Wilson Kipketer at Bercy 1997

A world record beyond belief

There have been many great World and European Indoor Championship races, but the most glorious one of them all must surely be the victory by Wilson Kipketer in 1997. Unbelievably he smashed Paul Ereng's world record (1:44.84, set at the 1989 World Indoor Championships) in his heat by nearly a second, coming home in 1:43.96. But Wilson was far from finished, he had saved his best run for the final. With a scorching run he outclassed the other competitors and left them so far behind that they had hardly reached the final straight when he was already crossing the finishing line!
His incredible performance is perhaps best illustrated by the story of Rich Kenah who in utter disbelief told his family over the phone: "I've got good and bad news. The bad news is: I finished more than three seconds behind the winner. The good news is: I've still got a medal!".
The result of that amazing race was yet another world record: 1:42.67, an improvement on his heat time by a stunning 1.29 seconds. It's a time many had thought impossible on an indoor track with its much tighter bends. No one has since run close to that time. In fact there are not even that many runners who have run such a time on an outdoor track. This fantastic World Indoor Record may well stand for a long, long time.
Indoor Championships 800 m Roll of Honors
Year Event City Gold Silver Bronze
2014 WC Sopot Mohammed Aman ETH 1.46.40 Adam KszczotPOL 1.46.76 Andrew OsagieGBR 1.47.10
2013 EC Göteborg Adam Kszczot POL 1.48.69 Kevin LópezESP 1.49.31 Mukhtar MohammedGBR 1.49.60
2012 WC Istanbul Mohammed Aman ETH 1.48.36 Jakob HolušaCZE 1.48.62 Andrew OsagieGBR 1.48.92
2011 EC Paris Adam Kszczot POL 1.47.87 Marcin LewandowskiPOL 1.48.23 Kevin LópezESP 1.48.35
2010 WC Doha Abubaker Kaki SUD 1.46.23 Boaz LalangKEN 1.46.39 Adam KszczotPOL 1.46.69
2009 EC Torino Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 1.48.55 Luis Alberto MarcoESP 1.49.14 Mattias ClaessonSWE 1.49.32
2008 WC Valencia Abubaker Kaki SUD 1.44.81 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 1.44.91 Youssef Saad KamelBRN 1.45.26
2007 EC Birmingham Arnoud Okken NED 1.47.92 Miguel Quesada ESP 1.47.96 Maurizio Bobbato ITA 1.48.71
2006 WC Moskva Wilfred Bungei KEN1.47.15 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 1.47.16 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 1.47.38
2005 EC Madrid Dimitriy Bogdanov RUS1.48.61 Antonio Reina ESP 1.48.76 Juan de Dios Jurado ESP 1.49.11
2004 WC Budapest Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 1.45.71 Rashid Ramzi BRN 1.46.15 Osmar dos Santos BRA 1.46.26
2003 WC Birmingham David Krummenacker USA 1.45.69 Wilson Kipketer DEN 1.45.87 Wilfred Bungei KEN 1.46.54
2002 EC Wien Pawel Czapiewski POL 1.44.78 André Bucher SUI 1.44.93 Antonio Reina ESP 1.45.25
2001 WC Lisboa Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 1.44.49 Johan Botha RSA 1.46.42 André Bucher SUI 1.46.46
2000 EC Gent Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 1.47.92 Nils Schumann GER 1.48.41 Balász Korányi HUN 1.48.42
1999 WC Maebashi Johan Botha RSA 1.45.47 Wilson Kipketer DEN 1.45.49 Nico Motchebon GER 1.45.74
1998 EC Valencia Nils Schumann GER 1.47.02 Marko Koers NED 1.47.20 Vebjørn Rodal NOR 1.47.40
1997 WC Paris Wilson Kipketer DEN 1.42.67 Mahjoub Haïda MAR 1.45.76 Rich Kenah USA 1.46.16
1996 EC Stockholm Roberto Parra ESP 1.47.74 Giuseppe d'Urso ITA 1.48.04 Wojciech Kaldowski POL 1.48.40
1995 WC Barcelona Clive Terrelonge JAM 1.47.30 Benson Koech KEN 1.47.51 Pavel Soukup CZE 1.47.74
1994 EC Paris Andrei Loginov RUS 1.46.38 Luis Javier González ESP 1.46.69 Ousmane Diarra FRA 1.47.18
1993 WC Toronto Tom McKean GBR 1.47.29 Charles Nkazamyampi BDI 1.47.62 Nico Motchebon GER 1.48.15
1992 EC Genova Luis Javier González ESP 1.46.80 José Arconada ESP 1.47.16 Tonino Viali ITA 1.47.22
1991 WC Sevilla Paul Ereng KEN 1.47.08 Tomás de Teresa ESP 1.47.82 Simon Hoogewerf CAN 1.47.88
1990 EC Glasgow Tom McKean GBR 1.46.22 Tomás de Teresa ESP 1.47.22 Zbigniew Janus POL 1.47.37
1989 WC Budapest Paul Ereng KEN 1.44.84 José Luiz Barbosa BRA 1.45.55 Tonino Viali ITA 1.46.95
1989 EC Den Haag Steve Heard GBR 1.48.84 Rob Druppers NED 1.48.96 Joachim Heydgen FRG 1.49.75
1988 EC Budapest David Sharpe GBR 1.49.17 Rob Druppers NED 1.49.45 Gert Kilbert SUI 1.49.46
1987 WC Indianapolis José Luiz Barbosa BRA 1.47.49 Vladimir Graudin URS 1.47.68 Faouzi Lahbi MAR 1.47.79
1987 EC Liévin Rob Druppers NED 1.48.12 Vladimir Graudin URS 1.49.14 Ari Suhonen FIN 1.49.56
1986 EC Madrid Peter Braun FRG 1.48.96 Colomán Trabado ESP 1.49.12 Thierry Tonnelier FRA 1.49.51
1985 WIG Paris Colomán Trabado ESP 1.47.42 Benjamin González ESP 1.47.94 Ikem Billy GBR 1.48.28
1985 EC Piraeus Rob Harrison GBR 1.49.09 Petre Dragoescu ROM 1.49.38 Leonid Masunov URS 1.49.59
1984 EC Göteborg Donato Sabia ITA 1.48.05 André Lavie FRA 1.48.35 Phil Norgate GBR 1.48.39
1983 EC Budapest Colomán Trabado ESP 1.46.91 Peter Elliott GBR 1.47.58 Thierry Tonnelier FRA 1.47.68
1982 EC Milano Antonio Paez ESP 1.48.02 Klaus-Peter Nabein FRG 1.48.31 Colomán Trabado ESP 1.48.35
1981 EC Grenoble Herbert Wursthorn FRG 1.47.70 András Paróczai HUN 1.47.73 Antonio Paez ESP 1.48.31
1980 EC Sindelfingen Roger Milhau FRA 1.50.2 András Paróczai HUN 1.50.3 Herbert Wursthorn FRG 1.50.4
1979 EC Wien Antonio Paez ESP 1.47.4 Binko Kolev BUL 1.47.8 András Paróczai HUN 1.48.2
1978 EC Milano Markku Taskinen FIN 1.47.35 Olaf Beyer GDR 1.47.68 Roger Milhau FRA 1.47.8
1977 EC San Sebastián Sebastian Coe GBR 1.46.54 Erwin Göhke GDR 1.47.2 Rolf Gysin SUI 1.47.6
1976 EC München Ivo Van Damme BEL 1.49.2 Josef Schmid FRG 1.49.8 Milovan Savic YUG 1.49.9
1975 EC Katowice Gerhard Stolle GDR 1.49.8 Ivo Van Damme BEL 1.50.1 Vladimir Ponomaryov URS 1.50.2
1974 EC Göteborg Luciano Sušanj YUG 1.48.07 András Zsinka HUN 1.48.50 Jozef Plachý TCH 1.49.49
1973 EC Rotterdam Francis Gonzalez FRA 1.49.17 Gerhard Stolle GDR 1.49.32 Jozef Plachý TCH 1.49.50
1972 EC Grenoble Jozef Plachý TCH 1.48.84 Ivan Ivanov URS 1.49.05 Francis Gonzalez FRA 1.49.17
1971 EC Sofia Yevgeniy Arzhanov URS 1.48.7 Phil Lewis GBR 1.50.5 Andrzej Kupczyk POL 1.50.5
1970 EC Wien Yevgeniy Arzhanov URS 1.51.0 Juan Borroz ESP 1.51.9 Joze Medjimurec YUG 1.51.9
1969 EIG Belgrado Dieter Fromm GDR 1.46.6 Henryk Szordykowski POL 1.47.1 Noel Caroll IRL 1.47.6
1968 EIG Madrid Noel Caroll IRL 1.56.66 Alberto Estebán ESP 1.57.7 Sergey Kryuchok URS 1.58.1
1967 EIG Praha Noel Caroll IRL 1.49.6 Tomáš Jungwirth TCH 1.49.8 Jan Kasal TCH 1.50.0
1966 EIG Dortmund Noel Caroll IRL 1.49.7 Tomáš Jungwirth TCH 1.50.8 Herbert Missalla FRG 1.51.2