Athletics Stats: Greatest Women 400-meter runners of all time

The 400-meter race is one of the most popular competitions in athletics which necessitates a combination of strength, speed, and endurance. Its origins can be found in ancient Greece, where footraces played a significant role in the Olympic Games. The diaulos, which is identical to the 400-meter dash in the current Olympic games except that it is not regarded as a long-distance race, was a part of the ancient Olympics. Since the beginning of the modern Games in 1896, the modern 400-meter event, which entails one full lap around the track, has been a part of the Olympic schedule. Thomas Burke of the United States won the inaugural Olympic 400-meter championship when it was initially only open to men as he finished the race with a timing of 54.20 seconds.

The event evolved throughout the years, including the addition of women. Before the Tokyo Games in 1964, women were not allowed to compete in the 400-meter event. Betty Cuthbert of Australia won the first-ever women’s 400-meter Olympic gold medal. The performance of athletes has improved over time as a result of developments in training techniques, diet, and sports technology. For instance, Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa holds the men’s world record, which is 43.03 seconds. On the other hand, Marita Koch of Germany still holds the women’s 400-meter record of 47.60 seconds, which she established in 1985.

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Lesser known facts about the 400-meter race at the Olympics

The men’s Olympic record was set in 2016, while the women’s record was established in 1996. Wayde van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson’s previous world and Olympic records for men by finishing in 43.03 seconds, which he had held since 1999 and 1996, respectively. The female record holder is Marie-José Pérec, who finished in 48.25 seconds. Only three athletes have won the event twice: Marie-José Pérec was the first athlete to defend the title in 1996. Michael Johnson joined with triumphs in 1996 and 2000, and Shaunae Miller-Uibo succeeded in defending her 2016 title at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Greatest Women 400-meter runners of all-time

The women’s 400-meter race has witnessed some of the greatest runners of all time. One of the athletes who has etched her name in history is Marita Koch who established the world record in 1985, although the record still remains untouched today. Jarmila Kratochvílová, Marie-José Pérec, Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Cathy Freeman, Allyson Felix, and Shaunae Miller-Uibo are a few more athletes who have contributed significantly to this event. We will now take a look at the list of some of the Greatest Women 400-meter runners of all time and their achievements.

AthleteCountryPersonal BestMajor Achievements
Marita KochGermany47.60 secsGold in Olympics (1980), Gold in World Championships (1983), Gold in European Championships (1978, 1982, 1986), World Record Holder (400m)
Jarmila KratochvílováCzechoslovakia47.99 secsGold in World Championships (1983 in both 400m and 800m), Silver in Olympics (1980)
Marie-José PérecFrance48.25 secsGold in Olympics (1992, 1996 in 400m and 1996 in 200m), Gold in World Championships (1991 and 1995)
Valerie Brisco-HooksUnited States of America48.83 secsGold in Olympics (1984 in 200m, 400m, and 4x400m relay)
Cathy FreemanAustralia48.63 secsGold in Olympics (2000), Silver in Olympics (1996), Gold in World Championships (1997, 1999)
Allyson FelixUnited States of America49.26 secsGold in Olympics (2012 in 200m, 2012 and 2016 in 4x100m relay, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 in 4x400m relay), Gold in World Championships (2005, 2007, 2009 in 200m, 2015 in 400m, 2007, 2011, 2017 in 4x100m, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2017, 2019, 2022 om 4x400m)
Shaunae Miller-UiboBahamas48.36 secsGold in Olympics (2016, 2020), Gold in 2022 and Silver in World Championships (2015, 2019)

(Note- This list is based on the athletes performance at the most prestigious events which includes the Olympics and World Championships.)

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