good form is absolutely essential in any sport what so ever at the elite level.
the problem is that we don't necessarily understand what good form is.
a crazy approach that does not matter can mask a sound delivery however.
back in the day marathon runners some of them had terrible form and won. but now you can't do that. zero chance to be competitive. a guy like salazar actually was quite exceptional in that he developed an incredibly efficient but limiting style. he's about the last top guy to have a lousy style. al-sal admits he screwed it up.
bad form in the hurdles?, forget about it.
what 100m guy that runs 9.8 has terrible form? maybe bolt on a bad day at the office.
when i first saw michael johnson i could not believe my eyes. i was taught that that lean was bad form.
when i saw bolt first, i saw a long sprint guy with no 100m potential due to form problems related to his height.
and how about bekele, he as more in common with a sprinters form than distance runners of a generation before. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSSBtxvd5BI
great angles once he starts to motor.
all of which tells me, i don't know nothing about form.
but you do need great form, whatever that is.