Britain's Sebastian Coe, Olympic 1500 metres champion and 800 metres world record, holder, suffered a defeat in the 1500 metres race at the athletics meeting in Paris, on June 24.
GV Start of 100 metres race, Mel Lettany from USA winning the race (2 shots)
GV 1500 metres race, last lap, crowd watching Sebastian Coe from UK being overtaken by Gonzales, Gonzales winning the race (3 shots)
GV Coe congratulating winner
GV Start of 200 metres race, Pietro Mennea from Italy winning the race (2 shots)
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Background: Britain's Sebastian Coe, Olympic 1500 metres champion and 800 metres world record, holder, suffered a defeat in the 1500 metres race at the athletics meeting in Paris, on June 24. The race was won by unknown Jose Louis Gonzales from Spain, in three minutes 34.84 seconds, 33 hundredths of a second ahead of Coe. The meeting brought some world class performances, as Mel Lettany from the United States won the 100 metres sprint race, clocking 9.8 seconds. This would have been a world record, but the wind turned out to be too fast, (3.3 metres per second). The 200 metres sprint race was won by Pietro Mennea from Italy, in 20.43 seconds. The 1500 metres race was planned to be the first race between Coe and Sydney Maree from the United States, the fastest man over the distance last year, but Maree withdrew from the race shortly before the start. The meeting in Paris was the first of the major European athletics events staged under a new permit system under which athletes may receive money for compting. It is paid into a trust fund maintained by the athlete's home National Federation until his retirement.