Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres

The men's 800 metres event at the 2016 Summer Olympics took place between 12–15 August at the Olympic Stadium.[1] Fifty-eight athletes from 39 nations competed.[2] The event was won by David Rudisha of Kenya, the fourth man to successfully defend Olympic gold in the 800 metres. Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria took silver, the first medal for the nation in the 800 metres since 2000. The United States had an even longer medal-less streak broken, as Clayton Murphy's bronze was their first since 1992.

Men's 800 metres
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Engenhão vista atrás do gol.jpg
Interior view of the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, where the Men's 800m took place.
VenueOlympic Stadium
Dates12 August 2016 (heats)
13 August 2016 (semifinals)
15 August 2016 (final)
Competitors58 from 39 nations
Winning time1:42.15
1st place, gold medalist(s) David Rudisha  Kenya
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Taoufik Makhloufi  Algeria
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Clayton Murphy  United States
← 2012
2020 →


In the first round, Amos was a surprise elimination, faring poorly at the end of a slow, tactical race.[3] The semi-finals saw the elimination of world #1 Amel Tuka who has not shown evidence of his finishing kick this year, and world championship silver medalist Adam Kszczot. Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse and Algerian Makhloufi shared the semi-final's leading time of 1:43.85 in the first semi-final, with Rudisha just three hundredths slower. Kipketer won the third semi-final.[4]

In the final, Kenyan trials winner Kipketer took the lead, closing off Rudisha's challenge after the break. Kipketer took the 200 in 23.2 and continued to lead at 400 in 49.3 but Rudisha was just a step behind. Through the turn, Rudisha went around Kipketer and accelerated down the backstretch. The next chaser was Bosse, in position to challenge at the 600 metres in 1:16.1, but most of the field was really in contention, within about a second. Through the final turn, Rudisha established separation, with Bosse the last to fall off. Taoufik Makhloufi tracked Bosse through the turn and sped by as they hit the straightaway. Makhloufi took off in chase of Rudisha but was too far back to make any headway. Clayton Murphy came from sixth place to sprint past Bosse to take the bronze.[5]

While it was "only" Rudisha's eleventh best performance, only four other men have ever run faster. It was also Rudisha's best race since 2012. Makhloufi set the national record for Algeria and became the seventeenth fastest man in history. Murphy became #31 and the #3 American in history.[6] Rudisha joined Douglas Lowe, Mal Whitfield and Peter Snell in defending the Olympic 800 metres championship, the first to accomplish the feat in over 50 years.[7]


This was the 28th appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. The top two men from 2012, gold medalist David Rudisha of Kenya and silver medalist Nijel Amos of Botswana, returned along with sixth-place finisher Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia. Rudisha entered the competition as the reigning 2012 Olympic champion and the 2015 World Champion. He also held the season's fastest time at 1:43.35 minutes.[8] His principal challengers included Kenyans Alfred Kipketer and Ferguson Rotich, the African champion Amos, and Olympic 1500 metres champion Taoufik Makhloufi.[9][2]

Djibouti, Kosovo, Slovenia, and the Refugee Olympic Team appeared in the event for the first time. Great Britain made its 27th appearance, most among all nations, having had no competitors in the event only in the 1904 Games in St. Louis.


A National Olympic Committee (NOC) could enter up to 3 qualified athletes in the men's 800 metres event if all athletes meet the entry standard during the qualifying period. (The limit of 3 has been in place since the 1930 Olympic Congress.) The qualifying standard was 1:46.00. The qualifying period was from 1 May 2015 to 11 July 2016. The qualifying time standards could be obtained in various meets during the given period that have the approval of the IAAF. Indoor and outdoor meets were accepted. NOCs could also use their universality place—each NOC could enter one male athlete regardless of time if they had no male athletes meeting the entry standard for an athletics event—in the 800 metres.[10][11]

Competition formatEdit

The men's 800 metres used a three-round format, the most common format since 1912 though there had been variations. The "fastest loser" system introduced in 1964 was used for the first two rounds. There were seven first-round heats, each with 8 or 9 athletes; the top three runners in each heat as well as the next three fastest overall advanced to the semifinals. There were three semifinals with 8 athletes each; the top two runners in each semifinal and the next two fastest overall advanced to the eight-man final.[2]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World record   David Rudisha (KEN) 1:40.91 London, United Kingdom 9 August 2012 [12]Video on YouTube
Olympic record   David Rudisha (KEN) 1:40.91 London, United Kingdom 9 August 2012 [13]Video on YouTube
Time (s) Athlete Nation
Africa (records) 1:40.91 WR David Rudisha   Kenya
Asia (records) 1:42.79 Yusuf Saad Kamel   Bahrain
Europe (records) 1:41.11 Wilson Kipketer   Denmark
North, Central America
and Caribbean
1:42.60 Johnny Gray   United States
Oceania (records) 1.44.3+ Peter Snell   New Zealand
South America (records) 1:41.77 Joaquim Cruz   Brazil

The following national record was established during the competition:

Country Athlete Round Time Notes
Algeria   Taoufik Makhloufi (ALG) Final 1:42.61


All times are Brasília Time (UTC−3).

Date Time Round
Friday, 12 August 2016 10:10 Heats
Saturday, 13 August 2016 22:08 Semifinals
Monday, 15 August 2016 22:25 Finals


Round 1Edit

Qualification rule: First 3 in each heat (Q) and the next 3 fastest (q) advance to the Semifinals.[14]

Heat 1Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Ayanleh Souleiman   Djibouti 1:45.48 Q
2 Amel Tuka   Bosnia and Herzegovina 1:45.72 Q
3 Boris Berian   United States 1:45.87 Q
4 Kléberson Davide   Brazil 1:46.14 q
5 Žan Rudolf   Slovenia 1:46.93 SB
6 Antoine Gakeme   Burundi 1:47.46
7 Musa Hajdari   Kosovo 1:48.41
Abraham Rotich   Bahrain DQ R163.3a

Heat 2Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Adam Kszczot   Poland 1:45.83 Q
2 Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich   Kenya 1:46.00 Q
3 Andrés Arroyo   Puerto Rico 1:46.17 Q
4 Hamada Mohamed   Egypt 1:46.65 q
5 Rafith Rodríguez   Colombia 1:46.65 SB
6 Boitumelo Masilo   Botswana 1:48.48
7 Luke Mathews   Australia 1:50.17
8 Brice Etès   Monaco 1:50.40

Heat 3Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 David Rudisha   Kenya 1:45.09 Q
2 Reinhardt van Rensburg   South Africa 1:45.67 Q, SB
3 Michael Rimmer   Great Britain 1:45.99 Q
4 Clayton Murphy   United States 1:46.18 q
5 Jinson Johnson   India 1:47.27
6 Anthony Romaniw   Canada 1:47.59
7 Lutimar Paes   Brazil 1:48.38
8 Benjamín Enzema   Equatorial Guinea 1:52.14
9 Alex Beddoes   Cook Islands 1:52.76 PB

Heat 4Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Alfred Kipketer   Kenya 1:46.61 Q
2 Andreas Bube   Denmark 1:46.67 Q
3 Yassine Hathat   Algeria 1:46.81 Q
4 Álvaro de Arriba   Spain 1:46.86
5 Wesley Vázquez   Puerto Rico 1:46.96
6 Charles Jock   United States 1:47.06
7 Elliot Giles   Great Britain 1:47.88
8 Yiech Biel   Refugee Olympic Team 1:54.67
Joshua Ilustre   Guam DQ R163.3a

Heat 5Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Taoufik Makhloufi   Algeria 1:49.17 Q
2 Mostafa Smaili   Morocco 1:49.29 Q
3 Giordano Benedetti   Italy 1:49.40 Q
4 Sho Kawamoto   Japan 1:49.41
5 Jacob Rozani   South Africa 1:49.79
6 Jozef Repčík   Slovakia 1:49.95
7 Nijel Amos   Botswana 1:50.46
8 Kevin López   Spain 1:53.41

Heat 6Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Brandon McBride   Canada 1:45.99 Q
2 Marcin Lewandowski   Poland 1:46.35 Q
3 Mark English   Ireland 1:46.40 Q
4 Jeff Riseley   Australia 1:46.93
5 Abubaker Haydar Abdalla   Qatar 1:47.81
6 Pol Moya   Andorra 1:48.88
7 Alex Amankwah   Ghana 1:50.33
Abdelati El Guesse   Morocco DNF

Heat 7Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Pierre-Ambroise Bosse   France 1:48.12 Q
2 Mohammed Aman   Ethiopia 1:48.33 Q
3 Amine Belferar   Algeria 1:48.40 Q
4 Daniel Andújar   Spain 1:48.50
5 Charles Grethen   Luxembourg 1:48.93
6 Peter Bol   Australia 1:49.36
7 Francky-Edgard Mbotto   Central African Republic 1:52.97
Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla   Qatar DNS


Qualification rule: First 2 in each heat (Q) and the next 2 fastest (q) advance to the Final.

Semifinal 1Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Pierre-Ambroise Bosse   France 1:43.85 Q, SB
2 Taoufik Makhloufi   Algeria 1:43.85 Q, SB
3 Marcin Lewandowski   Poland 1:44.56 q, SB
4 Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich   Kenya 1:44.65 q
5 Mostafa Smaili   Morocco 1:45.78
6 Kléberson Davide   Brazil 1:46.19
7 Andrés Arroyo   Puerto Rico 1:46.74
8 Michael Rimmer   Great Britain 1:46.80

Semifinal 2Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 Alfred Kipketer   Kenya 1:44.38 Q
2 Boris Berian   United States 1:44.56 Q
3 Yassine Hathat   Algeria 1:44.81 PB
4 Amel Tuka   Bosnia and Herzegovina 1:45.24
5 Reinhardt van Rensburg   South Africa 1:45.33 PB
6 Brandon McBride   Canada 1:45.41
7 Andreas Bube   Denmark 1:45.87 SB
8 Mohammed Aman   Ethiopia 1:46.14

Semifinal 3Edit

Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
1 David Rudisha   Kenya 1:43.88 Q
2 Clayton Murphy   United States 1:44.30 Q, PB
3 Adam Kszczot   Poland 1:44.70
4 Ayanleh Souleiman   Djibouti 1:45.19
5 Mark English   Ireland 1:45.93
6 Giordano Benedetti   Italy 1:46.41 SB
7 Amine Belferar   Algeria 1:46.55
8 Hamada Mohamed   Egypt 1:48.17


Rank Athlete Nation Time Notes
  David Rudisha   Kenya 1:42.15 SB
  Taoufik Makhloufi   Algeria 1:42.61 NR
  Clayton Murphy   United States 1:42.93 PB
4 Pierre-Ambroise Bosse   France 1:43.41 SB
5 Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich   Kenya 1:43.55 SB
6 Marcin Lewandowski   Poland 1:44.20 SB
7 Alfred Kipketer   Kenya 1:46.02
8 Boris Berian   United States 1:46.15


  1. ^ "Men's 800m". Rio 2016 Organisation. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "800 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  3. ^ Minshull, Phil (12 August 2016). Report: men's 800m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 13 August 2016.
  4. ^ Minshull, Phil (14 August 2016). Report: men's 800m semi-finals – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 14 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^ "David Rudisha retains Olympic 800m title with 'greatest moment of career'". The Guardian. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  8. ^ senior outdoor 2016 800 Metres men. IAAF. Retrieved on 12 August 2016.
  9. ^ Minshull, Phil (9 August 2016). Preview: men's 800m – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 12 August 2016.
  10. ^ "IAAF approves entry standards for Rio 2016 Olympic Games". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Qualification System – Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Athletics". IAAF. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  12. ^ "800 Metres Results". IAAF. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  13. ^ "800 Metres Results". IAAF. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  14. ^ Heats results