FROM THE EDITOR — A Look At The World Champs Meet Records

WITH OUR SPORT BEING as marks-oriented as it is — particularly marks of the all-time-best variety — it would be only logical to wonder what World Records we might see at the World Championships in July.

But that sets an awfully high bar. So instead, let’s drop back a notch and examine the possibilities for Meet Records in Eugene. That’s a stiff collection of marks in and of itself and you may well be surprised to see just how old some of them are.

The distribution of MRs by year, which finds all but 2 of the 17 hosts still claiming at least 1: 6—Doha ’19; 5—Rome ’87, Helsinki ’05 & Berlin ’09; 4—Stuttgart ’93 & Beijing ’15; 3—Seville ’99, Paris ’03 & Daegu ’11; 2—Helsinki ’83, Gothenburg ’95 & Edmonton ’01; 1—Tokyo ’91, Osaka ’07 & Moscow ’13; 0—Athens ’97 & London ’17.

The chart:

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
MEN’S MEET RECORDS
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
WOMEN’S MEET RECORDS
100 9.58 Usain Bolt (Jamaica) ’09 100 10.70 Marion Jones (US) ’99
200 19.19 Usain Bolt (Jamaica) ’09 200 21.63 Dafne Schippers (Netherlands) ’15
400 43.18 Michael Johnson (US) ’99 400 47.99 Jarm. Kratochvílová (Czecho) ’83
800 1:42.34 Donavan Brazier (US) ’19 800 1:54.68 Jarm. Kratochvílová (Czecho) ’83
1500 3:27.65 Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) ’99 1500 3:51.95 Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) ’19
Steeple 8:00.43 Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya) ’09 Steeple 8:57.84 Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya) ’19
5000 12:52.79 Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) ’03 5000 14:26.72 Hellen Obiri (Kenya) ’19
10,000 26:46.31 Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) ’09 10,000 30:04.18 Berhane Adere (Ethiopia) ’03
110H 12.91 Colin Jackson (G Britain) ’93 100H 12.28 Sally Pearson (Australia) ’11
400H 47.18 Kevin Young (US) ’93 400H 52.16 Dalilah Muhammad (US) ’19
Marathon 2:06:54 Abel Kirui (Kenya) ’09 Marathon 2:20:57 Paula Radcliffe (GB) ’05
20Walk 1:17:21 Jefferson Pérez (Ecuador) ’03 20Walk 1:25:41 Olimpiada Ivanova (Russia) ’05
4 x 100 37.04 Jamaica ’11 4 x 100 41.07 Jamaica ’15
4 x 400 2:54.29 United States ’93 4 x 400 3:16.71 United States ’93
———
HJ 2.41 | 7-10¾ Bohdan Bondarenko (Ukraine) ’13 HJ 2.09 | 6-10¼ Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria) ’87
PV 6.05 | 19-10¼ Dmitriy Markov (Australia) ’01 PV 5.01 | 16-5¼ Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) ’05
LJ 8.95 | 29-4½ Mike Powell (US) ’91 LJ 7.36 | 24-1¾ Jackie Joyner-Kersee (US) ’87
TJ 18.29 | 60-¼ Jonathan Edwards (G Britain) ’95 TJ 15.50 | 50-10¼ Inessa Kravets (Ukraine) ’95
SP 22.91 | 75-2 Joe Kovacs (US) ’19 SP 21.24 | 69-8¼ Natalya Lisovskaya (SU) ’87
Valerie Adams (New Zealand) ’11
DT 70.17 | 230-2 Virgilijus Alekna (Lithuania) ’05 DT 71.62 | 235-0 Martina Hellmann (E Germany) ’87
HT 83.63 | 274-4 Ivan Tikhon (Belarus) ’07 HT 80.85 | 265-3 Anita Włodarczyk (Poland) ’15
JT 92.80 | 304-5 Jan Železný (Czech Republic) ’01 JT 71.70 | 235-3 Osleidys Menéndez (Cuba) ’05
Dec 9045 Ashton Eaton (US) ’15 Hept 7128 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (US) ’87

Which MR is most likely to fall? The same one that’s the most likely WR, and that comes with Sydney McLaughlin’s being chased by Dalilah Muhammad and Femke Bol (not necessarily in that order) in the women’s 400H, where 52.16 should be easy-peasy.

Next up: men’s shot, where Ryan Crouser is a threat for a 77-footer every time he steps in the ring, being far beyond the existing 75-2 (22.91) with unimaginable consistency.

With the Jamaican women in fine form hard not to imagine at least one of them breaking 10.70 in the 100. And at twice the distance add Americans Gabby Thomas & Abby Steiner and 21.63 seems fated to bite the dust.

Least likely to fall? On the men’s side, Bolt’s 9.58 & 19.19 and Powell’s 29-4½ (8.95). On the women’s, JJK’s 7128, the 69-8¼ (21.24) shared by Lisovskaya & Adams and the 6-10¼ (2.09) by Kostadinova.

The best news is that even in the unlikelihood of a single MR being broken, the head-to-head competition is going to be fabulous and well worth the watching. ◻︎

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