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  • You have to wonder,...

    ...given what happened in London today, how many of the legendary hand timed races, splits, etc are at all accurate.

  • #2
    Re: You have to wonder,...

    After Houston McTear ran his famous 9.0 in high school and everyone swore up and down that it was legit and then they had to admit there was an autotimer present and that he really ran 9.30, I have always assumed that a .3 add-on is necessary unless you've got some very experienced track officials. Britain used to actually train their hand-timers and their results were actually close to auto times (react to the gun and then react to the finish). I'll bet the Brits yesterdays were pretty flustered and the 10.0's could be anywhere from auto 9.91 to 10.09 (I think).

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    • #3
      Re: You have to wonder,...

      As I recall, there's even some doubt as to whether the 9.30 is a legit time. Far as I know, nobody ever saw the photo despite requests by "outsiders" to see it.

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      • #4
        Re: You have to wonder,...

        Is it also possible that Tommie Smith's 19.5 could have been a 19.8 or 19.9?

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        • #5
          Re: You have to wonder,...

          "I have always assumed that a .3 add-on is necessary"

          Starting in (I believe) 1973 the IAAF began recognizing 2 sets of world records in events through 400 metres, hand-timed and fully-automatic timed. Prior to that all sprint and hurdle times were rounded to the nearest tenth. With the advent of the transition to auto-timing, the accepted practice for a few years in the mid-1970's was to add 0.24 to times for events up to and including 200 metres, and 0.14 for 400 metres, when "converting" hand times to auto-times. It wasn't uncommon to see converted hand-times lumped in with auto-times in performance lists, with an asterisk identifying the converted times. For example, a 10-flat would be *10.24 on a list, or a 44.8 hand-timed 400 would show up as *44.94. This weird practice meant that we witnessed double-world record performances in the women's 100 just prior to the Olympics in Montreal, when one West German (Annegret Richter) tied the world (hand) record at 10.8, while in an entirely separate meet a second West German (Inge Helten) took sole possession of the world (auto) record with an 11.04, which Richter later lowered to 11.01 in the Montreal semis.

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          • #6
            Re: You have to wonder,...

            The IAAF never officially recognized two sets of records. As of 1/1/77, the hand marks were dropped from the books and an auto-timed set (sprints only) included.

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            • #7
              Re: You have to wonder,...

              Then why did Track and Field News report on Richter equalling the WR 10.8 and also those auto-timed records before and at Montreal?

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              • #8
                Re: You have to wonder,...

                What about NCAA or Pro basketball games where the clock goes to 1/10 of a second in the final minute? The games I believe are "hand-timed" by the official scorer or official.

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