Women's 400 metres world record progression
The first world record in the 400 m for women (athletics) was recognized by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, in 1957.
To June 21, 2009, the IAAF has ratified 27 world records in the event. Their 2009 record progression list, however, lists 26 records.
Record progression 1957–1976
|Time||Auto||Athlete||Nationality||Location of race||Date|
|57.0y||Marlene Mathews||Australia||Sydney, Australia||6 January 1957|
|57.0y||Marise Chamberlain||New Zealand||Christchurch, New Zealand||16 February 1957|
|56.3y||Nancy Boyle||Australia||Sydney, Australia||24 February 1957|
|55.2||Polina Lazareva||Soviet Union||Moscow, Soviet Union||10 May 1957|
|54.0||Mariya Itkina||Soviet Union||Minsk, Soviet Union||8 June 1957|
|53.6||Mariya Itkina||Soviet Union||Moscow, Soviet Union||6 July 1957|
|53.4+||Mariya Itkina||Soviet Union||Krasnodar, Soviet Union||12 September 1959|
|53.4||Mariya Itkina||Soviet Union||Belgrade, Yugoslavia||14 September 1962|
|51.9||Shin Geum-Dan||North Korea||Pyongyang, North Korea||23 October 1962|
|51.7||51.72||Nicole Duclos||France||Athens, Greece||18 September 1969|
|51.7||51.74||Colette Besson||France||Athens, Greece||18 September 1969|
|51.0||51.02||Marilyn Neufville||Jamaica||Edinburgh, Scotland||23 July 1970|
|51.0||51.08||Monika Zehrt||East Germany||Paris, France||4 July 1972|
|49.9||Irena Szewińska||Poland||Warsaw, Poland||22 June 1974|
(y) indicates time for 440 yards (402.34 metres), ratified as a record for this event
(+) plus sign denotes en route time during longer race
The "Time" column indicates the ratified mark; the "Auto" column indicates a fully automatic time that was also recorded in the event when hand-timed marks were used for official records, or which was the basis for the official mark, rounded to the 10th of a second, depending on the rules then in place.
Record progression from 1975
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.
Riitta Salin's 50.14 from 1974 was the fastest recorded result to that time.
|Time||Athlete||Nationality||Location of race||Date|
|50.14||Riitta Salin||Finland||Rome, Italy||4 September 1974|
|49.77||Christina Brehmer||East Germany||Dresden, East Germany||9 May 1976|
|49.75||Irena Szewińska||Poland||Bydgoszcz, Poland||22 June 1976|
|49.29||Irena Szewińska||Poland||Montreal, Canada||29 July 1976|
|49.19||Marita Koch||East Germany||Leipzig, East Germany||2 July 1978|
|49.03||Marita Koch||East Germany||Potsdam, East Germany||19 August 1978|
|48.94||Marita Koch||East Germany||Prague, Czechoslovakia||31 August 1978|
|48.89||Marita Koch||East Germany||Potsdam, East Germany||29 July 1979|
|48.60||Marita Koch||East Germany||Turin, Italy||4 August 1979|
|48.16||Marita Koch||East Germany||Athens, Greece||8 September 1982|
|47.99||Jarmila Kratochvílová||Czechoslovakia||Helsinki, Finland||10 August 1983|
|47.60||Marita Koch||East Germany||Canberra, Australia||6 October 1985|
- "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009" (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. pp. Pages 546, 641. Archived from the original (pdf) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2009.