At the end of the 1960’s, the low-altitude world records were…
- 100m 10.03 (4.7% worse than today)
- 200m 19.9H = 20.14 auto (5.0% worse than today)
- 400m 44.67 (converted from Y 3.5% worse than today)
Today, those times would rank #103, #103, and #115.
And we are talking about better training, better recovery, faster tracks, better spikes, access to high end video equipment.
It does make you ponder on how far we have reached over the past 40 years when you eliminate the freaks of Usain Bolt whose records will stand for quite a while.
Let’s look back at Peter Radford’s “electronic world record” of 10.29 was set in 1958.
Has training, technology and nutrition changed that much in 56 years to produce an decrease of only 0.25 seconds?
This is why the magic 10.00 barrier is such a big deal in Track and field, because it appears that on average, only 2 new sprinters will enter this coveted sub-10 club every year.
To break 10.00 once is a huge feat. But to run 3 rounds at the Olympics or World Championships, where the semis and finals are up to 2 hours apart, you’ll be hard pressed to run another sub-10 PB back to back. Just ask Torri Edwards who ran a 10.78 100m PB at the 2008 Olympic Trials! (She did run 10.90 in the Finals)