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Middle-distance running

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Mo Farah

Sir Mohamed Muktar Jama "Mo" Farah, is the United Kingdom's most successful distance runner. On the track, he mostly competed over 5000 metres and 10,000 metres, but has run competitively from 1500 metres to the marathon. In 2017 he indicated his intention to switch wholly to road racing following victory at his final track race, the 2017 IAAF Diamond League 5000 metres final. His running style has been described as "bouncy" and tactical, which he has attempted to alter for a more efficient and energy-saving stride pattern, especially in the longer distances. Farah runs distance races tactically, a style which is aided by his quick sprint finish.

 
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Caster Semenya

Mokgadi Caster Semenya OIB is a South African middle-distance runner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist. Semenya won gold in the women's 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45 and at the 2017 World Championships in her new personal best, 1:55.16. Semenya also won the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships in the 800 metres. She was the winner of the gold medal in the 800 metre events at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics.

 
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Sports, Health

Roger Bannister

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

 
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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.

 
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Sports, Politics

Sebastian Coe

Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe,, often referred to as Seb Coe or Lord Coe, is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984. He set eight outdoor and three indoor world records in middle-distance track events – including, in 1979, setting three world records in the space of 41 days – and the world record he set in the 800 metres in 1981 remained unbroken until 1997. Coe's rivalries with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram dominated middle-distance racing for much of the 1980s.

 
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Kelly Holmes

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

 
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Edward Cheserek

Edward Cheserek is a Kenyan distance runner. He is a 17 time NCAA champion collegiate distance runner for the University of Oregon. Cheserek was the most highly recruited high school distance runner in the nation out of Saint Benedict's Preparatory School in New Jersey where he was named the Gatorade 2012-2013 National Cross Country Runner of the Year. In 2013, Cheserek became the first freshman in Oregon history to win the NCAA National Cross Country Championships. After repeating as NCAA cross country champion his sophomore and junior years, on November 19, 2016, Cheserek failed in his attempt to become the first collegiate runner to claim 4 NCAA Division I national titles in cross country, coming in third behind Patrick Tiernan of Villanova and Justyn Knight of Syracuse. In total, Cheserek has 17 NCAA National Titles.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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Dave Wottle

David James Wottle is an American retired middle-distance track athlete. He was the gold medalist in the 800 meter run at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. He was known for wearing a golf cap while running.

 
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Mal Whitfield

Malvin Greston "Mal" Whitfield was an athlete, goodwill ambassador, and airman. Nicknamed "Marvelous Mal", he was the Olympic champion in the 800 meters at the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics, and a member of the 1948 gold medal team in the 4 × 400 meters relay. Overall, Whitfield was a five-time Olympic medalist. After his competitive career, he worked for forty-seven years as a coach, goodwill ambassador, and athletic mentor in Africa on behalf of the United States Information Service.

 
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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.

 
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Steve Ovett

Stephen Michael James "Steve" Ovett OBE, is a former middle-distance runner from England. He was a gold medalist in the 800 metres at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and set world records for 1500 metres and the mile run.

 
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Steve Cram

Stephen "Steve" Cram CBE is a British retired track and field athlete. Along with fellow Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, he was one of the world's dominant middle distance runners during the 1980s. Nicknamed "The Jarrow Arrow", after his hometown, Cram set world records in the 1500 m, 2000 m and the mile during a 19-day period in the summer of 1985. He was the first man to run 1500 m under 3 minutes and 30 seconds. He won the 1500 m gold medal at the 1983 World Championships and the 1500 m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.