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  • #16
    Re: track History

    I gotta say MJ is EASILY the number 1 400 runenr ever.

    For a moment, spare me the old-timers' nostalgia. MJ had an insane streak going in the 400m......from 1988 until.......i forget when....97?.....he was undefeated in 400m finals. He simply owns the all-time lists.

    Evans may have been "ahead of his time" with his record, but, with the correct altitude conversions, his record in Mexico City is only worth about 44.25....still good, but a far cry from a true 43.8.....


    If anyone were to say to you "Michael Johnson is not the greatest all-time 400m runner", you should have their head examined.

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    • #17
      Re: track History

      Nice to see Bannister in your mile rankings.

      In a funny way, I think he's underrated by most historians because of his poor showing in Helsinki. But remember that Bannister only trained 20 miles a week, mostly intervals. Miraculously that was enough to make Bannister the best single-day miler of the pre-Elliott era. It was not enough to carry him through heats, semifinals, etc.

      When we talk about natural talents --- which always comes up with Ryun --- I think we have to include Bannister.

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      • #18
        Re: track History

        In terms of relying solely on natuarl ability, is MJ the greatest 400 runner ever? Taking into consideration a lot of factors ...

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        • #19
          Re: track History

          On pure talent, maybe only Tommie Smith comes close.

          Then again, if only talent counted, Lee Evans might not make the top 10.

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          • #20
            Re: track History

            I was not saying that...I was answering the previous question - Is there another (men's) running event where the current WR has changed as little in 22 years as the 110 hurdles?

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            • #21
              Re: track History

              >I was answering the previous question - Is there another (men's)running event where the current WR has changed as little in 22 years as the 110 hurdles?<

              The point was that in 22 years, the record in the 110mH has been lowered by only .02. In the 400m, the difference between the current record and Evans's record (which was standing 22 years ago) is considerably more, both in time and in percentage.

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              • #22
                Re: track History

                Nehemiah was the best high hurdler of any era and would have lowered the WR considerably if he hadn't been bored with the lack of competition and a nose for the greater fame and fortune of the football arena.

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                • #23
                  Re: track History

                  And Edwards is so far superior in tj that he ought to occupy the first five spots, followed by Saneyev, da Silva, Schmidt, Conley, and
                  Willie Banks as numbers 6-10 !!!

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                  • #24
                    Re: track History

                    Ok I understand now. You are current the 110 hurdles record has barely been improved in the past 22 years which makes one wonder when and how much will it be improved in the next 22 years?

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                    • #25
                      Re: track History

                      Rich K, that's an apt observation regarding Lee Evans. Very hard worker with talent, but not unreal talent like so many other WR holders. In one of the other threads, someone mentioned that Evans ran XC in the off season with the distance guys. Imagine some of the 400's big guns of the last 10 years doing that. Evans was a tough guy. MJ had all the earmarks of a freak of nature like few others.

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                      • #26
                        Re: track History

                        Exactly why Lee Evans tops my list of personal favorites: Maximum Guts.

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                        • #27
                          Re: track History

                          MJ is great, with no one to approach him in actual performance but I have no doubt that Tommie Smith could have also run low 43's if he had trained for/concentrated on the 400.

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                          • #28
                            Re: track History

                            Does anyone think Gunder Hagg fits in as one of the all time greats? Maybe give Arne Andersson honorable mention.

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                            • #29
                              Re: track History

                              Hard to judge Hägg and Andersson in that Sweden was the only major practioner of track--no?--that didn't have the fruit of its manhood (see Rufolf Harbig) off getting chopped up in WWII. (That, my being a pacifist, not a slam at all.)

                              Who knows what the "real" WRs might have been had the Americans and the rest of Europe not been busy killing each other.

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                              • #30
                                Re: track History

                                >Hard to judge Hägg and Andersson in that Sweden
                                >was the only major practioner of track--no?--that
                                >didn't have the fruit of its manhood (see Rufolf
                                >Harbig) off getting chopped up in WWII. (That, my
                                >being a pacifist, not a slam at all.)

                                Who
                                >knows what the "real" WRs might have been had
                                >the Americans and the rest of Europe not been
                                >busy killing each other.

                                Although times only mean so much, Andersson was the world leader in 1939, a few months before the war really began. He was already one of the world's top milers before his competiton was distraction by death and destruction. Hagg, of course, mostly got the better of Andersson. So it's hard to get a real idea of how the war affected Hagg and Andersson -- they still had each other to compete against, even if there wasn't much else.

                                In 1942, 5 of the top 10 on the combined 1500/mile list were Swedes. In 1943, it was 6 out of 10, in 1944 8 out of 10, in 1945 8 out of 10 again. While South America also continued to compete unaffected by the war, only Sweden had much impact at the highest levels of distance running. (Some Finns continued to race, but mostly in Sweden.) The USA, however, continued to dominate the sprints, hurdles, jumps and throws, just not as much as before and after the war.

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