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These records were set in 1968, 1988, and 1999 respectively.
- Lee Evans 43.86
- Butch Reynolds 43.29
- Michael Johnson 43.18
Here are the races from YouTube as a single file.
Note how Lee Evans drives to the line and leans for the finish. Larry James also runs sub-44 for the silver medal.
In Butch Reynold’s World Record at Zurich ’88, you have to consider what Innocent Egbunike ran the 400m in 1987 the year before at the same meet. This sprinter was well known for running the first 200m in a low 20 point. Rumour has it that his opening 200m split was 20.2. In my opinion, the fast opening 200 meters was the main factor in Butch’s world record, as Butch likes to run even splits.
Here is the Nigerian’s 1987 Zurich 400m race on YouTube. The performance is an African record, which wasn’t broken until 2006. Can you name that athlete? Click here for the HINT.
UPDATE: Sorry, the video is no longer on YouTube.