Sebastian Coe

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Age Group:V60
Region:Unknown Region
Lead Coach:Peter Coe

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SEBASTIAN COE was coached by his father, Peter, and his big breakthrough came in the winter of 1977, when he won the European Indoor Championship in San Sebastian, with a time of 1:46.54, which was to be his only indoor championships.

At the 1978 European Championships in Prague, it was predicted that the battle for the gold medal would be between Coe and his great rival Steve Ovett and Coe led the final through 400m in a searing pace but he was not able to drop his rivals. Ovett passed Coe on the final bend but both of the British athletes were denied the top honour by the tall East German, Olaf Beyer, who outsprinted the two British athletes with Ovett talso taking Coe’s 800m record. Coe soon reclaimed this in London when he broke the 1:44 barrier for the first time, with a 1:43.97 PB.

At Oslo on July 5, 1979, Coe smashed the 800m world record, clocking 1:42.33 and 12 days later, he returned to the Norwegian capital to post another world record. This time, the one-mile mark was beaten with 3:48.95 and then one month later at the Weltklasse in Zurich, Coe firmly established himself as the world’s supreme middle distance runner with a 1500m itime of 3:32.03, another world record. His CV was made all the more impressive with a 46.87 400m PB to finish second at the AAA Championships as well as a 45.5 relay leg at the European Cup. Coe was ranked first at both distances by Track & Field News and remains the only athlete in history to hold top position at both events. Coe was also voted as the unprecedented Athlete of the Year by Athletics Weekly and Track & Field News.

Back in Norway for the Bislett Games in Oslo on July 1, Coe smashed the 1000m world record (2:13.40), to put him in high spirits for an 800m/1500m double at the Olympic Games in Moscow. Coe was expected to win the 800m with ease but Coe ran what he described as “the worst tactical race of my life”, and that mistake allowed Ovett to get the better of Coe for the second successive championships. After silver in the 800m, redemption came in the 1500m, when Coe took the title with a 52.2 last lap, relegating Ovett to third and only 13 days after those Games, Coe attempted to break his world 1500m record in Zurich, but was an agonising 0.16 shy of his world record. Coe’s 1500m was broken just two weeks later by Ovett, who ran 3:31.36 in Koblenz.

Coe’s 1981 season was by far his most successful in terms of records. At RAF Cosford, Coe set a world indoor best of 1:46.0 for 800m, but this was just a prelude to his outdoor successes and arguably his most memorable performance of his career was that marvellous 800m world record in Florence on June 10, where he became the first athlete to crack the 1:42-barrier with a world record of 1:41.73. Coe is still one of only three athletes to have cracked the 1:42 barrier (the other s are Wilson Kipketer and Joaquim Cruz).

Also that year, Coe improved the 1000m record to 2:12.18 at the Bislett Games, and those figures stood until Kenya’s future Olympic champion Noah Ngeny improved the mark to 2:11.96 in 1999 but this still remains a British and European record. One month later, Coe set two further mile records. In Zurich, August 19, Coe clocked 3:48.53 at the Weltklasse Meeting, before taking more than a second off that mark nine-days later at the Ivo Van Damme Memorial with a 3:47.33 record. His only failed bid was a 1500m race in Stockholm in July, when his chances were ruined with a 1:49 opening 800m, which resulted in a 3:31.95 clocking.

Despite being beaten by Peter Elliot at the AAA Championships in 1984, Coe was selected for both the 800m and the 1500m for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles and for the second successive Olympics, Coe was forced into silver in his specialist event by Cruz, before returning to defend his 1500m title, defeating the world champion Steve Cram, to become the only male athlete in history to defend his 1500m crown.

Best known performances

Performances Submit
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1988 1989 1990 2017 2018

2018 V60 Unattached
1M6:09c6OLondonVitality Westminster Mile27 May 18
6.8KXC33:05334OpenSeville, ESPCross Internacional de Itálica21 Jan 18
2017 V60 Unattached
1M6:006:047OlympianM1LondonVitality Westminster Mile28 May 17
3KLNTMonaco, FRAHerculis Relay12 Mar 17
1990 SEN Haringey
8001:47.246Auckland, NZLCommonwealth Games1 Feb 90
8001:47.246Auckland, NZL-1 Feb 90
8001:47.6611Sydney, AUS-14 Jan 90
8001:47.674s1Auckland, NZL-29 Jan 90
8001:47.674s1Auckland, NZLCommonwealth Games29 Jan 90
8001:49.832h1Auckland, NZLCommonwealth Games29 Jan 90
10002:21.01Hobart, AUS-4 Jan 90
1989 SEN Haringey
8001:43.381Berne, SUIArena29 Aug 89
8001:45.134Cologne, GER-20 Aug 89
8001:45.701Crystal PalaceMcVit/SFBf15 Sep 89
8001:45.971Rovereto, ITA-21 Jul 89
8001:46.041Viareggio, ITA-2 Aug 89
8001:46.601Belgrade, YUG-4 Jun 89
8001:46.831BirminghamvFRG,URS,USA inc. AAA Relays24 Jun 89
8001:47.21Enfield-20 May 89
15003:34.052Zurich, SUI-16 Aug 89
15003:35.792Barcelona, ESP-9 Sep 89
15003:41.381BirminghamAAA Championships13 Aug 89
1988 SEN Haringey
8001:43.932Koblenz, GERR-W28 Aug 88
15003:35.723Rieti, ITA-31 Aug 88
1986 SEN Haringey
8001:44.101Crystal PalacePTG/GP11 Jul 86
8001:44.172Stockholm, SWEDNG/GP1 Jul 86
8001:44.281Crystal PalaceMcVit12 Sep 86
8001:44.501Stuttgart, FRGEuropean Championships28 Aug 86
8001:47.103s2Stuttgart, FRGEuropean Championships27 Aug 86
8001:47.641h4Stuttgart, FRGEuropean Championships26 Aug 86
8001:47.91EnfieldMiddlesex County Championships17 May 86
8001:48.073s2EdinburghCommonwealth Games28 Jul 86
8001:51e1h1EnfieldMiddlesex County Championships17 May 86
8001:53.131h2EdinburghCommonwealth Games28 Jul 86
800DNS-EdinburghCommonwealth Games31 Jul 86
10002:14.901HaringeyBaxter-ns16 Jul 86
12002:48.10+mRieti, ITAInv-15007 Sep 86
15003:29.771Rieti, ITAInv7 Sep 86
15003:34.321Hengelo, NED-27 Jun 86
15003:39.032h1Stuttgart, FRGEuropean Championships29 Aug 86
15003:41.672Stuttgart, FRGEuropean Championships31 Aug 86
30007:54.32i1CosfordEvUSA8 Mar 86
1985 SEN Haringey
8001:43.072Cologne, GERASV25 Aug 85
8001:44.01EnfieldMidd18 May 85
8001:44.341Crystal PalacePTG/GP19 Jul 85
15003:32.132Zurich, SUIWK/GP21 Aug 85
Mile3:49.223Oslo, NORBisl/GP27 Jul 85
1984 SEN Haringey
8001:43.642Los Angeles CA, USAOlympic Games6 Aug 84
8001:43.841Oslo, NORBisl28 Jun 84
8001:45.511s2Los Angeles, USAOlympic Games5 Aug 84
8001:45.711h1Los Angeles, USAOlympic Games3 Aug 84
8001:46.753q2Los Angeles, USAOlympic Games4 Aug 84
15003:32.391Zurich, SUIWK22 Aug 84
15003:32.531Los Angeles CA, USAOlympic Games11 Aug 84
15003:35.813s1Los Angeles, USAOlympic Games10 Aug 84
15003:45.302h2Los Angeles, USAOlympic Games9 Aug 84
1983 SEN Hallamshire
6001:18.33i+"mCosfordEvUSA-80012 Mar 83
8001:43.801Oslo, NORBisl28 Jun 83
8001:44.91i1CosfordEvUSA12 Mar 83
8001:44.991LoughboroughLCvAAA12 Jun 83
10002:18.58i1Oslo, NOREvNOR19 Mar 83
15003:35.172Paris, FRABNP24 Jun 83
15003:42.60i1CosfordvFRA12 Feb 83
Mile3:52.932London-23 Jul 83
1982 SEN Hallamshire
8001:44.481Zurich, SUIWeltklasse18 Aug 82
8001:46.682Athens, GREEuropean Championships8 Sep 82
8001:47.981s2Athens, GREEuropean Championships7 Sep 82
8001:48.661h1Athens, GREEuropean Championships6 Sep 82
20004:58.841Bordeaux, FRAInv5 Jun 82
1981 SEN Hallamshire
6001:15.0+mFlorence, ITACdF-80010 Jun 81
8001:41.731Florence, ITACdF10 Jun 81
8001:44.061Crystal PalaceEvBEL,ETH,USA3 Jun 81
8001:46.0i1CosfordvGDR11 Feb 81
10002:12.181Oslo, NOROsloG11 Jul 81
15003:31.951Stockholm, SWEDNG7 Jul 81
15003:32.94+mBrussels, BELVD-1M28 Aug 81
Mile3:47.331Brussels, BELVD/IAAFG28 Aug 81
Mile3:48.531Zurich, SUIWK19 Aug 81
1980 SEN Hallamshire
8001:44.71Hull-7 Jun 80
8001:45.852Moscow, URSOlympic Games26 Jul 80
8001:46.611s3Moscow, URSOlympic Games25 Jul 80
8001:48.441h4Moscow, URSOlympic Games24 Jul 80
10002:13.401Oslo, NORBisl1 Jul 80
15003:32.191Zurich, SUIWK13 Aug 80
15003:38.401Moscow, URSOlympic Games1 Aug 80
15003:39.341sfMoscow, URSOlympic Games31 Jul 80
15003:40.052hMoscow, URSOlympic Games30 Jul 80
1979 SEN Hallamshire
40046.872Crystal PalaceAAA Championships14 Jul 79
6001:15.4+mOslo, NORBisl-8005 Jul 79
8001:42.331Oslo, NORBisl5 Jul 79
15003:32.031Zurich, SUIWK15 Aug 79
15003:32.8+mOslo, NOROsloG/IAAFG17 Jul 79
Mile3:48.951Oslo, NOROsloG/IAAFG17 Jul 79
1978 U23 Hallamshire
50062.4+mPrague, CZEEuropean Championships31 Aug 78
6001:16.2+mPrague, CZEEuropean Championships31 Aug 78
8001:43.971Crystal PalaceIAC15 Sep 78
8001:44.251Brussels, BELVD18 Aug 78
8001:44.763Prague, CZEEuropean Championships31 Aug 78
8001:46.821h4Prague, CZEEuropean Championships29 Aug 78
8001:47.441s1Prague, CZEEuropean Championships30 Aug 78
1977 U23 Hallamshire
8001:44.952Crystal PalaceIAC/Coca-Cola Meeting9 Sep 77
8001:46.54i1San Sebastian, ESPEuropean Indoor Championships13 Mar 77
8001:48.2i1h4San Sebastian, ESPEuropean Indoor Championships12 Mar 77
8001:50.5i1s2San Sebastian, ESPEuropean Indoor Championships12 Mar 77
1976 U23 Hallamshire
8001:47.71Stretford BMC8 Aug 76
1975 U20 Hallamshire
15003:45.2a3Athens (NF), GREEuropean Junior Championships23 Aug 75
Total Performances: 106
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