Monday, October 12, 2015
Keep it 100?
For Bokolis- well, for the younger version of the man behind the curtain- Flo-Jo's 10.49 was one of those what...the fuck...was that? moments, something incomprehensible, something that wasn't real...and I don't impress easily.
Many women's track & field records still stand from back then because out-of-competition testing wasn't implemented until after the '88 Olympics. All you had to do was come off about 5 weeks out and you could beat the tests. Ben Johnson likely was caught because someone put one over on him.
Flo-Jo beat the WR by .27 seconds...at the time the Mens WR was Ben's 9.83. At that point, the WR were .66 seconds apart- ignore the fact that Ben's was removed and the record reverted to 9.93. This turned out to be the low point in the difference between the two WR; it was 1.13 coming out of Mexico City and it has stretched back out to .91.
Some eyeballing shows that, where it took the men 15 years to break the 100m world record- in the altitude of Colorado Springs- set at the 1968 Olympics in the altitude of Mexico City (and 23 to break the long jump), the women's world record was equaled at the next Olympiad...by an East German broad. Whereas each lowering of the Men's WR has been by someone of West African descent, this started a run of 12 years where the women's WR was held by a German from one side of the Iron Curtain or the other.
It stands to reason that the women's WR holders should have at least a somewhat similar profile to the men's. If you saw one German in there who had the record for a minute, you may write it off as an aberration. Five Germans and no one else over 12 years...systemic doping.
Since the 10.49, the men have shaved .25 seconds off their WR (Bokolis is ignoring that the record reverted to 9.93 after Ben Johnson was banned and will use Ben's 9.83) and it's (legally) been beaten 60 times. This can be broken down as .11 in 20 years and Usain Bolt taking it down another .14 in two shots, one on the first anniversary of the other...hmmmm. As Bolt is getting older and is surely not as interested, unless someone else emerges- slim chance- it looks like it's going to stay at 9.58 for at least another 10 years.
As for the women, if you revert to Evelyn Ashford's 10.76 from 1984, they've gotten just .12 seconds in over 30 years, from 5 women (legally) besting Ashford's mark 21 times. Even if you allow Marion Jones' 10.65, which was at altitude, and Carmelita Jeter's 10.64- and you have to reason that Marion Jones was on some better stuff than they had in Flo-Jo's day and speculate that Jeter throwing up those numbers at age 30, destroying previous PBs, was on at least as good stuff as Jones- you've still gotten nowhere.
Regardless of your views, Flo-Jo's 10.49 was wind-aided and shouldn't have stood. The 10.61 in the trials final and the 10.62 in the QF heats in Seoul are more "legit." The record book has forgotten the wind-aided 10.54 she ran in the final in Seoul, much like the world has forgotten the Bulgarian broad who matched Flo-Jo in the first 30 metres and, just as she was finding the next gear that, at 70 meters, had her solidly second and on pace to run under 10.80, popped a hammy...all that training, all those roids and womp womp womp womp.
The announcer of the Olympic final says of Flo-Jo, this girl has taken this event 20 years in front of herself. Hell, at the time, I remember thinking it would take 50 years before someone touched the 10.49. A little over halfway there, it looks like that may have been conservative.
So much for evolution.