Who are the worlds best curve runners?


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Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby fasttrack85 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:41 am

For women I would probably say VCB, Shelly Ann Fraser and Bianca Knight in that order. However it is hard to judge the men I don't know if Bolt and Blake are the best male curve runners but they are so far ahead of everyone in terms of top end speed that they will always lead no matter if they are on straight,curve, running zig zag, or backwards. Someone like Shaun Crawford however was a great curve runner even though he was never quite as fast as Bolt or Blake. Even now that he is over the hill he still runs a great curve even though he tends to fade in the last 100 if he ever had 9.7 speed I am sure he would be leading both Bolt and Blake coming off the curve. Anyone have any thoughts?
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby Marlow » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:52 am

Michael Johnson - best curve runner EVER!!!
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby bignate88 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:42 pm

Men: Blake and Bolt of course;Tyson Gay in his prime comes to mind

Women: Moller, Ottey, Torrence, Drechsler
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby mal » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:53 pm

It is an interesting question.
Is it first to the 100 m mark? First into the straight? Or the one who comes off the curve in the best position to win?
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby 26mi235 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:16 pm

bignate88 wrote:Men: Blake and Bolt of course;Tyson Gay in his prime comes to mind

Women: Moller, Ottey, Torrence, Drechsler


Blake is not a great curve runner. We are not really defining who gets off the curve first (a feat which is aided by your lane draw), but of (very) good sprinters, who runs the curve well. When Blake ran 19.26 he not only had Lane 7 but he had a relatively modest time on the first half of his race. What we want is the 'anti-Spearman' runners. One place to look is those runners that are put on the 1st and 3rd legs in the 4x100, especially the 3rd, as great starters are also put on the 1st leg, whereas the running start makes both that both a non-issue and makes the ability to run the curve well 'at speed' because the average speed is faster.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby eldanielfire » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:01 pm

fasttrack85 wrote:For women I would probably say VCB, Shelly Ann Fraser and Bianca Knight in that order. However it is hard to judge the men I don't know if Bolt and Blake are the best male curve runners but they are so far ahead of everyone in terms of top end speed that they will always lead no matter if they are on straight,curve, running zig zag, or backwards. Someone like Shaun Crawford however was a great curve runner even though he was never quite as fast as Bolt or Blake. Even now that he is over the hill he still runs a great curve even though he tends to fade in the last 100 if he ever had 9.7 speed I am sure he would be leading both Bolt and Blake coming off the curve. Anyone have any thoughts?



Last year Tianna Madison absolutely eat-up Shelly-Ann Frazer-Price on the curve at the Olympics.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby gh » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:54 pm

Mark Lutz (U.S. Oly team of '76) really sticks out in my mind, even though he was some 40 years ago.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby fasttrack85 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:58 pm

I knew people who say both Blake and Bolt. You have to wonder if they weren't so fast at 100 meters if they would ever lead off the curve. Compare them to people like Bianca Knight who still hasn't broken 11 seconds but has run excellent curves out of inside lanes. Shelly Ann Fraser has also done very well on inside lanes as well.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby t_monk » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:36 pm

eldanielfire wrote:
fasttrack85 wrote:For women I would probably say VCB, Shelly Ann Fraser and Bianca Knight in that order. However it is hard to judge the men I don't know if Bolt and Blake are the best male curve runners but they are so far ahead of everyone in terms of top end speed that they will always lead no matter if they are on straight,curve, running zig zag, or backwards. Someone like Shaun Crawford however was a great curve runner even though he was never quite as fast as Bolt or Blake. Even now that he is over the hill he still runs a great curve even though he tends to fade in the last 100 if he ever had 9.7 speed I am sure he would be leading both Bolt and Blake coming off the curve. Anyone have any thoughts?



Last year Tianna Madison absolutely eat-up Shelly-Ann Frazer-Price on the curve at the Olympics.


I disagree with this one...
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby Per Andersen » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:02 pm

mal wrote:It is an interesting question.
Is it first to the 100 m mark? First into the straight? Or the one who comes off the curve in the best position to win?

If it is first to the 100 m mark, then it's Bolt, 9.92 in Berlin '09. He had 10.0 in London and Beijing. Blake in Brussels in 2011 had 10.12, same as Michael Johnson in Atlanta in '96.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby zidan » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:14 pm

Blake is not a great curve runner. Poor if you ask me. MJ was good, Gay great too. Bolt has mastered the curve and for a man of 6'5 its remarkable what he does around that bend. In fact i think apart from Gay in '07, no one else have burn the turn under 10s. Bolt has done it twice for sure( Beijing(9.96) and Berlin(9.92)) and maybe London too.
For sheer beauty it might be Don Quarie, but bring back everyone there is or was and none will come off that turn ahead of the big man.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby Gabriella » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:45 am

mal wrote:Is it first to the 100 m mark? First into the straight? Or the one who comes off the curve in the best position to win?


Exactly. And just because an athlete comes off the bend first over 200m it doesn't make them the best curve runner, it might just mean they have blasted all-out whereas the athlete next to them didn't.

Someone mentioned Drechsler and in 86 she ran an 11.00 bend during her 21.71 WR. But that fast bend was because she was in superb form, not because she was a good bend runner.

The same with VCB. I actually think she is an extremely poor curve runner, she is far too wide and not close enough to the line, but she comes off first or near first because she is simply so fast.

I agree that those on 4x1 legs are a good starting point to look at. On the women's side Ingrid Aueswald always ran superb bends and was often much faster than other women with better 100m PBs.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby Rog » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:35 am

Going back to the 80s Marita Koch and Allan Wells ran great bends. Marita ran a fair number of indoor 200s where that really showed - she could hit a high velocity despite the turn.

From another perspective Pietro Mennea was remarkable in (allegedly) running inside the curve with impunity, in Italy at least!
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby dj » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:42 am

Calvin Smith was the king of #3 4x1 legs during the 1980s.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby tandfman » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:05 am

Given his success at the indoor 200, Kevin Little must have been a great curve runner, but he just wasn't fast enough. His curve-running skill wasn't enough to put him on a world outdoor podium.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:37 am

Gabriella wrote:Someone mentioned Drechsler and in 86 she ran an 11.00 bend during her 21.71 WR. But that fast bend was because she was in superb form, not because she was a good bend runner.


After I posted about relative compared to absolute best on the curve, it occurred to me that the ratio: First 100/Second 100 (or the differential) is probably the measure to look at. Not every gets this measure, but enough of the good ones do that these data could be looked at. For instance, MJ had 10.12/9.20 = 1.10(is this correct?) while Drechsler had 10.71/11.00 = 1.071. Dreschsler has the lower ratio.

If you wanted the emphasis on 'running' you could take the RT out of the numerator, but that requires more data and might lower the men's ratio a bit more except for typically the mens RTs are slightly faster than the womens if I remember mikli's (spelling?) RT data correctly which would make it a wash at the aggregate level.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby eldanielfire » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:52 am

t_monk wrote:
eldanielfire wrote:
fasttrack85 wrote:For women I would probably say VCB, Shelly Ann Fraser and Bianca Knight in that order. However it is hard to judge the men I don't know if Bolt and Blake are the best male curve runners but they are so far ahead of everyone in terms of top end speed that they will always lead no matter if they are on straight,curve, running zig zag, or backwards. Someone like Shaun Crawford however was a great curve runner even though he was never quite as fast as Bolt or Blake. Even now that he is over the hill he still runs a great curve even though he tends to fade in the last 100 if he ever had 9.7 speed I am sure he would be leading both Bolt and Blake coming off the curve. Anyone have any thoughts?



Last year Tianna Madison absolutely eat-up Shelly-Ann Frazer-Price on the curve at the Olympics.


I disagree with this one...


I just rewatched it, Madison ran that curve better than SAFP She pulled away after a few strides on the curve after Frazer-Price's usual rocket start with Price then closing on the straight bit before she passed the batton.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby t_monk » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:04 pm

eldanielfire wrote:
t_monk wrote:
eldanielfire wrote:
fasttrack85 wrote:For women I would probably say VCB, Shelly Ann Fraser and Bianca Knight in that order. However it is hard to judge the men I don't know if Bolt and Blake are the best male curve runners but they are so far ahead of everyone in terms of top end speed that they will always lead no matter if they are on straight,curve, running zig zag, or backwards. Someone like Shaun Crawford however was a great curve runner even though he was never quite as fast as Bolt or Blake. Even now that he is over the hill he still runs a great curve even though he tends to fade in the last 100 if he ever had 9.7 speed I am sure he would be leading both Bolt and Blake coming off the curve. Anyone have any thoughts?



Last year Tianna Madison absolutely eat-up Shelly-Ann Frazer-Price on the curve at the Olympics.


I disagree with this one...


I just rewatched it, Madison ran that curve better than SAFP She pulled away after a few strides on the curve after Frazer-Price's usual rocket start with Price then closing on the straight bit before she passed the batton.


I get what you said.... but I still disagree
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby JumboElliott » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Marita Koch
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby meatball » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:15 pm

Calvin Smith and Larry Black
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby fasttrack85 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:03 pm

Gabriella wrote:
mal wrote:Is it first to the 100 m mark? First into the straight? Or the one who comes off the curve in the best position to win?


.

The same with VCB. I actually think she is an extremely poor curve runner, she is far too wide and not close enough to the line, but she comes off first or near first because she is simply so fast.

VCB may not be technically perfect but she gets the job done. She was with Allyson and Shelly coming off the curve in London and always came off in front even before her 100 pr dropped to 10.7x
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby Speedster » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:15 pm

t_monk wrote:I get what you said.... but I still disagree


Its a close one, given the 2m difference in 100m PBs. I think both can improve this year as well, if Madison is going to focus on track this year rather than bobsled.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby Peter Michaelson » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:58 am

Just before the men's 2008 Olympic 200 final, I emailed one of my high school coaches, Trinidad-Tobago Olympian Cliff Bertrand, and asked him who would win and in what time. He answered "Bolt = best turn runner in history! 19.30" and I'm thinking, "Yeah, right, he's 6' 5", only MJ can run that fast" and the usual nonsense. Coach got it right to 100th of a second. That's why Mr. Bertrand is a coach and I'm not.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby jamboy » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:33 am

Isn't Allyson now a good curve runner. In the womens 200m in London, it appears she lead off the curve beating VC, Fraser and Jeter who are excellent 100m runners.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby Speedster » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:13 pm

jamboy wrote:Isn't Allyson now a good curve runner. In the womens 200m in London, it appears she lead off the curve beating VC, Fraser and Jeter who are excellent 100m runners.


Same could be said of her Eugene PB run too but that might be that her 100m speed is so much better, leading to a better bend.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby fasttrack85 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:32 pm

I would actually consider Allyson a good curve runner NOW. Its just that she is so known for what she does on the straight. All the people I named have been running good curves throughout their entire career.
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Re: Who are the worlds best curve runners?

Postby CMVYV » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:35 am

From a "Power" standpoint I would select Usain Bolt & Michael Johnson.

From a classic sprinter picture it was Henry Carr & Tommie Smith.

Both Carr & Smith had the great lean coming around the curve (many times behind) and their tall figures and long strides would gradually catch their opponents & power past them so smoothly. Classic races, for sure. Wish we had videos.

All 200 Olympic Gold Medal winners !!
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