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Steve Ovett and Seb Coe – The Record Breaking Rivalry

2004-08-05

The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe - The Record Breaking Rivalry

This new book carries the Book Description fully authorised, inside story of Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coes intense rivalry on the track, which climaxed at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe presided over the golden era of British athletics. Between them they won three Olympic gold medals, two silvers, one bronze, and broke a total of twelve middle-distance records. They were part of the landscape of the late seventies and early eighties -- both household names, their exploits were watched by millions (in an age before video, satellite and Sky Sports, the BBC Nine OClock News was often interrupted to accommodate their successes).

As far apart as possible in terms of class and upbringing -- Ovett is the art student, the long-haired son of a market-trader from Brighton, a natural athlete; Coes formative years were spent under the rigorous training routine of Peter Coe, a self-taught trainer who referred to his son as my athlete -- their rivalry burned as intense on the track as away from it. The pendulum swung between the pair of them -- each breaking the others records, and, memorably, triumphing in each others events in Moscow in 1980 -- for the best part of a decade, until the final showdown at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 ...

Twenty years on, Pat Butcher, a runner himself and athletics correspondent of The Times in the eighties, has spoken at length to both athletes; to Coe, the Tory MP, and to Ovett, whom he tracked down in Australia. He writes in depth about the British obsession with and dominance of middle-distance running, the mile, and speaks to many of the great milers down the years, the likes of the Swedes Gunder Hagg and Arne Andersson, John Walker and, of course, Roger Bannister. The Perfect Distance is both a detailed re-creation and a fitting celebration of the greatest era of British athletics.

This book is available online at www.amazon.co.uk and can be ordered internationally. Click here to order: Amazon


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