List of world records in athletics

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Usain Bolt beating Tyson Gay and setting a 100 m world record at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin.
Jürgen Schult beside the indication of his new discus world record, 1986
East German women controversially set many world records in the 1970s and 1980s. World record holder Marita Koch maintains her innocence, although released government files detail her drug usage.[1]

World records in athletics are ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Athletics records comprise the best performances in the sports of track and field, road running and racewalking.

Records are kept for all events contested at the Olympic Games and some others. Unofficial records for some other events are kept by track and field statisticians. The only non-metric track distance for which official records are kept is the mile run.

The criteria which must be satisfied for ratification also apply to national or other restricted records and also to performances submitted as qualifying marks for eligibility to compete in major events such as the Olympic Games.

The criteria include:

  • The dimensions of the track and equipment used must conform to standards. In road events, the course must be accurately measured, by a certified measurer.
  • Except in road events (road running and race walking), the performance must be set in a single-sex race.[Note 1]
  • All team members in a relay race must be of the same nationality.
  • Pacemakers are allowed, provided they have not been lapped; lapped athletes must give way.
  • Drug testing immediately after the performance is now required for ratification of a record. Existing records which predate this requirement are still extant. Athletes who pass the immediate test but are later found to have been on drugs have their performances invalidated.
  • In running events up to 200 m in distance and in horizontal jump events, wind assistance is permitted only up to 2.0 m/s. In decathlon or heptathlon, average wind assistance of less than 2.0 m/s is required across all applicable disciplines; and maximum of 4.0 m/s in any one event.
  • In running events up to 800 m in distance, photo finish fully automatic timing is required.
  • There is no restriction on altitude; since the thinner atmosphere of higher altitude provides less air resistance, locations such as Mexico City and Sestriere have previously been the sites of records in the sprint and jump events. See effects of high altitude on humans. Records set at high altitude venues are often marked with an "A" though that does not disqualify it as a record. Under those circumstances, a "sea level" best is also tracked by statisticians. Long-distance races run at altitude, with less oxygen available to the athlete, have shown to be to the athlete's disadvantage.
  • In road events, the course is not required to be a circuit, but the overall decrease in elevation between the start and finish shall not exceed 1:1000, i.e. 1 m/km.
  • In road events, the start and finish points of a course, measured along a theoretical straight line between them, shall not be further apart than 50% of the race distance.

Bonus payments[edit]

Witnessing a world record brings great pleasure for athletics fans; athletes' personal sponsors and the promoters of major meetings such as the IAAF Golden League have offered bonuses to athletes breaking a record.

Some middle-distance runners have specialized in acting as pacemakers in longer races, receiving a fee without even finishing the race, and possibly a bonus if a record results. This is a useful occupation for athletes who are capable of running accurately to a specified pace, but not capable of the very fastest times to become champions in their own right.

In the pole vault record bonuses create an incentive for an athlete capable of smashing a record to instead break it by the minimum amount (one centimetre), multiple times, at multiple meetings, in order to accumulate multiple bonuses. This has been done by Sergey Bubka in the men's pole vault, and Yelena Isinbayeva in the women's pole vault. Some commentators have complained that neither athlete ever posted as high a mark as they were capable of. In other disciplines this issue does not arise, since it is practically impossible to deliberately break a record by a small margin, except in the high jump.[2]

World records[edit]

The IAAF started to recognize world records in 1912, and indoor world records after 1987. In 2000, IAAF rule 260.18a (formerly 260.6a) was amended, so that "world records" (as opposed to "indoor world records") can be set in a facility "with or without roof." This rule was not applied retroactively,[3] and has thus far only affected the men's and women's pole vault. Numerous women's records were set indoors and ratified as world records, as recently as 2004. Sergey Bubka's 1993 pole vault world indoor record of 6.15 m was not considered to be a world record, because it was set before the new rule came into effect. In February 2014, Bubka's record was surpassed indoors by Renaud Lavillenie jumping 6.16 m which qualifies as both the Indoor world record and the world record.

Men[edit]

Key:       Awaiting ratification

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meeting Place Ref
100 m (progression) 9.58 (+0.9 m/s) Usain Bolt  Jamaica 16 August 2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany [4]
200 m (progression) 19.19 (−0.3 m/s) Usain Bolt  Jamaica 20 August 2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany [4]
400 m (progression) 43.18 Michael Johnson  United States 26 August 1999 World Championships Seville, Spain
800 m (progression) 1:40.91 David Rudisha  Kenya 9 August 2012 Olympic Games London, Great Britain [5]
1000 m (progression) 2:11.96 Noah Ngeny  Kenya 5 September 1999 Rieti Meeting Rieti, Italy
1500 m (progression) 3:26.00 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 14 July 1998 Golden Gala Rome, Italy
Mile (progression) 3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 7 July 1999 Golden Gala Rome, Italy
2000 m 4:44.79 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 7 September 1999 ISTAF Berlin, Germany
3000 m (progression) 7:20.67 Daniel Komen  Kenya 1 September 1996 Rieti Meeting Rieti, Italy
5000 m (progression) 12:37.35 Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 31 May 2004 Fanny Blankers-Koen Games Hengelo, Netherlands
10,000 m (progression) 26:17.53 Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 26 August 2005 Memorial Van Damme Brussels, Belgium
10 km (road) 26:44 Leonard Patrick Komon  Kenya 26 September 2010 Singelloop Utrecht, Netherlands [6]
15 km (road) 41:13 Leonard Patrick Komon  Kenya 21 November 2010 Zevenheuvelenloop Nijmegen, Netherlands [7]
20,000 m (track) 56:25.98+ Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 27 June 2007 Golden Spike Ostrava Ostrava, Czech Republic [8]
20 km (road) 55:21+ Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 21 March 2010 Lisbon Half Marathon Lisbon, Portugal [9]
Half marathon (progression) 58:23 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 21 March 2010 Lisbon Half Marathon Lisbon, Portugal [9]
One hour (progression) 21,285 m Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 27 June 2007 Golden Spike Ostrava Ostrava, Czech Republic [10]
25,000 m (track) 1:12:25.4+ Moses Mosop  Kenya 3 June 2011 Prefontaine Classic Eugene, United States [11]
25 km (road) 1:11:18 Dennis Kipruto Kimetto  Kenya 6 May 2012 BIG 25 Berlin, Germany [12][13]
30,000 m (track) 1:26:47.4 Moses Mosop  Kenya 3 June 2011 Prefontaine Classic Eugene, United States [11][14]
30 km (road) 1:27:37+ Emmanuel Mutai  Kenya 28 September 2014 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [15]
Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor  Kenya 28 September 2014 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [16]
Abera Kuma  Ethiopia 28 September 2014 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [17]
1:27:38+ Patrick Makau Musyoki  Kenya 25 September 2011 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [18]
Marathon (progression) 2:02:57 Dennis Kipruto Kimetto  Kenya 28 September 2014 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [19]
2:03:23 Wilson Kipsang  Kenya 29 September 2013 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [20]
2:03:02 a # [Note 2] Geoffrey Mutai  Kenya 18 April 2011 Boston Marathon Boston, United States [21][22]
100 km (road) 6:13:33 Takahiro Sunada  Japan 21 June 1998 Yūbetsu, Japan
3000 m steeplechase (progression) 7:53.63 Saif Saaeed Shaheen  Qatar 3 September 2004 Memorial Van Damme Brussels, Belgium
110 m hurdles (progression) 12.80 (+0.3 m/s) Aries Merritt  United States 7 September 2012 Memorial Van Damme Brussels, Belgium [23]
400 m hurdles (progression) 46.78 Kevin Young  United States 6 August 1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain
High jump (progression) 2.45 m Javier Sotomayor  Cuba 27 July 1993 Salamanca, Spain
Pole vault (progression) 6.16 m i Renaud Lavillenie  France 15 February 2014 Pole Vault Stars Donetsk, Ukraine [24]
Long jump (progression) 8.95 m (+0.3 m/s) Mike Powell  United States 30 August 1991 World Championships Tokyo, Japan
Triple jump (progression) 18.29 m (+1.3 m/s) Jonathan Edwards  United Kingdom 7 August 1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden [25]
Shot put (progression) 23.12 m Randy Barnes  United States 20 May 1990 Jack in the Box Invitational Westwood, United States [26]
Discus throw (progression) 74.08 m Jürgen Schult  East Germany 6 June 1986 Neubrandenburg, East Germany
Hammer throw (progression) 86.74 m Yuriy Sedykh  Soviet Union 30 August 1986 European Championships Stuttgart, Germany
Javelin (progression) 98.48 m
(See below)
Jan Železný  Czech Republic 25 May 1996 Jena, Germany
Decathlon (progression) 9039 pts Ashton Eaton  United States 22–23 June 2012 United States Olympic Trials Eugene, United States [27]
10.21 (+0.4 m/s) (100 m), 8.23 m (+0.8 m/s) (long jump), 14.20 m (shot put), 2.05 m (high jump), 46.70 (400 m) /
13.70 (-0.8 m/s) (110 m hurdles), 42.81 m (discus), 5.30 m (pole vault), 58.87 m (javelin), 4:14.48 min (1500 m)
10,000 m walk (track) 37:53.09 Paquillo Fernández  Spain 27 July 2008 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
10 km walk (road) 37:11 Roman Rasskazov  Russia 28 May 2000 Saransk, Russia [28]
20,000 m walk (track) 1:17:25.6 [Note 3] Bernardo Segura  Mexico 7 May 1994 Bergen, Norway
20 km walk (road) (progression) 1:17:16 Vladimir Kanaykin  Russia 29 September 2007 Saransk, Russia
1:16:43 # [Note 4] Sergey Morozov  Russia 8 June 2008 Saransk, Russia
2 hours walk (track) 29,572 m + Maurizio Damilano  Italy 3 October 1992 Cuneo, Italy
30,000 m walk (track) 2:01:44.1 Maurizio Damilano  Italy 3 October 1992 Cuneo, Italy
50,000 m walk (track) 3:35:27.20 Yohann Diniz  France 12 March 2011 Reims, France [29]
50 km walk (road) (progression)
3:32:33 Yohann Diniz  France 15 August 2014 European Championships Switzerland Zürich, Switzerland [30]
3:34:14 Denis Nizhegorodov  Russia 11 May 2008 World Race Walking Cup Cheboksary, Russia
4×100 m relay (progression) 36.84 Nesta Carter
Michael Frater
Yohan Blake
Usain Bolt
 Jamaica 11 August 2012 Olympic Games London, Great Britain [31]
4×200 m relay(progression) 1:18.63 Nickel Ashmeade
Warren Weir
Jermaine Brown
Yohan Blake
 Jamaica 24 May 2014 IAAF World Relays Nassau, Bahamas [32]
4×400 m relay (progression) 2:54.29 Andrew Valmon
Quincy Watts
Butch Reynolds
Michael Johnson
 United States 22 August 1993 World Championships Stuttgart, Germany [Note 5]
4×800 m relay 7:02.43 Joseph Mutua
William Yiampoy
Ismael Kombich
Wilfred Bungei
 Kenya 25 August 2006 Memorial Van Damme Brussels, Belgium
4×1500 m relay 14:22.22 Collins Cheboi
Silas Kiplagat
James Kiplagat Magut
Asbel Kiprop
 Kenya 25 May 2014 IAAF World Relays The Bahamas Nassau, Bahamas [33]
Marathon road relay (Ekiden) 1:57:06 Josephat Ndambiri 13:24 (5 km)
Martin Mathathi 27:12 (10 km)
Daniel Muchunu Mwangi 13:59 (5 km)
Mekubo Mogusu 27:56 (10 km)
Onesmus Nyerre 14:36 (5 km)
John Kariuki 19:59 (7.195 km)
 Kenya 23 November 2005 Chiba Ekiden Chiba, Japan

Women[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
100 m (progression) 10.49 (0.0 m/s)
(See note)
Florence Griffith Joyner  United States 16 July 1988 US Olympic Trials Indianapolis, United States
200 m (progression) 21.34 (+1.3 m/s) Florence Griffith Joyner  United States 29 September 1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea
400 m (progression) 47.60 Marita Koch  East Germany 6 October 1985 World Cup Canberra, Australia
800 m (progression) 1:53.28 Jarmila Kratochvílová Czechoslovakia 26 July 1983 Munich, West Germany
1000 m (progression) 2:28.98 Svetlana Masterkova  Russia 23 August 1996 Memorial Van Damme Brussels, Belgium
1500 m (progression) 3:50.46 Qu Yunxia  China 11 September 1993 Chinese National Games Beijing, PR China
Mile (progression) 4:12.56 Svetlana Masterkova  Russia 14 August 1996 Weltklasse Zürich Zürich, Switzerland
2000 m 5:25.36 Sonia O'Sullivan  Ireland 8 July 1994 Edinburgh, United Kingdom
3000 m (progression) 8:06.11 Wang Junxia  China 13 September 1993 Chinese National Games Beijing, PR China
5000 m (progression) 14:11.15 Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 6 June 2008 Bislett Games Oslo, Norway
10,000 m (progression) 29:31.78 Wang Junxia  China 8 September 1993 Chinese National Games Beijing, PR China
10 km (road) 30:21 Paula Radcliffe  Great Britain 23 February 2003 World's Best 10K San Juan, Puerto Rico
15 km (road) 46:27.7 Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 15 November 2009 Zevenheuvelenloop Nijmegen, Netherlands [34]
One hour (progression) 18,517 m Dire Tune  Ethiopia 12 June 2008 Golden Spike Ostrava Ostrava, Czech Republic
20,000 m (track) 1:05:26.6 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 3 September 2000 Borgholzhausen, Germany
20 km (road) 1:01:56+ Florence Kiplagat  Kenya 16 February 2014 Barcelona Half Marathon Barcelona, Spain [35]
Half marathon (progression) 1:05:12 Florence Kiplagat  Kenya 16 February 2014 Barcelona Half Marathon Barcelona, Spain [36]
25,000 m (track) 1:27:05.84 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 21 September 2002 Mengerskirchen, Germany
25 km (road) 1:19:53 Mary Keitany  Kenya 9 May 2010 BIG 25 Berlin, Germany [37]
30,000 m 1:45:50.00 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 7 June 2003 Warstein, Germany
30 km (road) 1:38:23+ Liliya Shobukhova  Russia 9 October 2011 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States [38][39]
1:36:36+ a # Paula Radcliffe  Great Britain 13 April 2003 London Marathon London, United Kingdom
Marathon (progression) 2:15:25 Paula Radcliffe  Great Britain 13 April 2003 London Marathon London, United Kingdom
100 km (road) 6:33:11 Tomoe Abe  Japan 25 June 2000 Lake Saroma Ultramarathon Yūbetsu, Japan
3000 m steeplechase (progression) 8:58.81 Gulnara Samitova-Galkina  Russia 17 August 2008 Olympic Games Beijing, PR China [40]
100 m hurdles (progression) 12.21 (+0.7 m/s) Yordanka Donkova  Bulgaria 20 August 1988 Bulgaria Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
400 m hurdles (progression) 52.34 Yuliya Pechonkina  Russia 8 August 2003 Tula, Russia
High jump (progression) 2.09 m Stefka Kostadinova  Bulgaria 30 August 1987 World Championships Rome, Italy
Pole vault (progression) 5.06 m Yelena Isinbayeva  Russia 28 August 2009 Weltklasse Zürich Zürich, Switzerland video
Long jump (progression) 7.52 m (+1.4 m/s) Galina Chistyakova  Soviet Union 11 June 1988 Brothers Znamensky Memorial Leningrad, Soviet Union [41]
Triple jump (progression) 15.50 m (+0.9 m/s) Inessa Kravets  Ukraine 10 August 1995 World Championships Göteborg, Sweden
Shot put (progression) 22.63 m Natalya Lisovskaya  Soviet Union 7 June 1987 Moscow, Soviet Union
Discus throw (progression) 76.80 m Gabriele Reinsch  East Germany 9 July 1988 Neubrandenburg, East Germany
Hammer throw (progression) 79.42 m Betty Heidler  Germany 21 May 2011 Hallesche Werfertage Halle, Germany [42][43][44]
79.58 m Anita Włodarczyk  Poland 31 August 2014 ISTAF Berlin Germany Berlin, Germany [45]
Javelin throw (progression) 72.28 m
(See below)
Barbora Špotáková  Czech Republic 13 September 2008 World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany [46]
Heptathlon (progression) 7291 pts
(See below)
Jackie Joyner-Kersee  United States 23–24 September 1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea [47]
12.69 (+0.5 m/s) (100 m hurdles), 1.86 m (high jump), 15.80 m (shot put), 22.56 (+1.6 m/s) (200 m) /
7.27 m (+0.7 m/s) (long jump), 45.66 m (javelin), 2:08.51 (800 m)
Decathlon (progression) 8358 pts Austra Skujytė  Lithuania 14–15 April 2005 Columbia, United States
12.49 (100 m), 46.19 m (discus), 3.10 m (pole vault), 48.78 m (javelin), 57.19 (400 m) /
14.22 (100 m hurdles), 6.12 m (long jump), 16.42 m (shot put), 1.78 m (high jump), 5:15.86 (1500 m)
10,000 m walk (track) 41:56.23 Nadezhda Ryashkina  Soviet Union 24 July 1990 Seattle, United States
41:37.9 # Gao Hongmiao  China 7 April 1994 Beijing, PR China
10 km walk (road) 41:04 # Yelena Nikolayeva  Russia 20 April 1996 Sochi, Russia [48]
20,000 m walk (track) 1:26:52.3 Olimpiada Ivanova  Russia 6 September 2001 Brisbane, Australia
20 km walk (road) (progression) 1:25:02 Elena Lashmanova  Russia 11 August 2012 Olympic Games London, Great Britain [49]
1:24:50 X Olimpiada Ivanova  Russia 4 March 2001 Adler, Russia
4×100 m relay (progression) 40.82 Tianna Madison
Allyson Felix
Bianca Knight
Carmelita Jeter
 United States 10 August 2012 Olympic Games London, Great Britain [50]
4×200 m relay 1:27.46 LaTasha Jenkins,
LaTasha Colander-Richardson,
Nanceen Perry,
Marion Jones
 United States 29 April 2000 Penn Relays Philadelphia, United States
4×400 m relay (progression) 3:15.17 Tatyana Ledovskaya,
Olga Nazarova,
Mariya Pinigina,
Olga Bryzgina
 Soviet Union 1 October 1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea
4×800 m relay 7:50.17 Nadezhda Olizarenko,
Lyubov Gurina,
Lyudmila Borisova,
Irina Podyalovskaya
 Soviet Union 5 August 1984 Moscow, Soviet Union
4×1500 m relay 16:33.58 Mercy Cherono
Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon
Irene Jelagat
Hellen Onsando Obiri
 Kenya 24 May 2014 IAAF World Relays The Bahamas Nassau, Bahamas [51]
Ekiden relay 2:11:41 Jiang Bo 15:42 (5 km)
Dong Yanmei 31:36 (10 km)
Zhao Fengdi 15:16 (5 km)
Ma Zaijie 31:01 (10 km)
Lan Lixin 15:50 (5 km)
Li Na 22:16 (7.195 km)
 China 28 February 1998 Beijing, China

Note: up until 2004, the fastest time in the marathon was officially known as "world's best time" rather than "world record time", owing to the non-uniform nature of marathon courses for these events. This older terminology is still sometimes encountered.

Indoor world records[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
50 m 5.55 X [Note 6] Ben Johnson  Canada 31 January 1987 Ottawa, Canada [52]
5.56 A Donovan Bailey  Canada 9 February 1996 Bill Cosby Invitational Reno, United States
5.56 # [Note 7] Maurice Greene  United States 13 February 1999 Los Angeles, United States [53]
60 m 6.39 Maurice Greene  United States 3 February 1998 Madrid, Spain
3 March 2001 USA Championships Atlanta, United States
200 m 19.92 Frankie Fredericks  Namibia 18 February 1996 Meeting Pas de Calais Liévin, France
400 m 44.57 Kerron Clement  United States 12 March 2005 NCAA Division I Championships Fayetteville, United States
800 m 1:42.67 Wilson Kipketer  Denmark 9 March 1997 World Championships Paris-Bercy, France
1000 m 2:14.96 Wilson Kipketer  Denmark 20 February 2000 Aviva Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, United Kingdom
1500 m 3:31.18 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 2 February 1997 Sparkassen Cup Stuttgart, Germany
Mile 3:48.45 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 12 February 1997 Indoor Flanders Meeting Ghent, Belgium
3000 m 7:24.90 Daniel Komen  Kenya 6 February 1998 Budapest, Hungary
5000 m 12:49.60 Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 20 February 2004 Aviva Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, United Kingdom
50 m hurdles 6.25 Mark McKoy  Canada 5 March 1986 Kobe, Japan
60 m hurdles 7.30 Colin Jackson  United Kingdom 6 March 1994 Sindelfingen, Germany
High jump (progression) 2.43 m Javier Sotomayor  Cuba 4 March 1989 World Championships Budapest, Hungary
Pole vault (progression) 6.16 m Renaud Lavillenie  France 15 February 2014 Pole Vault Stars Donetsk, Ukraine [54]
Long jump 8.79 m Carl Lewis  United States 27 January 1984 Millrose Games New York City, United States
Triple jump 17.92 m
(2nd and 4th jumps in series)
Teddy Tamgho  France 6 March 2011 European Championships Paris, France [55][56]
Shot put 22.66 m Randy Barnes  United States 20 January 1989 Sunkist Invitational Los Angeles, United States
Heptathlon 6645 pts Ashton Eaton  United States 9–10 March 2012 World Championships Istanbul, Turkey [57]
6.79 (60 m), 8.16 m (long jump), 14.56 m (shot put), 2.03 m (high jump) / 7.68 (60 m hurdles), 5.20 m (pole vault), 2:32.77 (1000 m)
5000 m walk 18:07.08 Mikhail Shchennikov  Russia 14 February 1995 Russian Winter Meeting Moscow, Russia
4×200 m relay 1:22.11 Linford Christie
Darren Braithwaite
Ade Mafe
John Regis
 United Kingdom 3 March 1991 Glasgow, United Kingdom
4×400 m relay 3:02.13 Kyle Clemons
David Verburg
Kind Butler III
Calvin Smith Jr.
 United States 9 March 2014 World Championships Sopot, Poland [58]
3:01.96 # [Note 8] Kerron Clement
Wallace Spearmon
Darold Williamson
Jeremy Wariner
 United States 11 February 2006 Tyson Invitational Fayetteville, United States
4×800 m relay 7:13.11 US All Stars
Richard Jones 1:51.01
David Torrence 1:47.46
Duane Solomon 1:47.99
Eric Sowinski 1:46.67
 United States 8 February 2014 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Roxbury, United States [59][60]

Women[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref Video
50 m 5.96+ Irina Privalova  Russia 9 February 1995 Madrid, Spain
60 m 6.92 Irina Privalova  Russia 11 February 1993
February 9, 1995
Madrid, Spain
Spain Madrid, Spain
200 m 21.87 Merlene Ottey  Jamaica 13 February 1993 Meeting Pas de Calais Liévin, France
400 m 49.59 Jarmila Kratochvílová  Czechoslovakia 7 March 1982 Milan, Italy
800 m 1:55.82 Jolanda Čeplak  Slovenia 3 March 2002 European Championships Vienna, Austria
1000 m 2:30.94 Maria Mutola  Mozambique 25 February 1999 GE Galan Stockholm, Sweden
1500 m 3:55.17 Genzebe Dibaba  Ethiopia 1 February 2014 Weltklasse in Karlsruhe Karlsruhe, Germany [61]
Mile 4:17.14 Doina Melinte  Romania 9 February 1990 East Rutherford, United States
3000 m 8:16.60 Genzebe Dibaba  Ethiopia 6 February 2014 XL Galan Stockholm, Sweden [62]
5000 m 14:24.37 Meseret Defar  Ethiopia 18 February 2009 GE Galan Stockholm, Sweden
50 m hurdles 6.58 Cornelia Oschkenat  East Germany 20 February 1988 East Berlin, East Germany
60 m hurdles 7.68 Susanna Kallur  Sweden 10 February 2008 BW-Bank Meeting Karlsruhe, Germany
7.68 X [63] Lyudmila Narozhilenko  Russia 2 March 1993 San Sebastián, Spain
7.66 X 4 March 1993 Seville, Spain
7.63 X 4 March 1993 Seville, Spain
High jump 2.08 m Kajsa Bergqvist  Sweden 4 February 2006 Hochsprung mit Musik Arnstadt, Germany
Pole vault 5.02 m A Jenn Suhr  United States 2 March 2013 USA Championships Albuquerque, United States [64] [2]
Long jump 7.37 m Heike Drechsler  East Germany 13 February 1988 Vienna, Austria
Triple jump 15.36 m Tatyana Lebedeva  Russia 6 March 2004 World Championships Budapest, Hungary [65]
Shot put 22.50 m Helena Fibingerová  Czechoslovakia 19 February 1977 Jablonec, Czechoslovakia
Pentathlon 5013 pts Nataliya Dobrynska  Ukraine 9 March 2012 World Championships Istanbul, Turkey [66]
8.38 (60 m hurdles), 1.84 m (high jump), 16.51 m (shot put), 6.57 m (long jump), 2:11.15 (800 m)
3000 m walk 11:40.33 Claudia Ștef  Romania 30 January 1999 Bucharest, Romania
11:35.34 # [Note 9] Gillian O'Sullivan  Ireland 15 February 2003 Belfast, Northern Ireland
4x200 m relay 1:32.41 Yekaterina Kondratyeva
Irina Khabarova
Yuliya Pechonkina
Yuliya Gushchina
 Russia 29 January 2005 Aviva International Match Glasgow, United Kingdom
4x400 m relay 3:23.37 Yuliya Gushchina
Olga Kotlyarova
Olga Zaytseva
Olesya Krasnomovets
 Russia 28 January 2006 Aviva International Match Glasgow, United Kingdom
4x800 m relay 8:06.24 Team Moscow
Aleksandra Bulanova
Yekaterina Martynova
Yelena Kofanova
Anna Balakshina
 Russia 18 February 2011 Russian Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia [67]

X = unratified due to no doping control

Best performances in non-IAAF World Record events[edit]

Events which do not qualify for IAAF-ratified world records are typically referred to as world bests. While very common in the first half of 20th century, a large number of races over distances by imperial measurements became rare occurrences and the IAAF removed all imperial measured events from its world record lists in 1976 – with the sole exception being the mile run (which remains common due to its historical prominence in track and field).

Some road racing distances and indoor variations of outdoor events fall outside of IAAF's lists. Records set in uncommon events usually do not adhere to the strict criteria found in IAAF-ratifiable events. One example is the 150 metres record, which was set by Usain Bolt on a specially-made straight track, while previous performances (such as the Bailey–Johnson 150-metre race) were completed on a traditional circuit which included a partial bend in the track.

The 40 yard dash – a standard acceleration evaluation for American Football players – does not fall within the usual criteria of athletics racing events. In most 40 yard dashes, reaction times are not recorded as timing starts only once the player is in motion, and the standards for timing a "football 40" are so lax and inconsistent that a real world record cannot be claimed. Performances are hand-timed and calculated to 1/100th of a second, although studies show human beings simply cannot react consistently or accurately enough for this to be a valid method; even those using light beams are timed by the motion of the athlete, still removing the normal factor of reaction time. All these factors make track and "football 40" performances incomparable. The world best time for a "football 40" is 4.17 by Deion Sanders. The extrapolated best for an Olympic level athlete, including reacting to a starting gun, currently is by Maurice Greene at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics with a time of 4.24.[68][69]

Outdoor events[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
50 m 5.47+ (+0.9 m/s) Usain Bolt  Jamaica 16 August 2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany [70]
60 m 6.31+ (+0.9 m/s) Usain Bolt  Jamaica 16 August 2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany [71]
100 y 9.0 ht Ivory Crockett  United States 11 May 1974 Knoxville, United States [72]
Houston McTear  United States 9 May 1975 Winter Park, United States [72]
9.07+ (−0.5 m/s) Asafa Powell  Jamaica 27 May 2010 Golden Spike Ostrava Ostrava, Czech Republic [73]
150 m (bend) 14.44+ (-0.3 m/s) Usain Bolt  Jamaica 20 August 2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany [74]
150 m straight 14.35 (+1.1 m/s) Usain Bolt  Jamaica 17 May 2009 Manchester City Games Manchester, United Kingdom [75]
200 m straight 19.41 (−0.4 m/s) Tyson Gay  United States 16 May 2010 Manchester City Games Manchester, United Kingdom [76][77]
220 y straight 19.5 ht (+1.9 m/s) Tommie Smith  United States 7 May 1966 San Jose, United States [78]
19.41 (−0.4 m/s) Tyson Gay  United States 16 May 2010 Manchester City Games Manchester, United Kingdom [79]
300 m 30.85 A Michael Johnson  United States 10 April 2000 Engen Grand Prix Pretoria, South Africa [80]
440 y 44.5 John Smith  United States 26 June 1971 USA Championships Eugene, United States [81][82][83]
500 m 59.32 Orestes Rodriguez  Cuba 5 February 2013 La Habana, Cuba [84]
600 m 1:12.81 Johnny Gray  United States 24 May 1986 Santa Monica, United States
Two miles (progression) 7:58.61 Daniel Komen  Kenya 17 July 1997 Hechtel-Eksel, Belgium
5 km (road) 12:59.5 Sammy Kipketer  Kenya 26 March 2000 15th Carlsbad 5000 Carlsbad, United States
8 km (road) 21:51+ Deriba Merga  Ethiopia 18 February 2011 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates [85]
10 miles (road) 44:23 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 4 September 2005 Tilburg Ten Miles Tilburg, Netherlands
35 km (road) 1:41:47+ Dennis Kipruto Kimetto  Kenya 28 September 2014 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [86]
40 km (road) 1:56:29+ Dennis Kipruto Kimetto  Kenya 28 September 2014 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany [87]
90 km (road) 5:20:49 Leonid Shvetsov  Russia 2007 Comrades Marathon Durban, South Africa
200 m hurdles (bend) 22.55 Laurent Ottoz  Italy 31 May 1995 Milan, Italy [88]
200 m hurdles (straight) 21.9y ht (+1.4 m/s) Don Styron  United States 2 April 1960 Baton Rouge, United States [89]
22.10 (+2.0 m/s) Andy Turner  Great Britain 15 May 2011 Manchester City Games Manchester, United Kingdom [90]
220 y Hurdles (straight) 21.9 ht (+1.4 m/s) Don Styron  United States 2 April 1960 Baton Rouge, United States [89][91]
300 m Hurdles 34.48 Chris Rawlinson  Great Britain 30 June 2002 Sheffield, United Kingdom
440 y Hurdles 48.7 Jim Bolding  United States 25 July 1974 Turin, Italy [92]
2000 m steeplechase 5:10.68 Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad  France 30 June 2010 Alma Athlé Tour Reims, France [93]
35 lb Weight Throw 25.41 m Lance Deal  United States 20 February 1993 Azusa, United States
1500 m walk (track) 5:12.0+ Antanas Grigaliūnas  Lithuania 12 May 1990 Vilnius, Lithuania [94]
Mile walk (track) 5:36.9 Antanas Grigaliūnas  Lithuania 12 May 1990 Vilnius, Lithuania [94]
50-mile walk (road) 7:44:47.2 Shaul Ladany  Israel 1972 New Jersey, United States [95]
4x110 yard relay 38.6 A University of Southern California
Earl McCullouch
Fred Kuller
O.J. Simpson
Lennox Miller (JAM)
17 June 1967 NCAA Division I Championships Provo, United States [96]
Swedish relay 1:46.59 Puma Reggae Team
Christopher Williams (100 m)
Usain Bolt (200 m)
Davian Clarke (300 m)
Jermaine Gonzales (400 m)
 Jamaica 25 July 2006 DN Galan Stockholm, Sweden [97]
Distance medley relay 9:15.56 Elkanah Angwenyi 2:50.8 (1200 m)
Thomas Musembi 45.8 (400 m)
Alfred Kirwa Yego 1:46.2 (800 m)
Alex Kipchirchir 3:52.8 (1600 m)
 Kenya 29 April 2006 Penn Relays Philadelphia, United States
4×mile relay 15:49.08 Eamonn Coghlan
Ray Flynn
Frank O'Mara
Marcus O'Sullivan
 Ireland 17 August 1985 Dublin, Ireland [98]

Women[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
50 m 5.93+ (−0.1 m/s) Marion Jones  United States 22 August 1999 World Championships Seville, Spain
60 m 6.85+ (−0.1 m/s) Marion Jones  United States 22 August 1999 World Championships Seville, Spain
100 y 9.91+ (+1.1 m/s) Veronica Campbell-Brown  Jamaica 31 May 2011 Golden Spike Ostrava Ostrava, Czech Republic [99]
150 m (bend) 16.10+ (+1.3 m/s) Florence Griffith Joyner  United States 29 September 1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea
16.46 (−1.5 m/s) Merlene Ottey  Jamaica 27 September 1989 Trapani, Italy [100][101]
150 m straight 16.36 (+0.2 m/s) Allyson Felix  United States 25 May 2013 Manchester City Games Manchester, United Kingdom [102]
200 m straight 22.55 (+0.2 m/s) Allyson Felix  United States 16 May 2010 Great City Games Manchester Manchester, United Kingdom [79]
300 m 34.14+ (ht) Marita Koch  East Germany 6 October 1985 World Cup Canberra, Australia
35.30 A Ana Guevara  Mexico 3 May 2003 GP Banamex Meeting Mexico City, Mexico [103]
500 m 1:05.9 Tatana Kocembova  Czechoslovakia 2 August 1984 Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
600 m 1:22.63 A Ana Quirot  Cuba 25 July 1997 Guadalajara, Mexico
Two miles 8:58.58 Meseret Defar  Ethiopia 14 September 2007 Memorial Van Damme Brussels, Belgium
5 km (road) 14:46 Meseret Defar  Ethiopia 9 April 2006 15th Carlsbad 5000 Carlsbad, United States
4 miles (road) 19:14 Viola Kibiwot  Kenya 13 October 2013 4 Mile of Groningen Groningen, Netherlands [104]
8 km (road) 24:30+ Mary Keitany  Kenya 18 February 2011 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates [85]
10 miles (road) 50:05+ Mary Keitany  Kenya 18 February 2011 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates [85]
35 km (road) 1:54:49+ Liliya Shobukhova  Russia 9 October 2011 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States [38]
40 km (road) 2:11:28+ Liliya Shobukhova  Russia 9 October 2011 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States [38]
200 m hurdles
(bend)
24.8 (ht) (+0.4 m/s) Yadisleidy Pedroso  Italy 6 April 2013 Caserta, Italy [105]
25.6 (ht) (-0,7 m/s) Patricia Girard  France 23 August 2001 Nantes, France [106]
25.82 (+1.7 m/s) Patricia Girard  France 22 September 1999 Nantes, France
200 m hurdles
(straight)
25.05 (+1.0 m/s) Meghan Beesley  Great Britain 17 May 2014 Manchester City Games Manchester, United Kingdom [107]
300 m hurdles 38.16 Zuzana Hejnová  Czech Republic 3 August 2013 Grand Prix of Cheb Cheb, Czech Republic [108]
2000 m steeplechase 6:03.38 Wioletta Janowska  Poland 15 July 2006 Gdańsk, Poland
20 lb weight throw 24.57 m Brittany Riley  United States 27 January 2007
3000 m walk (track) 11:48.24 Ileana Salvador  Italy 29 August 1993 Padua, Italy [109]
5000 m walk (track) 20:01.80 Eleonora Giorgi  Italy 18 May 2014 Italian Clubs League Meet Misterbianco, Italy [110]
50 km walk (road) 4:10:59 Monica Svensson  Sweden 21 October 2007 Scanzorosciate, Italy
4×100 m hurdles relay 50.78 Team BoogieFast TC
Nia Ali (12.73)
Kristi Castlin (12.56)
Yvette Lewis (12.76)
Queen Harrison (12.61)
 United States 6 April 2013 Florida Relays Gainesville, United States [111]
Sprint medley relay 3:34.56 Sherri-Ann Brooks (200 m)
Rosemarie Whyte(200 m)
Moya Thompson 51.7 (400 m)
Kenia Sinclair 1:57.43 (800 m)
 Jamaica April 2009 Penn Relays Philadelphia, United States
Distance medley relay 10:48.38 Villanova University
Kathy Franey 3:20.9 (1200 m)
Michelle Bennett 52.9 (400 m)
Celeste Halliday 2:04.7 (800 m)
Vicki Huber 4:29.9 (1600 m)
 United States April 1988 Penn Relays Philadelphia, United States

Indoor events[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
50 y 5.22 Stanley Floyd  United States 22 January 1982 Los Angeles, United States
5.15 X [Note 10] Ben Johnson  Canada 29 January 1988 Toronto, Canada
5.0 (ht) Kirk Clayton  United States 10 January 1970 Calgary, Canada
Herb Washington  United States 2 February 1972 Toronto, Canada [112]
Mel Pender  United States 4 March 1972 Orlando, United States
Mel Pender  United States 18 March 1972 Hamilton Canada
Herb Washington  United States 4 February 1973 Toronto, Canada
Manfred Ommer  West Germany 14 March 1975 Leverkusen, West Germany
60 y 5.8 (ht) Herb Washington  United States 12 February 1972 East Lansing, United States [112]
55 m 5.99 A Obadele Thompson  Barbados 22 February 1997 Colorado Springs, United States [53]
100 m 9.98 Usain Bolt  Jamaica 23 August 2014 Kamila Skolimowska Memorial Warsaw, Poland [113]

[114] [115]

150 m 14.99 Donovan Bailey  Canada 1 June 1997 Bailey–Johnson 150-metre race Toronto, Canada [116]
300 m 31.88 Wallace Spearmon  United States 10 February 2006 Tyson Invitational Fayetteville, United States [117]
500 m 1:00.17 Ken Lowery  United States 16 January 1987 Indianapolis, United States [118]
600 m 1:15.12 Nico Motchebon  Germany 28 February 1999 Sindelfingen, Germany [118]
2000 m 4:49.99 Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 17 February 2007 Aviva Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, United Kingdom
Two miles 8:04.35 Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 16 February 2008 Aviva Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, United Kingdom
10000 m 27:50.29 Mark Bett  Kenya 10 February 2002 Indoor Flanders Meeting Ghent, Belgium [118]
Marathon 2:27.21 Michael Wardian  United States 1 July 2010 Arlington, United States [119][120]
2000 m steeplechase 5:13.77 Paul Kipsiele Koech  Kenya 13 February 2011 Indoor Flanders Meeting Ghent, Belgium [121][122]
3000 m steeplechase 8:17.46 Aleksandr Zagoruyko  Soviet Union 21 February 1982 Moscow, Soviet Union [118]
110 m hurdles 13.34 Allen Johnson  United States 14 February 1995 Moscow, Russia [118]
300 m hurdles 34.92 OT Llewellyn Herbert  South Africa 9 February 1999 Pirkkahall Tampere, Finland [123][124]
400 m hurdles 48.78 Felix Sanchez  Dominican Republic 18 February 2012 Meeting National Val-de-Reuil Val-de-Reuil, France [125][126]
Discus throw 69.51 m Gerd Kanter  Estonia 22 March 2009 World Record Indoor Challenge Växjö, Sweden [127]
Javelin throw 65.10 m Pontus Bjärkvik  Sweden 13 March 2011 World Indoor Throwing Växjö, Sweden [128]
35 lb Weight 25.86 m Lance Deal  United States 4 March 1995 Atlanta, United States [118]
3000 m walk 10:31.42 Andreas Erm  Germany 4 February 2001 Halle, Germany [118]
Two Miles walk 11:54.50 Valdas Kazlauskas  Soviet Union 24 February 1990 Kaunas, Soviet Union [118]
15000 m walk 1:00:03.9 Valdas Kazlauskas  Soviet Union 24 January 1987 Kaunas, Soviet Union [118]

Women[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
100 m 11.15 Marita Koch  East Germany 12 January 1980 East Berlin, East Germany
300 m 35.45 Irina Privalova  Russia 17 January 1993 Moscow, Russia
500 m 1:06.31 Olesya Krasnomovets  Russia 7 January 2006 Yekaterinburg, Russia
600 m 1:23.44 Olga Kotlyarova  Russia 1 February 2004 Russian Winter Meeting Moscow, Russia
2000 m 5:30.53 Gabriela Szabo  Romania 8 March 1998 Sindelfingen, Germany
Two miles 9:00.48 Genzebe Dibaba  Ethiopia 15 February 2014 Aviva Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, United Kingdom [129]
10,000 m 32:44.97 Olga Michurina  Russia 23 December 1995 Saint Petersburg, Russia
2000 m steeplechase 6:05.29 Mariya Bykova  Russia 22 January 2013 Central FD Regional Championships Belgorod, Russia [130][131]
3000 m steeplechase 9:07.00 Tatyana Petrova  Russia 17 February 2006 Moscow, Russia
9:54.2 [Note 11] Marcela Lustigova  Czech Republic 11 February 2010 Botnia Games Korsholm, Finland [132][133]
100 m hurdles 12.64 Ludmila Engquist  Sweden 10 February 1997 Tampere, Finland
300 m hurdles 40.09 OT Stine Tomb  Norway 5 February 2011 Finland-Sweden-Norway Indoor Match Tampere, Finland [134][135]
400 m hurdles 56.41 Sheena Tosta  United States 12 February 2011 Meeting National Val-de-Reuil, France [136][137][138]
Discus throw 60.67 m Sanna Kämäräinen  Finland 8 February 2014 Indoor Match FIN-SWE-NOR-DEN/ISL Finland Tampere, Finland [139][140]
Javelin throw 57.75 m Anna Wessman  Sweden 10 March 2012 World Indoor Throwing Växjö, Sweden [141]
Weight Throw (20 lb) 25.56 m Brittany Riley  United States 10 March 2007 NCAA Division I Championships Fayetteville, United States
Mile walk 6:16.72 Sada Eidikytė  Soviet Union 24 February 1990 Kaunas, Soviet Union [142]
Two miles walk 13:11.88 Ileana Salvador  Italy 14 February 1990 Genoa, Italy [142]
5000 m walk 20:10.3 Vera Sokolova  Russia 30 December 2010 Mordovian Indoor Championships Saransk, Russia [143]
10,000 m walk 43:54.63 Yelena Ginko  Belarus 22 February 2008 Belarusian Championships Mogilev, Belarus
4x100 m relay 44.39 Anne-Kathrin Elbe
Anne Möllinger
Cathleen Tschirch
Marion Wagner
 Germany 31 January 2010 BW-Bank Meeting Karlsruhe, Germany [144]
Distance medley relay 10:50.98 University of Tennessee
Phoebe Wright 3:23.0 (1200m)
Brittany Jones 53.31 (400m)
Chanelle Price 2:03.19 (800m)
Sarah Bowman 4:31.11 (1600 m)
 United States 13 March 2009 NCAA Division I Championships College Station, United States [145]

ht = hand timing
+ = en route to a longer distance
A = affected by altitude
OT = oversized track
X = annulled due to doping violations
# = not officially ratified by IAAF
a = aided road course according to IAAF rule 260.28
est = estimate

Notes[edit]

Women's 100 m[edit]

It is widely believed that the wind gauge was faulty for the race in which Florence Griffith Joyner set the official world record for the women's 100 m of 10.49 s.[146] A 1995 report commissioned by the IAAF estimated the true wind speed was between +5.0 m/s and +7.0 m/s, rather than the 0.0 recorded.[146] If this time, recorded in the quarter-final of the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials, were excluded, the world record would be 10.61 s, recorded the next day at the same venue by the same athlete in the final.[146][147]

Javelin specifications[edit]

The men's javelin specification was changed with effect from 1986, and the women's from 2000. The purpose was to reduce the number of illegal flat landings, but a side-effect was to reduce the distance travelled. The prior world records in individual men's and women's javelin were invalidated, but the prior records in decathlon and heptathlon were not.[148]

The old specification records for men's and women's javelin were as follows:

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
Men's 104.80 m Uwe Hohn  East Germany 20 July 1984 East Berlin, East Germany
Women's 80.00 m Petra Felke  East Germany 9 September 1988 Potsdam, East Germany

The current decathlon world record was set with the current javelin specification. The best performance in heptathlon using the new specification javelin is:

Performance Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
7032 Carolina Klüft  Sweden 26 August 2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan [149]
13.15 (+0.1 m/s) (100 m hurdles), 1.95 m (high jump), 14.81 m (shot put), 23.38 (+0.3 m/s) (200 m) /
6.85 m (+1.0 m/s) (long jump), 47.98 m[Note 12](javelin), 2:12.56 (800 m)

Other Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rule 260, part 18. IAAF COMPETITION RULES 2008.
  2. ^ downhill point-to-point course and wind assisted
  3. ^ actually 1:17:25.5 but ratified as 1:17:25.6
  4. ^ not ratified because there was no doping control
  5. ^ The IAAF announced 12 August 2008 that they had rescinded the 1998 world record of 2:54.20 after relay team member Antonio Pettigrew admitted to his use of human growth hormone and EPO between 1997 and 2003. [1]
  6. ^ This time was rescinded by the IAAF after Johnson admitted to using steroids between 1981 and 1988.
  7. ^ insufficient or no doping control
  8. ^ insufficient doping control; IAAF rejected the time of 3:01.96 as no post-race EPO analysis was performed.
  9. ^ no international judges
  10. ^ This time was rescinded after Johnson admitted using steroids between 1981 and 1988.
  11. ^ This is the fastest indoor steeplechase with a water-jump.
  12. ^ This is 2.32 m farther than the distance thrown by Jackie Joyner-Kersee during her world record-setting heptathlon performance of 23–24 September 1988, despite Klüft using the new specification javelin.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Rules[edit]