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1500 Metres World Record Progression

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1500 Metres World Record Progression

The 1500-metre run became a standard racing distance in Europe in the late 19th century, perhaps as a metric version of the mile, a popular running distance since at least the 1850s in English-speaking countries.[1] (p. 14)

A distance of 1500m sometimes is called the "metric mile".

The French had the first important races over the distance, holding their initial championship in 1888. (ibid) When the Olympic games were revived in 1896, metric distances were run, including the 1500. However, most of the best milers in the world were absent, and the winning time of 4:33 1/5 by Australian Edwin Flack was almost 18 seconds slower than the amateur mile record, despite the fact the mile is 109 metres longer than the 1500 metres.

The 1900 Olympics and 1904 Olympics showed improvements in times run, but it was not until the 1908 Olympics that a meeting of the top milers over the distance took place, and not until the 1912 Olympics that a true world-class race over the distance was run.[1] (p. 21)

The distance has now almost completely replaced the mile in major track meets.

Men (Outdoors)

Pre-IAAF

TIME NAME ATHLETE DATE PLACE
4:24 3/5  J. Borel (FRA) 1892
4:21  Fernand Meiers (FRA) 1893-05-28 Paris, France
4:19 4/5  Felix Bourdier (FRA) 1894-07-22 Paris, France
4:18 2/5  Albin Lermusiaux (FRA) 1895-05-12 Paris, France
4:16 4/5  Michel Soalhat (FRA) 1895-05-26 Paris, France
4:15 3/5  Thomas Conneff (USA) 1895-08-26 New York City, USA
4:10 2/5  Albin Lermusiaux (FRA) 1896-06-26 Paris, France
4:09  John Bray (USA) 1900-05-30 Bayonne
4:06 1/5  Charles Bennett (GBR) 1900-07-15 Paris, France
4:05 2/5  James Lightbody (USA) 1904-09-03 St. Louis, USA
3:59 4/5  Harold Wilson (GBR) 1908-05-30 London, England
3:59 1/5  Abel Kiviat (USA) 1912-05-26 New York City, USA
3:56 4/5  Abel Kiviat (USA) 1912-06-01 New York City, USA

IAAF era

The first world record in the 1,500 m for men (athletics) was recognized by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, in 1912.

To June 21, 2009, the IAAF has ratified 38 world records in the event.[2]

TIME AUTO NAME ATHLETE DATE PLACE
3:55.8  Abel Kiviat (USA) 1912-06-08 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
3:54.7  John Zander (SWE) 1917-08-05 Stockholm, Sweden
3:52.6  Paavo Nurmi (FIN) 1924-06-19 Helsinki, Finland
3:51.0  Otto Peltzer (GER) 1926-09-11 Berlin, Germany
3:49.2  Jules Ladoumegue (FRA) 1930-10-05 Paris, France
3:49.2  Luigi Beccali (ITA) 1933-09-09 Turin, Italy
3:49.0  Luigi Beccali (ITA) 1933-09-17 Milan, Italy
3:48.8  Bill Bonthron (USA) 1934-06-30 Milwaukee, USA
3:47.8  Jack Lovelock (NZL) 1936-08-06 Berlin, Germany
3:47.6  Gunder Hägg (SWE) 1941-08-10 Stockholm, Sweden
3:45.8  Gunder Hägg (SWE) 1942-07-17 Stockholm, Sweden
3:45.0  Arne Andersson (SWE) 1943-08-17 Gothenburg, Sweden
3:43.0  Gunder Hägg (SWE) 1944-07-07 Gothenburg, Sweden
3:43.0  Lennart Strand (SWE) 1947-07-15 Malmö, Sweden
3:43.0  Werner Lueg (FRG) 1952-06-29 Berlin, Germany
3:42.8+  Wes Santee (USA) 1954-06-04 Compton, USA
3:41.8+  John Landy (AUS) 1954-06-21 Turku, Finland
3:40.8  Sándor Iharos (HUN) 1955-07-28 Helsinki, Finland
3:40.8  László Tábori (HUN) 1955-09-06 Oslo, Norway
3:40.8  Gunnar Nielsen (DEN) 1955-09-06 Oslo, Norway
3:40.6  István Rózsavölgyi (HUN) 1956-08-03 Tata, Hungary
3:40.2  Olavi Salsola (FIN) 1957-07-11 Turku, Finland
3:40.2  Olavi Salonen (FIN) 1957-07-11 Turku, Finland
3:38.1  Stanislav Jungwirth (TCH) 1957-07-12 Stará Boleslav, Czechoslovakia
3:36.0  Herb Elliott (AUS) 1958-08-28 Gothenburg, Sweden
3:35.6  Herb Elliott (AUS) 1960-09-06 Rome, Italy
3:33.1  Jim Ryun (USA) 1967-07-08 Los Angeles, USA
3:32.2 3:32.16  Filbert Bayi (TAN) 1974-02-02 Christchurch, New Zealand
3:32.1 3:32.03  Sebastian Coe (GBR) 1979-08-15 Zürich, Switzerland
3:32.1 3:32.09  Steve Ovett (GBR) 1980-07-15 Oslo, Norway
3:31.4 3:31.36  Steve Ovett (GBR) 1980-08-27 Koblenz, West Germany
3:31.24  Sydney Maree (USA) 1983-08-28 Cologne, West Germany
3:30.77  Steve Ovett (GBR) 1983-09-04 Rieti, Italy
3:29.67  Steve Cram (GBR) 1985-07-16 Nice, France
3:29.46  Saïd Aouita (MAR) 1985-08-23 Berlin, Germany
3:28.86  Noureddine Morceli (ALG) 1992-09-06 Rieti, Italy
3:27.37  Noureddine Morceli (ALG) 1995-07-12 Nice, France
3:26.00  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 1998-07-14 Rome, Italy

+ - indicates record set during mile race. Ovett's 3:31.36 was initially ratified as 3:31.4 until times to the hundredths were recognized as of 1981.[2]

Women (Outdoors)

Pre-IAAF

TIME NAME ATHLETE DATE PLACE
5:18.2  Anna Mushkina (URS) 1927-08-19 Moscow, Soviet Union
5:07.0  Anna Mushkina (URS) 1934-09-16 Alma-Ata, Soviet Union
5:02.0  Lydia Freiberg (URS) 1936-07-13 Moscow, Soviet Union
4:47.2  Yevdokiya Vasilyeva (URS) 1936-07-30 Moscow, Soviet Union
4:45.2  Yevdokiya Vasilyeva (URS) 1937-09-13 Moscow, Soviet Union
4:41.8  Anna Zaytseva-Bosenko (URS) 1940-06-10 Moscow, Soviet Union
4:38.0  Yevdokiya Vasilyeva (URS) 1944-08-17 Moscow, Soviet Union
4:37.8  Olga Ovsyannikova (URS) 1946-09-15 Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union
4:37.0  Nina Pletnyova (URS) 1952-08-30 Leningrad, Soviet Union
4:35.4  Phyllis Perkins (GBR) 1956-05-17 Hornchurch, Great Britain
4:30.0  Diane Leather (GBR) 1957-05-16 Hornchurch, Great Britain
4:29.7+  Diane Leather (GBR) 1957-07-19 London, Great Britain
4:19.0+  Marise Chamberlain (NZL) 1962-12-08 Perth, Australia

IAAF era

The first world record in the 1,500 m for women (athletics) was recognized by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, in 1967.

To June 21, 2009, the IAAF has ratified 13 world records in the event.[3]

TIME AUTO NAME ATHLETE DATE PLACE
4:17.3+  Anne Rosemary Smith (GBR) 1967-06-03 Chiswick, Great Britain
4:15.6  Maria Gommers (NED) 1967-10-24 Sittard, Netherlands
4:12.4  Paola Pigni (ITA) 1969-07-02 Milan, Italy
4:10.7 4:10.77  Jaroslava Jehličková (CZE) 1969-09-20 Athens, Greece
4:09.6 4:09.62  Karin Burneleit (GDR) 1971-08-15 Helsinki, Finland
4:06.9  Ludmila Bragina (URS) 1972-07-18 Moscow, Soviet Union
4:06.5 4:06.47  Ludmila Bragina (URS) 1972-09-04 Munich, Germany
4:05.1 4:05.07  Ludmila Bragina (URS) 1972-09-07 Munich, Germany
4:01.4 4:01.38  Ludmila Bragina (URS) 1972-09-09 Munich, Germany
3:56.0  Tatyana Kazankina (URS) 1976-06-28 Podolsk, Soviet Union
3:55.0  Tatyana Kazankina (URS) 1980-07-06 Moscow, Soviet Union
3:52.47  Tatyana Kazankina (URS) 1980-08-03 Zurich, Switzerland
3:50.46  Qu Yunxia (CHN) 1993-09-11 Beijing, China

+ - En route time during mile race. The IAAF accepted records to the hundredth of a second starting in 1981.

References

General
  • [3]
  • Men's record progression
Specific

Further reading

  • Cordner Nelson and Roberto Quercetani, The Milers, Tafnews Press, 1985, ISBN 0-911521-15-1
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