Debut in Olympics
The 800 meter sprint for men debuted in the Olympics in 1896, when modern Olympics began. Thereafter, the event has been a regular part of the Olympics.
International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF has set rules for all track and field events including the 800 meter race for men. Some basic rules are:
- The length and width of the track and the lanes have been determined by the IAAF. These specifications have to be followed.
- The radius of the outside lane of the track should not be more than 50 meter.
- If the participants are more than twelve, preliminary heats have to organized. The top twelve sprinters enter the next round. All sprinters have to take part in the heats.
- If a sprinter commits more than one false start, he is disqualified from the event.
- If an athlete obstructs another athlete on the track, he is disqualified right away.
- For measuring the time of the competitions, a standard automatic timing device is used.
- If a sprinter comes out of the track during the race, he is disqualified.
- Any sprinter who does not reach the finishing line is out of the competition. He is not given any credit point.
The event has been dominated by American and British sprinters.
The 800 meter sprint is as much physical challenge for the competitors as the mental. The athletes need special training and conditioning to perform in the event. The competitors start in a staggered manner. For the first section of the race, they are combined to their respective lanes. Thereafter, they can violate their lanes and sprint through the inner lane of the track. An athlete has to outthink other athletes to win the race.
Some great players of 800 meter sprint for men are Joaquim Cruz, Sammy Koskei, Wilfred Bungei, Yuriy Borzakovskiy, Patrick Ndururi, Nils Schumann, William Tanui, Wilson Kipketer, Sebastian Coe, Paul Ereng, Andre Bucher, Tom Courtney, Mal Whitfield Douglas Lowe, Vebjorn Rodal, Johnny Gray, Dave Wottle, Ralph Doubell and Peter Snell.