Men's 200 metres world record progression

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World record progression for the men's 200 m.

The following table shows the world record progression in the men's 200 metres, as ratified by the IAAF. The current record of 19.19 seconds was set by Usain Bolt at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics.

The IAAF maintained separate records for 200 m over a straight track and over a curved track. It discarded records for the former after 1976. The IAAF ratified the first record for 200 m (bend) in 1951. "y" denoted times for 220 yards (201.17 m) which were also ratified for the event.

To June 21, 2011, the IAAF has ratified 24 world records in the event.[1]

Records 1951–1976[edit]

Time Wind Auto Athlete Nationality Location of race Date
20.6y Andy Stanfield  United States Philadelphia, United States May 26, 1951[2]
20.6 Andy Stanfield  United States Los Angeles, United States June 28, 1952[2]
20.6 0.0 Thane Baker  United States Bakersfield, United States June 23, 1956[2]
20.6 20.75 Bobby Morrow  United States Melbourne, Australia November 27, 1956[2]
20.6 Manfred Germar  West Germany Wuppertal, Germany October 1, 1958[2]
20.6y −1.6 Ray Norton  United States Berkeley, United States March 19, 1960[2]
20.6 Ray Norton  United States Philadelphia, United States April 30, 1960[2]
20.5y Peter Radford  United Kingdom Wolverhampton, United Kingdom May 28, 1960[2]
20.5 0.0 20.75 Stone Johnson  United States Stanford, United States July 2, 1960[2]
20.5 0.0 Ray Norton  United States Stanford, United States July 2, 1960[2]
20.5 20.65 Livio Berruti  Italy Rome, Italy September 3, 1960[2]
20.5 20.62 Livio Berruti  Italy Rome, Italy September 3, 1960[2]
20.5y −1.1 20.67 Paul Drayton  United States Walnut, United States June 23, 1962[2]
20.3y −0.1 Henry Carr  United States Tempe, United States March 23, 1963[2]
20.2y 0.5 Henry Carr  United States Tempe, United States April 4, 1964[2]
20.0y 0.0 Tommie Smith  United States Sacramento, United States June 11, 1968[2]
19.8A 0.9 19.83A Tommie Smith  United States Mexico City, Mexico October 16, 1968[2]
19.8A 0.9 19.86A Donald Quarrie  Jamaica Cali, Colombia August 3, 1971[2]
19.8+ 1.3 Donald Quarrie  Jamaica Eugene, Oregon, United States June 7, 1975[2]

(+) plus sign denotes en route time during longer race

John Carlos ran 19.7 seconds (19.92 auto) (1.9 ms wind), at altitude, at the 1968 US Olympic Trials in Echo Summit. The run was not ratified as a world record because Carlos was wearing shoes with 'brush' spikes which did not have sanction as official footwear.

Records post-1977[edit]

Beginning in 1975, the IAAF accepted separate automatically electronically timed records for events up to 400 metres. Starting on January 1, 1977, the IAAF required fully automatic timing to the hundredth of a second for these races.[2]

Tommie Smith's 1968 Olympic gold medal victory was the fastest recorded fully electronic 200 metre sprint up to that time.

Time Wind Auto Athlete Nationality Location of race Date
19.83 A 0.9 Tommie Smith  United States Mexico City, Mexico October 16, 1968[2]
19.72 A 1.8 Pietro Mennea  Italy Mexico City, Mexico September 12, 1979[2]
19.66 1.7 Michael Johnson  United States Atlanta, United States June 23, 1996[2]
19.32 0.4 19.313 Michael Johnson  United States Atlanta, United States August 1, 1996[2]
19.30 −0.9 19.296 Usain Bolt  Jamaica Beijing, China August 20, 2008[2]
19.19 −0.3 19.190 Usain Bolt  Jamaica Berlin, Germany August 20, 2009[1][3][4]

The best automatic times at low altitude were 20.00 seconds by Valeriy Borzov at Munich in 1972, then 19.96 (Mennea, 1980), 19.75 (Carl Lewis, 1983) and 19.73 (Michael Marsh, 1992), before Michael Johnson ran 19.66 in 1996.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "IAAF World Championships: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Daegu 2011." (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2011. pp. Pages 595, 596. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009." (pdf). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. pp. Pages 546, 547. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  3. ^ Clarey, Christopher (August 20, 2009). "Bolt Needs Little Urging to Crush His 200 World Record". New York Times. 
  4. ^ "World records set at Berlin World Championships have been ratified". IAAF. 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2010-05-02.