Don't think there was much between them. For me, the visual impression of Ovett's 11.8 100m round the turn in in Dusseldorf in '77 was unforgettable.
Yes, it was an awesome display, but the previous 200 was 29.4, which is v slow in a top 1500 race on the last lap. That was the type of race which Ovett was made for. I don't think he was any less of an athlete in 79 & 80 as he'd been in 77/78, but rather the rest of the world's milers recognised that they had to make it faster in the closing stages before the last 200.
Pulling away from Wessinghage in a 3:34.5 is v different from expecting the same margin of victory in a 3:31.3. Having said that I believe Ovett was capable of sub 3:30 from 78 - 81.
I think I posted earlier that that 11.8 was hand timed by Wilson his coach. When looking at the video it's more like 12.0. One is able to adjust these hand timed splits for races where there is video footage & with Ryun this footage is rarely available.
Jim's dominance over his rivals in '67 was perhaps greater than that enjoyed by any other miler before or since.
I never doubted or questioned this. He was head and shoulders above his peers.
Markings for 440/400 were not great when generating splits in mile races in US in the '60s and the problem was compounded by the 1500m being run rarely.
If I had a $ or a £ for ever incorrectly reported last lap/ final 200m in T&FN and AW over the last forty years I would be a rich man.
I agree. I think that is where a lot of the inconsistency arises from.
Coe's 21.6 in a training rep set and Ovett's hand time minor meet 21.7 from blocks (which I don't think was reported until over a decade after) are accepted by you as 100% legitimate whilst most major races Ryun ran are questioned based on relatively minor time inconsistencies in final laps.
That's a fair point. I think 21.7 seems a bit fast for someone with a 400 pb of 47.4 at the time.
Coe split 22.0 in his 45.6 relay leg from a practical standing start so that is good evidence to back up claims of what he was doing in training.
I have never questioned Ryun's final times in "major races", only some of the splits in some of the races for which there is no or limited video documentation.
Neither do I doubt Ryun was capable of a 21.6 & 46.9 relay legs. What I do question is when someone can use these relay splits to claim he was a 45 sec quarter miler. You don't run more than a second faster in an open 400 based on a best relay split.
Coe ran a 45.5 relay split in 79 and a 45.6 (from a stumbling start/takeover) in 81, for which there is video evidence, & anyone can go onto Youtube to check the validity of the times.
That does not mean he was a 44 sec 400m runner. The relay splits tell us he was capable of somewhere between 45.5 - 46.0 in an open 400 in 81.