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Most stunning single performances.

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  • Most stunning single performances.

    Here's a fun one to kick around--what is THE or at least ONE of the most stunning single performances in track & field history? The "stunning" quality could be either because of an upset or because of pure performance. Here's a few of my favorite: Obviously Bob Beamon's WR in '68 OG (even if it was aided by the altitude),and since I am partial to distance running--Billy Mills taking unexpected gold in the 1964 OG 10K in Tokyo and Gerry Lindgren upsetting the Russian 10K veterans in the USA Vs Russia dual meet @ the LA Coliseum in 1964. I am partial to this last one as I was there to see it...Lindgren broke away early with about 10 laps to go and quickly built up a huge lead and kept adding to it as we stood and cheered --caught up perhaps in the cold war hysteria of the day.

  • #2
    Re: Most stunning single performances.

    Wang Junxia breaks the 10k, 5k, and 3k WRs...in the same race.

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    • #3
      Re: Most stunning single performances.

      I was fairly stunned when Jonathan Edwards broke the triple jump record twice in one competition.

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      • #4
        Re: Most stunning single performances.

        Dave Wottle in 1972

        Randy Matson breaking 70'

        Bob Hayes anchor leg in 1964

        MJ's 19.32 in Atlanta

        Ben Eastman's 46.4

        Paula Radcliffe's 2:15

        Ronaldo Nehemiah's 12.92

        Thousands of high school performances over the years, as when the 4:32 miler suddenly runs a 4:17.

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        • #5
          Re: Most stunning single performances.

          Torrance's 57-1
          Dumas' 7-1/2
          Oerter's fourth winning throw

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          • #6
            Re: Most stunning single performances.

            Or McMillen's second place in 1952 (to say nothing of Barthel's victory)

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            • #7
              Re: Most stunning single performances.

              These responses are fun...Rich, I like all yours and billthedog, we can trust you to take us back into the 40's and 50's...my brother saw Dumas do his 7-0.5 in the U.S. Olympic Trials,1956 in the LA Coliseum. So many great marks set there...too bad it is no more. One more tidbit--who remembers the class high jumper that day who had an off day and didn't make the team? Ernie Shelton. After failing to clear 6-9...

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              • #8
                Re: Most stunning single performances.

                Vladimir Kuts burying the 5000m field at the '54 Euro Champs in Berne and setting a stunning new W-Rec at 13.56.6. Then later that year Chataway beating Kuts by 2 feet lowering the record to 13.51.
                Pat Matzdorf beating Brumel's record.
                Sandor Iharos in 1955.
                Forest Towns running 13.7 in Oslo in '36 when the record was 14.1.
                Lou Jones and Jim Lea in the Pan American Games in Mexico City, 45.4 and 45.6 when Rhoden held the record at 45.8.

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                • #9
                  Re: Most stunning single performances.

                  Mike Powell's 29'4 1/2 deserves some consideration, Walter George's 4:12.8 back in 1884 had to stun some. MJ and Beamon have to be near the top. Ron Clarke's big 5k record and Hohn's 343'10 are also outstanding. Zatopek's 3 golds in '52 are incredible

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                  • #10
                    Re: Most stunning single performances.

                    As pure stunners go, how about FloJo's 10.49 at the '88 Trials. Murky now, sure, but go back and remember how stunned you were when you saw it, or heard of it.

                    Speaking of Indianopolis stunners, how about Carl Lewis's almost 30-foot leap?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Most stunning single performances.

                      Glenn Davis 49.5 in the same meet as Dumas's 7 feet.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Most stunning single performances.

                        Matzdorf's 7" 6 1/4" WR, and Yashchenko's 7 '7 3'4" WR, the last in a Junior dual meet between USA and USSR.

                        Both totally, repeat totally, unexpected.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Most stunning single performances.

                          >Matzdorf's 7" 6 1/4" WR, and Yashchenko's 7 '7 3'4" WR, the last in a Junior dual meet between
                          USA and USSR. Both totally, repeat totally,
                          unexpected.<

                          I saw both of those performances and although both were unexpected, it was Yashchenko's that I would choose as the more stunning of the two.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Most stunning single performances.

                            Bob, what were the PR's of Matzdorf and Yashchenko previously ? I remember that Yashchenko really got into new territory but how about Pat ?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Most stunning single performances.

                              If we're talking about the HJ how about Wessig's 2.36m at Moscow in 1980 and Rudolph Povarnitsin being the first to jump 2.40m?

                              Edwards's 18.29m certainly and Powell's 8.95m. However, I can't see how MJ's 19.32 can be beaten.
                              FloJo's 10.49 shouldn't still be on the books so shouldn't count.

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