|Full name||Stephen Cram|
|Nickname(s)||The Jarrow Arrow|
|Born|| 14 October 1960 |
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||10 st 12 lb (69 kg)|
|Event(s)||1500 metres, Mile|
|Club||Jarrow & Hebburn|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)|| 800 metres : 1:42.88 |
1500 metres : 3:29.67
Mile : 3:46.32
3000 metres : 7:43.1
2-mile : 8:14.93
5000 meters : 13:28.58
Stephen Cram(born 14 October 1960) 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 home town, 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.
In 2000, Cram co-founded international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) with British Army Major Jim Panton after running the Bosnia Comrades ultramarathon in 1998. Cram remains chairman of COCO, an organisation which currently provides sustainable sources of quality education to children living in poor, remote parts of East Africa.
In 2008 Cram was appointed Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, replacing Lord Puttnam,and in 2009 was elected as President of Jarrow & Hebburn Athletics Club.
Cram now works as a television presenter and athletics commentator, motivational speaker and athletics coach. In 2021, he was elected as the new president of the British Orienteering Federation.
In 1980, Cram won his place in the British Olympic team after finishing in 2nd place to Steve Ovett in the mile at Crystal Palace. The race had been marked as a run-off between Cram and Scottish miler Graham Williamson for the final place (a selection decision which was severely criticized by Ovett in his 1984 autobiography). Cram, aged 19, reached the final of the 1500 m at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, in which Ovett and Sebastian Coe famously vied for the gold medal. Cram finished in eighth place.
Capitalising on his Olympic experience, Cram made his major breakthrough in 1982, a year in which Coe and Ovett were largely absent with injuries. Cram took 1500 m gold at the Commonwealth Games and also the 1982 European Championships in Athens, where he raced to gold after breaking from the field with 600 metres to go following Williamson's fall.
Injury had disrupted Cram in the early part of the 1983 season, but he recovered in time for the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki and just prior to the games beat Coe (who was suffering from an undiagnosed virus at the time) in an 800 m at Gateshead. In a slow final, he strategically beat a large field following Saïd Aouita's break with 500 metres to go. Ovett became trapped in the pack, ultimately finishing fourth, while Cram outkicked Steve Scott and Aouita in the last 200 metres. In a remark made in Cram's presence shortly afterwards which spoke to the depth of British milers, Ovett noted that Britain was the home of the Olympic champion, World champion and World Record holder in the 1500 m - titles held by Coe, Cram and Ovett respectively.
At Crystal Palace later that summer, Cram won an epic mile race, in which he led Ovett by little more than a metre with 300 metres to go and maintained that lead right to the finishing line. In a 2006 interview, Cram described the race: "It was a cat-and-mouse affair - we both started off running at the back of the field. I beat him by little more than the thickness of a vest."
In 1984, Cram's season was severely hampered by injury, although he recovered sufficiently to win silver in the 1500 m at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, behind defending champion Coe.
He came back stronger in 1985, a year in which he was only beaten three times; by Coe at 800 m, McKean at 800 m and Ovett in a road Mile. In the 800 m, not his best event, he beat the reigning 800 m Olympic Champion, Joaquim Cruz, in 1:42.88, the fastest time he was ever to run, off even splits of 51.2 & 51.7. He broke three world records (1500 m, Mile, 2000 m) within a 19-day span, as of 2021 [update] , is still the European record. This run was notable for the fact that this was an actual competitive race against Sebastian Coe with the first three laps being below schedule, although pretty even in pace distribution (57.2, 57.3, 58.7), followed by an exceptional last lap (440yds) of 53.2.and recorded a British All Comers Record over the 1000 m, running 2:12.88 in windy conditions at Gateshead (the second fastest 1000 m in history at the time behind Coe's 2:12.18). He was the first man to run under 3:30.00 for the 1500 m, just beating Saïd Aouita in Nice (running 3:29.67 to Aouita's 3:29.71). His mile time of 3:46.32, recorded at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, stood for eight years and,
While the likes of Coe and Ovett had a devastating sprint finish over the last 100 metres, Cram tended to wind up the speed gradually over the last 300 metres of races, making him very difficult to catch. However, during the 1985 season he said (and indeed demonstrated) that he could win from any position and happily ran near the back of world class fields before unleashing his kick, often with a lap or so to go. This tactic, his elegant, high stepping action and his effortless acceleration made him one of the most exciting middle distance runners to watch.
Cram's good form continued into the 1986 season. At the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, he won the 800 m, finishing 15 metres clear of Tom McKean and Peter Elliott in 1:43:22 - still the Commonwealth Games record. He followed this up with gold in the 1500 m and was persuaded to run both events at the 1986 European Championships in Stuttgart. He arrived at the European Championships "just over the edge" as he suggested in David Miller's biography of Coe, "Born to Run". Nevertheless, he won the bronze in the 800 m having been blocked down the back straight by Tom McKean who made his run at the same time as Cram and, though leading into the straight, lacked the zest he showed in the Commonwealth games and was unable to hold off the challenges of McKean and a superlative Coe. Although disappointed by his 800 m defeat Cram bounced back to beat Coe to the gold medal in the 1500 m. It turned out to be not only Cram's last major medal, but the end of the golden era for British middle distance running.
In 1987, he was no longer the outstanding 1500 m athlete that he had been in previous years. Having previously been able to win races from any position and at any pace, he was now lacking confidence in his finishing speed, an area in which he had fallen behind some of his main rivals. He was beaten by José Luis González in the European Cup, and although he followed that with an impressive win in the 1000 m in Stockholm, and won the Dream Mile for the third year running, he finished eighth after leading into the final bend of the 1987 World Championships final in Rome. He had said before the race that his only hope of victory was a fast race, in which he could run the finish out of his opponents, in particular Abdi Bile, the eventual winner. Unhappily for Cram, the pace was slow, and he faded badly in the last 100 metres.
His 1988 season saw him return to better form and he beat Bile in the Oslo Dream Mile in 1988 - his fourth consecutive victory in that race. Having run impressively in the Olympic trials over 800 m and winning in 1:44.16, (opening up an eight-metre gap over Tom McKean in a sprint down the home straight) he was touted as one of the favourites to win the gold medal over 1500 m at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 until a calf injury just before the games in a 1000 m race hampered his progress. The injury affected his performance at the games and he was eliminated in the heats of the 800 m. He recovered sufficiently to reach the final of the 1500 m, but could finish only fourth in a close race surprisingly won by Peter Rono.
Injury dogged him throughout his remaining years and although he continued to compete for some time, he never again looked likely to win a major championship. In the 1990 European Athletics Championships, he still finished fifth in the 1500 m, but in the 1991 World Athletics Championships, he was eliminated in the 1500 m semi-finals.
He retired from athletics in 1994 and remains the UK record holder over the mile and 2000 m.
Cram is the coach of middle-distance runners Laura Weightman,Thomas Lancashire and Ross Murray. In April 2014 Cram joined British Athletics as an adviser and mentor in the run-up to the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Cram now works as a television presenter and athletics commentator predominantly for BBC Sport and as a motivational speaker. He starred alongside UK Olympic Gold medalists Sally Gunnell and Adam Eason in BBC's 2006 primetime TV series Run for Glory, helping the runners and participants overcome psychological barriers to running the London Marathon. He was the BBC's lead commentator for the Athletic events at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Cram has also presented as part of three Winter Olympics - Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 - having replaced Dougie Donnelly as the main Curling commentator in 2010.
Cram's mother Marie was born in Germany and he considered representing Germany because of the dominance of Coe and Ovett.Cram was married to Karen for many years, but they divorced in 2006 and since then he has lived with former athlete Allison Curbishley in Northumberland. He has two children, Josie and Marcus, who have had some success in under-age races. Cram had one sibling, a younger brother Kevin, who died in a fall aged 39 while out for a run in Cardiff in 2001.
In August 2014, Cram was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
He is a supporter of Sunderland A.F.C.
Cram was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1983. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1986 and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to sport.
Sir John George Walker, is a former middle-distance runner from New Zealand who won the 1500 m event at the 1976 Olympics. He was also the first person to run the mile in under 3:50. In more recent years, Walker has been active in local government, as an Auckland Councillor and representing the Manurewa-Papakura ward.
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 nine 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.
Stephen Michael James Ovett is a retired British track athlete. A middle-distance runner, he was the gold medalist in the 800 metres at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and set 5 world records for 1500 metres and the mile run and a world record at two miles. He won 45 consecutive 1500 and mile races from 1977 to 1980.
Steve Scott is an American former track athlete and one of the greatest mile runners in American history. The silver medalist in the 1500 meters at the inaugural IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki in 1983, Scott owns the U.S. indoor record in the 2000 meters (4:58.6-1981). He held the American outdoor mile record for more than 26 years and also is the former American indoor record holder in the same event. Track & Field News ranked Scott #1 in the U.S. on 10 occasions, and 11 times during his career he was ranked in the top ten in the world by T&FN. Additionally, he participated for the US team at the 1984 Olympics. He finished 5th in the 1500 meter run at the 1988 Olympics held in Korea. Scott was also an Olympian on the 1980 Olympics team which was not allowed to go to Moscow. He ran the sub four-minute mile on 136 occasions in his career, more than any other runner in history.
Saïd Aouita is a former Moroccan track and field athlete. He won the 5000 meters at the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1987 World Championships in Athletics, as well as the 3000 meters at the 1989 IAAF World Indoor Championships. He is a former world record holder over 1500 metres (3:29.46), 2000 m (4:50.80), 3000 m (7:29.45), and twice at 5000 m. He lives in Orlando, Florida.
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Thomas Wessinghage is a German former middle- and long-distance runner who won the 1982 European Championships' final over 5000 metres beating the British world-record holder David Moorcroft. Because he was already thirty at the time, and had been an international-level runner for a decade, this victory was a long-awaited one for him. He admitted that he decided to run the 5,000 metres instead of the 1,500 metres, because he lost to Ovett and Coe so often in the shorter distance. The fairly slow pace of the 1982 European Athletics Championships 5,000-metre final favoured Wessinghage, because he was in top form - having set a European record at 2,000 metres shortly before the Championships - and because he was the fastest 1,500-metre runner in the final, having run that distance in 3 minutes 31.6 seconds in 1980. Shortly after he started his final sprint with over 250 metres to go, Wessinghage moved into a decisive lead, stretching it into five metres by 4,800 metres and almost doubling it by 4,900 metres.
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The men's 1500 metres event at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea had an entry list of 59 competitors from 46 nations, with four qualifying heats (59) and two semi-finals (26), before the final (12) took place on Saturday October 1, 1988. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Peter Rono of Kenya, the nation's first title in the event since 1968 and second overall.
The men's 1500 metres was an event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. The final was held on August 11, 1984. Fifty-nine athletes from 40 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Sebastian Coe of Great Britain, the first man to successfully defend an Olympic 1500 metres title. Steve Cram's silver made it the first time a nation had gone 1–2 in the event since Great Britain had done it in 1920. José Manuel Abascal's bronze was Spain's first medal in the event.
The men's 800 metres event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California took place between 3 and 6 August. Sixty-nine athletes from 55 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Joaquim Cruz of Brazil, the nation's first medal in the men's 800 metres. Sebastian Coe of Great Britain repeated his silver-medal performance from 1980, the eighth man to win two medals in the event.
The men's 800 metres was an event at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union. There were a total number of 41 participating athletes from 28 nations, with six qualifying heats, three semifinals, and the final held on Saturday July 26, 1980. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Steve Ovett of Great Britain, the nation's first gold medal in the men's 800 metres since winning four in a row from 1920 to 1932. It was Great Britain's sixth overall title in the event.
These are the official results of the Men's 800 metres event at the 1978 European Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The final was held on 31 August 1978.
Charles Da'Vall Grice, informally known as Charlie Grice, is a British middle distance athlete.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steve Cram .|
| Men's 1,500 m World Record Holder |
16 July 1985 – 23 August 1985
| Men's Mile World Record Holder |
27 July 1985 – 5 September 1993
| European Record Holder Men's 1500m |
16 July 1985 – 12 August 1997
|Awards and achievements|
| United Press International|
Athlete of the Year
The Lord Puttnam
| Chancellor of the University of Sunderland |