Ben Johnson - 100m Zurich 1987

Thanks for the video–I’ve been looking for I think the '86 Zurich race where he slows down like 10m out, putting up the #1, and still ran 10.00 I think (maybe 10.01) into a slight headwind. I used to have the video and lost it in a crash and now it appears nobody has it.

Zurich in 1987 was into a -1.3 headwind

The good thing about the video footage of this race;
1- you can see the correct Arm action CF advises very clearly
2 - dorsoflexion of the feet
3 - the massive stride length achieved once at top speed

Thats just some of what i noticed, that stood right out.

Charlie, is that the race leading into the WR at rome that Ben ran a blistering TOP end speed over 10or 20m that was infact faster than he ran at Rome for the WR?? Or was that another race?

The high top speed was at Zurich the year before- when he ran off an easy start.

Smith’s “set” (position) was a bit sus.

using the windadjuster;

9.97—> -1.3w converts to:
9.91—> 0.0w
9.85—> +1.0w
9.81—> +2.0w

Did ben have a higher than average inseam for a man his height (long legs in some sort) or an average more normal inseam for his height (average size legs)?

Ben at 5’10" and usually running around 47.0X-47.5X strides is what leads me to believe this. As well, mo greene and ato boldon, at 5’9", most of the times in their day ran 46 strides, but believe Mo was running 47 consistently in 2004.

bob hayes, at 6’0"+, in his tokyo run ran 48 strides (maybe less at 47.50 strides) similar to bens frequency. But maybe this was a result of the dirt track and maybe to assume he had a longer stride on rubber like 46.5X-47.0X strides, similar to ben, mo, and ato.

In other words, the stride frequency of ben, mo, and ato leads me to believe they had inseams of a 6’0"+ man such as bob hayes, one of their predecessors.

Or perhaps taller heights such as 6’2"-6’3". Evidence supported by this from the example in 2004 of mo and powell running head to head. A majority of the time, in london, zurich, athens, they were stride for stride(in terms of frequency) at 47 strides. Powell is around 6’2"-6’3"

Another one is gatlins frequency. I believe it indicates he has the inseam of a 6’5"-6’6" man.

did you see D. williams, in lane 1? He looked with Ben till around 40m? Fast acc just as Ben, lack of Max speed and poor speed endurance.
What happened here Charlie?
Did D.W. ever break the 10s barrier? What held him back? He looked to have the strengh and power for acc. Was it just a poor race for him, he was older too wasnt he? Perhaps getting too old by then (1987)?? What about before then? Could something else had been done for D.W. to achieve faster performance, (what with the benift of hindsight!!).

Has anyone got Zurich 88. I remember Ben looking massive… and Butch Reynolds breaking the 400m WR 20 minutes afterwards.

It was actually a good race for Desai at that time- a PB of 10.16 into a -1.3 headwind, but it trashed him for the rest of the season. His best legal time was 10.11 in 1988, though he could have done better via relaxation as he was at 6.47 at 60m in Seoul.

Ben lost in Zurich in 1988 due to a false start against him caused by a flash bulb in his eyes when in the set position. It was so obvious that the starter should not have called it and should have stood them all up and moved the photographers out from in front of the start.

The most notable thing in that Zürich 87 race is how deceived is BJ ! With that 9.97 w-1.2 he was 0.02 off his personal best. Charlie, what was the target for this race and how did he managed to move over from that race, the last before Rome WC.

ive got zurich 86, 87 and 88. ill post 88 later today for you

pleaseeee post 86 when you get the chance. thank you

Remember, he was pretty beaten up there after the photographer tripped him in Cologne at the end of his 9.95, 3 days before.
In answer to other questios, yes, Ben did have long legs for his height and forget the wind adjuster stuff. Winds swirl so much that it is impossible to have an accurate conversion. If it was truly equal to 9.81, he’d have been much farther in front- as he was in Rome.

do you think his long legs contribute to his long stride length or was it his strength and power levels?


how do you upload races from dvd’s onto


D - all of the above

In the Zurich clip Ben doesn’t look to have anything like the kind of positive hip displacement he has in 88 - any truth to this Charlie or is the movie tricking me ?

Could be an angle issue but certainly, in Seoul, there was more pos hip disp because he was going faster- especially from 30 to 80m