A shocking win by American David Krummenacker over Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer in the final metres left the crowd in stunned silence.
The American’s 1:45.69 was a personal best by 1½ seconds, and mastered the 1:45.87 of Kipketer, who won the silver medal.
During the middle stages of the race, Krummenacker appeared to be boxed in by Kipketer and Spain’s Antonio Reina.
But at the bell, the Dane moved ahead, followed by the American and also Kenya’s Wilfred Bungei, who had been the lead runner for the previous 600 metres.
Krummenacker then made a strong move in close behind Kipketer on the final backstraight, which made possible his final strike in the last 30 metres.
Bungei stayed in good position on the run-in, and his 1:46.54 was able to fend off a comeback by Reina (1:46.58) for the bronze medal.
Young Dutch runners Bram Som (1:47.00) and Arnoud Okken (1:48.71) completed the sextet of finalists.