What is world record 400m?

What is world record 400m?

What is world record 400m?

The 400-meter race is one of the most grueling and fast-paced events in track and field athletics. Over the years, this event has witnessed remarkable achievements, with athletes constantly pushing the boundaries of human performance. In this article, we delve into the world record for the 400m race, exploring its history, notable athletes, the progression of the record, and significant milestones achieved in this event.

History of the World Record

The world record for the 400m race has seen steady progression since the event was first officially recognized. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has been the governing body responsible for ratifying world records in athletics. The first recognized world record for the 400m was set at 47.8 seconds by Maxie Long in 1912. Since then, the record has been continuously improved, reflecting the advancements in training methods, technology, and the evolution of the sport.

Notable Athletes and Their Contributions

Michael Johnson

One of the most iconic figures in the history of the 400m race is Michael Johnson. Known for his distinctive upright running style, Johnson shattered the world record with his mesmerizing performance at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics, clocking an astonishing 43.18 seconds. Johnson's dominance in the event and his unparalleled record stood as a testament to his exceptional speed and endurance.

Wayde van Niekerk

Another legendary athlete who etched his name in the annals of the 400m history is Wayde van Niekerk. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, van Niekerk stunned the world by not only winning the gold medal but also obliterating Johnson's longstanding record with a time of 43.03 seconds. His remarkable achievement showcased the potential for further advancements in the event.

Progression of the Record

The world record for the 400m race has witnessed a fascinating progression, with athletes consistently striving to outperform their predecessors. The timeline of the record's progression highlights the relentless pursuit of excellence in the event:

  • 1968: Lee Evans becomes the first athlete to break the 44-second barrier, setting a new world record of 43.86 seconds.
  • 1988: Butch Reynolds lowers the record to 43.29 seconds.
  • 1999: Michael Johnson's awe-inspiring performance at the World Championships sets a new benchmark at 43.18 seconds.
  • 2016: Wayde van Niekerk's historic run at the Rio Olympics redefines the record with a staggering time of 43.03 seconds.

Significant Milestones and Records

The 400m race has been a stage for numerous historic moments and records that have captivated audiences and inspired future generations of athletes. Some of the most significant milestones and records in the event include:

  • The first sub-44-second 400m race by Lee Evans in 1968, showcasing the potential for greater speed in the event.
  • Michael Johnson's unparalleled 17-year reign as the world record holder, establishing his legacy as one of the greatest quarter-milers of all time.
  • Wayde van Niekerk's astonishing performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he not only clinched the gold but also set a new world record, signaling a new era of speed and athleticism in the 400m race.

The world record for the 400m race stands as a testament to the extraordinary capabilities of human athleticism and the relentless pursuit of excellence in track and field. From the early days of Maxie Long to the modern era of Wayde van Niekerk, the event has seen remarkable advancements and iconic performances. As athletes continue to push the boundaries of their physical capabilities, the world record for the 400m race will undoubtedly remain a symbol of human achievement and the pursuit of athletic perfection.


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