55 metres is a sprint event in track and field. It is a relatively uncommon non-championship event for indoor track and field. The history of the event lies in the 60-yard dash, which is about 5 inches shorter than 55 metres. Since the 1960s almost all countries have used metric measurements for track and field, hence the standard sprint distances for indoor competition have been 50 metres and 60 metres.
The single exception to this was the United States, which continued to use imperial measurements. In the 1980s efforts were made to switch track and field in the United States to used metric measurements and the 55 metres was adopted as a close equivalent to 60 yards. The NCAA Indoor Championships featured the event from 1984 to 1998 and the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships featured the event from 1987–1990. Subsequently the 55 metres were dropped from American championships in favour of the international standard of 60 metres. Since the late 1990s there have been very few significant open competitions over 55 metres and the event remains something of a historic anomaly. The distance is still frequently run in junior (below college) meets.
All-time top 25
Indoor results only. Hand-timed results are excluded
The websites of World Athletics and tilastopaja.net are often used to generate lists of top performers. However, the data in these sites is not complete before about 1998 and, as noted above, much of the championship activity in this event (and hence best performances) were before this time. Hence a better source of data is the Track and Field News website.
- A = affected by altitude
- Updated March 2020
|1||5.99 A||Obadele Thompson||Barbados||22 February 1997||Colorado Springs|
|2||6.00||Lee McRae||United States||14 March 1986||Oklahoma City|
|3||6.02 A||Leo Myles-Mills||Ghana||22 February 1997||Colorado Springs|
|4||6.03||Sam Graddy||United States||14 March 1986||Oklahoma City|
|6.03 [a]||Carl Lewis||United States||5 February 1983||Dallas|
|6||6.04||André Cason||United States||9 March 1990||Indianapolis|
|6.04 A||Ato Boldon||Trinidad and Tobago||1 February 1997||Flagstaff|
|8||6.05||Brian Cooper||United States||13 February 1988||East Rutherford|
|6.05 [a]||Stanley Floyd||United States||31 January 1981||Dallas|
|10||6.06||Tim Harden||United States||9 March 1996||Indianapolis|
|Emmit King||United States||26 February 1988||New York City|
|Fred Johnson||United States||16 March 1985||Fargo|
|6.06 [a]||Houston McTear||United States||24 February 1978||New York City|
|6.06 A||Marcus Brunson||United States||20 February 1999||Reno|
|Felix Andam||Ghana||28 February 1998||Colorado Springs|
|Syan Williams||Jamaica||14 February 1998||Colorado Springs|
|Keith Williams||United States||15 February 1997||Colorado Springs|
|18||6.07||Leonard Scott||United States||20 February 1999||Gainesville|
|Ousmane Diarra||Mali||10 February 1996||Ames|
|Raghib Ismail||United States||8 February 1991||West Lafayette|
|Ray Stewart||Jamaica||11 March 1989||Indianapolis|
|Ron Brown||United States||4 February 1984||Dallas|
|6.07 A||Obadiah Cooper||United States||21 February 1998||Flagstaff|
|24||6.08||Marvin Bracy||United States||29 January 2012||Gainesville|
|Michael Green||Jamaica||14 March 1992||Indianapolis|
|Phil Epps||United States||5 March 1983||Dallas|
|Rod Richardson||United States||13 March 1982||Pontiac|
|James Sanford||United States||20 February 1981||San Diego|
|6.08 A||Bernard Williams||United States||21 February 1998||Colorado Springs|
- Updated April 2020
|1||6.55 [a]||Evelyn Ashford||United States||26 February 1982||New York City|
|Jeanette Bolden||United States||21 February 1986||Los Angeles|
|3||6.56||Gwen Torrence||United States||14 March 1987||Oklahoma City|
|4||6.57 [a]||Alice Brown||United States||22 February 1985||New York City|
|5||6.58||Dawn Sowell||United States||26 February 1989||Baton Rouge|
|Beatrice Utondu-Okoye||Nigeria||11 February 1990||Monroe, North Carolina|
|7||6.60 [a]||Chandra Cheeseborough||United States||5 February 1983||Dallas|
|8||6.61||Michelle Finn||United States||23 February 1990||New York City|
|9||6.62 [a]||Merlene Ottey||Jamaica||13 March 1982||Cedar Falls, Iowa|
|Marlies Göhr||East Germany||28 February 1986||New York City|
|11||6.64 [a]||Lyudmila Storozhkova||Soviet Union||3 March 1979||New York City|
|6.64||Anelia Nuneva||Bulgaria||27 February 1987||New York City|
|13||6.65 [a]||Florence Griffith||United States||8 February 1985||Inglewood|
|Nelli Cooman||Netherlands||30 January 1987||New York City|
|6.65||Savatheda Fynes||Bahamas||8 March 1997||Indianapolis|
|16||6.66||Carlette Guidry||United States||10 March 1990||Indianapolis|
|Michelle Freeman||Jamaica||30 January 1993||Johnson City|
|18||6.67 [a]||Angela Bailey||Canada||28 February 1986||New York City|
|19||6.68||Chryste Gaines||United States||14 March 1992||Indianapolis|
|6.68 A||Aleisha Latimer||United States||19 January 1996||Boulder, Colorado|
|Peta-Gaye Dowdie||Jamaica||6 February 1988||Colorado Springs|
|6.68||Angela Williams||United States||15 March 1998||Roxberry Crossing|
|23||6.69 [a]||Jackie Joyner-Kersee||United States||20 January 1989||Los Angeles|
|6.69||Esther Jones||United States||26 February 1989||Baton Rouge|
|D'Andre Hill||United States||9 March 1996||Indianapolis|
|Julia O'Neal||United States||18 February 2000||Knoxville|
|Tianna Bartoletta||United States||24 January 2009||Gainesville|
Note: Angella Issajenko of Canada ran 6.69 in New Jersey in 1987, but this time was deleted from the records in 1989 after she admitted to long-term steroid use.
- Converted from a time for the slightly shorter 60 yards by adding 0.01
- "History of NCAA Division I Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships" (PDF). NCAA. 2013.
- "History of NCAA Division I Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships" (PDF). NCAA. 2013.
- "USATF Indoor Champions". USATF. 2018.
- "55 Metres Men". World Athletics. 4 April 2020.
- "All-time men's best 55m". tilastopaja.net. 4 April 2020.
- "T&FN YEARLY & ALL-TIME LISTS". Track and Field News. 4 April 2020.