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  • best male track & field performances of all-time

    These are bests in absolute terms not in era-defined terms (i.e. Lon Myers, etc). I've also taken some liberties with estimates and computer-studied marks (sources for non-official marks listed below)
    IAAF Tables
    1380 carl lewis's 30'2 foul in 1982
    1367 usain bolt's high end estimate based on splits 9.60, 2008
    1365 computer estimate of bubka's best vaults, 6.37by Tokyo scientists, 1991
    1351 usain bolt's low end estimate based on splits 9.64, 2008
    1346 javelin 98.46 zelezny 1996
    1338 usain bolt's 19.30, 2008
    1335 michael johnson's 19.32, 1996
    1332 bolt's actual time of 9.69, 2008
    1328 al oerter's practice throw in 1984
    1316 michael johnson's relay split of 42.94 in 1993
    1306 javier sotomayor's 2.45 high jump, 1993
    1303 hicham el guerrouj 1500 meter 3:26.00

    PS I've read some other studies stating if so-and-so-could have thrown or jumped at this angle, they could have done this. i.e. Edwards 19m jump or Mac Wilkins's 250' throw. I'm staying away from coulda's and focusing on dids - even ones that don't officially count.

    Oerter: http://www.iaaf.org/news/kind=2/newsid=21022.html
    Barnes: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E7_rH8K2d8
    Bubka: http://mb.trackandfieldnews.com/discuss ... a9732aae99
    Lewis: http://mb.trackandfieldnews.com/discuss ... p=39741and Track and Field News, August 1982, vol. 35, #6, p.28–29
    * I also recall reading about one of Lewis's jumps in Barcelona being over 30 feet but I can't find the particular source.

    Marks made by athletes that tested positive for drugs at any point in their career
    1370 randy barnes's 79'2 practice throw in 1990 (on youtube)
    1308 randy barnes's 23.12 shot put, 1990

  • #2
    That is a very interesting comparison, even if some marks are speculative.

    One question though: Have you taken Hohn's old-javelin WR into consideration?
    I suspect it would have a score comparable to Zelezny's.

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    • #3
      Lon Myers

      In the 1879 National (U.S.) Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Championships, Myers won a triple victory (220, 440, 880), setting records in each event. In 1880, he won four titles in the AAUs—
      the 220, 440, and 880 events and the 100-Yard Dash—a feat he repeated one week later at the Canadian Nationals. Myers was the first and probably the only track and field athlete ever to capture eight National titles in one week.

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      • #4
        Lon Myers

        In the 1879 National (U.S.) Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Championships, Myers won a triple victory (220, 440, 880), setting records in each event. In 1880, he won four titles in the AAUs—
        the 220, 440, and 880 events and the 100-Yard Dash—a feat he repeated one week later at the Canadian Nationals. Myers was the first and probably the only track and field athlete ever to capture eight National titles in one week.

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        • #5
          Can you please scratch Randy Barnes off that list ? He doesn't belong there.

          Who invented those IAAF tables and what are they based on ?

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          • #6
            not sure where IAAF tables came from,..anyone else know?

            I moved Barnes's mark down into a separate list. These are absolute marks - Lon Myers for his era was the man but he does not rank now. Of course, if these were adjusted for era, he might be up there that high.

            good point about Hohn's record...I dont know if the old javelin marks are in the current tables. If I can find them in an older edition, I will post. I would guess it's up in the 1350 range.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by parkerrclay
              not sure where IAAF tables came from,..anyone else know?

              I moved Barnes's mark down into a separate list. These are absolute marks - Lon Myers for his era was the man but he does not rank now. Of course, if these were adjusted for era, he might be up there that high.

              good point about Hohn's record...I dont know if the old javelin marks are in the current tables. If I can find them in an older edition, I will post. I would guess it's up in the 1350 range.
              That wasn't directed at the non-absolute mark, Barnes is a proven drug cheat who is banned for life. He shouldn't get any recignition for those two marks compared to true legends of the sport.

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              • #8
                I know what you were implying and I agree 100%. It just sucks that the IAAF lists his mark as a world record when he was busted a year later. This mark was done before the WR and, if it was in competition, I'm sure it would be listed as well.

                Here's where I got the scoring tables from:
                http://www.iaaf.org/mm/Document/Competi ... 08_742.pdf

                If anyone else has other tables (hungarian, etc) that they can use, I'd love to see them,

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                • #9
                  Alright then. :wink:

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by parkerrclay
                    I know what you were implying and I agree 100%. It just sucks that the IAAF lists his mark as a world record when he was busted a year later.
                    Not a year later - he tested positive in Malmo in the same season he threw 23.12.
                    Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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                    • #11
                      thanks for the clarification. What was the time difference? There is no way this should be a world record. The IAAF needs to go back and throw this one out (along with a bunch of others!)

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                      • #12
                        Re: best male track & field performances of all-time

                        Originally posted by parkerrclay
                        These are bests in absolute terms not in era-defined terms ...
                        few points

                        - King's 30" jump - did anyone take a wind gauge reading ?

                        - his toe-sand in barcelona was about 8.90m

                        - what is bolt's score with 19.20 - time adjusted for wind & good RT

                        - what is this about edwards & 19m ?

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                        • #13
                          19.20 would be 1354

                          I read an article that said if Edwards was using his best speed and jumped at the right angle..he would achieve 19 meters. Like i mentioned though, I hate to use speculation on anything.

                          Do you have any info on the Lewis's toe to mark jump?

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                          • #14
                            best male all time T&F all time prformances

                            I read that Lewis - at the "83 TAC - was measured at 29' 3" - takeoff to landing - on a 28' 7 3/4" jump.

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                            • #15
                              Very interesting piece, but surely the era in which they were produced and the % improvement on the next best at the time are important considerations.
                              Also, do practise efforts and estimates based on splits constitute as actual performances? I'm sure there must be quite a few "amazing" efforts produced in training that we will never even know about!

                              And I agree with comments on Randy Barnes, but didn't Carl Lewis fail 4 drug tests in 1988!?

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