The Case for Invalidating 10.49 World Record: Thompson-Herah 10.54 in 100m Should Be a New World Record

>> August 22, 2021

1. This morning, 22 August 2021 (or 21 August in Eugene, Oregon, US.), ELAINE THOMPSON-HERAH of Jamaica has posted the all-time 2nd fastest time in the 100m, she clocked a time of 10.54 (+0.9), which could have been a NEW WORLD RECORD (WR).

2. Florence Griffith-Joyner's 10.49 WR set during the 1988 U.S Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, has been the most suspicious record in athletics; Flo-Jo's best time before that season was 10.96, half of a second slower.
Elaine Thompson-Herah clocked 10.54 in 100m

3. Since 1997, the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) flagged the 10.49 as "probably wind-assisted".

4. I could talk about "quit athletics shortly, introduction of out of competition drug testing, and early death (10 years later)" - but we keep it ‘shorter’ (save for another story and no speculation).

ATFS Annual in 1997 started questioning the validity of 10.49 

5. What is the main issue with the 10.49 ‘WR’ - simply about the accuracy of wind reading; the anemometer (wind instrument) was most probably malfunction during Flo-Jo's (quarterfinal 1) race (and the next one), and produced zero or "0.0 m/s wind".

6. The maximum limit of tailwinds is 2.0 m/s (this value itself, would give a benefit of ~0.12 secs faster time).

7. The quarterfinals of the 1988 U.S Olympic Trials: Flo-Jo was in heat 1 (wind: 0.0 m/s) setting 10.49. In heat 2 (0.0 m/s), Shield Echols set 10.83 (i.e., her lifetime 'PB'). In heat 3, the anemometer was "ok/fixed?" and recorded 5.0 m/s winds, won by Gwen Torrence in 10.78w. 

8. During the same day, the same anemometer recorded wind-assisted for all the Round 1 heats (>2.7 m/s).

9. The wind-reading of 0.0 m/s in quarterfinals 1 and 2 was not accurately represent the possible racing conditions. 

10. The wind-reading was not consistent with the timings the athletes achieved. The meeting officials raised their concerns about the wind readings. Also, an extremely high number of seasonal and personal bests was recorded during quarterfinals 1 and 2. Other argument included flag flapping wildly, suggesting strong winds. 
Flo-Jo recorded 10.49 in 1988 U.S. Trials (and 10.61 in Olympics)

11. The estimated wind-reading for Flo-Jo’s ‘WR’ heat 1 race was greater than 5.0 m/s (and the heat 2 was >3.0 m/s).

12. Six athletes who recorded massive improvements during the quarterfinal 1 (Flo-Jo’s heat), have recorded ~0.28 secs slower during their semi-final races, even though the races were ‘assisted’ by tailwinds greater than >1.3 m/s. Logically, each of them would set an even faster time, including Flo-Jo, i.e., ~10.42.

13. At the same time above (quarterfinals), the men's triple jump was held;  just next to the track, same direction; here, Willie Banks registered 18.20m, exceeded WR, but wind-assisted: 5.2 m/s. In fact, all of his jumps were wind-assisted (>3.4 m/s).

14. The available 'evidences' above provided enough suspicion to the ‘current WR of 10.49’ by Flo-Jo (i.e., one of my all-time favorites). 

15. Flo-Jo’s 10.49 should not have been ratified in the first place. Her 10.61 time, recorded during the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials should be women's world record.

16. Flo-Jo’s 10.61 ‘WR’ was equaled by Thompson-Herah during Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and ‘broken’ this morning with 10.54 (+0.9).
All-Time lists for women's 100m (as of 22-8-2021)

17. Note that in Tokyo, the 100m race was into a headwind of -0.6 (i.e., -0.03 disadvantage). In Eugene Diamond League, a +0.9 wind favored the 100m race (i.e., +0.06 advantage). 

18. Possibilities: At 0.0 m/s wind, Thompson-Herah would have run 10.58 in Tokyo, and 10.60 in Eugene. At 2.0 m/s winds, Thompson-Herah would run 10.46 in Tokyo, and 10.48 in Eugene.   

19. With recent technologies (including running track), available training window (i.e., 2021-2024), competitiveness, world-record aim, etc. I think, we are going to witness a sub-10.49 time in women’s 100m race, legally.

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