Barcelona 2013 Impact: How History Turned, Day 3

[Photo: Aniko Kovacs]

The first three days at the 15th FINA World Championships rattled history. Much is still masked by the stuff of a short-lived shiny suit past. Strip away the enhancement and the genuine pace of progress is revealed. Here’s a snapshot of where the impact was felt most keenly in the history books

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The first three days at the 15th FINA World Championships rattled history. Much is still masked by the stuff of a short-lived shiny suit past. Strip away the enhancement and the genuine pace of progress is revealed. Here’s a snapshot of where the impact was felt most keenly in the history books

Comments

Lane Four

Sometimes it is difficult, but time waits for no man or woman. Today’s world records will one day be arthritic but the times are definitely changing. Loving it! Once upon a time Janet Evans’ 4:03.8 from 1988 was seen as coming from Mount Olympus. Now…..nothing special. Meagher’s 57.9 took our breath away. Now it will barely get into the semi-finals. One day Katie’s 15:36 will be surpassed but for right now, all I want to do is enjoy the history we witnessed.

McGillRocks

Lane 4-

Not necessarily. Consider in 1968 Jim Hines ran the 100m under 10 seconds for the first time officially. Of course today that would not medal at the Olympics, or worlds, or perhaps even US nationals

But even over 40 years later 10 seconds is a very, very impressive time. Only maybe 15 people in the world can run a 9.99 when in top shape. 10.02 made the London Olympic final, there were two people over 9.9, excluding Powell, who was injured and finished in 11. So who is to say that going sub 10 is not impressive? Only a handful of people in history have done it (and only one non-African guy).

Likewise, one day with swimming the same will happen. It could be in 40 years that Thorpe’s 3:40.08 would be good enough to make the Olympic final. Perhaps breaking 3:40 will be the magical mark that only a few people will ever do until technology and training changes so much that the Olympic final in the 50 is full of people who look down on Matt Grevers bench press what he squats

JMott76

Good discussion! Let me chime in:

Yes 9.9 is still an impressive time, but that forces me to conclude athletics/track & field has, for several decades, been *much* further ahead in its development curve. After all no woman (we presume) is ever gonna run sub-10 in our lifetimes… whereas today’s female swimmers are matching, more or less, what the men were doing during Hines’ era, which shouldn’t even be close to happening. Dead giveaway the two sports weren’t at the same stage of maturity. Not even close :I

Maybe only recently has swimming bridged the gap? Even this is doubtful what with so many WRs/textile bests year after year vs. hardly any for athletics, so maybe not even now. Frightening as it would be to eventually have to regard Thorpe or Ledecky’s PBs as merely fringe world class, I can’t discount the possibility it may come to that…

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