Other than Beamon's leap, the most amazing one day record change in T & F was the day Michael Johnson burned a 19.32 200 M, breaking a 17-year old record by 34/100 of a second (three meters).
To lower a mile world record by a third of a second is phenomenal. To lower a sprint world record by .34 is inhuman. Look at the second and third place times for that race (I think Bolden & Fredericks) if you ever have a chance. THEY were cruising.
Bijan, if you call Frederick's 19.68 and Boldon's 19.80 for 2nd and third "just cruising", how fast would they have to be going for you to say they were "running ? " Frederick's 19.68 made him the second fastest 200 runner in history and has been bested, 7 years later, by only MJ in the same race, plus MJ's 19.66 WR on the same track a month earlier.
Agreed: All thre medalists in the men's 1996 Olympic 200m ran extremely fast -- on an extremely fast track which was thereafter removed from the stadium. That's regrettable; it would have been good to see how fast other sprinters, both male and female, would run in subsequent years on the same track.