The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry


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But Coe was up to the challenge.

Short Cuts

Coming around the last turn, he overtook Straub and kept picking up speed. He frantically glanced back, over one shoulder and then the other, looking for Ovett. His rival, inexplicably, wasn't on his heels. Ovett couldn't find that otherworldly kick that he had used on opponents for the past three years.

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Coe came over the finish line first, stunned and grateful. He thrust his arms out in jubilation, a photo that landed on newspaper front pages across the world.

Ovett and Coe film hits the ground running | Film | The Guardian

The whole stadium was upstanding, arms outstretched, to join him in his ecstasy. They had witnessed a classic chase and race. Straub earned the silver medal. Ovett, the favorite, had to settle for the bronze. The Moscow Olympics were the emotional peak, but the Coe-Ovett rivalry was far from done.

Coe/Ovett

The following August Coe broke Ovett's world record in the mile, lowering it to A week later, Ovett snatched it back. Two days after that, Coe reclaimed it. He held onto it as the two men headed into the Summer Games in Los Angeles.

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The mile was Ovett's ideal distance, not Coe's, but he wasn't surprised when Coe repeated as 1,meter Olympic champion, with Ovett failing to even medal. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

All rights reserved About Us. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of OregonLive. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Prior to the Moscow Olympics in , they were recognised as two of the fastest middle distance runners in the world, with Coe favouring the m and Ovett the 1,m.


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Yet on the day, it was Ovett who took gold in the shorter distance, while Coe triumphed over the longer race. Four years later in Los Angeles, Coe took silver in the m and retained his 1,m gold. Ovett, crippled by respiratory problems, was unable to offer serious competition.

COE & OVETT – THE MOVIE!

With the flow of money came an increased demand for spectacular performances, which in turn led to what Butcher deems one of the negative legacies that these two men left behind. To protect their records, Coe and Ovett rarely raced head to headthough to be fair, this only increased the anticipation for their and Olympic showdowns.

Both men frequently used rabbits in their hunt to further lower the world recordsa practice that continues to thrive today, at the expense of exciting head-to-head competition. With the professionalization of the sport came new demands. Athletes suddenly needed to invite the likes of agents, promoters and doctors into their lives. Butcher introduces us to these figures as well, completing the picture of the new world of track and field.

As an athlete, Haile Gebrselassie has never known another world. As a child, he listened on the radio as Miruts Yifter won the 10,m at the Olympic Gamesthe same Games where Coe and Ovett were the headline story, each capturing a gold medal. By the time Gebrselassie emerged on the international scene, the transition from the s was complete. Agents and meet promoters were managing a multi-million-dollar industry.

The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry

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