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40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

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  • 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

    It was 40 yrs. ago today, Feb. 2, 1974, that Filbert Bayi won the Commonwealth Games 1500m, front running to a World Record 3:32.16, dragging John Walker (3:32.52) under Jim Ryun's old WR of 3:33.1, and pulling a host of others to high positions on the all-time list: 3. Ben Jipcho 3:33.16; 4. Rod Dixon 3:33.89; 5. Graham Crouch 3:34.22; 6. Mike Boit 3:36.84; 7. Brendan Foster 3:37.64.

    IMHO, it's easily the greatest piece of front-running in a championship 1500 (and probably the last 1500m WR we'll ever see in a championship race).

    All-Time 1500m List after this race:

    1. 3:32.16 Filbert Bayi (Tan) '74
    2. 3:32.52 John Walker (NZ) '74
    3. 3:33.16 Ben Jipcho (Ken) '74
    4. 3:33.1 Jim Ryun (US) '67
    5. 3:33.89 Rod Dixon (NZ) '74
    6. 3:34.0 Jean Wadoux (Fra) '70
    7. 3:34.22 Graham Crouch (Aus ) '74
    8. 3:34.91 Kipchoge Keino (Ken) '68
    9. 3:35.6 Herb Elliott (Aus) '60
    10. 3:36.0 Marty Liquori (US) '71
    11. 3:36.2 Dave Wottle (US) '73
    12. 3:36.33 Pekka Vasala (Fin) '72
    13. 3:36.3 Michel Jazy (Fra) '66

  • #2
    Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

    54.4, 1.51.8, 2.36.75 (1100), 2.50.3.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

      I remember it well; it was quite the bombshell. From his '73 performances, we all "knew" that Bayi could well do something like this, but the actual performance (and staggering depth behind him) was quite extraordinary. Dixon's post-race comment about becoming history's 5th best ever, but only getting 4th in the race, says a lot.

      At the time, there was some real hope that Bayi represented the start of some exciting new front-running trend, but that was clearly too much to hope or wish for. In fact, there was arguably more front-running done before '74 than after. Thus, historically, he probably actually represented the ultimate extension of a 1950s/60s tactic, rather than providing a model for the future.

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      • #4
        Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

        ^ thanks, Alan Sigmon for posting this, and thanks kuha for your comments. Interesting perspective that I had not considered. I did not become aware of this race until much later, and only saw it on video within the last decade. It is one of the great races ever, imo.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

          I was so fortunate to be in grad school in Canada at the time, so as to be able to see this race on T.V. If I'd have been home I never would have seen it. The T&Fn cover photo at the head of the stretch is embedded in my mind.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

            Does anyone know if the entire race can be found on the Net? It seems all the versions on YouTube appear to only show parts of the race! If anyone has a link I'd appreciate it. Cheers.
            The splits published in the IAAF Progression of World Records don't correspond with those quoted above!?
            They have: - 54.9, 1:52.2, 2:50.8.
            Hard to know which are the correct splits from an incomplete video of the race.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

              I've never seen a full video. You'd think it has to exist...somewhere...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                Originally posted by kuha
                I remember it well; it was quite the bombshell…..
                From my perspective (and that of 15,000 other people I was with) it turned out to be a bit of a "negative" bombshell.

                We were at the old San Francisco Examiner Games in the Cow Palace and the announcer (must have been Bob Steiner, who was one of the best) read the results in the middle of the meet. Anybody who was remotely familiar with the sport, and many were in those days absolutely felt the air go out of the meet. Everything that was happening in front of us sooo paled in comparison.

                Based on that experience, I've always made a point of trying never to mention marks from another meet while one is still going on. It's not remotely same effect as being at a ball game and having them read the scores in the rest of the league.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                  So many great T&F competitions that i'll never get to see because i wasn't born then or too young, really pisses me off. The IOC should start an archive with olympic games videos, cause even those are hard to find.
                  I would love to see that triple jump competition from Mexico 68, Bayi's WR 74, that 1500m from Koblenz in 80 where three went below the old WR, and soooooo much more.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                    Originally posted by norunner
                    that 1500m from Koblenz in 80 where three went below the old WR, and soooooo much more.
                    Pretty sure I have that entire race. Would upload it onto Youtube, but don't have the software anymore! Tried buying what I thought was right, but never worked.
                    Surprising how close Wessinghage was to Ovett, which just confirmed to me that Ovett & Coe were capable of so much faster then, in the right race.
                    Whatever happened to Hudak, 3:31.96!?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                      Originally posted by deanouk
                      Originally posted by norunner
                      that 1500m from Koblenz in 80 where three went below the old WR, and soooooo much more.
                      Pretty sure I have that entire race. Would upload it onto Youtube, but don't have the software anymore! Tried buying what I thought was right, but never worked.
                      Surprising how close Wessinghage was to Ovett, which just confirmed to me that Ovett & Coe were capable of so much faster then, in the right race.
                      Whatever happened to Hudak, 3:31.96!?
                      What kind of software? Video editing?
                      Hudak was a fluke, his next best time was over 3:36, when i heard his time on the radio i thought they were joking.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                        I have the race on dvd. I used to be able to burn them onto my imac and then download them onto Youtube. A friend of mine had sorted out the software for me and shown me the process, as I'm not the most technically minded. When my hardware crashed I lost the software and bought what I thought was what I used before (Aiseesoft). Cost £20 + and when I couldn't get it to work they would not respond to my requests for help. I have quite a few rare races, so when I get around to finding someone to advise me on software, I will download them.

                        I agree about Hudak, but then he did actually run 3:31.9, fluke or not. Ovett surely must have been able to run 3:29 that year. He wasn't just slightly better than Hudak!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                          There are any number of examples of unheralded runners hanging on to a really fast pace and producing times that they never approached again. Hudak in 1980 and Crouch in 1974 are two good examples. Others may be the medalists that followed Rudisha home in London.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                            Originally posted by catson52
                            There are any number of examples of unheralded runners hanging on to a really fast pace and producing times that they never approached again. Hudak in 1980 and Crouch in 1974 are two good examples. Others may be the medalists that followed Rudisha home in London.
                            I wonder if that's what happened in Stockholm in 76? Dick Quax ran a 13:13.10, just 0.1s over the WR and Klaus-Peter Hildenbrand was second in 13:13.69, which was the third best time ever. Dick Quax went on to improve the WR in 77, Hildenbrand never again (or before) ran below 13:20 . Does anyone know how that race in 76 went?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 40 Years Ago (2/2/74): Bayi 3:32.16

                              And if these messageboards had existed back in 1974 I'm sure the threads(s) announcing the results would soon have been taken over a mix of the following:
                              - aspersions about the length of track, swirling tailwinds, improbable improvement levels, nefarious connections to shady chemical experimentalists
                              - concerns about the decline of US miling, in particular the impact of college track (including workloads, foreign runners etc) and poor work ethic
                              - complaints about the lack of public awareness of the results
                              - hypotheses than Ryun, Santy, Haag, Andersson, Walter George and others could have run faster given shoe, track and training advances
                              - statements that the WR would soon be 3.28
                              - certainty as to the inevitable rise of Tanzania as a middle distance powerhouse...
                              - and something to do with Alan Webb, Gabe Jennings and Mary Cain...

                              Comment

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