Without doing any serious research on this, here are some random thoughts:
I'd put Oldfield higher and Timmermann lower in the shot. If you include Cierpinski, you must include Ben Johnson, etc
I wouldn't include Bannister or Beamon - take away their respective great performances and they aren't strong candidates
I'd put Owens (lj), Fredericks (200m) Edwards (tj) Schult (dt) Conley (tj) higher
O'Brien and Thorpe should be above Jenner
Powell above Pedroso; no worse than 3rd all-time
Myricks above Bell
I'd put Paddock and Christie in the top (100m) and take Hary out
I'd include Mal Whitfield (400m), Steve Cram (1500m) Harald Schmid (400h), Patrick Sjoberg (HJ)
Just my thoughts for what they are worth. Nice material.
Great list! I listed my number one's in most events here awhile back, but you've really gone "the whole nine yards" with ten in each event! Nearly all our number one's agree, except I put Lewis ahead of Hayes in the 100, and Elliott first in the mile. Nice to see some agreement with my choice of Snell in the 800 and Kingdom in the high hurdles. I originally had Edwards in the TJ, but comments by others caused me to reconsider and publicly change my choice to Saneyev -- his claim to the top spot is stronger as of now.
>Man, that's detailed. But at least it gets away
>from the other history thread, with arguments
>over dirt tracks, and the Ryun fans arguing with
>the Ryun hater Squires.
I don't hate Ryun. I just don't think he's ready for sainthood. He had two great seasons, then won an Olympic silver medal, and that's all he did. I don't think that qualifies him as "The Greatest Miler That God Could Create", but I suppose my view would be different if Ryun had been my boyhood idol. I base my subjective evaluations of greatness on career accomplishments, and Ryun's are roughly equal to at least half a dozen of history's milers -- and despite the fact that Ryun was clearly better than Keino for a short period, Keino simply has more career accomplishments.
As far as evaluations of talent, I've coached long enough to know that when you talk about someone's talent, it's because they didn't fulfill it. No one talks about Al Oerter's talent, instead they talk about four gold medals. (The baseball coach next door, who has coached two state champs and one national champ, has a sign that says "A lot of players have 'potential' written on their tombstones. It means they didn't do anything.")
Finally, it's Squire, not Squires. There's only one of me.
>2.Carl Lewis 3.Jim Hines 4.Jessie
>Morrow 6.Maurice Greene 7.Donovan
>Hary 9.Valeriy Boroz 10.Eddie
On what grounds are you making these rankings? I'll simply quote someone else -- LA Times trackwriter Maxwell Stiles ranked history's greatest sprnters in the mid-1950s, and he had Morrow, Davis and Metcalfe all ahead of Owens. He picked a #1 man for each year in both the 100 and 200, and Owens was #1 only in 1936. I might be accused of heresy (or even being an "Owens hater") but I think he's highly overrated in the 100.
On the other hand, I think he is underrated in the 200 and very underrated in the long jump. He jumped 21'11" in the seventh grade! I might add that I've been designated the official historian of Ohio track & field by the state coaches' association, so I'm hardly an objective observer.
In the long jump, I think you overlooked William DeHart Hubbard. He was the world's top jumper each year from 1921 to 1926. In "Quest for Gold", Bill Mallon and Ian Buchanan called him "undoubtedly the greatest long jumper of the pre-Owens era". Again, he was from Cincinatti, so I'm a bit biased.
I may be a bit biased, but i would probably put Allen Johnson as the #1 hurdler, and i know several fellow hurdlers who agree. Certainly if he had been completely healthy in 2000 and had won the gold in Sydney, there would be no question. Right now, Kingdom's largest feat, i suppose you could say, was his two golds. Had AJ equaled THAT, he'd be far ahead of Kingdom overall, easily. Look at the all-time lists (i know that doesn't matter much, especially when comparing him to hurdlers of decades past, but in terms of comparing him to the semi-current Kingdom, i'd say it works). AJ has a ton of the top times.
AJ also crushes Colin Jackson in terms of all-time head-to-head battles. Add to that his World Championships, indoors and out, the fact that he twice agonizingly came within 0.01 seconds of Jackson's world record in the same summer, and that he broke Kingdom's OR in Atlanta, and i gotta give the nod to AJ.
Or at the very LEAST, give him the edge over Kingdom. Perhaps some of you could make a case for someone like Dillard or Foster, but i still say AJ is #1. Nehemiah may have been able to take that honor, had he actually stuck with the sport, and had the US not boycotted Moscow.
>I may be a bit biased, but i would probably put
Allen Johnson as the #1 hurdler<
I've seen all of those guys except for Towns, and my vote would be for Nehemiah. Of course, I'm voting on the basis of who was the best, not who won the most significatn races. I think Nehemian would have beaten all of those guys. If it weren't for the Olympic boycott, he would have won the gold in 1980 for sure, and if he hadn't switched to the NFL, I think the world record would be in the 12.80's and he'd still be the record holder. Behind Nehemiah, I'd go with Dillard, Johnson, Jackson, and Kingdom to round out my top 5.
I gotta say MJ is EASILY the number 1 400 runenr ever.
For a moment, spare me the old-timers' nostalgia. MJ had an insane streak going in the 400m......from 1988 until.......i forget when....97?.....he was undefeated in 400m finals. He simply owns the all-time lists.
Evans may have been "ahead of his time" with his record, but, with the correct altitude conversions, his record in Mexico City is only worth about 44.25....still good, but a far cry from a true 43.8.....
If anyone were to say to you "Michael Johnson is not the greatest all-time 400m runner", you should have their head examined.
In a funny way, I think he's underrated by most historians because of his poor showing in Helsinki. But remember that Bannister only trained 20 miles a week, mostly intervals. Miraculously that was enough to make Bannister the best single-day miler of the pre-Elliott era. It was not enough to carry him through heats, semifinals, etc.
When we talk about natural talents --- which always comes up with Ryun --- I think we have to include Bannister.
>I was answering the previous question - Is there another (men's)running event where the current WR has changed as little in 22 years as the 110 hurdles?<
The point was that in 22 years, the record in the 110mH has been lowered by only .02. In the 400m, the difference between the current record and Evans's record (which was standing 22 years ago) is considerably more, both in time and in percentage.
Nehemiah was the best high hurdler of any era and would have lowered the WR considerably if he hadn't been bored with the lack of competition and a nose for the greater fame and fortune of the football arena.
Rich K, that's an apt observation regarding Lee Evans. Very hard worker with talent, but not unreal talent like so many other WR holders. In one of the other threads, someone mentioned that Evans ran XC in the off season with the distance guys. Imagine some of the 400's big guns of the last 10 years doing that. Evans was a tough guy. MJ had all the earmarks of a freak of nature like few others.
Hard to judge Hägg and Andersson in that Sweden was the only major practioner of track--no?--that didn't have the fruit of its manhood (see Rufolf Harbig) off getting chopped up in WWII. (That, my being a pacifist, not a slam at all.)
Who knows what the "real" WRs might have been had the Americans and the rest of Europe not been busy killing each other.
>Hard to judge Hägg and Andersson in that Sweden
>was the only major practioner of track--no?--that
>didn't have the fruit of its manhood (see Rufolf
>Harbig) off getting chopped up in WWII. (That, my
>being a pacifist, not a slam at all.)
>knows what the "real" WRs might have been had
>the Americans and the rest of Europe not been
>busy killing each other.
Although times only mean so much, Andersson was the world leader in 1939, a few months before the war really began. He was already one of the world's top milers before his competiton was distraction by death and destruction. Hagg, of course, mostly got the better of Andersson. So it's hard to get a real idea of how the war affected Hagg and Andersson -- they still had each other to compete against, even if there wasn't much else.
In 1942, 5 of the top 10 on the combined 1500/mile list were Swedes. In 1943, it was 6 out of 10, in 1944 8 out of 10, in 1945 8 out of 10 again. While South America also continued to compete unaffected by the war, only Sweden had much impact at the highest levels of distance running. (Some Finns continued to race, but mostly in Sweden.) The USA, however, continued to dominate the sprints, hurdles, jumps and throws, just not as much as before and after the war.
>2.Carl Lewis 3.Jim Hines 4.Jessie
>Morrow 6.Maurice Greene 7.Donovan
>Hary 9.Valeriy Boroz 10.Eddie
>1.Michael Johnson 2.Tommie Smith 3.Pietro
>4.Henry Carr 5.Don Quarrie 6.Jessie Owens
>Patton 8.Frankie Frederichs 9.Carl
400- 1.Michael Johnson
>2.Lee Evans 3.Herb McKinley 4.Butch Reynolds
6.Steve Lewis 7.Otis Dav is
>8.Larry James 9.Bill
Your list is well-founded and great fun. But you have to find a place in one or both of the sprints for Metcalfe. True, Tolan beat him in both in 1932 and Owens beat him in 1936, but nobody -- nobody -- will ever equal his triple double double of 1932, 1933 and 1934. That achievement will stand longer than DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. (Anybody remember what DiMaggio's streak was for the San Francisco Seals before he went up to the Yankees? More than 60 games, I recall.)
And in the 400, McKenley was a great all-around sprinter, but Wint beat him in 1948 and Rhoden (whom I would place fourth) in 1952.
Your list is
>well-founded and great fun. But you have to find
>a place in one or both of the sprints for
In the 50's, Maxwell Stiles of the LA Times ranked the all-time great sprinters. Metcalfe was #2 behind Bobby Morrow and ahead of Owens. Stiles didn't think it was odd, and he actually saw all of them run.