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400 IH; the top 5 all time

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  • 400 IH; the top 5 all time

    the top 2 are easy, plus the next 2 as well:

    1. Edwin Moses
    2. Glenn Davis
    3. Kevin Young
    4. Glenn Hardin

    Anyone disagree? And I can't pick a clear 5th.

  • #2
    Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

    The Kevin Young pick is somewhat questionable, despite his world record and olympic gold.

    Young's problem is that he had such a short stretch of great running; but then again, that is the case for alot of sprinters/hurdlers.

    I'll have to think about this one.

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    • #3
      Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

      Pretty hard to leave out Harald Schmid, who had the misfortune of spending his prime laboring in semi-obscurity behind Moses.

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      • #4
        Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

        What about Charlie Moore
        GO Big Red!

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        • #5
          Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

          My 5th would be David Hemery.

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          • #6
            Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

            Why Hemery ? No knock on an Olympic Champ and WR holder, but the WR was helped by altitude so it was not quite as "groundbreaking" as it looked on the surface, and he was not dominant or even close to it before or since.

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            • #7
              Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

              >Pretty hard to leave out Harald Schmid, who had
              >the misfortune of spending his prime laboring in
              >semi-obscurity behind Moses.

              #1 - Edwin Moses, USA - No explanation necessary.

              #2 - Glenn Davis, USA - 2 Olympic Golds, 2 World Records & 4 #1 rankings.

              #3 - Glenn Hardin, USA - 1936 gold, 32 silver & a world record that lasted for 19 years.

              #4 - Andre Phillips, USA - 1988 Olympic Gold, 3 times ranked #1 in the world.

              #5 - John Akii-Bua, UGA - 1972 Olympic Gold, World Record, ranked #1 twice.

              Not on the list:

              David Hemery, GBR - 1968 Olympic Gold, bronze in '72. However, those were the only 2 seasons he ranked in the world top 10. His world record was prodigious, but isolated.

              F. Morgan Taylor, USA - 1924 Olympic Gold & bronzes in '28 & '32. Fastest in the world three times.

              Kevin Young, USA - Ranked #1 in the world 3 times, but only in the world rankings from 1986-'93. Could be in there. Probably # 5 1/2.

              Felix Sanchez, DOM - Will get his third #1 ranking this year, could be in contention for the top 5 with a win in Athens next year.

              Harald Schmid, FRG - A great athlete, with a great resume. Eliminate Moses and he ranks #1 4 times. Has 3 European titles. Closer examination, his career closely parallels Andre Phillips'. They both ranked in the top 10 from 1981-'89, but Phillips was ranked higher than Schmid 6 of those 9 years. Phillips beat Schmid in 2 of their 3 major meetings ('85 World Cup & '88 Olympics vs. '83 Worlds). And while Schmidt began the streak, Phillips ended it in the best way possible.

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              • #8
                Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

                >Harald Schmid, FRG - A great athlete, with a great resume. Eliminate Moses and he ranks #1 4 times. Has 3 European titles. Closer examination, his career closely
                parallels Andre Phillips'. They both ranked in the top 10 from 1981-'89, but Phillips was ranked higher than Schmid 6 of those 9 years. Phillips beat Schmid in 2 of their 3 major meetings ('85 World Cup & '88 Olympics vs. '83 Worlds). And while Schmidt began the streak, Phillips ended it in the best way possible.>>

                Intriguing thread! I think too much stress is being placed on Oly medals.

                The Phillips/Schmid story is a little deeper than presented above. Schmid ranks 13 times (most in history of the T&FN rankings), Phillips only 9. Schmid, who ranked before Phillips started and again after he retired, has 97 points (trailing only Moses) to Phillips' 75.

                Phillips has Oly gold yes, but no WC medals. Schmid has WC silver and bronze plus OG bronze (and certainly would have had a silver in Moscow). They're close, but Schmid has a decided edge in my book. Moses and Davis are clearly ahead of them, but is anyone else?

                At this point I'd find it instructive to compare Hardin and Young, each with two major medals. Put in historical perspective, I put Young's OG/WC wins ahead of Hardin's OG G/S. What then of Hardin's 19-year reign as WR holder? Doesn't remotely compare with Young's 11-year (and counting) run. Why not?

                Two things. One is that the 400H was very much an orphan in Hardin's day, particularly in the U.S., which was always a power of some note in the event. Was only contested in the NCAA in Oly years, wasn't partic. contested in any other U.S. meets save the AAU. Hardin's mark also suffers because a large part of the run is WWII impacted. That means no OG in which to challenge it (and notice how frequently the OG has been a WR race in this event; one of the highest ratios anywhere). And when the OG returned, 1948 found a huge portion of the world's young killed in the war, or starving at home, or not in the meet (see Germany and Russia) at all.

                Still, Hardin's mark lasted through 2 OG. As has Young's, but Young's mark has also withstood the assualt of no fewer than 6 WC meets in the interim. I don't think they're in the same league. So my top 5 (for tonite, at least!) runs like this:

                1. Moses
                2. Davis
                3. Young
                4. Schmid
                5. Hardin

                Akii-Bua and Hemery are one-hit wonders. Indeed, if Hemery hadn't had the advantage of not only altitude but also the first OG run on synthetic (allowing for decreased-stride pattern) he'd just be another run of the mill Oly champ (not a bad thing to be!). He's not even in Rex Cawley's class.

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                • #9
                  Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

                  Neither Schmid nor Phillips ranked after 1989. I believe that Phillips at his best was better than Schmid at his best.

                  Drawbacks for each man:

                  Phillips - did not make the 84 Olympic nor 87 World team, was the third American for a while behind Moses and Harris.

                  Schmid - Never won a major world event (Olympics, World Cup nor Olympics). Eliminate Moses & he win '83 Helsinki, loses to Harris in '84 & '87. Heck, if we eliminate Moses, Harris might step up.

                  Phillips vs. Schmid - in baseball, they have a term, a "compiler" guy who has large career totals, but was never great, just good & consistent. No meet is more important than the Olympics, if you can back up an Olympic gold with a solid career, It helps considerably. Phillips had a better PR than Schmid, was better than him 6 out of 9 years, and ranked #1 three times to Schmid's one.

                  Hardin vs. Young - Very interesting. How much do we penalize pre-WW2 athletes for a lack of competition relative to today. Young was great for two years (1992-'93) and very good for another 7, but rather inconsistent before 1992. Hardin was the best from 1932 to '36. It gets very close in here.

                  Akii-Bua - was ranked first twice, and likely would have won a world championship had he been afforded the opportunity.

                  Young is looking better and better.

                  Sanchez is on the verge.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

                    Edwin Moses (Long live the King)

                    Harald Schmid (the eternal Prince Charles waiting for his shot at the throne)

                    Kevin Young (first/only man to break 47 seconds).

                    Felix Sanchez (will he become as dominant as Moses?)

                    Charlie Moore (dominant hurdler of the '50s).

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                    • #11
                      Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

                      ndamix, I guess you have never heard of Glenn Davis ??!! And Charley Moore the"dominant hurdler of the 50's" ????

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                      • #12
                        Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

                        Lord Burghley, F. Morgan Taylor, Roy Cochran and Eddie Southern (Schmid to Glenn Davis's Moses, though not over such an extended period) are about the only ones who haven't been mentioned.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 400 IH; the top 5 all time

                          I'd pump Phillips up closer to the top. He's the only man who ever ranked ahead of Ed Moses.

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                          • #14
                            Didn't Schmid run a sub 1:45 800m?
                            He must have the best 400H / 800m combo ever.

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                            • #15
                              You can't have a top five list without Schmid and Aki-Bua, IMHO!

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