Best world record: Marita Koch – 47.60, Canberra 1985
IN VIEW of the proven East German doping, this should not even be a world record but it is and 33 years on the astonishing mark is unchallenged and should be for another 33 years.
Despite the sadness of it being beyond clean athletes (or even many dirty ones), there is no denying it is a special mark. Koch had fantastic sprint marks (10/83/21.71) and good endurance and she eventually brought the record down by 1.59 seconds from 49.29 to 47.60. In the IAAF World Cup in Canberra it is estimated she ran 11.4 at 100, 22.4 at 200m and 34.1 at 300m (45.5 pace!) and she won by around six metres from Olga Vladykina. Former record-holder Jarmila Kratochvilova was fifth.
Result: 1 Marita Koch (GDR) 47.60; 2 Olga Vladykina (RUS) 48.27; 3 Lillie Leatherwood (USA) 50.43; 4 Ana Quirot (AME) 50.86; 5 Jarmila Kratochvilova (EUR) 50.95; 6 Debbie Flintoff-King (OCE) 51.57; 7 PT Usha (ASI) 51.61; 8 Kehminde Vaughan (AFR) 53.16