Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Coe won four Olympic medals and set eight world records in middle distance track events. His rivalries with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram dominated middle-distance racing for much of the 1980s.
He was coached by his father, Peter Coe , who designed workouts specifically for his son.
He first ran against Ovett in a schools cross country race in 1972. Neither won, nor did they in their first major encounter in the European Championships Prague in 1978 in an 800 meter race. The next year in Oslo, Norway, Coe set his first world records (in the 800-meter and mile races). Later that year, he set the world 1500 meter record in Zurich, Switzerland. The most famous races between Ovett and Coe were in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, where each won the other's speciality, Ovett the 800 meters, and Coe the 1500 meters, handing Ovett his first defeat at either one mile or 1500 meters in three years and 45 races.
Coe set world records in the 800 meter and 1,000 meter races in 1981. His world record of 1:41.72 in the 800-meters remained unbeaten until August 1997 when it was broken by Wilson Kipketer.
Coe returned to the Olympics in 1984. He took silver in the 800-meters and gold in the 1500-meters. The latter made him the only person to win the distance twice.
Coe became member of Parliament for Falmouth and Camborne in 1992, for the Conservative Party, but lost his seat in the 1997 general election. He was created a life peer in 2000 as Baron Coe, of Ranmore in the County of Surrey.
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