Men's 400 metres world record progression

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The first world record in the 400 m for men (athletics) was recognized by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, in 1912. The IAAF ratified Charles Reidpath's 48.2 performance set at that year's Stockholm Olympics as a world record, but it also recognized the superior mark over 440 yards (402.34 metres) run by Maxie Long in 1900 as a world record.

To June 21, 2009, the IAAF has ratified 23 world records in the event.[1]

The following tables show the world record progression in the men's 400 metres, as ratified by the IAAF.

Records 1900–1976[edit]

Time Auto Athlete Nationality Location of race Date
47.8y Maxie Long  United States New York, USA September 29, 1900[1]
48.2 Charles Reidpath  United States Stockholm, Sweden July 13, 1912[1]
47.4y Ted Meredith  United States Cambridge, USA May 27, 1916[1]
47.0 Emerson Spencer  United States Palo Alto, USA May 12, 1928[1]
46.4y Ben Eastman  United States Palo Alto, California, USA March 26, 1932[1]
46.2 46.28 Bill Carr  United States Los Angeles, USA August 5, 1932[1]
46.1 Archie Williams  United States Chicago, USA June 19, 1936[1]
46.0 Rudolf Harbig  Germany Frankfurt am Main, Germany August 12, 1939[1]
Grover Klemmer  United States Philadelphia, USA June 6, 1941[1][2]
46.0y Herb McKenley  Jamaica Berkeley, USA June 5, 1948[1]
45.9 46.00 Herb McKenley  Jamaica Milwaukee, USA July 2, 1948[1]
45.4A 45.68 Lou Jones  United States Mexico City, Mexico March 18, 1955[1]
45.2 Lou Jones  United States Los Angeles, USA June 30, 1956[1]
44.9 45.07 Otis Davis  United States Rome, Italy September 6, 1960[1]
45.08 Carl Kaufmann  Germany Rome, Italy September 6, 1960[1]
44.9y Adolph Plummer  United States Tempe, USA May 25, 1963[1]
44.9 Mike Larrabee  United States Los Angeles, USA September 12, 1964[1]
44.5+ Tommie Smith  United States San Jose, USA May 20, 1967[1]
44.1A 44.19 Larry James  United States Echo Summit, USA September 14, 1968[1]
43.8A 43.86 Lee Evans  United States Mexico City, Mexico October 18, 1968[1]

(+) plus sign denotes en route time during longer race
"y" denotes time for 440 yards, ratified as a record for this event
"A" indicates that the time was set at altitude.

Records post-1976[edit]

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

Lee Evans' 1968 Olympic gold medal victory time of 43.86 was the fastest recorded result to that time.

Time Athlete Nationality Location of race Date
43.86A Lee Evans  United States Mexico City, Mexico October 18, 1968[1]
43.29 Butch Reynolds  United States Zürich, Switzerland August 17, 1988[1]
43.18 Michael Johnson  United States Seville, Spain August 26, 1999[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675028733_Track-and-field-events-at-Franklin-field_400-meters_pole-vault_Grover-klemmer