Tag Archive: Steve Cram

The British Miler

The British Miler, launched by New Balance at the famous Armory in New York on Thursday, is a new multi-platform initiative that tracks the build-up of seven main contenders in the battle for three places on offer on the British Olympic team in the men’s 1500m in London.

Those seven hopefuls, a rather symbolic number, are Beijing finalist Andy Baddeley, James Brewer, Ricky Stevenson, Tom Lancashire, Colin McCourt, Lee Emanuel and Nick McCormick. The three first, incidentally, get their track season underway over the mile at the New Balance Games at the very same ground tonight, joined also by Colin McCourt and Mark Draper.

Actually, Brewer described the official launch of the project as one of the most surreal nights of his life on Facebook as it also captures magical moments of the golden past from the days of Sir Roger Bannister, the man who first broke the myth of the 4 minutes over the distance, and Derek Ibbotson up to the ‘Great Three’ of the late 70s & 80s in Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram.

The official premiere on British soil is to be held on February 23 in London.

As concerns London contenders, I would also like to add the names of James Shane and Niall Brooks while there shouldn’t be ruled out a big breakthrough by the likes of Adam Cotton, Stephen Davies, Chris O’Hare and Kris Gauson.


Middle distance great Steve Cram follows growing modern running legend Mo Farah through his first steps settling over the Pond in Oregon under the tutelage of renowned American coach Alberto Salazar , new established routines like the famous now ice-baths and as far as the race that raised him as a major distance force on the way to gold in Daegu; his triumph over 10000m at the Prefontaine Classic in a big European record of 26:46.57. Makes a really nice watch, with also a few glimpses of Katherine Merry beside Cram on the infield during the race.

On the occasion of Sebastian Coe‘s birthday today, it would be most fitting to hold a little feature on maybe the greatest ever middle distance runner to grace the track in athletics history, still steering and influencing the fortunes of the sport in the country to a large extent from high-placed quarters nowadays.

Sebastian Newbold Coe, as is his full name, was born on 29 September 1956 in London and during his amazing running career he set no less than 11 individual world records, eight outdoors and three indoors, over distances from 800m through to the mile, as well as anchoring a 4x800m British outfit comprising also Steve Cram, Peter Elliott and Gary Cook to a twelfth global mark in a superb 1:44.03 leg in 1982. No other Briton has ever neared those dizzy numbers.

Every bit as magnificent, he also makes the most successful British Olympian in track and field as he has won two individual golds and two silvers, the only man to have won the 1500m title twice and on the trot at that. Come to that, his winning time of 3:32.53 ahead of then world champion Cram in Los Angeles in 1984 still stands as the fastest time ever recorded in an Olympia 27 years on. On top of that, Coe never failed to make the podium in every single event he has contested in major championships to provide a further measure of his athletic grandeur.

His one and only coach during his entire career was his late father Peter Coe, the man who changed the course of history in terms of middle distance training. Strangely enough, while the Africans, in particular the Moroccans, embraced his training principles and concepts to produce scores of classy runners over the last three decades, the Britons seem to have largely deserted his ideas.

Sebastian Coe still continues to claim races and win titles in other regions of athletics these days as the man who spearheaded London’s winning campaign over next year’s Olympic Games, as well as being one of the four vice presidents of IAAF.

Here are some of his greatest running moments:

Coe sets three world records in 41 days to soar to the very top of global athletics in 1979, named athlete of the year; he destroys Alberto Juantorena‘s 800m milestone by nearly a second in 1:42.33 in Oslo, becomes the first man to dip under 3:49 in a time of 3:48.95 over the mile and edges inside the 1500m world record in 3:32.03 in Zurich.

The ‘Clash of the Titans’ with Steve Ovett in Moscow Olympics in 1980. Astonishingly enough, he loses the race he couldn’t lose due to poor tactics, the 800m, but stages an amazing rally to end Ovett’s over three-year unbeaten run over 1500m later that week – his first Olympic crown. The following year, the two engage in a memorable battle over the claim to the mile world record, which shifts hands between them three times within a few weeks with Coe eventually on the winning end courtesy of an astonishing 3:47.33 in Brussels.

He was named athlete of the year for a second time in his career having also slashed another chunk off the 800m world record to an astonishing 1:41.73, which still remains third fastest time in history 30 years on, and well over a second off his own mark into a dazzling 2:12.18 over 1000m (1:44.56 through 800m), second fastest ever still.

Olympics 1984 in Los Angeles, Coe suffers defeat at the hands of great Brasilian Joakim Cruz in 1:43.74 to 1:43.00 in the 800m but again digs deep into his resources to come back and claim an unprecedented second Olympic title in the 1500m over world champion Steve Cram in style, setting an Olympic record of 3:32.53 in the process.

Coe is not the favourite this time round but Cram, on top of his own game, to win the European title in Stuttgart in 1986 but builds up fabulously round the top bend to storm past his great rival and rising Scot Tom McKean down the home straight to gold in 1:44.50.

This is a rare sight… back then! Great late Grete Waitz conquers the women’s marathon in style

Local hero and world record holder Tiina Lillak launches a last-gasp 70.83m to snatch gold of the hands of Fatima Whitbread in the very last throw of the competition – enthralling drama in the women’s javelin!

Carl Lewis (USA) opens his golden treble with a comprehensive victory over world record holder Calvin Smith in the 100m, with Allan Wells slightly out of the medals

The ‘invincible’ Daley Thompson defies a groin injury and world record holder Jurgen Hingsen (FRG) to complete the grand slam in the decathlon, setting the ground on Day I…

…. before coming back to complete his triumph on Day II

Mary Decker (USA) stages an astonishing late rally to stun Zaitseva (RUS) to the 1500m gold right when the race was looking all over in a swift 4:00.90, completing an awesome 1500/3000m double

Steve Cram comes on top over a highly tactical men’s 1500m in style ahead of Steve Scott (USA) and Said Aouita (MAR), with Steve Ovett missing out

Marita Koch (CDR) wins the 200m from a very young Merlene Ottey (JAM) and Kathy Cook

Yarmila Kratochvilova (CZE) creeps under 48 secs, first woman ever in history, to a world record of 47.99 secs over 400m


British medalists

Golds (2): Steve Cram (1500), Daley Thompson (Decathlon)

Silvers (2): Fatima Whitbread (javelin), Great Britain Women’s 4×100 (Joan Baptiste, Kathy Cook, Bev Callender, Shirley Thomas)

Bronzes (3): Colin Reitz (3000mSC), Kathy Smallwood-Cook (200), Great Britain Men’s 4×400 (Ainsley Bennett, Gary Cook, Todd Bennett, Phil Brown)


World Championships 1983 Results – Top 8