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IN THE SECOND PART OF OUR SERIES WE PRESENT A STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF THE HALF-LAP SPRINTING EVENT
In the second part of our statistical series Steve Smythe examines the 200m
THE 200m was first run in the Olympics in 1900. The USA’s 17 Olympic golds in the discipline make them the most successful nation, though Jamaica has won the last three through Usain Bolt.
200m STAR: USAIN BOLT
WHILE Bolt was superb at 100m, he was even better at 200m and yet, for all his brilliance, it was not all perfect as a youngster.
He was only a semi-finalist at the 2001 World Youth Championships, did not survive his heat in the 2004 Olympics and was last in his first world final in 2005 in 26.27.
He was still a brilliant teenager, though, and astonishingly he won the world under-20 title aged 15 in 2002 and the world youth title in 2003. After a silver in the 2007 World Championships, he won the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic titles and won the 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 world titles for unprecedented success.
His 19.19 in Berlin in 2009 remains the world record, the average of his 10 best marks is 19.469 and he has four of the six fastest times in history.
THE first women’s Olympic 200m was in 1948 and has been run in every Games since. USA is the most successful nation with six gold medals.
200m STAR: IRENA SZEWINSKA
IRENA SZEWINSKA may not have set the ground-breaking record of ‘Flo-Jo’ or won as many major medals as Allyson Felix but the graceful long-legged Pole, who died earlier this year, medalled in three successive Olympics and set a number of world records.
She was a close second in the 1964 Olympics and set a world record of 22.7 in 1965. In 1968, she smashed that mark with 22.5 in winning Olympic gold in Mexico.
She seemed past her best in 1972 when she was a well-beaten third in Munich. However, she returned stronger in 1974 and won her second European title in a championship record 22.51after earlier setting the inaugural electronic-timed world record of 22.21.
She moved up to 400m to win Olympic gold in 1976 but would have still been a factor at 200m as she ran 22.37 in Zurich in 1977, the same time as the winning time in Montreal.
Usain Bolt: remarkable over 200m
Irena Szewinska: won Olympic gold in 1968