Olympic Rivalries: Sebastian Coe & Steve Ovett
Coe, Ovett, middle-distance runners, who presided over the golden era of British athletics
By Pat Butcher, Watershed
Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe were middle-distance runners who presided over the golden era of British athletics. Between them they broke a total of twelve middle-distance records (Mile WRs = 5), won three Olympic gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. In the late 70s and early 80s their great sporting rivalry was watched by millions, and they both became household names and legends.
They were complete opposites in terms of class and upbringing. Ovett was a long-haired art student and son of a market-trader from Brighton; a natural athlete. Coe's formative years were spent under the rigorous training routine of his father Peter Coe, an engineer and self-taught trainer. Their rivalry off the track was as interesting as their rivalry on it.
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