400 Metres - M Final
21 August 2009 - 22:00Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark React
1 LaShawn Merritt USA 44.06 (WL) 0.161
2 Jeremy Wariner USA 44.60 (SB) 0.162
3 3 1113 Renny Quow TRI 45.02 0.195
4 7 629 Tabarie Henry ISV 45.42 0.162
5 5 160 Chris Brown BAH 45.47 0.161
6 2 619 David Gillick IRL 45.53 0.148
7 8 490 Michael Bingham GBR 45.56 0.172
8 1 448 Leslie Djhone FRA 45.90 0.151
In Berlin the day of the 400m it started to rain like hell, the guys couldn’t warm-up. Wariner and Merritt started to do strides under a crazy rain, before the officials allowed people to enter in the warm-up track which is inside the Berlin stadium (required a 15min walk to get there), that is the usual warm-up track for ISTAF meeting. While warming-up, we were told there was a 40min delay in the competition. The temp was low and humidity very high, great contrast with the previous days. I estimate the guys lost about half a second due to the conditions.
i think the quality of the 400m is pretty good at the moment…all finalists ran under 45 sec in the semi finals…in beijing last year 6 finalists ran slower in the final than the semi finals…maybe 3 rounds is too much for 400m athletes
Oh, please excuse my ignorance. I’m not a coach it’s just I remember around 1996-2000 guys were really moving in the 400m year around not just at the worlds. Consequently, the 100m-200m has gotten more competitive.
Interesting though. It suggests the event has not progressed, despite no shortage of quality at the medals end of this spectrum.
More relevant would be figures for the last time needed to enter an Olympic or World Championship 400m final (as distinct from time of the eighth-placed finisher in finals). I suspect often the time of the last guy to qualify (out of the semis) will be faster than the eighth-placed time in the subsequent final.
But the observation is more relevant now since the Tournament structure has changed in recent years, within this decade for certain: World and Olympic Championships have been reduced to three rounds, instead of the traditional four rounds.
In Commonwealth Games, the rounds (not sure about the 2006 Games, sorry) have stayed at four, but since Vancouver Island 1994 finalists have been given a full day’s rest before racing for the medals.
They used to run four rounds over a roughly 28hrs period (across two successive days) with the semis only four hours or so before the final. That’s why the Com Games record set in 1970 at 45.0 lasted 20 years until the Aussie Darren Clark led two Kenyans into the 44s in Auckland.
Clark’s time of 44.60 then lasted only until the next Games in Canada because the Welsh winner may have been better prepared or more talented, but certainly the day’s rest before the final helped him to shave 0.02 off the record which still stands coming into India 2010.
The transformed competition format has created the potential for faster times in the preliminary rounds at all of the above tournaments.
One assumes the high performance managers for every national federation would have the figures to hand.
But the big question is, what are they going to do about it? These stats are all after the fact. How athletes and coaches should prepare to face the challenge remains paramount.
If anything, there seems to be a trend towards faster times needed for qualification.
Interestingly, the times in the final clearly suffered after the tough semifinals of 2009, 2008 and 2007 (three rounds with two days between semifinals and final), but not in 1997 (four rounds with one day between semifinals and final). I have previously suggested on this forum that the 48h rest between semifinal and final now in place may allow for the onset of DOMS thus limiting performance in the final.
You’ve got my rep pts, thanks Robin1, this is valuable information and we appreciate you putting in the time to research the data. I’m also going to copy it across to the lactate threshhold thread which has de facto been the receptical of all matters 400m.
Yes, many athletes have run slower in the final than the semis and I’m with you on the reasons which appear obvious, but then someone will come along and smash the final as Merritt did in Beijing. The only thing I can think of is that his speed reserve has become more significant than his aerobic power (think huge tempo base)in coping with the constricted format which emphasises speed from the first round. At Beijing we saw quarter-milers running sub-45 in their first-round heats because these now are akin to the quarter-finals of the defunct 4-round tournament format.
I suspect therefore the obvious implication for training/coaching for this event in a tournament situation is that the development or at least emphasis on the speed-power thread not be left until late in the preparation period, but rather emphasised virtually from Day-1 and pursued carefully but continuously.
Obviously how we do that is the trick and my colours are well and truly pinned to the mast of the so-called “concurrent” program model.