winning feeling biography hero

CHAPTER THREE

MOSCOW 1980: AN ICONIC VICTORY

UNDER PRESSURE

One of Seb Coe’s most iconic victories took place at the Moscow Olympic games in 1980. Bitterly disappointed after losing the 800-metre Olympic final to his rival Ovett just days before, Coe was bursting to redeem himself in the 1500-metre event. It was a fierce rivalry, spurred on by intense pressure from the media, and Coe knew that his performance in the 800-metre race had been far below what he was capable of.


“THERE IS NO FEELING IN THE WORLD LIKE THERE IS WHEN YOU’VE ACTUALLY WON."

Seb Coe

MAKING A COMEBACK

It had been a long time since Ovett had been beaten in the 1500-metre event, but it was Coe who came out in front on the home stretch, taking first place, and the gold medal. Ovett came third, behind Jürgen Straub of East Germany. When describing how it felt to take the top spot, Coe says he was first flooded with relief that he hadn’t let his team down, followed by sheer and total elation.