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IN THE SEC­OND PART OF OUR SE­RIES WE PRESENT A STA­TIS­TI­CAL SUM­MARY OF THE HALF-LAP SPRINT­ING EVENT

Athletics Weekly - - Contents - WORDS: STEVE SMYTHE PIC­TURES: MARK SHEAR­MAN

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

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