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Mal Whitfield's 880y WR 19.08.1950


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  • Mal Whitfield's 880y WR 19.08.1950

    Hi Guys,

    IAAF lists his first 220y split as 21.6y and was wondering if T&F News covered this race and have any indication as to what the split really was.

    Find it very hard to believe he went thru in 21.6 (1 sec off the then current 220y WR of 20.6) from a standing start and managed to keep going for another 660y!



  • #2
    As bizarre as it may sound, I didn't commit a typographical error in the WR book. The hare (Ted Theodore) was asked to take Whitfield through the 440 in 52.5, as reported in T&F News, but got caught up in the excitement of it all, and went through in 50.5, after a first 220 of 21.6. Now I tend to agree with you - that 21.6 sounds too fast. In a quickly paced race like this (on a less friendly surface than is used today) you would expect each 220 to be progressively slower. These were 21.6-28.9-28.0-30.7. The 3rd and 4th furlongs look plausible, but not the first two. They were likely to have been 23.0-27.5 BUT we'll never know for sure.


    • #3
      Isn't it possible that the pacemaker started way too fast and Whitfield was much slower over the first 200m and then caught up with him? Or the pacemaker realised he was too fast and slowed down after 200m ?


      • #4
        You might be able to ask Mr. Theodore for his own estimate.

        From Babe Ruth to Baldwin Wallace to Jessica Beard, Theodore has been at a great many Cleveland sports intersections.


        • #5
          To be precise Whitfield's time at 440 was 50.5, behind Theodore's 50.3, and the T&FN report states that Whitfield was "on Theodore's heels" at the 220 mark


          • #6
            Thanks all for your comments so far and that link to the story on Ted helps, as it states he was a 400/800 guy, which indicates to me he was not capable of running anywhere near close to 21.6 for 220y. I'm trying to find the world ranking for 220y that year as I'm sure 21.6 would be up there. Look at the results for the U.S. Champs in 1950 - 21.6 was close to getting a place!

            F: 200 meters turn; S/F: 6/6; D: 24 JUN
            1 Robert Tyler 21.1
            2 Arthur Bragg 21.2
            3 Lloyd LaBeach (PAN) 21.4
            4 Buddy Fowlkes
            5 Don Campbell
            6 Chuck Peters