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All time distance: USA v Great Britain

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  • All time distance: USA v Great Britain

    Britain has developed some great 800 and up (say 10k) runners. Is it obvious that they dominate US in those events or is there room for some debate? Given the complexity of comparisons across the board - a reasonable or hands down deal?

  • #2
    Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

    Well, there are a lot of ways of looking at this . . .

    The easiest to look up is national scoring in T&FN's World Rankings (although that only compares from 1947 to present). The Yanks are ahead in the 800, 1500, and steeple; the Brits are ahead in the 5k, 10k, and marathon. If you add them all up the US barely comes out ahead.
    (That's men only; consider the women and it's neck-and-neck in every event except the marathon, where our women are by far the best nation in the world in national scoring.)

    But that's only one way of looking at it. You can look at Olympic gold medals, Olympic medals, number of superstars, world records, all kinds of things. They have us totally whipped at the 5k and 10k, though.

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    • #3
      Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

      so in a fantasy (right?) "distance carnival", putting everyone in the same meet - all eras, all things factored. wha happens - outcome? btw for what its worth I've mulled this over for quite a few years - intrigue i spose (i think we all do it from time to time?) - and my better than average, but not expert, knowledge has resulted in ... posting this here. gota bite the bullet and render a verdict/decision. of course 'arguments' accepted, not excepted.

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      • #4
        Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

        How does the US fare against GB on the all time 800/1500 lists? Probably not all that well, even with our much bigger population, I'd suspect. I would think the 1500 we'd be buried all time.

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        • #5
          Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

          Well, that's something we can look up.

          Top ten performers, from T&FN's lists:
          800 METERS
          1:41.11 ...... Wilson Kipketer (Den) 97
          1:41.73 ............... Seb Coe (GB) 81
          1:41.77 ......... Joaquim Cruz (Bra) 84
          1:42.28 ......... Sammy Koskei (Ken) 84
          1:42.34 ....... Wilfred Bungei (Ken) 02
          1:42.47 ... Yuriy Borzakovskiy (Rus) 01
          1:42.55 ......... André Bucher (Swi) 01
          1:42.58 ........ Vebjørn Rodal (Nor) 96
          1:42.60 ........... Johnny Gray (US) 85
          1:42.62 ...... Patrick Ndururi (Ken) 97

          1500 METERS
          3:26.00 ... Hicham El Guerrouj (Mor) 98
          3:26.34 ........ Bernard Lagat (Ken) 01
          3:27.37 ... Noureddine Morceli (Alg) 95
          3:28.12 ........... Noah Ngeny (Ken) 00
          3:28.95 ......... Fermín Cacho (Spa) 97
          3:29.18 .... Vénuste Niyongabo (Bur) 97
          3:29.29 ..... William Chirchir (Ken) 01
          3:29.46 .......... Saïd Aouita (Mor) 85
          ................ Daniel Komen (Ken) 97
          3:29.67 ............ Steve Cram (GB) 85

          We're behind, but neither nation can claim a particularly strong presence.

          Really deep all-time performance lists are available at
          http://taf.sport.nu/athletics/m_800ok.htm
          and at
          http://taf.sport.nu/athletics/m_1500ok.htm

          Have fun comparing!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

            no no no!, I guess I'm not necessarily (well actually I'm not) thinking all time lists - but more all time competitors i.e., whitfield, wottle, wohlulter, cunningham, ryun, scott, liquori(?), mills(?), schul(?), pre, bedford, pirie, moorcroft, etc.

            take everyone (you choose) from every era (20s, 30s, (before) til today, have a meet of just 800, 1500(or mile - I like the mile), 5k and 10k - and come up with results. Times, at least from the discussions I've read, are not necessarily the sole factor. Everyone at their peak.

            not just fastest times ...

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            • #7
              Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

              OK! I'm sure the placings I come up with will stir a lot of argument, since they are totally subjective.

              The USA-GB Men's Distance-only Time Machine Dual meet
              880y
              1)Coe, GB
              2)Woodruff, USA
              3)Lowe, GB

              Mile
              1)Ryun, USA
              2)Ovett, GB
              3)Coe, GB

              3-mile
              1)Stewart, GB
              2)Schul, USA
              3)Pirie or Moorcroft, GB

              6-mile
              1)Foster, GB
              2)Mills, USA
              3)Bedford, GB

              You didn't mention steeplechase , but if you want it . . .
              1)Marsh, USA
              2)Ashenfelter, USA
              3)Brasher, GB

              Scoring 5-3-1, the Brits take us 22 to 14 (we close to 23-22 if you include the steeple). I really think the 2nd places I gave to Mills and Schul were gifts, as they were based on only one season (and pretty much only one race).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                Mal Whitfield would out-kick Woodruff or Lowe for 2nd place.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                  Whitfield might very well have beaten Woodruff. But not by out-kicking him.

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                  • #10
                    Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                    I thought this would come up. Honestly, the pick for Coe at #1 is harder to defend in my mind than Woodruff over Whitfield.

                    If you're talking career accomplishments, then Whitfield has much more than Woodruff. BUT since the statement was "everyone at their peak", you must realize this: Woodruff ran 1:47.0 indoors in 1940, while Whitfield's career PR was 1:48.0 eight years later. Woodruff also ran an "adjusted" 1:48.0 in 1937 (see http://trackandfieldnews.com/tfn/discus ... thread=324). If we use our imaginary time machine, I'd put the house on Woodruff.

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                    • #11
                      Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                      Hey, before anyone corrects me, Whitfield's PR was actually 1:47.9 in 1953, and his 1:48.0 was in 1952. Anyway, Whitfield never came even reasonably close to the WR, while Woodruff may have been cheated out of one, and his indoor mark was only 0.4 off of the outdoor record.

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                      • #12
                        Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                        For the 6mile/10K, remember that Frank Shorter beat Bedford in the 1972 Olympics.

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                        • #13
                          Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                          Let's talk Whitfiled again:

                          We are talking about winning here.... he knew how to do that ! ( 2 OG gold proves it. )

                          Plus he was FAST! Was a world-ranked 400 runner or close to it. Ran on 1600 relay team in both 48 and 52 OG's I think, for a gold and a silver. And that 52 team only lost a 3:04.0 WR because Jamaica was a tenth faster.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                            My files don't show Woodruff ever being beaten in the 800 meters after he entered college (although I'd be happy if someone corrected me, because then I'd know more). He won the Olympic 800 before he was even eligible for NCAA competition.

                            Woodruff was also fast in the 400, with a PR of 46.7 at a time when the WR was 46.1.

                            It's an iffy choice, but the data I went from told me Woodruff.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: All time distance: USA v Great Britain

                              jsquire, I bow to your obvious historical expertise and knowledge. Looks like Woodruff was a super one lapper too.

                              But can't you at least give Whitfield 3rd place ??!!

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