Call Smith's mark a 20.00 or
>whatever you want. It doesn't matter, because
>it's all relative. Johnson took an insane 0.3 off
>a sprint record, Smith took 0.5 off, period. You
>can think Johnson's mark is more impressive.
>Fine. But he didn't lower the record by as much
>as Smith did. Is that so hard to understand?
I understand what GH is saying. The issue is whether the old 20.0 straight record was as strong as the 19.66 mark. Given the 0.3 adjustment, the 20.0 was not as good as the curve WR at the time, so breaking a weak record by 0.5 is not as impressive as breaking a strong record by 0.34. And don't forget the fuzziness of hand-timing vs. auto timing. All of this to say that Johnson's improvement is more impressive when we get through the proper adjustments.
>Wang Junxia breaks the 10k, 5k, and 3k WRs...in
>the same race.
I was stunned to, until she and 4 other broke the 3k record in the SEMIS 2 days later, then she broke the 1500 record the next day, then she and 5 others again broke the 3k WR the following day! At that point I started having lots of questions and I've discounted these marks ever since. See my article in the FAST Newsletter in 96 and my posts on t-and-f for more on that issue.
>Coe's first 800 record. I saw the results in the
>newspaper (I was a teenager at the time) and
>thought it was a misprint. Then I saw the race
>on TV (have it on tape now - "Born To Run").
Advice please on how to obtain the tape "Born to Run" in the USA?
I would think Coe's first mile record would be equally stunning -- someone who was relatively unknown at that distance, defeating with ease a great field. Facts that came out later (wasn't particularly hard-trained at that time) made it more astonishing. An 800 record could be someone very talented who was just really "on" that day, perhaps, but a mile is something else.
Perhaps not mentioned so far (it's a long thread): Abebe Bikila's first marathon gold in Rome.
I remember reading at the time, that Seb Coe's 800m mark was a statistically superior performance. That when certain factors were considered, that his mark was particularly remarkable. I'm surprised that noone else has mentioned this performance as such. Did anyone get to see this?
While it was not a record of any sort, I have always been thoroughly impressed with Michael Franks' 4th leg of the 1600m relay during the World Championships (1987, I think). The handoff between Ray Armistead and Franks was dropped and actually rolled to the inside of the track. Michael was forced to stop, reach down and retrieve the baton before beginning his run. Having now spotted the opposition a good 20 meters, Franks put his head down and ran for all he was worth. As usually happens in such stories, he pulled it off and won at the very end. I have tried replaying it on my VCR several times and it appears to me that his actually running of the leg took less than 43 seconds. Time notwithstanding, it was certainly an inspirational performance.
I actually saw the 800m race on TV when I was just first getting into track. I could not believe the incredible speed that this short little white british guy could sustain. Coe's stride when he's in full flight is an incredible sight. It shortens up a bit in the mile but in a full out 800 he was magnificant to watch.
At the 400m point in the race you think that its going to be another go out too fast and hold on race and it was for the rest of the field but Coe never looked like he was slowing down (although he did a little). He was just so fluid the whole way. Man, it was a sight to see.
The thread started with this question: "What is THE or at least ONE of the most stunning single performances in track & field history? The "stunning" quality could be either because of an upset or because of pure performance.
No one has so far responded to the upset alternative with Harrison Dillard's 100m dash victory at 1948 Olympics in London.
Dillard, known then primarily as a hurdler, did not make the USA team in his event after tangling with a barrier in the USA trials. But he went to London as a 100m dash competitor and on 31 July 1947 upset favorites such as Mel Patton, Barney Ewell, and Lloyd LaBeach.
Postscript(s): Patton won the OG 200m on 3 August 1948 -- and Dillard came back four years later to win the 110m hurdles in Olympic record time at Helsinki on 24 July 1952.
My previous message reflected old man's feeble typing by producing a 1947 date in a discussion of 1948 Olympics. I better admit this quickly before a "gotcha" specialist focuses on that rather than the subject athlete's great performance.
The ones that come first to my mind are MJ's 19.32 (I stood up and yelled "look at the time, look at the time", which was a little odd since I was watching alone) and Powell's LJ WR (got so excited watching the competition I accidently drank too much and remember the hangover equally as well!).
>The ones that come first to my mind are MJ's
>19.32 (I stood up and yelled "look at the time,
>look at the time", which was a little odd since
>I was watching alone)
I was there and I agree it was the most stunning I personally witnessed. I was with my sister and she said she's never seen me so excited. I was yelling so much that I almost lost my voice the next day.
1993 World championships Gail got an amazing start as always but Merlene closing strids and the merge at the tape... It seemed like it took for ever for a decision to be made and Gail Devers came out with the win, but a protest was filed by Jamaica, officals confirmed that devers was the winner... both women timed in at 10.82
1996 Atalanta for the second time in their career Gail Devers and Merlene Ottey had a photofinish in one of the major championship finals. Again devers was the winner, and again Jamaica filed a protest and again devers was the winner. both women timed in at 10.94