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Middle-distance running

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Caster Semenya

Mokgadi Caster Semenya OIB is a South African middle-distance runner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist. She won gold in the women's 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the 2017 World Championships in her new personal best, 1:55.16. After the doping disqualification of Mariya Savinova, she also was awarded gold medals at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics, all in the 800 metres.


Mo Farah

Sir Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah is a British long-distance runner. His ten global championship gold medals make him the most successful male track distance runner ever, and he is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history.

Sports, Health

Roger Bannister

Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was a British middle-distance athlete and neurologist who ran the first sub-4-minute mile.


Hicham El Guerrouj

Hicham El Guerrouj is a retired Moroccan middle-distance runner. El Guerrouj is the current world record holder in the 1500 meters, mile and outdoor 2000 meters events. He is also the only man since Paavo Nurmi to take a gold medal in both the 1500 metres and 5000 metres at the same Olympic Games. Given these achievements, El Guerrouj is considered by many to be the greatest middle-distance runner of all time.


Katelyn Tuohy

Katelyn Tuohy is an American long distance runner from Rockland County, New York. Encouraged by her parents, Patrick and Denise, she won the 2017 Nike National cross country championship as a sophomore, to cap an undefeated season. With a time of 16:44.7, she won by 40 seconds, trimming 12 seconds off the course record. The Rockland County legislature honored her victory, declaring December 19, 2017, as "Katelyn Tuohy Day." Tuohy competes for the North Rockland High School Red Raiders.


David Rudisha

David Lekuta Rudisha, MBS is a Kenyan middle-distance runner. He is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion, 2-time World Champion, and world record holder in the 800 metres. Rudisha is the first and only person to ever run under 1:41 for the event, and he holds the three fastest, six of the eight fastest, and half of the twenty fastest times ever run in this event. He also holds the world's best time in the 500m, with a time of 57.69, and the African record for the 600m, with a time of 1:13.10. Rudisha has won a record 3 consecutive Track & Field Athlete of the Year awards, and also won the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award in 2010.


Zola Budd

Zola Pieterse is a middle-distance and long-distance runner. She competed at the 1984 Olympic Games for Great Britain and the 1992 Olympic Games for South Africa, both times in the 3000 metres. In 1984 (unratified) and 1985, she broke the world record in the women's 5000 metres. She was also a two-time winner at the World Cross Country Championships (1985–1986). Budd's career was unusual in that she mainly trained and raced barefoot. She moved with her family to South Carolina in 2008, and competes at marathons and ultramarathons. She volunteers as assistant coach at Coastal Carolina University in Conway. Her mile best of 4:17.57 in 1985, still stands as the British record.


Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes, DBE is a retired British middle distance athlete.


Allie Ostrander

Allie Ostrander is an American long-distance runner from Soldotna, Alaska. The NCAA Division I steeplechase champion, she competes for the Boise State University Broncos.


Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan is an Ethiopian-born Dutch middle- and long-distance runner. She won two gold medals at the 2019 World Championships, in the 1500 metres and 10,000 metres events, becoming the only athlete in history to win both events at a single World Championships or Olympic Games.


Konstanze Klosterhalfen

Konstanze Klosterhalfen is a German athlete who specialises in middle-distance running. In 2016, she won the bronze medal at the 3000 m event in World Junior Championships. She ran in the 1500m at the 2016 Summer Olympics and was placed 10th in the semi-finals. On 11 December 2016, Klosterhalfen won the U20 Women's field at the 2016 European Cross Country Championships in Chia for a second time after 2015. Her first major medal came on 4 March 2017 at the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships when she came second to Laura Muir to claim silver in the 1500m.


Colleen Quigley

Colleen Quigley is an American middle-distance runner from St. Louis, Missouri. She finished 12th in the 3000 metres steeplechase event at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China and 8th in the 3000 metres steeplechase at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Sports, Politics

Jim Ryun

James Ronald Ryun is a former American politician and track and field athlete. He won a silver medal in the 1500 m at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and was the first high school athlete to run a mile in under four minutes. He is the last American to hold the world record in the mile run. Ryun later served in the United States House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007, representing Kansas' 2nd congressional district for the Republican Party.


Ajeé Wilson

Ajeé Wilson is an American middle-distance runner who specializes in the 800 metres. She currently holds the U.S. Record in the event with a time of 1:55.61.


Mary Decker

Mary Teresa Slaney is a retired American middle-distance runner. During her career, she won gold medals in the 1500 meters and 3000 meters at the 1983 World Championships, and was the world record holder in the mile, 5000 meters and 10,000 meters. In total, she set 17 official and unofficial world records, including being the first woman in history to break 4:20 for the mile. She also set 36 US national records at distances ranging from 800 meters to 10,000 meters, and has held the US record in the mile, 2000 meters and 3000 meters since the early 1980s, while her 1500 meters record stood for 32 years. In 2003, she was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.