The best world record
FLORENCE Griffith-Joyner’s best 100m prior to 1988 was 10.96 but the American emerged in suspiciously fast form in the summer. She improved to 10.89 prior to the US Championships but few could have predicted what would happen in Indianapolis.
After a wind-assisted 10.60 heat, in the quarter-finals ‘Flo Jo’ was timed in a sensational 10.49 (hand times of 10.3, 10.3 and 10.4 were recorded). Second was Diane Williams in 10.88. The previous record was 10.76.
However, while the wind reading was officially 0.0m/sec, there was a strong wind that day and many believe the reading was wrong.Yet, if there was a doubt over that 10.49, then her 10.70 semi-final and 10.61 final victory would have been world records instead.
At the Olympics, Griffith-Joyner ran a legal 10.62 quarter-final and then a windy 10.70 semi and windy 10.54 in the final, where she won gold by three metres from previous record-holder Evelyn Ashford.
Result: 1 Griffith-Joyner 10.49; 2 D Williams 10.88; 3 G Devers-Roberts 10.98; 4 C Guidry 11.11; 5 D Sowell 11,19; 6 A Thompson 11.35
Florence Griffith-Joyner: dominated in 1988