Snell (1 mile) and Coe have held the record in each event at the same time amongst the men, and Kazankina amongst the women. And for Coe the attempted Oly doubles led to losses in the event (800 m) that most would rate as his "better" event.


    • #3
      Re: 1500 / 800 double

      I was wondring about Coe this morning. I was young but I seem to remember that Coe wasa slight favorite over Ovett in the 800 and Ovett was a slight favorite in the 1500 at the 1980 Olys. Can anyone confirm that.


      • #4
        Re: 1500 / 800 double

        I always thought the big advantage to doubling had nothing to do with the meet itself but in that it forces the 800m guy to do more stregnth work than he might do otherwise and the 1500m guy to do more speed work that he might do otherwise.

        Krummenacker is one who might benefit from this although I'm not saying he should double but the preparation would likely be good for him. It doesn't allow you fudge on any area.


        • #5
          Re: 1500 / 800 double

          <I was wondring about Coe this morning. I was young but I seem to remember that Coe wasa slight favorite over Ovett in the 800 and Ovett was a slight favorite in the 1500 at the 1980 Olys. Can anyone confirm that.>

          Coe off his then WR in the 800 m - far superior to others - was I would say favored; this in spite of placing third in the EC of 1978. In the 1500 m, it was a tougher call. Time wise they were about even. I favored Ovett as he had more racing experience at this distance and seemed to be able to win off fast or slow paces.

          I have not been able to really figure out these runners tactics in their losing races in Moscow. Coe in the 800 m ran wide on corners, adding many metres to the distance and simply left himself with too much to make up against someone like Ovett who also had great finishing speed. Ovett in the 1500 m may have underestimated Coe's speed and stamina - he should have closed up to Coe and stayed right on his heels (at least) for the entire last lap.

          That being said, these are the armchair opinions of someone, on two of the great middle distance runners of recent years.


          • #6
            Re: 1500 / 800 double

            Krummenacker could try to double in both events. However, as talented as he is, Krummenacker is no Coe.

            Has Krummenacker announced what event he is going to run in 2004?

            Krummenacker now is at the same age Spivey was when run his last sub 3:50 mile in 1991. It would be really exciting to see an American break 3:50 again.

            Fast Fact:
            Krummenacker was the only US distance runner ranked in the IAAF top ten(10th 800meters).


            • #7
              Re: 1500 / 800 double

              The whole GP mentality has infected the ranks of the world's best. One wonders what El G's real PR in the 800 would have been if he'd actually run the race. Yeah, yeah, he doubled at the worlds, finally. After near a decade at the top. And that was the 5k. How about Kipketer in the 1500? Specializing, or just scared to put his rep on the line at another distance. How about Borzokovskiy trying the 1500? This kid seems to be the most talented, in terms of natural ability, at the 800. If he could get his head on straight, and maybe go with a real coach, he'd run 1:40. There's no doubt though, that a 1:42 runner like him should be able to tear up the track at the 1500.

              Another problem has been the scheduling. After Kip Keino of all people whined about how tough the 800 heats were in L.A. in '84, the heats were changed first in format, and then in the scheduling, where you'd be running 3 days of the 800, then the 1500 on the off days before the 800 final, etc. Ridiculous.

              But the GP races have made most athletes less courageous in some ways than their predecessors. Sure, there's now REAL money at stake. But when it comes to the games, you think they'd try for it all. I guess they're too busy thinking about endorsements, and focusing on winning one, than going for both, and losing both. Didn't see Coe, Ovett, Walker, Cram, Boit, Snell, Wohlhuter, Van Damme, back off. Maybe today, it would be different with these guys. But they seemed to be in for a lot more than the money.


              • #8
                Re: 1500 / 800 double

                >I was wondring about Coe this morning. I was
                >young but I seem to remember that Coe wasa slight
                >favorite over Ovett in the 800 and Ovett was a
                >slight favorite in the 1500 at the 1980 Olys.
                >Can anyone confirm that.

                Going into the 1500 final at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, I believe Steve Ovett had won 42 straight 1500/mile races in a row, dating back to 1977 or 1978...based on that, I believe many people favored Ovett to win 1500 gold.



                • #9
                  Re: 1500 / 800 double

                  trivia q.: how many 800/1500 Olympic doublers(gold) were there before Snell?


                  • #10
                    Re: 1500 / 800 double

                    >trivia q.: how many 800/1500 Olympic
                    >doublers(gold) were there before Snell?

                    4 edwin flack in 1896, james lightbody in 1904, mel sheppard in 1908, and albert hill in 1920.


                    • #11
                      Re: 1500 / 800 double

                      I think that one of the problems is the current type of athletics. Now, top runners have a manager, and go in professional way for eraning money during meetings of different level. If the level is of second-high level, organizers want an athlete in his best event. An example : in my group there is an athlete, William Yiampoy, coached by the Italian coach Gianni Ghidini (the same of Bungei), that I and Gianni think could be better in 1500m for the future. He ran only once 1500m, in 3:34. But to move him to the new event is very difficult, because organizers want him in 800, giving some appearance, and don't accept him in longer distance (also without appearance) because he arrives after other runners having better times.
                      So, now we have to fight against three different problems :
                      a) Manager prefer to put in a race an athlete where he can have money (appearance, or bigger prize)
                      b) Athletes prefer running where can have some money MORE SURE
                      c) Organizers don't accept top runners in an event different from his best.

                      This year, for example, Stephen Cherono had a request for running steeple in Ostrava with a very good appearance, but he preferred running 5000m without any appearance, when I explained him the importance to test himself against the best in the world. On the other side, El Guerrouj chose Ostrava for his debut in 5000m, with the agreement that in the race athletes able running under 13 had not to run. As Stephen had only one attempt in 5000m, the previous season, in 13:11, El Guerrouj was not worry about him.
                      In other case, organizers could not accept Stephen, if they wanted to have El Guerrouj for his debut.
                      This one is an example of how many difficulties there are today for running two different events. Of sure, it's not possible in Golden League or GP meetings. Can be possible in meeting of second level. Stephen ran 1500m in Lausanne, but could not run the same in Golden League.
                      Technically speaking, this is a mistake. Athletes of fast middle distances, like 800/1500, need to compete in both the events during the period of preparation, because one can be the completion of the other approaching to the specific period.
                      When we are very close the event, is more difficult to prepare both at the same level.
                      Also in the past, for example, athletes like Steve Cram (able running in 1:42.88) never tried the short distance in a big Championship.
                      And now, the timetable for big Championships are thought for TV, not for the athletes, so in many cases it's not possible to double, because the program doesn't permit it.
                      Regarding 800/1500 in Moscow, I personally think that, if the first event was 1500 and the second 800, we could have had an inversion in winners.
                      I think that the favorite thought better to follow, for having a "psychological fulcrum" in the final sprint. So, going for 800m, Coe (that was the record holder) preferred to stay back Ovett, but the speed of the second lap was the same, so who was in front at the bell was the winner. This fact provoked in Ovett the convinction that he was faster than Coe in the final, so, in 1500m (Ovett was th record holder), he preferred to stay back Coe for controlling him. But it happened the same thing of 800 : beeing first at the bell, Coe was able to finish at the same speed of Ovett, that ended to push in the last 30m, so was overtaken by Olaf Beyer too.
                      So, really are two tactical mistakes.
                      Anyway, now the best athletes are Kenyan, French, Morokkan and Spanish, and, having trials before, nobody can double in Athens (may be only Baala, as Kenyans have to choose before their Trials).
                      So, I think that 800 are 800, and 1500 are 1500 (at least in OG).


                      • #12
                        Re: 1500 / 800 double

                        Right on the money, Renato.

                        It is so rare now too see athletes race in distances other than their speciality, often because they will not be the best in the alternate distance, they're going to lose and because a race promoter won't want to pay an athlete to run an off distance.

                        But racing above and bellow distance is something I find important.

                        Here is a repost of what I said yesterday on letsrun:
                        Sebastian Coe
                        Races 3000m(i) and 400m during the early season and set himself up perfectly for 800m/1500m racing.
                        Saïd Aouita
                        Raced from 800m to 10000m and although he was probably unique in his ability to be world class at that range, undoubtedly his abilities at 1500m/5000m were strengthened via improving his ability at 800m and 10000m.
                        Haile Gebrselassie
                        Has raced 1500m to the marathon in championship events (London, esp. 2002 London in my opinion could carry the weight of a WC event). Improved his 1500m PR to 3:31.7i before his 1998 outdoor WRs, and in 2001 improved to 2nd all-time for 15k before running a 2:06 debut best at London.
                        Saaeed Shaheen
                        Raced both 1500m and 5000m to optimize his ability at 3000mSC.
                        Steve Scott
                        Raced road 5k/10k in off season, as well as occasional 400m time trials to prepare for 800m/1500m fitness.
                        Steve Ovett
                        Virtually the same program as the above mentioned for Scott.