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Seb Coe – Another Time Another Place



athletics track

Seb Coe – Another Time Another Place

It was a very good year.

With the Tokyo Olympic Games set to book-end a fantastic summer of sport; reflections-of-his-life, appear timely.

Four decades have passed since British middle-distance running was in its pomp. And ovett-aside; Sebastian Coe was its recognised master of ceremonies.

In 1981, he would prove invincible.

On no-fewer than twenty-two occasions; he transported his Gazelle-like frame to victory around Europe’s athletic vistas. In so-doing; the 24-Year-old Haringey Harrier created a sporting legacy uniformly revered.

Under the tutelage of his devoted Father and Coach Peter; track times were lowered with unflinching regularity, throughout an unprecedented campaign of measured athleticism.

From his seasonal bow atop the rigid boards of RAF Cosford; Coe’s intentions were clinically transparent.

Three days shy of Valentines; the Olympic silver Medalist clocked a World Indoor low of 1 Minute 46 Seconds (1:46:00), over his favoured 800m discipline.

Unburdened by the lofty expectations of yesteryear, Coe cut a nuanced figure in readiness for the outdoor season.

With the clock his main foe; he lined-up in Florence (10 June 1981), intent on showcasing his preparedness. And on a bill featuring sprint-king Carl Lewis, Coe headlined with aplomb.

Those in attendance; lay witness to the first athlete in history to run sub 1:42:00 over two-laps of the track.

The official finishing time of 1:41:73, broke Coe’s own 800m World Record, with the new mark remaining intact for no-less-than 16 Years.

Subsequently; only two other athletes; Wilson Kipketer (Den) 1:41:11, and David Rudisha (Ken) 1:40:91, have achieved such a feat.

Sebastian Coe (a Double Olympic 1500m Champion – Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984),would enjoy near uninterrupted track success throughout the 1980’s, before calling time on his Race career in 1990.

The current president of World Athletics; will however be fondly remembered for his record-breaking exploits, in Brussels, Florence Oslo et al, in that glorious summer of 1981.


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Born in 1963, Peter attended St Mary's Leith High School. Peter worked within the plumbing industry before studying a degree in journalism within the University of Stirling. Peter has been a lifelong sports fan and has volunteered within the Edinburgh Soccer School's programme on numerous occasions.


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