Thanks Birkmyre - never tire of watching races from that era !
What I also always find so impressive about that 1977 World Cup 1500 (apart from the sudden burst of speed) is how effortless he makes it seem. Going through 400 M in about 55 secs and 800 M in about 1'53", Ovett never looks like he's doing anything more than jogging.
I think it will always be impossible to say who was best - they were both unarguably all-time greats, even though (like others) I was always an Ovett fan as he seemed easier to warm to.
One thing that doesn't always get mentioned when their head-to-head record is compared is that they were probably at their peak at different times. In 1977/78, Ovett seemed unbeatable. He was winning races for fun, often doing just enough to win and seeming to be uninterested in times. A great example is the 1977 World Cup where with about 300 metres to go he seemed to "flick a switch" and leave a top class field for dead (including John Walker who was the current Olympic champion). That was also the year when he decided on the spur of the moment to enter the Dartford Half Marathon and won it in 65 minutes, which shows the all-round shape he was in that summer.
I think Coe reached his peak later, around 1981/82 and his 800M times from those years in particular are still amazing.
It must also be true that their mutual rivalry (and later with others such as Cram and Elliott) spurred them on to greater and greater heights - bit like Kenyan marathon runners today.
As well as being an outstanding athlete, he came across as a very genuine guy.
He also deserves a lot of credit for coming to the Commonwealth Games when clearly some way short of the form and fitness he was in in 2012, yet still going to the front and trying to win. He was also very gracious to Amos afterwards.