Tommie Smith at 200m


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Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby AFTERBURNER » Thu May 02, 2013 11:13 am

I believe that if Tommie Smith didn't have all this adversity after
Mexico City he could have gone down to 19.5 or perhaps 19.4
perhaps even a little faster!

What's your thoughts?
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby Tuariki » Thu May 02, 2013 11:33 am

No logic to that presumption, especially as his Olympic performance was at altitude.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby AFTERBURNER » Thu May 02, 2013 12:09 pm

I read somewhere that Bud Winter had said that Tommie could have
gone down to 19.5. Very credible opinion I think!
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby rhymans » Thu May 02, 2013 1:08 pm

Nice to think that he could have improved, but remember than in 2 of the 4 seasons from 65-68 he had injuries (NCAA 65 & 66) which affected his season (ending it in 65) and he had a further injury in his OG semi-final, which happily he was able to shrug off. If completely healthy he was certainly capable of running 0.2 quicker over the first half, and possibly 0.1 faster in the second half, but countering that you'd have to take the altitude into account. Nevertheless on a surface like the London OG track he might have been able to run 19.4
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Fri May 03, 2013 1:41 pm

rhymans wrote:Nice to think that he could have improved, but remember than in 2 of the 4 seasons from 65-68 he had injuries (NCAA 65 & 66) which affected his season (ending it in 65) and he had a further injury in his OG semi-final, which happily he was able to shrug off. If completely healthy he was certainly capable of running 0.2 quicker over the first half, and possibly 0.1 faster in the second half, but countering that you'd have to take the altitude into account. Nevertheless on a surface like the London OG track he might have been able to run 19.4


Does anyone know the wind on TS's May 1966 200m 19.5 WR . Another factor that should be weighed is the fact that TS (like all track men of the pre-1990s era) ran that WR is May... Not in September after being paid around the clock for 4 years to train.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby catson52 » Fri May 03, 2013 1:55 pm

user4 wrote:
rhymans wrote:Nice to think that he could have improved, but remember than in 2 of the 4 seasons from 65-68 he had injuries (NCAA 65 & 66) which affected his season (ending it in 65) and he had a further injury in his OG semi-final, which happily he was able to shrug off. If completely healthy he was certainly capable of running 0.2 quicker over the first half, and possibly 0.1 faster in the second half, but countering that you'd have to take the altitude into account. Nevertheless on a surface like the London OG track he might have been able to run 19.4


Does anyone know the wind on TS's May 1966 200m 19.5 WR . Another factor that should be weighed is the fact that TS (like all track men of the pre-1990s era) ran that WR is May... Not in September after being paid around the clock for 4 years to train.


And the college track athlete of today is very different, hitting the books all the time? I for one believe the heavy college dual meet schedule, including having TS in the LJ, contributed to his injuries some seasons.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby bambam » Fri May 03, 2013 3:20 pm

user4 wrote:Does anyone know the wind on TS's May 1966 200m 19.5 WR . Another factor that should be weighed is the fact that TS (like all track men of the pre-1990s era) ran that WR is May... Not in September after being paid around the clock for 4 years to train.


+1.84 m/s - from Hymans book on WR
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Mon May 06, 2013 9:03 am

bambam wrote:
user4 wrote:Does anyone know the wind on TS's May 1966 200m 19.5 WR . Another factor that should be weighed is the fact that TS (like all track men of the pre-1990s era) ran that WR is May... Not in September after being paid around the clock for 4 years to train.


+1.84 m/s - from Hymans book on WR




Let's see, 19.5h w1.84m/s for 200str cinder converts to a basic (wind adjusted) 19.8h for 200str on cinder (he had run 20flat year before on same track) ... A rough guess, that is a 19.3h for 200str (had it been run) on today's surfaces ... one of the greatest 200m men of all time and just maybe Bolt-esque .
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby Highland » Mon May 20, 2013 4:20 pm

Maybe not 19.5, but definitely faster than 19.8. Watch a replay of the Mexico City final. He was a freak. Wonder what he could done in the 400?
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby bambam » Mon May 20, 2013 4:53 pm

Highland wrote:Maybe not 19.5, but definitely faster than 19.8. Watch a replay of the Mexico City final. He was a freak. Wonder what he could done in the 400?


How about a world record - 44.5/44.8y on 20 May 1967 in San Jose. From Hymans' world record book, his coach Bud Winter was asked how fast he could run the race [if he trained for it more], and said, "In the low 43s or high 42s." Probably not accurate but gives you some idea how great Smith was.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby no one » Mon May 20, 2013 6:52 pm

catson52 wrote:And the college track athlete of today is very different, hitting the books all the time?


as in 60s type guys were hitting the books? or the current crop is not hitting the books? or they both hit the books without much force?

In the 60s a brother of mine went to very prominent university in SoCal, that had a very prominent track program, even a very successful/prominent athletic program. While he now understands that he was part of the problem, he wrote some big papers (10pgs or so) for some very prominent athletes. He was (understandably?) star struck, but that was not that unusual at this prominent university. 'Hitting the books' was more or less winked at. I must say however that I was intrigued.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby rsb2 » Mon May 20, 2013 7:26 pm

We were fortunate enough to have Tommie run in our Meets in both 1968 and 1969. In 1969, he told me that, given his injury In 1968 (quad strain, I think), he was just trying to keep it together on the bend in the Olympic final, and then try and accelerate into the straight. All of which he managed quite nicely! I have no idea how many tenths that was worth,
but some for sure.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby Jackaloupe » Mon May 20, 2013 10:32 pm

Well, I ran for a SoCal U. that fits that description well, and we had O & M "jobs" that included raking leaves (not many deciduous trees there), watering the lawns (turn on H2O before workout, turn it off later) and such. Nothin' much compared to modernday "aid", but...

As for the "books", as an Engineering Major, I envied Phys. Ed. Majors who hit the wall w/ Anatomy and Kinesiology (now a New Age pseudo-science bearing no relation to the study of human motion) who'd try Brain Pills, Sleep Tapes--anything short of actually studying. One infamous Prof. gave students the option of turning in their term papers either in traditional page-bound form or in a scotch-taped "blanket" form. No one had a clue why--unless it was to test just how gullible they were.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby no one » Tue May 21, 2013 7:49 am

not to belabor the point, but one guy became a dentist. Don't know what course the paper was written for. Not sure if he had a "keep the elephants off the football field" job. Just, I suppose, the nature of big time sports at big time Universities. In my naïveté ...
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby Jackaloupe » Thu May 23, 2013 9:41 am

Well, that Dentist was a WR-holding OlyChamp whose wife I ever-so-briefly dated! She was a big gal, so I wondered about their progeny, to say nothing of whether the transition from big iron to delicate drilling was difficult. At least he knew how to handle Gold!
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Thu May 23, 2013 11:49 am

Jackaloupe wrote:Well, that Dentist was a WR-holding OlyChamp whose wife I ever-so-briefly dated! She was a big gal, so I wondered about their progeny, to say nothing of whether the transition from big iron to delicate drilling was difficult. At least he knew how to handle Gold!


you are a forum master, guru and sensei to we mortals !
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby no one » Thu May 23, 2013 4:40 pm

Jackaloupe wrote:Well, that Dentist was a WR-holding OlyChamp


why yes, yes he was. In the context of my posts, I was 'conflicted', which I still am
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby bambam » Thu May 23, 2013 5:57 pm

Jackaloupe wrote:Well, that Dentist was a WR-holding OlyChamp whose wife I ever-so-briefly dated! She was a big gal, so I wondered about their progeny, to say nothing of whether the transition from big iron to delicate drilling was difficult. At least he knew how to handle Gold!


Obviously Dallas Long
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby no one » Fri May 24, 2013 6:32 am

reviewing - not a gold medalist - but a silver- sorry for the mix up - the guessing/cogitating continues
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby KDFINE » Fri May 24, 2013 6:48 am

Didn't Long later become a medical doctor?
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Fri May 24, 2013 8:44 am

no one wrote:reviewing - not a gold medalist - but a silver- sorry for the mix up - the guessing/cogitating continues


Is that Lennox Miller ?
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Fri May 24, 2013 8:48 am

rsb2 wrote:We were fortunate enough to have Tommie run in our Meets in both 1968 and 1969. In 1969, he told me that, given his injury In 1968 (quad strain, I think), he was just trying to keep it together on the bend in the Olympic final, and then try and accelerate into the straight. All of which he managed quite nicely! I have no idea how many tenths that was worth,
but some for sure.


actually staying healthy is a big part of the game, if he was stressing it to get to 19.8-19.7 range then pushing it further would likely have left him in worse shape or unable to compete at all. In an effort to be provocative, I think tommie is a great, certainly one of the top 3 or 5 200m men of the 20th century, but I dont see him as so vastly superior to other of the great 200m men before or after. Reading some of this stuff seriously one would think that he was 20 yards ahead of his time. Lets not forget, Peter Norman was within 3 tenths of him in Mexico City, ... does anyone rank Peter Norman as in the top 25 200m men of the 20th century? For some reason people become mythical figures, it could be a glove or a raised fist, all great noble punctuating gestures but nothing that adds to a track portfolio. It could be a California thing or the advantage of altitude or the first synthetic track OG. As great as Tommie was at 200m is he really the colossus he is made out to be today?
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby KDFINE » Fri May 24, 2013 9:13 am

Smith's 200 - 400 world records, and the fact that he was a step up from and eclipsed the previously awesome Henry Carr (another great with an all too brief career), is the reason why so many, me included, put him so high up on a pedestal.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby rsb2 » Fri May 24, 2013 10:05 am

Watching Tommie run down Jimmie Hines in a 4 x 100 m. relay, when Hines had about a good 3 metre lead taking the stick, made quite an impression on me. This was about 3 weeks before Hines was declared the World's Fastest Man in Mexico City. Tommie also strolled through a 45.4 400 earlier that day, not bothering to take off his shades or break a sweat.
I would guess that the final 60 metres of Tommie's 4 x 100 leg that day, might be very close to the fastest 60 metres ever run. I will never forgive the guys at the Uvic AV department who we had tape the Meet, and then they accidentaly taped over it, before anyone got to see it - it would be classic video footage to this day.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby no one » Fri May 24, 2013 10:40 am

user4
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Fri May 24, 2013 11:20 am

KDFINE wrote:Smith's 200 - 400 world records, and the fact that he was a step up from and eclipsed the previously awesome Henry Carr (another great with an all too brief career), is the reason why so many, me included, put him so high up on a pedestal.


does anyone doubt that henry carr would have run sub-20 on mexico city's track at his prime.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby jhc68 » Fri May 24, 2013 1:18 pm

I'd bet that I am not alone among those of us who saw Tommie Smith in person in thinking that a great deal of the mystique was that Smith - when he hit top gear - was clearly way faster than anyone on earth at the time (he never had the start of Hines or the other great 100m guys, but at top speed they could not match Tommie... and I would have bet the farm that if a healthy Smith had opted for the 400m in Mexico he would have won handily in a mind-blowing time) AND when he was at his best and fastest he made it look so absolutely easy and effortless.
The result was that TS gave the impression that even while setting WRs there was something more to be tapped. That may or may not have been the reality but it was what I always came away with.
For example, I watched TS in the Coliseum in LA on an anchor 400m during an international meet flowing with that ultra-long, extra-high kneelift stride looking smooth as butter and wearing dark on dark sunglasses and so, so relaxed and when he finished the PA guy announced that it had been the fastest 400 split ever run. Fans all around me were eye-balling their hand-held watches and arguing just how much below 44 flat the run had been. Thing is that especially in relays, Smith had the whole audience in awe like that many, many times.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby bighitter » Sat May 25, 2013 6:05 am

rsb2 wrote:Watching Tommie run down Jimmie Hines in a 4 x 100 m. relay, when Hines had about a good 3 metre lead taking the stick, made quite an impression on me. This was about 3 weeks before Hines was declared the World's Fastest Man in Mexico City. Tommie also strolled through a 45.4 400 earlier that day, not bothering to take off his shades or break a sweat.
I would guess that the final 60 metres of Tommie's 4 x 100 leg that day, might be very close to the fastest 60 metres ever run. I will never forgive the guys at the Uvic AV department who we had tape the Meet, and then they accidentaly taped over it, before anyone got to see it - it would be classic video footage to this day.


There was a small video gif of the latter stages of this relay you mention posted on a forum must be close to 10 years ago. I still remember it vividly as Smith closed down Hines ridiculously. And look at Hines' winning margin in Mexico City (0.09 over Lennox Miller, although Charlie Greene ran 10.02 in the quarter-final and was injured for the final? Perhaps he too would've gone sub10 at 100% in the final)

Smith's 19.83 has splits of 10.52 + 9.31 I believe. His 100-200m being the fastest ever until MJ in 1996
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby bighitter » Sat May 25, 2013 6:09 am

user4 wrote:
KDFINE wrote:Smith's 200 - 400 world records, and the fact that he was a step up from and eclipsed the previously awesome Henry Carr (another great with an all too brief career), is the reason why so many, me included, put him so high up on a pedestal.


does anyone doubt that henry carr would have run sub-20 on mexico city's track at his prime.


I think that's a good shout. Carr 20.36 on Cinders in '64 at sea-level worth sub20 for me on Mexico tartan
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby gh » Sat May 25, 2013 8:01 am

user4 wrote:
KDFINE wrote:Smith's 200 - 400 world records, and the fact that he was a step up from and eclipsed the previously awesome Henry Carr (another great with an all too brief career), is the reason why so many, me included, put him so high up on a pedestal.


does anyone doubt that henry carr would have run sub-20 on mexico city's track at his prime.


Henry Carr never reached his prime! :-) Dang football.

But yes, he would have.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby bighitter » Sat May 25, 2013 8:25 am

gh wrote:
user4 wrote:
KDFINE wrote:Smith's 200 - 400 world records, and the fact that he was a step up from and eclipsed the previously awesome Henry Carr (another great with an all too brief career), is the reason why so many, me included, put him so high up on a pedestal.


does anyone doubt that henry carr would have run sub-20 on mexico city's track at his prime.


Henry Carr never reached his prime! :-) Dang football.

But yes, he would have.


Him vs Tommie in 200 or 400 on synthetic would've been something else
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Thu May 30, 2013 1:33 pm

Just browsing the 200m straight WR progression.. two things stand out...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/200_metres_straight

1) Metcalfe, (was he the rightul 1932 200m champ) had to have been worth more than a 20.6 on a straight.

2) does anyone think that Frank Budd would have stayed within 4m of Davie Sime on a straight ?
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby Per Andersen » Thu May 30, 2013 2:09 pm

user4 wrote:Just browsing the 200m straight WR progression.. two things stand out...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/200_metres_straight

1) Metcalfe, (was he the rightul 1932 200m champ) had to have been worth more than a 20.6 on a straight.

2) does anyone think that Frank Budd would have stayed within 4m of Davie Sime on a straight ?

Wiki missed Mike Agostini's 20.1 from March 1956, 2 months before Sime ran 20.0.
Yes, I believe Budd could have stayed within 4m of Sime on a straight.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby Jackaloupe » Fri May 31, 2013 7:45 am

does anyone think that Frank Budd would have stayed within 4m of Davie Sime on a straight ?user4

Funny feeling to see both mentioned in one post, being one of the few still around (not that I even jog 220 at a "stretch") who's run against (in same race, if not really competitive). I've posted about Dave Sime at NJ summer meets in Elizabeth; and Frank Budd ran for Asbury Park when I was at Matawan HS.

Both schools were Central Jersey, although it's a joke to divide such a tiny state in N, S, and Central--yet they really are separate worlds, w/ most of the large schools in the greater New York/Newark area, e.g. Montclair, w/ even Milt Campbell's Plainfield (Group III) lying quite close to NYC. [A favorite Foto is of our Matawan HS Freshman 440 Relay team that won at the Long Branch Relays in 1953, as Milt astounded the crowd in both Hurdle Relays, on the infield grass. Wow, still brings chills!]

As for Budd, he was State Champ, but not that fast; I even aspired to stay with him a while, but I'd already pulled a muscle, broad-jumping on a cold Spring day--not even my event, but I was already hooked on Decathlon.
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Re: Tommie Smith at 200m

Postby user4 » Fri May 31, 2013 8:09 am

Jackaloupe wrote:does anyone think that Frank Budd would have stayed within 4m of Davie Sime on a straight ?user4

Funny feeling to see both mentioned in one post, being one of the few still around (not that I even jog 220 at a "stretch") who's run against (in same race, if not really competitive). I've posted about Dave Sime at NJ summer meets in Elizabeth; and Frank Budd ran for Asbury Park when I was at Matawan HS.

Both schools were Central Jersey, although it's a joke to divide such a tiny state in N, S, and Central--yet they really are separate worlds, w/ most of the large schools in the greater New York/Newark area, e.g. Montclair, w/ even Milt Campbell's Plainfield (Group III) lying quite close to NYC. [A favorite Foto is of our Matawan HS Freshman 440 Relay team that won at the Long Branch Relays in 1953, as Milt astounded the crowd in both Hurdle Relays, on the infield grass. Wow, still brings chills!]

As for Budd, he was State Champ, but not that fast; I even aspired to stay with him a while, but I'd already pulled a muscle, broad-jumping on a cold Spring day--not even my event, but I was already hooked on Decathlon.


I thought Budd was smoking fast, ranked 1st at 100m in 1962, but Sime was a longer athlete, built for the 200str. I imagined a Budd-Sime 200 straight finishing like a Hines-TSmith 200 straight might. I should rethink Budd, he ran a 20flat, he must have been a very well conditioned athlete.
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