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Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

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  • Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

    Curious whether people think it would be a good idea to recognize times made on the opening leg of a 4x400. Individual World records can be set in swimming by athletes competing on the opening leg of a relay. Some great opening relay splits, like Gwen Torrence's 49.0 in the World Championships of '93, don't appear on all-time 400 lists and why should they not? BTW, what's the fastest opening split ever by a man?

  • #2
    Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

    I think it's probably Danny Everett's 44.0 leadoff in Seoul '88.

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    • #3
      Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

      I don't know that the start for the open 400m and the start for the 4x400m relay are the same. I think that there was a slight difference in the staggered starting lines.

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      • #4
        Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

        There usually is, it depends on the number of turns it's staggered. I think maybe there should be a separate official "list" of top leadoffs, but I don't necessarily think they should be incorporated into the normal all-time 400m list, especially since often the splits are not taken/recorded in FAT.

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        • #5
          Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

          Also, how about the Czech Kocembov√°'s 48.93 leadoff in Helsinki '83. She smoked Germany's leadoff leg by almost 2 seconds (the Germans won that race). It's too bad they had a 52 and 51 leg in the middle, not even Marita Koch's blazing 47.75 anchor could catch the Germans.

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          • #6
            Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

            ........and of course i meant Kratochvilova, not Koch........

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            • #7
              Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

              >As for the Men's Fastest ever 4x4 opener,
              I think it's probably Danny Everett's 44.0
              >leadoff in Seoul '88.

              Danny Everett's 44.0s is the fastest ever opening Men's 400m relay leg split in a Men's 4x400m relay.
              There are legions of both Men's & Women's 400m relay leg split times on the following webpages;

              Men
              http://www.algonet.se/~pela2/athletics/m4x400ok.htm

              Women
              http://www.algonet.se/~pela2/athletics/w4x400ok.htm

              It is widely believed that Everett's leg was considerably faster than the 44.0s that he is credited with. Some say that is was faster and in the region of 43.7-43.9s.
              There was a disucssion about it somewhile back on the IAAF.org Forums.

              Link to exact discussion;

              http://www.iaaf.org/community/forums/Li ... icID=11664

              And Tatana Kocembov√° ran 48.93s (still the Fastest ever Women's 4x4 opener) for the CZH (Czechoslovakia) Women's 4x4 team in the 1983 Helsinki WCH Women's 4x400m relay final.

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              • #8
                Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                I'm sure that the reason no one treats opening splits as valid stats is two-fold:
                a. who is taking a fully automatic time for each runner at the 8 different points (in the usual 1.5 lap stagger)?
                b. we time when the stick passes the 400m mark, not the athlete (not that you couldn't, but then the split of the next athlete is pointless)

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                • #9
                  Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                  "There are legions of both Men's & Women's 400m relay leg split times on the following webpages;"

                  Thanks for the treasure trove; those pages are gems. Didn't know Sally Gunnell was such a great relay runner, didn't know she had so many fast splits.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                    Yeah The King, that's where I got my info originally. I'll never forget when i found Larsson's page a few years ago. What a great resource.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                      >>It is widely believed that Everett's leg was considerably
                      faster than the 44.0s that he is credited with.
                      Some say that is was faster and in the region of
                      43.7-43.9s.>>

                      I'd be most interested in seeing some backup on "widely believed" among reputable statisticians. The 44-flat for Everett is a time produced by the T&FN timing crew (multiple watches on the race) at Seoul, sitting right on the finish line, just a few rows from the track, staffed by people with decades of experience in relay splitting.

                      Since US was in lane 2,I would posit that those who believe the split was in the 43.7-43.9 range didn't take the 3-turn stagger into account and used the finsh line as the split point, when in reality it was a few meters up the track. That, or they were just prototypically bad watch operators, with an 0.2-0.3 anticipation error built into the first leg. T&FN stands by the Everett 44.0 figure.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                        I believe Danny's official time was a 43.79 and Steve Lewis, running second, threw in a 43.68.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                          Any auto splits claimed for Everett and Lewis are almost certainly a product of whatever timing company which was in business at the time (think the IAAF was still using the Swiss then, not having yet made the switch to Seiko) not understanding proper taking of splits and simply taking readings on each first runner as he crossed the line.

                          Means that lane 1 is correct, but all other lanes are too fast. Thus a sub-44 reading for Everett in lane 2 is before he (or the baton) had actually covered 400m.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                            I'll try not to stray too far off the subject, but weren't lead-off splits accepted as qualifiers for the NCAA indoor championships in the 70's and earlier?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Recognizing opening relay splits for 400

                              I have Kratochilova with that 47.75 and I have Koch running third leg for GDR with a 48.85. And that 47.75 is far and away fasteest relay split ever by whomever ran it!

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