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A. Cooney (Windsor, UK)
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The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
by Pat Butcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read, 22 Aug. 2007
This is a great read for anyone interested in athletics. Unsurprisingly it's mostly about Coe and Ovett and their intense battle for supreamacy but, riveting as that main plot is, Butcher intersperses sections on many of the other leading runners of the time, the change from amateurism to professionalism, the history of the mile.. etc which help flesh out the story.

The opening sentence captures the imagination and makes putting the book down difficult! I would have liked a bit more on the LA campaign which closes the book however.

I've read biographies by several olympic athletes and one thing they have in common is not conveying what it's actually like to be at the games. Something I would give my right arm for. Paula's is the most recent example, where there is little more detail than you would expect describing a trip to Sainsbury's. The Perfect Distance did go some way to capture the atmosphere and brought back vivid memories of watching Coe, Cram and Ovett competing at the time, on the edge of my seat, shouting at the tv.

Highly recommended.


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