The best world record: Florence Grif­fith-Joyner – 21.34, Seoul 1988

Athletics Weekly - - Statistics -

GRIF­FITH-JOYNER won Olympic and world 200m sil­ver in 1984 and 1987 but a new model emerged in Olympic year and she came close to the world record in win­ning the US Olympic tri­als in 21.77.

In the Seoul Olympics, she smashed the world mark with 21.56 in her semi-fi­nal, which she won by half a sec­ond.

One hour 40 min­utes later she lined up in the fi­nal.

Af­ter a bend of 11.18, she started to pull away in the straight, which was not sur­pris­ing as she ran the mid­dle 100m in 9.81. Most of the gap over the rest came in the last 50 me­tres, where it ap­peared she was ac­cel­er­at­ing.

She was, in fact, slow­ing sig­nif­i­cantly – just at a lesser rate than her op­po­nents. In her very last 200m, Grif­fith-Joyner won in 21.34, over three me­tres clear of Grace Jack­son even though the Ja­maican ran 21.72 com­pared to the 21.71 world record mark which had stood un­til ear­lier that day.

No one has run faster than 21.62 in the 30 years since.

Re­sult: F Grif­fith-Joyner (USA) 21.34; G Jack­son (JAM) 21.72; H Drech­sler (GDR) 21.95; M Ottey (JAM) 21.99; S Möller (GDR) 22.09; G Tor­rence (USA) 22.17; M Azarachvili (URS) 22.33; Galina Malchug­ina (URS) 22.42

100m: 11.18 (4.89), 150m: 16.10 (4.92), 200m:

21.34 (5.24)

Florence Grif­fithJoyner: still holds the women’s 200m record

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