Mapelli Mozzi wrote:
Aouita was going for the double 800m and 1500m.
Imagine if he won both!
Yes, the Olympic 1500m in 88 could have been the greatest race over the distance of all time, but it turned into quite a depleted field and one of the weakest standard victories at that level. Rono practically never won a race before that final and I don't recall him winning another race again!
Had Cram not made the (terrible) decision to run the 800m first (as he was carrying an injury) he would likely have won the 1500m. Had Elliott not succombed to injury too in running both events, he would likely have beaten Rono but not a rested Cram.
Had Aouita not run injured in the 800 it would have been neck and neck with Cram in the 1500m. Had Bile not got injured and been there he too could have won the 1500, especially in the form he showed in 87 and 89.
And if Coe had been allowed to run and been given a chance to recover from the chest infection that had affected him in the UK trials some 6 weeks earlier, then he too would have had a good shot of winning the 1500.
It could have been Cram v Aouita v Coe v Bile at something approaching their best, but instead we ended up with a little known Kenyan beating an injured Cram and Elliott.
The moral of this is that it is exceptionally difficult to double up in those 2 events in an Olympic arena, never mind winning medals in both events. That is why only 1 man, Snell, has managed it in the modern era, and why Coe came close twice.
What could have been...
You probably referred to winning both events but Makhloufi did achieve the feat of winning a medal in both.
Do you suspect his pedigree?